As huge fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), we were giddy with excitement as we took our seats to watch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (at Cineworld cinemas now). And we weren’t disappointed: James Gunn’s long-awaited third instalment is everything we’ve come to expect from the swashbuckling sci-fi series, and much more. The storyline sees Star-Lord and his motley band of alien chums trying to conquer the imperious High Evolutionary, an evil scientist who’s not only threatening to destroy Counter-Earth but has also taken hundreds of humanoid children prisoner aboard his ship.
Reuniting all our favourite characters, including the aforementioned Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel), as well as introducing some new faces, Guardians 3 is a thrilling – and at times deeply moving – rollercoaster ride that really has to be witnessed on one of Cineworld’s massive, state-of-the-art screens.
In typical Marvel style, there’s a post-credit sequence tacked onto the end of the film that suggests there may be another Guardians instalment in the future. We’ll talk more about that later. In the meantime, though, let’s look at what else is coming up in the MCU...
1. The Marvels (November 10)
We’re really excited about Nia DaCosta’s superhero adventure – not least because it’s coming to UK cinemas in just six months’ time. The sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel, this 33rd film in the MCU series sees Brie Larson reprise the role she played so brilliantly in the first movie. This time around, she’s joined by Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel, the three women joining forces to investigate a wormhole linked to the Kree that appears to be playing havoc with their super-powers. With Samuel L Jackson also returning as Nick Fury, and place-switching action galore, The Marvels will be a must-see for Marvel fans when it zooms into town.
2. Captain America: New World Order (May 3 2024)
Fans of the Captain America franchise shed a tear when Steve Rogers passed the baton on to Sam Wilson at the end of Avengers: Endgame, thus pulling the curtain down on Chris Evans’ tenure as the time-travelling tough guy. But it didn’t take long for them to realise that Anthony Mackie as Wilson is a very worthy successor, his all-action appearances in TV series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier earning rave reviews. Now, the new Captain is set to star in his own movie helmed by Luce director Julius Onah. While the storyline has been kept a secret, Onah has described the film as a “paranoid thriller”. One thing we do know is that Harrison Ford is in it, playing US President Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross. How cool is that!
3. Thunderbolts (July 6 2024)
You wait ages for Harrison Ford to appear in an MCU movie, and then he appears in two close together! If rogue superheroes are your thing, then brace yourself for Jake Shreier’s Thunderbolts. Touted as a sequel to Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Black Widow and Captain America: New World Order, this big-budget blockbuster will not only see movie legend Ford reprise his US President role, it will also introduce us to a new band of Marvel misfits. We say ‘new’ – you will, of course, be familiar with Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, Red Guardian, Ghost, Bucky Barnes (aka the Winter Soldier), Yelena Belova, US Agent and Taskmaster, but this will be the first time you’ve seen them all together, fighting for the same, probably dubious, cause. As with Captain America: New World Order, plot details are thin on the ground. But with such talent as Florence Pugh (as Yelena Belova) and David Harbour (Red Guardian) on display, it should be a cracker.
4. Blade (September 6 2024)
Those of us of a certain age will remember Wesley Snipes rocking an ankle-length leather coat and sunglasses in the original Blade trilogy, which ran from 1998 to 2004. Well, the superhero horror franchise is returning in an all-new reboot directed by Yann Demange. Sadly, Snipes won’t be playing the titular vampire hunter this time around, but we can’t wait to see what Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (Green Book) will do with the role. The new Blade was meant to hit UK cinemas in November of this year; however, the date had to be put back after the film’s original director, Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli), quit the project due to scheduling issues. Things are back on track now, though, with Lovecraft Country director Demange at the helm, and Blade has been confirmed for an autumn 2024 release. The vampires of this world better watch out!
5. A new Guardians of the Galaxy film (date tbc)
As previously mentioned, the post-credits sequence at the end of Guardians 3 suggested that there will be more to come from Guardians of the Galaxy. However, if a recent comment from director James Gunn is anything to go by, we may see a whole new bunch of characters next time. Speaking to Esquire Middle East, he revealed: “I don’t think there will ever be a ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4.’ There are many reasons this group will not be back. There could be more 'Guardians' movies, but it won’t be with this group.” Gunn also hinted that he won’t return to direct another movie in the series. “I think as long as somebody brings themselves to it, and doesn’t just try to copy that style – I think it can be really amazing. And there are so many directors I would like to do that. And I would love to see it happen.”