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Avengers: Secret Wars Release Date, Writer, And More Details

Since the end of the Infinity Saga, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been anxious to see whether Kevin Feige will manage to top the epic tale he and a litany of talented writers and directors told over the course of a decade. Through dozens of interconnected films, they created not only the most successful film franchise of all time but also a culture-defining movement that — for better or for worse — dramatically changed the landscape of contemporary filmmaking.

Now, halfway through its Multiverse Saga, another major finale is quickly creeping up on Marvel Studios. As Feige and co. attempt to nail down the cast for the momentous "Fantastic Four" reboot and court writers for the impending onslaught of "X-Men" stories, two new "Avengers" films are on the horizon. With the climactic "Avengers: Secret Wars" poised to be even bigger than "Avengers: Endgame," we can only wait with bated breath as details continue to unfold.

When will Avengers: Secret Wars be released?

"Avengers: Secret Wars" is set to be released on May 7, 2027. When Kevin Feige first announced the film along with the majority of the Phases Five and Six lineups at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, "Secret Wars" was slated to debut on November 7, 2025 — mere months after its direct predecessor, "Avengers 5" (formerly titled "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty"). Later that year, however, Marvel Studios announced that it would be pushing "Secret Wars" out to May 1, 2026, giving a full year of space between the "Avengers" installments.

This third (and hopefully final) delay has largely been attributed to the Writers Guild of America strike, with writers unable to perform work for any major studios between May and September 2023. Now that the strike is over, Marvel is once again able to coordinate with MCU scribes. The end of the SAG-AFTRA strike makes the path ahead even smoother. That said, a delay remains possible. Destin Daniel Cretton's departure from the previously named "Kang Dynasty," which is said to feed directly into "Secret Wars," could push things out. Moreover, Jonathan Majors was dropped by Marvel entirely after being found guilty of reckless assault in the third degree and harassment. This could potentially revamp the entire film, as Marvel has been setting Kang, his character, up as the franchise's next arch-villain. 

Reportedly, the studio is mired in debate as to how to proceed. A "Secret Wars" delay might very well be necessary, especially if they choose to go in a wildly different direction. Intriguingly, some Hollywood whispers indicate "Secret Wars" production will begin in late 2024. Other rumors say "Secret Wars" currently boasts a massive runtime, and will be split into two parts. A year-long intermission would separate them, as happened with "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame." If this is the case, "Secret Wars Part 2" could hit in 2028. Where is the truth? We don't yet know, so take everything with a grain of salt.

Who is starring in Avengers: Secret Wars?

Marvel Studios hasn't made any official casting announcements for "Secret Wars." However, we know at least one actor who won't be involved the film. Kang, the character who was once the most likely to appear, is now in jeopardy, as he was first portrayed by Jonathan Majors. Marvel Studios has dropped Majors entirely, following his guilty verdict for assault and harassment. It's entirely possible that Marvel might scrap the character and introduce another arch-villain — possibly Doctor Doom? — but the Hollywood juggernaut could simply recast Kang. Powerhouse actor Colman Domingo is rumored to be under consideration, which would be a huge feather in Marvel's cap.

Beyond this point, we only have industry whispers. So far, the most eye-catching comes from X user MyTimeToShineHello, who claims Tobey Maguire and Hugh Jackman will portray Spidey and Wolverine, respectively, and that Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans will reprise their famous roles. The first two names are surprising, but not entirely far-fetched. Bringing Iron Man and Cap back after their poignant farewells might prove controversial, however. Chris Evans discussed it on "The View" (via Comicbookmovie.com), saying, "You know, I always see those reports too, and it's news to me ... No one's spoken to me about it. And look, I would never say never, but I'm very protective. It's a very precious role to me, so it would have to be just right."

As for Tony Stark, Kevin Feige has definitively said that he won't ever return. Speaking about Iron Man's death in "Endgame," Feige told Vanity Fair, "We are going to keep that moment and not touch that moment again. We all worked very hard for many years to get to that, and we would never want to magically undo it in any way."

Who is directing Avengers: Secret Wars?

Marvel Studios has yet to announce a director for "Avengers: Secret Wars." Speculation as to who will close out the Multiverse Saga has included just about every Marvel creative alum, from Ryan Coogler to Jon Favreau to the Russo brothers — even Kevin Feige. Some fans wondered if Destin Daniel Cretton, who was previously poised to direct "Avengers 5," would also helm "Secret Wars," but these dreams dissolved when Cretton left the formerly titled "Kang Dynasty" in November 2023.

According to Hollywood scooper Jeff Sneider, Feige is looking for one director to tackle both "Avengers 5" and "Secret Wars," which are rumored to be two halves of a whole story. Industry insider Daniel Richtman claims Sam Raimi is being considered for the job, which makes a lot of sense — as the helmer of the iconic 2000s "Spider-Man" trilogy and "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," he has more than enough experience. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are rumored to be in the running as well. Their experience directing "Moon Knight" and "Loki" Season 2 would serve them well, and, depending on how it turns out, so might the currently in-progress "Daredevil: Born Again."

Who is writing and producing Avengers: Secret Wars?

In October 2022, it was reported that Michael Waldron would be penning the script for "Secret Wars." The film and television writer has become a mainstay of the MCU in its post-Infinity Saga era, creating and executive producing the Disney+ series "Loki" before going on to write "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."

Before joining the MCU, Waldron got his start as a writers' production assistant and production staff on the cult NBC sitcom "Community" (from which the Russo brothers were also plucked to direct "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"). After serving as an executive producer on the short-lived YouTube Red series "Good Game," he wrote the "Rick and Morty" Season 4 episode "The Old Man and the Seat." Waldron also created and executive produced the drama "Heels," which starred a post-"Arrow" Stephen Amell and premiered on Starz in 2021. It was canceled in 2023 after just two seasons.

Is Avengers: Secret Wars based on a specific comic book?

Though there are two Marvel Comics storylines that bear the title "Secret Wars," the upcoming "Avengers" film will most likely take its primary inspiration from the more recent iteration, released from 2015 to 2016. The plot of this "Secret Wars," led by prolific Marvel Comics writer Jonathan Hickman, revolves around an Incursion — a super-apocalyptic multiversal phenomenon in which two universes collide with and destroy one another — between the mainstream Earth-616 universe and the waning Earth-1610 (home of Miles Morales).

It would be impossible to summarize the entire sprawling narrative of "Secret Wars" here, but what's most important to note for our purposes is that it serves as the finale of Hickman's run on "Fantastic Four," with Reed Richards and Doctor Doom arguably taking the roles of protagonist and antagonist. Interestingly enough, the Fantastic Four will be making their MCU debut about a year before "Avengers 5" hits theaters. Perhaps both films will be setting the stage for "Secret Wars."

Is Avengers: Secret Wars part of a cinematic universe?

Of course, "Secret Wars" will take place within the MCU, bringing to a close both Phase Six and the larger Multiverse Saga as a whole (which began in 2021 with the Disney+ series "WandaVision"). So far, the cast is composed entirely of characters who debuted in previous MCU projects, some of whom may assemble for the last time with this crossover depending on the terms of actors' contracts and/or the natural progression of the characters' storylines. Given the saga-ending prestige that "Secret Wars" holds, there's even a chance that already-departed characters like Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) could appear.

There has also been some speculation that "Secret Wars" will end the MCU as fans know it, softly rebooting the franchise altogether to sustain its longevity. While promoting her book "MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios," author Joanna Robinson claimed to have a quote from Kevin Feige implying that he will use the end of the Multiverse Saga to make major alterations to the MCU's continuity — some of which could hypothetically allow the return (and recasting) of key Marvel characters like Iron Man.

What to watch before seeing Avengers: Secret Wars

With "Secret Wars" aiming to be an "Endgame"-level event film, there will undoubtedly be some fans who will want to prepare by watching the entire MCU canon — at least, until they realize the time commitment required to do so. As of the release of "Secret Invasion," it would take approximately 117 hours to watch every single movie, TV series, short, and special presentation so far. Our rough (and very conservative) estimate also leads us to believe that there will be at least 50 more hours of content dropping between now and "Secret Wars," which might make even a Multiverse Saga rewatch entirely unattractive to most.

Oddly enough, however, the one good thing about the arguably scattershot nature of Phases Four and Five is that there are already plenty of titles you can skip while pregaming for "Secret Wars." A must-watch list of films includes "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," and very likely "Deadpool 3" (for its all-but-confirmed multiversal antics), "Fantastic Four," and "Avengers 5." Meanwhile, of all the many Disney+ Marvel series, "Loki" and "What If...?" seem most revelant to "Secret Wars."

If you want to be thorough, you could also revisit more isolated projects that feature prominent characters in the future MCU, including "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," "Black Widow," "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," "Hawkeye," "Ms. Marvel," "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," "The Marvels," "Captain America: Brave New World," "Thunderbolts," and "Ironheart." Together, these 16 films and series will likely add up to about 50 hours — the length of the Infinity Saga rewatch many fans did before "Endgame."

Where to watch previous MCU projects

Fortunately, finding a platform on which to watch these films and TV shows is infinitely easier than finding the time to do so. Every title listed above can be found on Disney+ (at least for fans located in the United States — those residing abroad may have to look toward Hulu or various region-specific streamers). Yes, even "Deadpool 3" should be available on Disney+, since the first two films, along with all three "Fantastic Four" films and half of the "X-Men" movies, were finally added to the streamer years after Disney acquired 20th Century Fox.

And while you previously had to go outside the virtual House of Mouse to watch Sony's Marvel films, a whole bunch of "Spider-Man" movies and "Venom" have come to Disney+ as well, including "Spider-Man: Homecoming." By the time "Secret Wars" hits theaters, it wouldn't be at all surprising if every MCU film — and perhaps every Marvel film period — were available on the streamer, but for now, fans can rest assured that barring some unforeseen studio shake-up, at least every film owned solely by Marvel Studios and Walt Disney will be on Disney+.