The Marvels: key information
– Arrives in theaters this November
– Serves as a sequel to Captain Marvel, Ms Marvel, and WandaVision
– Stars first all-female superhero team in the MCU
– Trailers released in April and July
– Main cast confirmed
– Plot synopsis revealed
– Other story details teased
– Could impact future Marvel projects
The Marvels, the final Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie of 2023, is drawing ever closer. At the time of writing, we’re three months out from the MCU’s first all-female superhero team flying into theaters – so it’s time you caught up on everything worth knowing about it.
Below, we’ve rounded up all of the most important news and rumors about the Marvel Phase 5 movie. That includes its release date, trailers, cast details, story specifics – including how some Disney Plus shows tie into its plot – and if The Marvels might set up vital plot beats to come in the MCU.
It goes without saying, but full spoilers follow for the following MCU films and TV series: WandaVision, Ms Marvel, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and Secret Invasion. Potential spoilers for The Marvels are also discussed.
The Marvels release date
The Marvels arrives in theaters on November 10, 2023. It was scheduled to release on July 28, but Marvel chose to delay its launch by a few months, marking the fourth time its launch has been pushed.
According to The Wrap and The Ringer’s Joanna Robinson, the delay is giving the post-production team more time to iron out its VFX issues, as well as allow Marvel to reshoot specific scenes. With three months to go until the movie is released, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see any further delays.
The Marvels trailer
The Marvels‘ official trailer went higher, further, and faster than we expected until its release in mid-July. In it, we learned more about what its story will be about (more on this later), as well as how our three heroes switch places with each other and, eventually, learn to work together despite their place-switching issues.
Missed the first teaser, which arrived in mid-April and gave us some serious Avengers movie-style vibes? Check it out below
The Marvels cast
Here’s The Marvels‘ confirmed cast 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 Dar Benn
- Park Seo-joon as TBA
Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani reprise their roles from their most recent MCU outings. Larson’s Captain Marvel was last seen in Avengers: Endgame, although she made brief cameos in post-credits scenes in Shang-Chi and Ms Marvel. Parris’ Rambeau had a major supporting role in WandaVision, which is one of the best Disney Plus shows. Vellani, as well as Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, and Saagar Shaikh all return from Ms Marvel’s standalone series.
Jackson, who has regularly appeared in the MCU as ex-SHIELD director Nick Fury, will show up. He recently starred in the hugely underwhelming and critically panned Secret Invasion TV show, and he’ll next appear in The Marvels. Jackson has teased Secret Invasion is “essential” to setting up The Marvels (via Empire magazine). We’ll dig into why in our plot section.
Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat, Velvet Buzzsaw) will play Dar Benn, the movie’s main antagonist. In the comics, Dar-Benn is a male Kree general who becomes co-emperor of the Kree Empire. In The Marvels, though, it seems she’ll be a member of the Accusers – a militia who were integral in the Kree defeating the Skrulls during the Skrull-Kree War. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1‘s main villain, Ronan the Accuser, was also part of this group.
Potential cast spoilers for The Marvels follow.
Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, and Ms. Marvel are back. See their cosmic team-up in #TheMarvels, only in theaters November 10. pic.twitter.com/XkYEpK5TtKJuly 21, 2023
Industry insider CanWeGetSomeToast had claimed Monica Rambeau will get her superhero name – Photon, the same as in the comics – in The Marvels. However, the leaker has since suggested this aspect of the film has been cut. That’s despite Parris telling the Black Girl Nerds podcast that Monica will adopt the superhero pseudonym in the flick.
Park Seo-joon (Parasite) is supposedly playing the ruler of a planet where everyone sings (via CanWeGetSomeToast). Elsewhere, don’t expect to see Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill or Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos show up. The pair died in Secret Invasion (much to the chagrin of fans), but we could see Charlayne Woodard’s Varra/Priscilla Davis, aka Nick Fury’s wife, after her and Fury’s reunion in Secret Invasion‘s final episode.
Lastly, could we see cameos Jude Law’s Yon Rogg and Anson Mount’s Black Bolt? We’d be surprised if Law’s Yon Rogg features, after he was sent packing from Earth by Captain Marvel in her 2019 solo flick. Meanwhile, industry insider CineStealth suggests Black Bolt, last seen in Doctor Strange 2, will show up. We’ll have to wait and see on that.
The Marvels plot
Potential story spoilers for The Marvels follow.
Here’s the official plot synopsis: “Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe.
“When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with that of Jersey City super-fan Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, and Carol’s estranged niece, now SABER astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau. Together, this unlikely trio must team up and learn to work in concert to save the universe as The Marvels.”
Timeline wise, The Marvels will pick up after two recent MCU TV shows: Ms Marvel and Secret Invasion. In Ms Marvel’s post-credits scene, Ms Marvel unexpectedly traded places with Carol Danvers when the former’s bangle was unexpectedly activated. Meanwhile, in Secret Invasion‘s finale, Fury – accompanied by Varra – returns to SABER’s headquarters to continue to monitor extraterrestrial threats to Earth with Rambeau’s help.
Before we proceed, here’s a quick recap on each hero’s abilities are, and how they one acquired them. Carol Danvers was imbued with her superpowers upon exposure to the Tesseract, aka the Space Stone, via a Kree-designed light-speed engine device in Captain Marvel. Next, Monica Rambeau’s DNA was inadvertently rewritten by the Mind Stone via the Hex that Wanda Maximoff created in WandaVision. Finally, Kamala Khan’s abilities come from her grandmother’s bracelet. Oh, and the fact that she seemingly possesses the X gene, which makes her one of the MCU’s first mutants.
With the trio’s powers deriving from objects that helped to create the MCU, and being important components that shaped the the Universal Neural Transportation Network (UNTN) – i.e. the collective name of the MCU’s wormholes/space-jump points – then, their abilities are connected. Based on the official trailer, it’s possible Dar-Benn’s acquisition of a certain item (more on this shortly) and use of it causes the UNTN to malfunction, hence why the trio start trading places.
To stop Dar-Benn, the three leads have to learn to work together, which isn’t an ideal scenario for someone like Carol. As Brie Larson tells Entertainment Weekly (EW): “Carol [has] kind of become a workaholic, and she lost touch with her heart and with family and friends”. Sounds like it’ll take her some time to master being a team player, then.
In a separate EW chat, Marvel President Kevin Feige added: “It’s picking up directly after the end of Captain Marvel 1, not in timeline but in story. There are fun cosmic elements to it. There’s something immensely powerful about seeing Monica, Kamala, and Carol together in a frame. To me, it’s only akin to the first Avengers movie and seeing the six of them together in a frame. It’s chill-inducing.”
According to DanielRPK (per The Marvels Updates Twitter fan account), the world ruled by Park Seo-joon’s character, which the three heroes travel to, is musical-themed. That means we can expect singing, dancing, and potentially humorous moments, as well as some anime-esque sequenes (per the Captain Marvel News Twitter fan account).
The reason for travelling to this planet? Captain Marvel is apparently married (and seemingly confirmed by leaked McDonald’s toys) to Seo-joon’s individual, albeit for diplomatic reasons. Maybe she agreed to marry him to prevent some sort of disaster on her universe-spanning travels.
Speaking of Captain Marvel, she has a complicated history with the Kree, who are expected to be on chief villain duty again here. Remember, in Captain Marvel, 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 army. That’s until she was captured by Talos’ splinter group of Skrulls, who jogged her memory and helped Carol rediscover her true identity.
Now, she appears to be an enemy of the Kree, which puts Dar-Benn in direct opposition with Carol and company. However, in Secret Invasion‘s final scene, Nick Fury told Varra that the Kree were now open to peace talks with the Skrulls. It’s possible, then, that the two races may sign a treaty declaring as much. That plot thread might be what spurs Dar-Benn into going rogue (if she’s unhappy about the peace negotiations), finding the opposite bangle to the one Kamala Khan wears, and then searching for Kamala to reunite their bangles.
Doing so would certainly make Dar-Benn powerful. As we learned in Ms Marvel, the bangles (seemingly based on the Nega-Bands in Marvel comics) appear to be alien technology. We know this because the Clandestine – the villains in Ms Marvel’s TV show – wanted to use it 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 wants it to pair it with hers and carry out some evil plan.
As for subplots, one of the most pressing is the forthcoming reunion between Carol and Monica.
Monica hasn’t seen Carol since the latter left in the 1990s – remember, this is when Captain Marvel took place. Maria Rambeau, who was Carol’s best friend, has since died of cancer. As we found out in WandaVision, Carol didn’t return for Maria’s funeral or to check up on Monica (although, Monica was Blipped out of existence and only found out her mom had died when she was brought back when the Avengers reversed the Blip). Expect Carol to be greeted frostily by Monica until they clear the air, with Parris telling EW: “You get a sense that she has not talked to Carol in a very long time. So, we have to address the elephant in the room.”
As for any multiversal shenanigans, can we expect this Phase 5 film to include any? Per industry leaker KC Walsh, it’s possible that a multiversal incursion – an event where parallel universes collide, as seen in Doctor Strange 2 – may be part of proceedings. However, with rumors circulating that the film has undergone reshoots and had some of its content cut, The Marvels might not include any multiversal storylines after all.
The Marvels: how will it affect the MCU?
That depends on The Marvels‘ story and ending, but we have a few sneaking suspicions about what it could lay the foundations for.
First up is Ms Marvel season 2, which is rumored to be in early development. If we’re going to see more of Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan/her superhero alias before the next two Avengers movies, it’s likely to be on the small screen.
Speaking of those Avengers films, aka Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, The Marvels could play a major role in setting up events in those films – especially the former.
MCU fans already know Kang the Conqueror is the next big supervillain – or, rather, multiple Kang variants are. The time-traveling warlord – read more about him in our Kang the Conqueror explained article – was the main bad guy in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. However, he was seemingly killed by the film’s titular heroes. Now, the Council of Kangs – including Immortus, Scarlet Centurion, and Rama-Tut – are gunning for the MCU, so Captain Marvel and company are sure to have their hands full in The Kang Dynasty (if they appear, of course). Victor Timely, one of the villains in Loki season 2, may help The Marvels set up The Kang Dynasty, too.
Some fans also seem to think that the giant, circular rings seen in Quantumania are alternate reality versions of Shang-Chi’s Ten Rings. If the Kang gang have collected alien tech-based weaponry as they plot their route to dominion over the Marvel multiverse, they’re sure to come after Ms Marvel’s and Dar Benn’s bangles as well. If they do, expect Carol, Monica, and Kamala to stand in their 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 they pop up in projects beforehand, so the next time we’re likely to see them (outside of starring or cameoing in Ms Marvel season 2 ) is 2026’s The Kang Dynasty.