With many hoping that San Diego Comic-Con would bring some major news on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, SDCC has gone ahead and served up a ludicrous amount of new MCU information.
From new movies, to casting information, to Disney+ details, to outright surprises, Marvel Studios has delivered massively at SDCC. And to keep things all in one place, we’re going to try and summarise all of the news from last night’s Marvel Studios panel.
- Phase Four of the MCU will officially kick off on May 1st, 2020 with Black Widow. Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff will be joined by The Handmaid’s Tale’s O-T Fangbenle, Stranger Things’s David Harbour, Fight with My Family’s Florence Pugh, Sexy Beast’s Ray Winstone and The Favourite’s Rachel Weisz. Directed by Lore’s Cate Shortland, the film will be a prequel offering exploring Nat’s origins and time working for the KGB.
- Marvel’s The Eternals will star Maleficent’s Angelina Jolie as Thena, Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden as Ikaris, Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Frida’s Salma Hayek as Ajax, Child’s Play’s Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, The Lodge’s Lia McHugh as Sprite, The Walking Dead’s Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, and Train to Busan’s Ma Dong-seok as Gilgamesh. Upcoming director Chloe Zhao is on directing duties from a script by Matthew and Ryan Firpo as The Eternals eyes up a November 6th, 2020 release.
- Premiering on Disney+ in August 2020 will be the Anthony Mackie and Sebastien Stan-starring The Falcon and The Winter Soldier series that sees the pair going up against Daniel Bruhl’s returning Baron Zemo. John Wick’s Derek Kolstad is heading up the creative team for the show.
- Taken’s Simu Liu has been cast as the titular hero in Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings, with The Master of Kung-Fu to commence battle with The Mandarin. Yes, after being teased with the legendary villain in Iron Man 3, fans will finally get to see the real Mandarin – as played by Tony Leung. Crazy Rich Asian’s Awkwafina also has a role in the film, with Short Term 12’s Destin Daniel Cretton directing for a February 12th, 2021 release.
- Spring 2021 will see Disney+ premier WandaVision as Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprise their MCU roles of Wanda Maximoff and Vision. Mad Men’s Teyonah Parris will be playing an adult version of the Monica Rambeau character we saw introduced in Captain Marvel. As it happens, Captain Marvel’s Jac Schaeffer is serving as writer and showrunner on the series.
- Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief takes centre-stage in Disney+’s six-episode Loki series, as we explore what happened to the charming rogue when he took the Space Stone.
- A Doctor Strange sequel is booked in for May 7th, 2021, and the picture will feature Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch. Titled Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness, the follow-up will be influenced by the events of the Disney+ WandaVision series and will have a gothic horror vibe to it.
- The first of the animated What If…? stories will premiere in Summer 2021 and Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright will be voicing The Watcher who ties each of this ponderous tales together. The show will see various MCU stars lending their dulcet tones to the animated series.
- Fall 2021 will see the Disney+ premiere of Hawkeye as Jeremy Renner once more picks up the Clint Barton role. In the six-part show, Barton will be mentoring young Kate Bishop in the ways of being a total badass.
- The recent news of Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi helming Thor 4 has now had more details made public. With Natalie Portman back as Jane Foster, this next Thor effort will be titled Thor: Love and Thunder and will see Jane eventually take on the moniker of The Mighty Thor. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson will be joining Portman in the film – which has been set for November 5th, 2021.
- Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are all confirmed, although no release dates have been announced at this stage.
- Oscar winner Mahershala Ali been cast as Blade! The Moonlight star will be playing the famed Daywalker in something, but it’s not yet been confirmed whether that will be a movie, a TV show, or both.
- The Fantastic Four are on the way! Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige explained how there are several other MCU projects in early development that he is currently unable to discuss any further – one of which involves introducing Marvel’s First Family into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Quite a lot to take in, right? With so much utterly fantastic news, the one that really stands out for us has to be the casting of Mahershala Ali as Blade. But then, how can you overlook Jane Foster becoming the Goddess of Thunder? Or the nefarious Mandarin stepping out of the shadows to battle Shang-Chi? Or the FF joining the fold?
For comic book and superhero fans, this is literally a ‘pinch yourself’ time to be alive, as Marvel Studios continues to bring some of Marvel Comics’ greatest characters to life over the next few years.
As ever, expect more on all of these projects as they continue to develop.