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MCU in 2022: Every Anticipated Release

The Marvel Cinematic Universe, also known as the MCU, is the biggest media franchise in the world. The franchise has generated over $ 25 billion at the worldwide box office and the characters have become known the world over. Since 2010 the studio has had a steady output of at least one entry a year but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the studio was forced to skip a year in 2020.

After an entire year of no MCU stories, the studio came roaring back in a big way in 2021 with four films, and the franchise began to expand the universe on television with superhero series on Disney +. 2021 began with WandaVision and stories throughout the year focused on The Falcon, Black Widow, Loki, Shang-Chi, Spider-Man, and Eternals before ending with Hawkeye.

The MCU is not slowing down anytime soon as 2022 is also set to be a big year for the franchise, as three high profile sequels are set to hit theaters in addition to more Disney + series that will introduce new heroes and villains to the franchise that will impact the future of the MCU moving forward. With 2022 being another year of Marvel stories, this is a breakdown of the entire year’s slate of releases and what to be excited about from each of them.

10 Moon Knight

Marvel Studios

The first MCU entry of 2022, Moon Knight is set to premiere on Disney + on March 30 and will run for six weeks and wrap up on May 4, 2022. Based on the superhero of the same name, the series focuses on Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac), a mercenary with dissociative identity disorder who alongside his multiple identities like Steven Grant, is a mild manner British gift shop, employee. Marc becomes the conduit for the Egyptian moon god Khonshu and is drawn into a conflict with cult leaders, Egyptian mythology, and other threats.

The series is a first for the MCU, as it is the first MCU show not based on one of its pre-established characters and is telling a hero’s origin story across six hours of television as opposed to a two-hour film. The series is set to kickstart a new corner of the MCU, focused on horror-themed characters possibly leading into a Werewolf by Night Halloween special and the upcoming Blade film.

9 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange 2
Marvel Studios

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the first MCU film following Spider-Man: No Way Home. The movie is set for May 6, 2022, and will kickstart the summer movie season and return the MCU to the first weekend of May that the studio has had great success with. The movie sees Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) helping old friends and new mystical allies traverse the multiverse to take on a new threat. The film is not just a sequel to Doctor Strange but will serve as a follow-up to both the series WandaVision and Loki as well as Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The movie will introduce America Chavez into the MCU, likely setting up the Young Avengers. It is also heavily rumored to feature cameos from various corners of the Marvel multiverse, teasing Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Professor X from the Fox X-Men movies, and even more rumored to appear. Along with seeing the original Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi return to directing after years away, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is expected to be more than another MCU film but an epic accumulation and exciting new start.

8 Ms. Marvel

ms marvel kamala khan carol danvers obsession different time Cropped
Disney +

While a relatively new character in the pages of Marvel Comics, Ms. Marvel is set to bring fan-favorite character Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) to the MCU. Ms. Marvel is about a 16-year-old Pakistani-American high school student from Jersey City who is a big fan of superheroes, particularly Captain Marvel.

Related: Explained: How the MCU Appears to Be Assembling the Young Avengers

The Ms. Marvel series has generated headlines for changing the character’s powers, from her origin being an Inhuman who can alter her body mass to bracelets believed to be the Nega-bands that allow her to make constructs. The series will not only introduce a new hero to the MCU but will set the stage for the Captain Marvel sequel The Marvels, where Ms. Marvel will team up with Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris). With a June 8, 2022, premiere date on Disney +, Ms. Marvel looks to be the perfect summer show that promises a breezy fun time.

7 Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor Love and Thunder
Marvel Studios

Following the success of Thor: RagnarokTaika Waititi (who is one of the hottest directors in Hollywood today) returns to the Thor franchise with Thor: Love and Thunder which promises more of the humor audiences reacted positively in the previous film as well as more exciting new additions to the MCU like the return of Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) this time becoming the Mighty Thor and Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcherdrawing heavily from the critically acclaimed Jason Aaron Thor run.

The film will also feature Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) finding her queen to rule New Asgard with and a continued push by Marvel Studios to feature more representation. With The Guardians of the Galaxy also set to make an appearance, this fourth Thor film is shaping up to be a massive event in its own right when it opens on July 8, 2022.

6 She-Hulk

She Hulk
Marvel Studios

She-Hulk focuses on Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), a lawyer who specializes in superhero cases who also happens to be the cousin of Bruce Banner aka the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and has the ability to transform into a Hulk herself. The series is set to be Marvel Studios’ first true comedy, with the sneak peek at Disney + Day hinting at a self-referential meta fourth wall break style that features callbacks to The Incredible Hulk television series.

The series will feature the return of both Bruce Banner and The Abomination (Tim Roth) and is heavily rumored to feature more cameos, possibly a place to integrate the characters from the Daredevil series that was recently put on Disney +. Charlie Cox appeared as Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Way Home so it is now even more possible. Set for 10 episodes, while no release date has been set it will likely air in the long gap between Thor: Love and Thunder in July and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in November.

5 What If …? Season 2

What If?
Marvel Studios

While no official release date it set, it is highly believed What If …? season 2 will premiere in 2022. The first season took audiences through various re-imaginings of classic MCU stories, and the series is likely set to be more important following the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell) is heavily rumored to appear in the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel. In addition, the second season will feature an episode focused on the Gamora variant that was showcased in the final episode of season 1, which was cut from the first season due to COVID-19 production delays. The series will be arriving after plenty of MCU stories have come, meaning audiences could be in for re-imaginings of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals.

4 Halloween Special

Werewolf by Night
Marvel Comics

The most recent addition to the MCU 2022 slate, the studio is currently filming a Halloween special. While little is known about the project, it is highly rumored to be focused on the character Werewolf by Night. The project stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Laura Donnelly and will see acclaimed composer Michael Giacchino stepping into the director’s chair.

Related: Which MCU Holiday Special Are Fans More Excited For?

Arriving the same year as Moon Knight and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, 2022 appears to be the year the supernatural side of the Marvel Universe will expand in a big way. While no official release date is set, given the nature of the project it is safe to assume it will air sometime in October 2022.

3 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther
Marvel Studios

Easily one of the most anticipated films of 2022, many people will be watching Black Panther: Wakanda Forever for a variety of reasons. While it is a sequel to one of the highest-grossing and most successful films of all time, it also sadly is a movie that has to tackle and address the tragic passing of star Chadwick Boseman, who died of pancreatic cancer in August 2020 which led to an entire page one rewrite of the film, which is now set for release on November 11, 2022.

Not much is known about the film’s plot, but it is confirmed that T’Challa will not be recast. The film is rumored to feature the debut of Namor the Submariner and Atlantis into the MCU, as well as the first appearance of Riri Williams aka Iron Heart (Dominique Thorne) before her Disney + series. It is also unclear if Shuri (Letitia Wright) will take over the mantle of Black Panther like in the comics, or if the franchise will go with a different direction. Whatever the case, director / writer Ryan Coogler and the rest of the cast and crew are working hard to make a film that honors Chadwick Boseman and his legacy.

2 Secret Invasion

Secret Invasion
Marvel Studios

While not officially slated, Secret Invasion is currently expected to air in late 2022 likely after the November release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The series shares the same name as the 2008 event comic, which features the shape-shifting aliens the Skrulls infiltrating all aspects of life on Earth.

The series lead will be Nick Fury (Samuel Jackskon) and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and will feature appearances from other MCU characters like Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and War Machine (Don Chedeal) as well as unknown roles for stars Emilia Clarke, Carme Ejogo, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Academy Award winner Olivia Coleman.

With the reveal of the Skrulls being not a villainous force but refugees in Captain Marvel, and the tease at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home of Nick Fury and the Skrulls in space the series could go in a number of different directions. However if Skrulls are hiding among various MCU character, the audience will be left guessing on whom they can trust.

1 The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special

Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Marvel Studios

The final MCU entry of 2022 is both a nice celebration and a tee-off for 2023, as The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is set to lead directly into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. While not much is currently known about the project, the name is a nice homage to the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special and likely will have a lot of fun cameos from various corners of the MCU. James Gunn has even indicated that it will mark the first appearance of some characters in the MCUwhich makes for some exciting possibilities.

While Marvel has dabbled in holiday productions, with Iron Man 3 and Hawkeye both being set at Christmas, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special being a simple holiday special feels more in vain with the material of the season that has become cultural touchstones. Gathering together with The Guardians of the Galaxy for the holidays seems like the perfect way to end a robust exciting year for the MCU.

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