The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), without a doubt, is one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. Part of this is due to how they release their movies. Marvel Studios puts their movies in phases in order to split their movies up in order to prioritize movies, make maximum profit and keep track of the order of events due to the massive amount of films they produce. There are four phases (so far) and right now phase three is in action. Here is are all of the current 22 MCU movies organized by phases.
“The Incredible Hulk”
“Iron Man 2”
“Captain America: The First Avenger”
“Iron Man 3”
“Thor: The Dark World”
“Captain America: Winter Soldier”
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
“Avengers: Age of Ultron”
“Captain America: Civil War”
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Ant-Man and the Wasp”
“Spider-Man: Far From Home” (Releases July 2nd, 2019)
Releases May 1, 2020
Releases November 6, 2020
Releases February 12, 2021
Releases May 7, 2021
Releases November 5, 2021
Releases February 18, 2022
Releases May 6, 2022
Releases July 29, 2022
Recently, the trailer for “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the last movie of phase three, was released. “Far From Home” takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” and deals with the aftermath of the death of Iron Man and the resurrection of half of all life on earth.
However, the trailer also throws in a twist in the form of Spider-Man villain Mysterio. In the trailer, Nick Fury tells Spider-Man that one (or all) of the cosmic scaled events, like the snaps that occurred throughout “Infinity War” and “Endgame,” broke the MCU and allowed people and things from other universes, including Mysterio, to enter the MCU. So the Marvel Cinematic Universe now might be the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse.
In the comics, Mysterio, as a master of deception, first appears as a hero to Spider-Man but later turns on him. This seems to parallel what is seen in the trailer, as Mysterio also appears to be helping Nick Fury and Spider-Man. However, this raises a big question: could Mysterio be lying about being from another universe? In a recent clip from “Far From Home,” Mysterio claims he is from alternate Earth-833 and the main MCU universe is Earth-616. Marvel names their universes by Earth and then a number. Now, Mysterio could be lying, but this is huge for two reasons. One, Earth-833 in the comics is the home of Spider-Man UK, a British form of Spider-Man. “Far From Home” also happens to take place in Europe as well. It could be possible that Tom Holland would be playing two versions of Spider-Man, each from a different universe.
Second, Earth-616 is the main universe of Marvel Comics. This raises some continuity issues as the MCU hasn’t done as much as the comics, but it also means the MCU could do literally anything they want from the comics. This also could mean that there will be major changes in the comics as they are adapted to the movies a bit more.
Bringing in the Marvel Multiverse opens up a lot for Phase four. This could mean that we could see an very unlikely but possible return of characters including Black Widow (her movie is rumored to be a prequel) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.’s contract is done) or see alternate version of characters like Spider-Man UK. In any case, it’s likely that “Spider-Man: Far From Home” will mostly be a transition from Phase three to Phase four, setting up the MCU for years to come.