A still from "Avengers: Endgame"
A still from "Avengers: Endgame"

Production of many highly anticipated Marvel movies was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the studio has revealed that one can’t expect the movies to get back on track in the near future.

However, for the first time in the history of MCU, 2020 will witness no new film releases since its inception in 2009.

After a blockbuster end to the last phase in 2019 with "Avengers: Endgame", Marvel will be starting off its most anticipated phase four by redefining the superhero universe with women in focus.

New release dates have been announced for several major Marvel films including "Black Widow", "The Eternals" and "Doctor Strange 2" that have been pushed ahead owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Black Widow", starring Scarlett Johansson in the title role, was delayed last month. The film will now open on May 7 2021, reports Variety.com. The film is set after the events of "Captain America: Civil War" but before the events of "Avengers: Infinity War". The film will trace the story of Romanoff, who will confront her past.

Directed by Cate Shortland, "Black Widow" will also feature Taskmaster, a popular character from the Marvel Comics. It will be his first live-action film appearance. It is not known who will portray the villain. The film also stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz.

In turn, "The Eternals" moves to November 5 next year. Directed by Chloe Zhao, the film stars Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan and Kumail Nanjiani.

It is about the super-powered beings, The Celestials, and their villainous adversaries, The Deviants, in a war set millions of years ago. Nanjiani says his character in "The Eternals" will have the secret identity of a Bollywood star.

"Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings", which introduces Hollywood's first Asian superhero, moves to May 7. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, it stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, alongside Tony Leung and Awkwafina.

Meanwhile "Doctor Strange 2" will now release on March 24, 2022. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch will be returning as the Sorcerer Supreme with "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness". It is believed that Sam Raimi, who directed the 2000s "Spider-Man" trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, is in talks to direct the "Doctor Strange" sequel.

"Thor: Love And Thunder" on February 11, 2022. Chris Hemsworth will return as Thor.

Natalie Portman will be returning to the franchise for the first time since 2013's "Thor: The Dark World".

At the San Diego Comic Con last year, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige said that Portman's Jane Foster will take up Thor's hammer Mjolnir in "Love And Thunder", and take up the persona of the Mighty Thor. The film is being directed by Taika Waititi and it also stars Tessa Thompson and Waititi.

Christian Bale will play the antagonist in "Thor: Love And Thunder".

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