The Marvels will make Marvel Studios history when it lands in theaters. The Captain Marvel quasi-sequel marks the first all-female superhero team movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), with Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers being joined by Iman Vellani’s Ms Marvel and Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau.
So, what can we expect from this groundbreaking Marvel Phase 5 movie? Below, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about The Marvels. That includes the Marvel movie’s release date, cast, potential storylines, how it’ll impact the MCU, and more.
Full movie spoilers follow for Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, and Shang-Chi. We also cover major spoilers from Disney Plus shows WandaVision and Ms Marvel, plus potential spoilers for the Marvels. Turn back now if you haven’t seen them all.
The Marvels release date
The Marvels will be released in cinemas worldwide on July 28.
Initially, the forthcoming movie was slated for July 2022. However, its launch has been pushed back three times: first to November 2022, then February 2023, and finally July 2023.
The last of those delays owed to The Marvels being further behind the development process than Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, with Samuel L. Jackson revealing he reshot some footage for The Marvels as recently as June 2022. As such, the two films swapped release dates (per Variety).
The Marvels trailer: is there one?
Major spoilers follow for Ms Marvel, as well as potential spoilers for The Marvels.
Marvel hasn’t released a teaser for The Marvels yet. Those fortunate enough to attend D23 Expo 2022, though, were treated to a first-look at the upcoming movie.
According to Variety, the film will pick up in the immediate aftermath of Ms Marvel’s ending and post-credits scene. As you’ll remember, Ms Marvel – aka Kamala Khan – unexpectedly traded places with Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel when the former’s bangle was activated by an unknown individual.
The footage shown doubled down on this surprising development. In it, Monica Rambeau is also seen swapping places with Ms Marvel, leading to all manner of slapstick, time-traveling, and confusing scenes playing out. It seems, then, that the trio will exchange places throughout The Marvels until they find out how to stop teleporting to each other’s locations.
It could be a while before the rest of us get to see The Marvels in action. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, as well as Guardians of the Galaxy 3, are set to arrive in theaters before it. Meanwhile, MCU TV shows Secret Invasion and Loki season 2 will debut on Disney Plus before then, too. We’re yet to see official trailers for Guardians 3 and Secret Invasion, while a Loki season 2 teaser is still to be released. So don’t expect any footage of The Marvels to be publicly available until April at the earliest.
The Marvels cast
Here’s the confirmed cast for The Marvels so far:
- Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
- Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel
- Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau
- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
- Zenobia Shroff as Muneeba Khan
- Mohan Kapur as Yusuf Khan
- Saagar Shaikh as Aamir Khan
- Zawe Ashton as TBA
- Park Seo-joon as TBA
Larson and Parris reprise their roles from their previous MCU outings. Larson’s Captain Marvel was last seen in Avengers: Endgame (though she made brief cameos in post-credits scenes in Shang-Chi and Ms Marvel) while Parris’ Rambeau featured heavily in WandaVision, aka one of the best Disney Plus shows. Vellani, Shroff, Kapur, and Shaikh all return as their respective characters from Ms Marvel’s TV series.
Jackson, who has regularly appeared in the MCU as ex-SHIELD director Nick Fury, will also show up. He’ll finally star in his own standalone project – Secret Invasion – later this year, but Fury will also appear in some 2023 Marvel movies. Jackson previously confirmed Fury will appear in Quantumania and The Marvels, though it’s unclear how these three productions will be linked (if at all).
Potential spoilers follow for The Marvels’ cast of characters.
According to prominent MCU leaker CanWeGetSomeToast, Monica Rambeau will get her superhero name – Photon, the same as in the comics – in The Marvels. Kamala Khan will reportedly give her that name after Monica describes her powers to her fellow heroes. Meanwhile, Brazilian outlet Chippu, which has previous form for revealing MCU details ahead of time, Photon will also get her comics-accurate costume.
Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat, Velvet Buzzsaw) has apparently been cast as the film’s primary villain. Marvel insider DanielRPK (via Lugar Nenhum) has claimed Ashton is playing a Kree general called Dar-Benn. In the comics, Dar-Benn is a male Kree general who becomes co-emperor of the Kree Empire. It’s unclear if Ashton’s Dar-Benn will hold a similar position in The Marvels, but the character’s gender has clearly been altered for the MCU’s version.
Park Seo-joon (Parasite) is supposedly playing the ruler of a planet where everyone sings (per CanWeGetSomeToast). No name has been revealed, but he will play a pretty big role in the film’s plot (more on this later).
Meanwhile, Abraham Popoola (Andor) is reportedly playing someone called Dag (via his Independent Talent agents page) and Ffion Jolly (Mission: Impossible Fallout) has been cast in an undisclosed role (per her Spotlight casting page). Marvel is yet to add this duo to its official cast list, so we’ll hold off on doing the same until we get confirmation.
Lastly, could we see cameos from Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos and Jude Law’s Yon Rogg? The former is a possibility, especially if events in Secret Invasion tie into The Marvels. We’d be surprised if Law’s Yon Rogg features, though, after his heavy beating from Captain Marvel in her 2019 solo flick.
The Marvels plot
Potential story spoilers follow.
No official story synopsis has been released, but we have some vague ideas about where the plot will go, based on the D23 2022 footage and MCU insiders’ information.
As we discussed earlier, The Marvels will center on the film’s three superheroes and why they keep swapping places each time they use their powers.
The 2019 Captain Marvel movie revealed that Carol Danvers acquired her abilities upon exposure to the Tesseract, aka the Space Stone, via a Kree-designed light-speed engine device. Meanwhile, Monica Rambeau’s DNA was inadvertently rewritten by the Mind Stone – via the Hex that Wanda Maximoff created in WandaVision – which gave her superpowers. Finally, Kamala Khan’s abilities are derived from her grandmother’s bracelet. Oh, and the fact that she possesses the X gene, which makes her one of the MCU’s first mutants.
Given the trio’s powers are derived from objects that helped to create and shape the universe, it seems their abilities are connected – and that the source of their powers is the reason they keep trading places. Interestingly, MCU leakers in The Watcher and CanWeGetSomeToast suggest they’ll be able to combine their powers once they work out how to stabilize themselves.
What’s all of this got to do with musical-inspired planets and the Kree, then?
Let’s start with the planet that Park Seo-joon’s character rules over. According to DanielRPK (per The Marvels Updates Twitter fan account), CanWeGetSomeToast, and CineStealth, parts of The Marvels will be musical-themed. That means you should expect lots of singing, dancing, and potentially humorous moments.
The reason for them going to this world? Captain Marvel is apparently married to Park Seo-joon’s character, albeit for diplomatic reasons. Maybe she agreed to marry him to prevent some sort of disaster on her universe-spanning travels. Thankfully, CineStealth has claimed The Marvels won’t be “overly comedic” in tone and finds a better comedy-drama balance than the maligned Thor: Love and Thunder. Let’s hope they’re right.
As for the Kree, Captain Marvel has a complicated history with them. For years, Carol Danvers thought she was a member of the Kree empire – she was taken to their home world after her Tesseract-related accident on Earth – and was part of their armed forces. That’s until she was captured by Talos’ splinter group of Skrulls, who jogged her memory and helped Carol rediscover her true identity.
Now, Captain Marvel is an enemy of the Kree, which puts Zawe Ashton’s Dar-Benn in direct opposition with her, as well as anyone working with Captain Marvel. It’s unclear why Dar-Benn is after her or the others, but maybe it’s got something to do with Ms Marvel’s bracelet, which appears to be alien technology. We know this because the Clandestine – the villains in Ms Marvel’s TV show – wanted to use the object to expand the Noor dimension and take over Earth. The bracelet was originally found by Kamala’s grandmother in 1940s India, too, where it took up residence in a Kree-looking underground location.
If Ms Marvel’s bracelet is of Kree design, that’ll explain why Dar-Benn is after it, particularly if the latter possesses a similar bracelet. Again, thanks to Ms Marvel’s Disney Plus series, we know there are two bangles, but the location of the second hasn’t been disclosed yet. Our money’s on Dar-Benn owning that one, meaning she only needs Kamala’s to complete the set and carry out some nefarious Kree plan.
As for other subplots that The Marvels needs to address, one of the most pressing is the forthcoming reunion between Carol and Monica.
Monica hasn’t seen Carol since she left in the 1990s – remember, this is when Captain Marvel’s solo movie took place. Maria Rambeau, who was Carol’s best friend, has since died of cancer, and Carol didn’t return for her funeral or to check up on Monica. Expect Monica to be extremely frosty towards Carol until they clear the air.
Elsewhere, events depicted in Secret Invasion could impact what goes down in The Marvels. Currently Secret Invasion is set to be released before The Marvels – it’s supposed to arrive in Q1 2023 – so Fury’s role in The Marvels might be predetermined by what he goes through in Secret Invasion. Could a long overdue reunion with Captain Marvel be on the cards? It’d be a pretty emotional one, if so.
The Marvels: how will it set up future MCU films and TV shows?
Much depends on how The Marvels’ plot plays out, but we have a few sneaking suspicions about what it could lay the foundations for.
First up is Ms Marvel season 2. There’s been plenty of speculation online that a sequel season is in early development. If we’re going to see more of Vellani as Khan/her superhero alias before Avengers 5 and 6 arrive, it’s likely to be on the small screen rather than the big one.
Speaking of Avengers 5 and 6, aka The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, The Marvels could play a major role in setting up events in these films – especially the former.
Marvel fans already know that Kang is the MCU’s next big supervillain. The time-traveling genius – read more about him in our Kang the Conqueror explained article – will be the primary antagonist in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. That film’s trailers have already teased him acquiring some important alien tech of his own.
Some fans seem to think that the giant, circular rings we see at certain points in Quantumania’s trailers – read our Quantumania trailer breakdown article for more – are Kang’s versions of the titular Ten Rings we’ve previously seen in Shang-Chi. If Kang is collecting all manner of alien tech-based weaponry as he plots his route to dominion over the Marvel multiverse, he’s sure to come after Ms Marvel’s bangle, too. If he does, expect Captain Marvel and Photon (as well as Ms Marvel) to stand in his way.
Depending on how The Marvels and The Kang Dynasty play out, we’d expect to see Carol, Monica, and Kamala in Secret Wars, too. We’d be surprised if any of them pop up in other announced Phase 5 projects, so the next time we’ll see them (outside of starring or cameoing in Ms Marvel season 2 ) is likely to be Avengers 5 and 6.
For more MCU-based content, find out how to watch the Marvel movies in order. Additionally, read up on everything you need to know about Guardians of the Galaxy 3 or check our ranking of every Marvel Phase 4 movie and TV show.