2020 hasn’t been the best year for anyone, especially the entertainment industry. As theater chains face an uncertain future, 2021 could look a little different. Last Friday proved just that as Disney’s Investors meeting introduced a gigantic slate of content coming to theaters and Disney+.
First up, Marvel Studios.
After the monumental success of Avengers: Endgame, Marvel sought to continue its box office dominance. Thanks to the global pandemic of COVID-19, Marvel had to shift their slate a whole year. This investors’ meeting did an amazing job, giving us a peek into the future of the MCU ; both on the big and small screen.
Blending the styles of classic sitcoms with the MCU, super-powered beings Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) live their perfect suburban lives – begin to suspect that nothing is what it seems. I’m glad to get another trailer to this series that doesn’t give too much away. Not knowing how this series could go is most of the fun, despite the fact that it looks like a mindtrip.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
Centering on MCU characters, The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) in a post-Endgame world. We last saw these characters as Steve Rogers retired and entrusted the shield and title of Captain America to Falcon. However, I’m sure this won’t go over well with the US Government as their “ideal” Captain will come in the form of U.S. Agent. Daniel Brûl returns as Baron Zemo and I’m sure he’s behind the mayhem in the trailer. I can’t wait to see the banter between Cap’s two sidekicks as they have their moment to shine.
I know, I know. Loki died in Infinity War. But the Loki we’ll be following is the one that escaped from 2012 in Endgame. Loki seems to have gotten in trouble with an agency that watches the timeline and the God of Mischief is sure to get into his fair share of that. Co-starring Owen Wilson, this caper is sure to entertain. But what else did you expect?
Marvel’s What If…
An animated series that explores pivotal moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turning them on its head. Under the eye of The Watcher (voiced by Jeffrey Wright), the series leads the audience into uncharted territory of possibilities. I, for one, am looking forward to as events I’ve seen play out on the screen are redone with slight twists that audiences might not have even thought of.
A recently new character to the Marvel Universe through the comics, Ms. Marvel is getting a series to tell the story of New Jersey-raised Kamala Khan (played by Iman Vellani). I didn’t think I’d see this series or character come to life so quickly, but I think this is the perfect time for a Pakistani hero to be represented on screen.
Jeremy Renner returns as original Avenger, Clint Barton/Hawkeye, taking the mantle of mentor as the series centers on the adventures of Young Avenger, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfield), looking to take on the role. This series might help those who haven’t liked the character since his introduction and introduce a truly interesting person into the MCU.
Tatiana Maslany has been confirmed as Nee York City lawyer Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk as she leads her own series. Mark Ruffalo returns as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in possible cameo appearances, but what really surprises and excites me is Tim Roth’s return as Emil Blonsky/Abomination from The Incredible Hulk. Fans have been clamoring for this character’s return since the last solo Hulk movie. We might not get that, but this is the next best thing!
Other series that were announced such as Riri Williams’ introduction in Ironheart, Don Cheadle returning as James Rhodes in Armor Wars, Baby Groot animated shorts in I Am Groot. Moon Knight is still on the slate to premiere. Marvel has certainly going to make its presence known on Disney+ in the next few years.
Taking place between Civil War and Infinity War, Natasha Romanoff confronts her past and a dangerous adversary that will stop at nothing to bring her down. One of the founding members of the original Avengers team was to have her long-awaited movie come out twice this year, only to be pushed back due to the pandemic. Despite rumors floating around about the movie being dropped on Disney+, Scarlett Johansson’s last adventure as the former spy and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent has been pushed to come out next May. I’m hoping it will be safe enough to enjoy this movie in the theaters as the waiting game continues.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Sequel to the 2016 Marvel film, Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch returns as the Sorcerer Supreme in his second solo adventure, tying into the events of WandaVision. Elizabeth Olsen reprises her role as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and joins a returning cast that includes Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Benedict Wong. Marvel’s first movie in the “horror” genre will be helmed by Sam Raimi, making his return to the Marvel Universe long after his beloved Spider-Man trilogy set the superhero standards in the early 2000s. Considering the title, we’ll be exploring stranger worlds and different dimensions as audiences witness the expansion of the MCU with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness also connecting to a later MCU film.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Based on the Marvel Comics character, Shang-Chi “The Master of Kung-Fu”, Simu Liu takes on the title role. This action/adventure movie will see the Mandarin as his main enemy. This is not the first time we’ve heard of the Ten Rings as it circles back around into the MCU after a mention in the Iron Man films. Co-starring a solid cast that features Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, and Awkwafina, this first all-Asian cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe should be an action-packed ride.
This entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe dives into the origins of immortal beings known as Eternals, who lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilizations. This dives into the ancient history and myths of this universe with an ensemble cast that includes Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden Kit Harington, Kumail Nanjiani, and Brian Tyree Henry. This movie is definitely going to be special effects heavy and should be enjoyed in the theaters. One has to wonder where these beings have been, if this is an origin story, or if the events of Avengers: Endgame have brought them back into play?
Thor: Love and Thunder
Taika Waititi completely turned Thor around in Thor: Ragnarok and returns for the fourth film in the Thor saga, Thor: Love and Thunder. Chris Hemsworth returns as the God of Thunder himself, Thor, along with Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Natalie Portman returning as Jane Foster. Jane Foster is to take up the mantle as The Mighty Thor, so will this follow the comic of how Thor becomes unworthy? This event also confirmed Christian Bale as joining the MCU as villain, Gorr the God Butcher. We last saw Thor leaving with the Guardians of the Galaxy, who will be represented by Chris Pratt’s Starlord so what leads Thor to returning to Earth? We’ll wait and see.
Third untitled Spider-Man film
This movie has been picking up a lot of steam as far as rumors and confirmed cast members as this untitled sequel picks up after the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home. While this didn’t get a mention during the Investor’s Day, this movie can’t be ignored. Joining returning cast members Tom Holland, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei and Jacob Batalon as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, MJ, May Parker and Ned Leeds, respectively, Benedict Cumberbatch will come in as Doctor Strange while Spider-Man alumni Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx reprise their respective roles as Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus and Max Dillon/Electro. Both actors are from different Spider-Man movies and, since this movie will be tied into the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, could we see the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield suit up again?
Captain Marvel 2
Sequel to Captain Marvel, Brie Larson returns as the intergalactic hero Carol Danvers. Not much else was revealed about the script but confirmed cast includes Teyonah Parris playing an adult Monica Rambeau, reprising her role from WandaVision and Iman Vellani coming from Ms. Marvel onto the big screen as Kamala Khan. Considering Ms. Marvel looks up to Captain Marvel, it’s not surprise that the young hero will get to meet her idol.
Black Panther 2
The sequel to the highly successful 2018 film will continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of its rich variety of characters we were introduced to. Following the unexpected and tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman, Kevin Feige stated the role of Black Panther or T’Challa will not be recasted. This leaves the mantle of Black Panther in the air as to who will wear the costume. Fans have petitioned for Leticia Wright, who plays T’Challa’s sister Shuri, as the one to take on the role. I personally hope it happens. Written and directed again by Ryan Coogler, I know Marvel will make the right moves with this film.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Peyton Reed returns to direct the continuing adventures of Ant-Man and the Wasp in this third movie. Paul Rudd returns as Scott Lang/Ant-Man alongside Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne/Wasp along with Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer returning. The role of adult Cassie Lang, whom we met in Avengers: Endgame upon Scott’s reappearance in the world, has been recasted and will be taken over by Kathryn Newton (Freaky). The biggest casting news come in the form of HBO’s Lovecraft Country actor Jonathan Myers playing Kang the Conqueror. In the comics, Kang is an Avengers-level big bad so here’s to hoping that Kang will not meet an untimely end in this sequel. Odds are that this will be the last time we see Paul Rudd as Ant-Man as he’s not getting any younger for the role.
Looking at this line-up for Marvel Studios, the superhero studio is gearing up for the future in the next few years. As the original actors get older and age with the MCU, Marvel has to change with the times and set up the next generation of their heroes. The comics idea of superhero mantles such as Captain America, Iron Man, and Hawkeye can become legacy roles coming to fruition in television and movies is refreshing. It’s the one way the MCU can stay relevant, bring in a new audience and keep the devoted fans who have invested the last twelve years of their lives to this franchise. Here’s to Marvel’s future!
What are your thoughts? Are there any projects that you are excited about? Any you are keeping your eyes on for new news?
Leave your thoughts and don’t forget to give the Facebook Page some love!