The Marvels - Release Date, Cast, Plot, Trailer And More Info

This post is an update of an article written by Joshua Meyer and published on /Film on March 6, 2023. There have been a lot of updates since then.

In terms of its release schedule, 2023 has been a pretty massive year for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney+ has just broadcast their miniseries "Secret Invasion," and is gearing up for the second season of "Loki." The MCU series "Echo" is due to premiere in November, and will incorporate characters from the Netflix series "Daredevil." In theaters, meanwhile, audiences have already seen Peyton Reed's jumbled "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," and James Gunn's tearful farewell "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3." Also due in theaters shortly is Nia DaCosta's "The Marvels," a sequel to the 2019 film "Captain Marvel" and follow-up to the 2022 TV show "Ms. Marvel." Marvel's "Marvels" is a sequel to "Marvel" and "Marvel," and stars three Marvels. Marvelous!

Although the film is not yet open, there is a lot of production history — not to mention MCU mythology — that readers may want to explore prior to the release of "The Marvels." Let's delve into everything we know as of publication. 

When does The Marvels premiere?

When "Captain Marvel" became a massive hit back in 2019, plans were immediately put into motion for a sequel. Actress Brie Larson said that she would love to make a sequel, especially if the studio could find a way to incorporate the Marvel character Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, into the proceedings. At Comic-Con in 2019, Marvel Studio honcho Kevin Feige announced that there would indeed be a "Captain Marvel 2," and further details were published in the Hollywood Reporter the following January. Initial plans for "Captain Marvel 2" would have the film take place in the present — the 2019 film took place in 1994 — and actress Teyonah Parris would play the role of Monica Rambeau (the now-adult daughter of Captain Marvel's close friend Maria) as well as Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel, not yet introduced at that point. Feige initially announced the release date of "The Marvels" to be November 11, 2020

Then, naturally, there were multiple delays and re-workings of the MCU schedule, some of them COVID-related that are too myriad and uninteresting to get into here. The film didn't begin shooting until July 2021, and its release date was pushed to February 17, 2023. Then it was delayed again to July 28, 2023, the day "Haunted Mansion" eventually settled on. A final (unexplained) delay finally landed "The Marvels" on November 10, 2023. As of this writing, there don't seem to be any more delays and audiences may finally get to see this movie. 

No release date has been provided regarding a home video release or a premiere on Disney+.

What is the plot of The Marvels?

The plot of "The Marvels" has not been explicitly laid out in official press releases yet, but here's what we know. The film, as mentioned, will be set in the MCU's present day, decades after the events of "Captain Marvel," and presumably after both "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3" and "Secret Invasion." It appears that a Kree revolutionary named Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton) has salvaged the hammer of Ronan the Accuser, the villain of the first "Guardians of the Galaxy." She also seems to have come into possession of a wrist-worn cosmic bracelet (likely the Cosmic Bands worn by the Marvel hero Quasar, although that is not confirmed) which might spark a mystery. 

At the same time, in orbit around Earth, astronaut Monica Rambeau (Parris), last seen in the miniseries "WandaVision," comes into contact with a mysterious negative space wedgie. The wedgie inexplicably intertangles the powers of Captain Marvel (Larson), Ms. Marvel (Vellani), and Monica. When one of the characters uses their powers, they physically swap places with another. 

In Marvel Comics, Monica Rambeau served as Captain Marvel in the 1980s, so all three characters count as Captain Marvel, really. 

The available information from Disney's own press website reads thus: 

"Carol Danvers, a.k.a. 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 S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau."

The film, it seems, will feature all three Marvels teaming up and going on cosmic adventures. 

Who is in the cast of The Marvels?

The ensemble is a culling of multiple Marvel actors and will feature new players on the side of the supervillains. Brie Larson will be playing Colonel Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel for the fourth time after her appearances in her title film, in "Avengers: Endgame," and briefly in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings." Iman Vellani, after starring in the "Ms. Marvel" TV series will return to reprise her role. Ms. Marvel's powers don't quite resemble that of Captain Marvel, but she was such a fan of the superheroine that she named herself after Carol's alter-ego. Teyonah Parris, as mentioned, appeared as Monica Rambeau in "WandaVision," wherein she was an agent of a mysterious paramilitary organization called S.A.B.E.R. In "Captain Marvel," Monica was played by Akira Akbar and Azari Akbar as a five-year-old and as an 11-year-old. 

The film's villain, Dar-Benn, will be played by English actress Awe Ashton who, in a fun connection, is currently engaged to Tom Hiddleston, the actor who plays Loki throughout the MCU. Ashton is a professionally trained actress who has been appearing on stage since she was six. On stage, she's performed Shakespeare, Ionesco, Pinter, and Oscar Wilde. Her previous film credits include the downer drama "Nocturnal Animals," Neil Jordan's thriller "Greta," and the art satire "Velvet Buzzsaw." Ashton was cast in the role back in February of 2021

Korean star Park Seo-joon was cast the following June to play the role of Prince Yan of Aladna, although he is currently credited as "an ally of Danvers" on the film's Wikipedia page. Park has appeared in various films, TV shows, and music videos in his native Korea. He was also in the Oscar-winning film "Parasite." This is his highest-profile American film to date.

More cast members, and also, who is directing The Marvels?

Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, and Saagar Shaikh, who appeared in "Ms. Marvel," will also be in "The Marvels." Lashana Lynch, who played Monica's mother Maria, will also appear, although how has yet to be explained. Time warp? Immortality perhaps? Randall Park, who has appeared in several MCU films and TV shows as a human lawman will also turn up, as will Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, a regular player in the MCU since "The Avengers" in 2012. Nemo and Tango will be playing Goose, the cat-shaped, squid-like flerkin from "Captain Marvel."

Nia DaCosta, who directed the most recent "Candyman" sequel, is helming "The Marvels" and is one of the film's three credited screenwriters. DaCosta was announced as the director in August 2020, making her the first Black woman to direct an MCU film, and also a film of its budget. The actual budget for "The Marvels" has not been officially released, but Forbes estimated that only two months of filming cost at least $130 million. It's likely, given the scope of most MCU projects, that the actual price may run double that. DaCosta has said she's been a comic book nerd since she was young, and that she was able to work with the makers of "WandaVision" to assure continuity between that project and hers. 

DaCosta previously directed the film "Little Woods" as well as several short films. She is the latest in a trend of Marvel hiring talented directors with relatively short filmographies to tackle their massive projects. 

Who wrote and produced The Marvels and who else is working on it?

The first official screenplay draft of "The Marvels" came from Megan McDonnell, and DaCosta added some of her own material. Also credited is Elissa Karasik, a staff writer on "Loki," and contributor to the miniseries "WeCrashed." It was also announced in January that, while uncredited, prolific comic book author Zeb Wells will also be helping in some sort of story capacity. The film evidently underwent massive reshoots back in April of 2023. This is not, however, a sign of a chaotic production. If the 24-hour film-news cycle has taught us anything over the last decade-and-a-half, it's that massive reshoots and reworkings are actually quite common for big-budget Hollywood blockbusters. 

"The Marvels" will be photographed by Sean Bobbitt, the most regular director of photography for Steve McQueen. In addition to shooting "Hunger," "Shame," "12 Years a Slave," and "Widows," Bobbitt also handled the cameras for "The Place Beyond the Pines," "Byzantium," and Spike Lee's remake of "Oldboy." He received an Oscar nomination for his work on "Judas and the Black Messiah." 

The music in "The Marvels" will be composed by Emmy-winning musician Laura Karpman who composed the scores for Kasi Lemmons' "Black Nativity" and the romcom "Set It Up." She also wrote music for the hard-hitting documentary films "Pray Away," "CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap," "The State of Marriage," and "Step." Karpman also wrote the music for "Ms. Marvel" and "What If...?," so she is no stranger to the MCU. Any players of the "Kung Fu Panda 2" video game, "Guardians of Middle-Earth," or several of the "EverQuest" games have also heard her music. 

Trailers for 'The Marvels'

Intergalactic, planetary. Planetary, intergalactic.

The above preview is the latest theatrical trailer that has been released to date. Early footage from the film was shown at Disney's D23 press event back in September of 2022. At the time, /Film posited that Zawe Ashton played a Marvel character named Hala, a member of the Kree Accuser Corp. This proved to be incorrect speculation. But, hey, isn't wild speculation part of the massive anticipation game surrounding most MCU releases? 

Don't be fooled by look-ahead trailers at future all-in "Avengers" movies. They are, as of this writing, all mere fan edits. Those are fun, but do not feature any original footage. 

The most widely-seen preview for several months was the two-minute trailer seen here. Both the two-minute and four-minute trailers feature the Beastie Boys' 1998 hit song "Intergalactic." If the producers at Marvel had any moxie at all, "The Marvels" would include the cardboard robot that was featured in the "Intergalactic" music video. It seems that, in this regard, Marvel let the beat ... 

What is 'The Marvels' rated, and what MCU movies and TV shows do you need to watch beforehand?

... DROP! 

As of this writing, "The Marvels" has not been given an official rating by the MPA. Like all of the films in the MCU, however, it's reasonable to assume that "The Marvels" will be rated PG-13. Given general trends in blockbuster marketing, most of the biggest tentpole releases out of Hollywood's major studios are rated PG-13. This allows for just enough violence to be "edgy," but not so much sex and gore to be objectionable to concerned parents. There is no way in Hades that "The Marvels" will come to audiences with a rating of PG or of R. 

As mentioned many times above, "The Marvels" will incorporate characters from "Captain Marvel," "WandaVision," and "Ms. Marvel." Seeing as how the MCU is a vast interconnected tapestry, one would be wise to familiarize themselves with those movies and shows — especially "Ms. Marvel" — before buying their ticket to "The Marvels." For many years, Marvel has seemingly assumed that most people were following along with every film and TV show they released. More recently, however, it seems that feverish interest in the MCU has waned, and that many onetime fans have been slowly backing away from the franchise as a whole. The storytelling in the MCU is just as involved as it has always been, but events in "Ms. Marvel" may not be as well-known as, say, the "snap" in "Avengers: Infinity War." 

Evidence of this is in the numbers. "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" wasn't the massive hit it was expected to be, and both "Ms. Marvel" and "Secret Invasion" fetched some pretty small audiences. If one is excited about "The Marvels," this may be a good chance to catch up.