Marvel is reportedly prepping for its 2023 production slate, including a Thunderbolts film adaptation, Shang-Chi 2, and the new Fantastic Four.

Reportedly, Marvel is preparing to begin production on four new projects from Phase 4 of the MCU in 2023, including a Thunderbolts movie. Phase 4 has presented some difficulties for Marvel, starting with the kickoff film Black Widow being delayed by over a year due to theater closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, 2020 was the first year since 2007 that didn’t see a single project from the MCU. Even now that Phase 4 has fully kicked into gear in 2021 with two films and 3 Disney+ live-action shows that have already premiered, and EternalsSpider-Man: No Way Home, and Hawkeye still on the horizon,

Despite this, the company is still experiencing setbacks. Because of the interlocking nature of their productions, additional pandemic delays have caused Marvel to push back the dates of nearly every Phase 4 movie set to debut after Spider-Man, by a couple of months each. They even had to remove two previously set dates from the slate to the chagrin of many eager fans.

Even though the timeline has been pushed back, it seems that the same conversations that led to this new restructuring of Phase 4 have included the greenlight on several new projects. According to The GWW, in 2023, Marvel will begin production on a Thunderbolts film adaptation along with the previously announced Fantastic Four movie. They are also reportedly moving forward on a Shang-Chi 2 (no surprise after Shang-Chi obliterated pandemic box office records) and a Black Panther: Wakanda Forever spinoff series featuring Danai Gurira as Okoye.

The only project on this rumored slate that has been previously announced is Fantastic Four, which has Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts attached. While the Okoye series and Shang-Chi 2 are natural continuations of established characters who have proven their box office mettle, the Thunderbolts would be a brand new addition to Phase 4. The team, essentially the Suicide Squad of Marvel, was rumored to be included in the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, though that never came to fruition.

In the comics, the team was created by Baron Helmut Zemo, who is played by Daniel Brühl in the MCU. The current Thunderbolts lineup, led by Kingpin, includes Taskmaster, Crossbones, Typhoid Mary, Shocker, Whiplash, Rhino, and Kraven the Hunter. Several of those villains have previously appeared in the MCU (most recently, Taskmaster was played by Olga Kurylenko in Black Widow), but considering that some of those villains are Spider-Man characters owned by Sony (who have a Kraven the Hunter movie coming in 2023), this wouldn’t be the same team the MCU delivers.

While Marvel has yet to confirm this report officially, it fits in perfectly with the trajectory taken by Phase 4. In this phase, Marvel has sought to continue the narratives of their newer properties established in Phases 2 and 3 as well as introduce new teams of heroes. One of these teams is the Eternals, who already have an Avengers-style, star-studded lineup in their first outing. Thunderbolts is perfectly suited to deliver the same thing, along with the opportunity for previous Marvel villains to return for another day in the MCU spotlight.

Source by screenrant.


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