Marvel Studios held its Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) 2019 and announced its plans for the studio’s Phase 4. One of the most striking things about the next wave of films is that it’s not just movies but also a host of TV Shows part of Disney+ that will tie into those movies. I did a prediction post yesterday to guess what could be announced; you can probably compare it with this just to see how well it stacks up.
Among the projects announced, some were already known by fans as being in development while others were guessed, but not entirely sure. It’s almost as if everything in the panel was anticipated by fans in some capacity, save for one out of the blue announcement. Let’s dive in and quickly cover everything announced by Marvel at SDCC 2019, in chronological order.
No surprises here. Marvel officially announced Black Widow for a May 1, 2020 release with Cate Shortland directing and Scarlett Johannson returning. For more details on the logo and cast, check out our announcement post.
Set to arrive on Disney+, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier will be the first show from Marvel for the streaming service. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are set to return as Falcon and Winter Soldier respectively, the duo took the stage to have some fun with their chemistry. Also returning is Daniel Bruhl as Colonel Helmut Zemo, last seen in Captain America: Civil War. Plot details are unknown, as is an official date, but the series is set to hit Disney+ some time in Fall 2020.
Touted as its next big franchise, Marvel formally announced The Eternals for a November 6, 2020 release. The studio also brought out the cast that includes the likes of Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani and Salma Hayek while also revealing the names of characters they will be palying. The film will be helmed by Chloe Zhao; check out more details about the rest of the cast and character names in this announcement post.
Next up is Shang-Chi. With a lengthy full title, we finally got introduced to Simi Liu who will play the titular hero. In a neat surprise, the Mandarin will return (the real one) played this time by Tony Leung. Marvel is honoring the Asian-American heritage of the comics through its casting and Shang-Chi is set for a February 12, 2021 release. More details, in the SDCC post.
The Disney+ series will see Paul Bettany return in the role of Vision along with Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch. Details are unknown but a logo was revealed and we’ll see the series streaming on Disney+ during Spring 2021. Feige declared it to be one of the more unique shows they’re attempting, calling it something the likes of which has never been seen before.
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany arrived on stage to talk about the show and their characters. Olsen described her experience, “We’re gonna have a lot of fun. We’re going to go deep, It’s going to have a lot of surprises, and we’re going to finally understand Wanda Maximoff as the Scarlet Witch.”
On the topic of Bettany returning as Vision despite his demise, he feigned ignorance, “I have no idea. Last thing I knew, I died in Infinity War so I’ve literally never been this confused with this many people”. He did go on to say that the stories tend to get richer and this one’s the richest and the weirdest.
The real surprise here was the inclusion of Teyonah Parris as the adult Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel, truly demonstrating the crossover prowess of the MCU. The excitement in her voice was visibly strong as she expressed being cast in the MCU as a dream come true.
Once again, details are scarce but we finally have a logo and a release time frame. Loki will release on Disney+ during Spring 2021, near WandaVision‘s release date, with Tom Hiddleston set to return (no surprises there). Feige officially confirmed that the series will follow Loki’s adventures in an alternate timeline after he escaped with the Tesseract in the 2012 recreation of the Battle of New York from The Avengers.
On being the Loki he was from 2012, as opposed to the evolved, more mature character he became by the time of his death in Infinity War, Tom Hiddleston elaborated, “He’s still that guy. And just about the last thing that happened to him is he got Hulk smashed. So a lot of psychological evolution that is still yet to happen. But Kevin has generously shown me what is plans are. It’s one of the most exciting, creative opportunities I have ever come across. This is new territory, a new world, new challenges and I cannot wait to get started”. Once again, it’s going to be a weird ride seeing Loki navigate the realms of a parallel universe.
Scott Derrickson returns to direct Doctor Strange 2, subtitled In The Multiverse of Madness. Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Doctor Strange but the movie will also feature Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch, with the events of WandaVision carrying over into this film. More importantly, it’s set to be the MCU’s first horror film and currently mapped for a May 7, 2021 release. More details here.
Exploring alternate realities and scenarios, Marvel’s What If will bow out in Disney+ during Summer 2021. It will be the MCU’s first animated series and will feature Jeffrey Wright voice the Watcher who many had previously assumed was played by Stan Lee in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cameo. Actors from the MCU movies will also return to voice their respective characters with the stories narrated by Wright’s The Watcher.
Describing his role as The Watcher, Wright added, “The Watcher is a being, a non-earthly being who observes all things. He’s watching over the Multiverse and occasionally may or may not intervene with the doings of earthlings. Other than that he’s off doing his own things.” What If should be interesting for the MCU to explore ideas they could never try in the strictly canon universe Earth-616.
Despite being rumored on and off, it’s nice to see Marvel Studios having finally confirmed Hawkeye as a standalone series that will introduce Kate Bishop to the MCU. Jeremy Renner will return and pass along his archery skills to Bishop, mentoring her to be the next markswoman. Feige also revealed the series will explore more of his time as Ronan in the series and called out Renner as one of the OG Avengers on stage to huge applause.
“What’s exciting about this for me is … and he showed that to me a few days a few days ago and I was like dude, this is so amazing. What I get to do in the show ultimately is chaperone an amazing character to become a better version of me. The sentiment with that is what I think the fiber of what Hawkeye is a superhero without superpowers and I get to teach someone else. And I think that’s an amazing sentiment to share.” The series premieres in Disney+ in Fall 2021.
Taika Waititi returns to direct the fourth Thor movie. Titled Thor: Love and Thunder, the movie brings back Natalie Portman as Jane Foster as it introduces female Thor into the MCU. Thor 4 is set to arrive November 5, 2021. Here’s the complete rundown including Portman’s comments.
Probably the biggest bombshell announcement was Mahershala Ali roped in for Marvel’s Blade reboot. I’m assuming this is a movie and not a TV Show since the official announcement is unclear on what this is. Despite huge excitement and buzz, fans are worried about Marvel eschewing continuity since Mahershala already played Cottonmouth Stokes in Marvel’s Netflix series Luke Cage. This will be an interesting problem to tackle.
Among the plethora of other projects in development, the most exciting was hearing Feige namedrop Fantastic Four and X-Men, now called Mutants. Details are barely existent but a mere acknowledgement by Feige was enough to send fans into a roaring cheer. Feige did reveal some plans about Fantastic Four, which you can check out in this post.
Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2
With the packed SDCC panel, there was barely enough time for Marvel to announce other stuff it was working on. Around close, there was mention of Black Panther 2 and Captain Marvel 2 being in the works and frankly, neither of these bits comes across as a surprise, given both grossed billion dollars in their first iteration.
That’s it for Marvel’s SDCC panel. Be sure to check out the individual posts for more details on the announcements and let me know what you think about Marvel’s Phase 4 plans in the comments below.
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