Marvel, along with the entire film industry, is ready for all of us to get back into movie theaters and spending money, and what better way to get us there than reminding us that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a whole backlog of movies just waiting for our eyeballs to see them? Cue the MCU Phase 4 hype trailer, which features our first look at Eternals along with official titles for Black Panther 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp 2 (Ant-Man 3), and Captain Marvel 2.
Obviously, the first chunk of the hype video, titled “Marvel Celebrates the Movies,” is set up to remind us all just how much we love Marvel (and each other?), with actual illegally recorded footage of an audience reaction to the now-iconic “Avengers assemble” moment from Avengers: Endgame. There isn’t anything new there as narration over the beginning leads us through a host of the more emotional scenes from the MCU over the years, including the all-time tear-jerker lead, “I am Groot.”
It’s the second half of the hype video where the new stuff starts coming in. We get yet another look at Black Widow, which has been sitting on a shelf throughout the pandemic. Some of the shots are actually new, though. That’s followed by our second look at Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, with mostly the same footage from the trailer. After those two it’s our first look at Academy Award winner Chloé Zhao’s Eternals, and even with this brief look, it looks strikingly different from the rest of the Marvel films thanks to Zhao’s creative freedom on the project. Finally, the trailer starts rolling into a slew of release dates and movie titles.
All of the dates were already known, but this is confirming them, showing that Disney has confidence that theaters will be at levels it’d like them to be at in order to continue its release schedule. However, it’s in the title treatments that we get the biggest news with confirmation of three films’ official titles: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Marvels (Captain Marvel sequel), and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
There are a million things to unpack in each title alone, but probably the most powerful of them is for Black Panther 2, with Wakanda Forever hinting at the passing of Chadwick Boseman and the line that became a cultural moment. The Marvels gives us a hint that the new Captain Marvel film will focus not just on Brie Larson’s character from the first film but also the new Ms. Marvel and the now-superpowered Monica Rambeau. Finally, and this isn’t much of a surprise, but it looks like Ant-Man and Wasp will be headed further into the Quantum Realm in their third film.
Oh, and then there’s that four at the end.