After Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home closing out the Infinity Saga section the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Many storylines reached their completion, fan favorites said good-bye, and we had our hearts broken as some heroes made the ultimate sacrifice (R.I.P. Tony Stark). So what does a post-Endgame world look like? Where do our remaining heroes go from here?
Marvel Studios made their return to the infamous Hall H at San Diego Comic Con 2019 to help silence fans’ questions and ramp up excitement for what’s to come.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige hosted the Marvel Studios panel in Hall H, revealing the Phase 4 slate, including films and Disney+ event series.
Let’s start with the first film on the slate: Black Widow. The long awaited origin story kicks off Phase 4 on May 1, 2020. Feige was joined on stage by the director, Cate Shortland, and cast Scarlett Johannson as Black Widow, Stranger Things‘ David Harbour as Alexi/The Red Guardian, Florence Pugh as Yelena, O.T. Fagbenle as Mason, and Rachel Weisz as Melina. Given the fact that Black Widow was one of the first female superheroes to arrive during this golden era of superhero films, you would think that she would have a solo film before Wonder Woman. I have faith that this movie is worth the wait and the timing is right to explore the Avenger’s past.
Next film introduced was Eternals, a film about a group of immortals who have lived on Earth for millennia. The film is scheduled for release on November 6, 2020. Joined by director Chloe Zhao and the cast, including Angelina Jolie as Thena, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Lia McHugh as Sprite and Salma Hayek as Ajak. I don’t know much about this part of Marvel’s vast universe but looking into reading more about it as the superhero world continues to expand.
Feige also announced Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which will be the first Asian-led superhero film. Marvel’s Master of Kung Fu will take on the Mandarin (the actual villain, not the imposter we were given in Iron Man 3). Destin Daniel Cretton will serve as director, who brought out the film’s star, Simu Liu. Chinese actor Tony Leung will play the The Mandarin. Awkwafina also has an undisclosed role. With the success of Asian-led films like Crazy Rich Asians, this is another movie where timing is everything. This is the right time and place to have this representation in the superhero genre. Shang-Chi is scheduled for February 12, 2021.
The sequel to the fan favorite Doctor Strange was announced with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, scheduled to appear on May 7, 2021. Scott Derrickson will be returning to direct with Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong reprising their roles. They will be joined by Elizabeth Olsen, reprising her role as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. The film genre was announced as Marvel’s first “horror-styled”, with intentions of being the first “scary MCU movie”. Considering the Scarlet Witch is involved and her comics history, it makes sense that the talented doctor will have to repair the damage, not just on our Earth.
The Doctor Strange sequel will have the assistance of a Disney+ series to build the plot as WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany returning as the Vision (How? We have no idea but Marvel will find a way). We will be introduced to Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, all grown up from the last time we saw that character in Captain Marvel.
Another Disney+ series that had fans cheering is Loki, seeing Tom Hiddleston returning to his role as the Asgardian Trickster God. Spoiler Alert! The series will focus on the Loki who managed to escape with the Space Stone in the past during Avengers: Endgame, creating an alternative timeline.
Disney+ series will also see two MCU veterans return in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. The series follows Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) teaming up. This duo will fight evil after the events of Avengers: Endgame, including the returning Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl).
Feige introduced the next Disney+ animated series, What If…? The series will be hosted by Jeffrey Wright as The Watcher. All of the MCU stars will voice their same characters in the series. Jeremy Renner will pick up the bow one more time in the Disney+ series, Hawkeye. The series will also introduce Clint Barton’s protege, Kate Bishop.
All Disney+ series are scheduled to arrive in 2021 once the streaming service gets its legs under it after the launch on November 12, 2019.
Finally – and the most exciting news I read – the fourth Thor movie has a title. Thor: Love and Thunder will be directed by Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi, who will also serve as writer. Stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson will return. Natalie Portman will also return to the franchise as Jane Foster, who will lift Mjolnir as the female Thor. It’ll be interesting to see how our beloved God of Thunder will handle that situation on November 5, 2021.
While this might complete the Phase 4 plan, Kevin Feige did offer teases for the future. He hinted at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, and films that feature the first families of Marvel: The Fantastic Four and X-Men, under the title of “Mutants“. But it didn’t stop there as Feige had a surprise: Two-time Academy Award-winning actor, and former Marvel’s Luke Cage star, Mahershala Ali will star in a Blade reboot. It’s currently planned as a post-Phase 4 film.
This news is so exciting because Marvel’s universe continues to expand and grow, opening the door to new worlds and new heroes along the way. Earth still needs defending but journeying into different dimensions and into the cosmic realms of space is where the future of the MCU lies. The post-credit scene of Far From Home is enough of a hint about that.
It’s safe to say that the future of Marvel Studios is looking incredibly bright.
Thanks for reading, everyone!
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