What If…Marvel Studios Sticks to Its Current Multiverse Saga Film Slate?

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After more rounds of shuffling and reshuffling than anyone cares to count, it seems as though Marvel Studios has settled on a plan for the remainder of the Multiverse Saga. While it seems more likely than not that things will shift around again, the latest update to Disney’s theatrical slate shows 1 film in 2024 (Deadpool 3), 4 films in 2025 (Captain America: Brave New World, Thunderbolts, Fantastic Four and Blade) and 4 in 2026 before getting to Avengers: Secret Wars on May 7, 2027. Should Marvel Studios somehow stick to that schedule, that leaves one untitled film between Blade and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty/Avengers 5 and two more untitled films between Avengers: The Kang Dynasty/Avengers 5.

Rumors suggest that Deadpool 3 will do some heavy lifting in terms of advancing the overall narrative of the Multiverse Saga but what other projects NEED to happen before the big finale? What projects WILL happen because they’re the most ready to roll? We take a look at what 2026 might look like if nothing were to change between now and then and how it gets us all to Avengers: Secret Wars.

February 13, 2026: Armor Wars

With the news that Marvel Studios is finally searching for a director for the film, it would seem that Armor Wars is the most likely project to be on deck which means it would have the best chance of being ready to hit theaters in February 2026. That slot would make it the last film to hit theaters before Avengers 5. Guardians of the Galaxy was the last film fans saw in theaters before Avengers: Age of Ultron, so there’s precedent for a non-related film to precede an Avengers films.

Armor Wars doesn’t seem like the kind of film that would have a direct impact on the plot of Avengers 5 but there are plenty of unknowns about the film that could change that perception. Originally conceived as a streaming series, Armor Wars reportedly got too big for D+; presumably, there’s an interesting reason why and maybe that has factored into it getting moved down the road a bit. Could some of the events of Captain America: Brave New World lead into Armor Wars? What about Ironheart? Those are things we might not know for well over a year but regardless, Don Cheadle’s solo Rhodey flick seems like a good bet to fall here and potentially be a step in the direction of assembling the MCU’s New Avengers.

May 1, 2026: Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

The only 2026 film on the slate with a title, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is currently being written by Michael Waldron.

July 24, 2026: Shang-Chi 二

Destin Daniel Cretton’s departure from Avengers: The Kang Dynasty could be taken to mean that his sequel to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was going to need to be ready to go as a follow-up to the fifth Avengers film (it could also mean it needs to be ready to be the lead up to Avengers 5 but we’re staying the course here…). Cretton’s work on Wonder Man will keep him tied up for the first half of 2024 but he’s been working on the script for quite some time and it’s very likely that not only will this one be ready to begin production in 2025 but that it is one of the KEY films in the Multiverse Saga and that it NEEDS to release before the MCU starts its Secret Wars.

The MCU origins of the Ten Rings remain a mystery and plenty of theories have posited that they may somehow be connected to Kang. If that’s the case, it makes sense that Cretton left Avengers 5 to get to work on Shang-Chi 2 in order to have the latter ready to roll out sometime in 2026.

November 6, 2026: Doctor Strange 3

The one project on this list that the least is known about, Doctor Strange 3 also feels like one project that absolutely has to be part of the Multiverse Saga. While Marvel Studios is developing plenty of other projects that could easily roll out AFTER they wrap up their current saga, it would be incredibly strange not to have Doctor Strange’s next film play a crucial role in sorting things out.

Strange has been described as a key figure in the Multiverse Saga, yet so far he’s had some animated appearances (Seasons 1 and 2 of What If…?),a cameo (Spider-Man: No Way Home), one solo film which only truly served as a set up to whatever comes next (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness). Adding a second Strange film to the Saga–even in some sort of larger crossover event–would allow the character to be used similarly to how Captain America was in the Infinity Saga.

May 7, 2027: Avengers: Secret Wars

The final film of the Multiverse Saga, Avengers: Secret Wars–like Avengers: The Kang Dynasty–is currently being written by Michael Waldron.

The Denouement of the Multiverse Saga

Should Marvel Studios stick to its current theatrical slate, the projects listed above truly seem to make the most sense and provide the path of least resistance to the big conclusion in 2027. Again, it seems far more likely that Marvel Studios’ Multiverse Saga slate will undergo at least one more round of restructuring; however, for once it seemed like a fun idea to play it by the books at take things at face value.

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