Spoilers ahead for all MCU films through phase 3!
What a panel!!! Marvel came out swinging this year with 90 minutes of pure insanity. There’s a lot to talk about so lets jump right in! The official Phase 4 line-up for the MCU consists of:
- Black Widow – May 1, 2020
- The Falcon & the Winter Soldier – Fall 2020
- The Eternals – November 6, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – February 12, 2021
- WandaVision – Spring 2021
- Loki – Spring 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – May 7, 2021
- What if…? – Summer 2021
- Hawkeye – Fall 2021 –
- Thor: Love and Thunder – November 5, 2021
Kevin Feige was quick to alleviate concerns over the omission of beloved existing properties within the MCU by confirming that Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 are on the way. Feige then revelaed new titles including Mutants, Fantastic Four and Blade who will be played by none other than Mahershala Ali! The only property not mentioned that surprises me is Spider-Man. The Sony-Marvel deal is still in effect, but the web slinger was nowhere to be seen in hall H. Only time will tell what the future holds for Spider-Man in the MCU. I know, its a lot to take in, but let’s talk about this upcoming slate of awesomeness.
A teaser trailer for Black Widow included a fight between Natasha and Yelena Belova (2nd modern era Black Widow). The trailer also confirmed that Taskmaster will serve as the film’s antagonist. Taskmaster is one of my favorite villains so I hope they do him justice!
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be a new series on the Disney+ streaming service. Sam Wilson (Falcon) will be the new Captain America. Sam will team up with Bucky (the Winter Soldier) to face off against returning villain Zemo. And this time, Zemo WILL don his iconic mask!
While little is known about the Eternals film, the cast alone should peak your interest. The Eternals cast includes:
- Angelina Jolie as Thena
- Salma Hayek as Ajak
- Richard Madden as Ikaris
- Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo
- Lauren Ridloff as Makkari
- Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos
- Lia McHugh as Sprite
- And finally Don Lee as Gilgamesh, the Forgotten One
There are a lot of big names attached to this film like Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, but I’m honestly most excited to have Don Lee in the MCU! His performance in Train to Busan is phenomenal so I know he’ll bring it.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will finally bring us the true Mandarin! Now we can all move on from the debacle that was Iron Man 3’s iteration of this iconic villain. Simu Liu will play protagonist Shang-Chi and be joined by Awkwafina. Tony Leung will step into the villain role as The Mandarin. Shang-Chi is a series I’m unfamiliar with which thoroughly excites me. Marvel is expanding their universe and I can’t wait to learn about this character!
WandaVision was described as a “mega event series” for Disney+. I have no idea what that means, but I want to watch it immediately. The series will take place after the events of Avengers: Endgame which begs the question, how is Vision alive? Has Wanda finally cracked and begun to shape reality around her like in the comics? WandaVision will include Monica Rambeau played by Teyonah Parris. We saw a young Monica in Captain Marvel, but she will be an adult in the show. Monica Rambeau becomes the second Captain Marvel in the comics so we’ll see what becomes of her character. Elizabeth Olsen said that WandaVision is “gonna get weird” so we’ll see what they have in store for us!
Did you really think we wouldn’t get more Loki??? Feige confirmed that the Loki show will take place right after his escape with the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame. Tom Hiddleston is too good as Loki to stay dead. Excited for the show, but can we please change that logo?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to be my most anticipated film of 2021! Feige blew everyone’s minds when he said, “just because Beck was lying about the multiverse doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.” This of course refers back to Quentin Beck (Mysterio) deceiving Peter Parker about being from another dimension. Returning director Scott Derrickson revealed that this will be the first scary film in the MCU. As a fan of the original Doctor Strange, horror and the potential that a multiverse brings, I am all in!
What If…? is yet another series we can looking forward to on Disney+. It will be the first animated series set in the MCU and include the voice talents of many Marvel actors reprising their roles. Jeffrey Wright will voice the cosmic being known as The Watcher who observes the multiverse. The What if…? comic series is fantastic because it allows insane stories to be told without consequences to our main universe. I love insane stories so lets get crazy!
Hawkeye will join the Disney+ line-up and include comic fan favorite Kate Bishop. Jeremy Renner jokingly stated that he “gets to teach someone else how to be a superhero without superpowers.” Kate Bishop is a Young Avenger is the comics, so we’ll see if Marvel has plans to form that iconic team in the near future.
The final film in Phase 4 with a release date is Thor: Love and Thunder. With the recent news of Taika Waititi’s return, fans were expecting a Thor film announcement, but I don’t think they were quite ready for what they got. I honestly believe this is a working title and that the real name will be revealed closer to release. They did the same thing with Captain America: Civil War which was originally announced as Captain America: Serpent Society. The title is very Taika, but I think it’s a misdirect.
The surprises didn’t end with the title as Tessa Thompson stated, “as king, she [Valkyrie] needs to find her queen.” Feige has teased for some time now that the first openly LBGTQ character was on the way and this may be just that. If that wasn’t enough, Natalie Portman came on stage and revealed that Jane Foster will take up the mantle of Thor. I’m not sure how thats possible since mjolnir is long gone with Cap. I personally enjoy the female run of Thor from the comics and Natalie Portman is an incredible actress. However, I really hope they don’t try to drudge up the Thor/Jane Foster love story because their chemistry never read well on screen to me. Honestly though, Waititi, Hemsworth and Thompson are a powerhouse trio so I know it’ll be an incredible, hilarious and insane thrill ride.
Feige was smart to mention Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 coming down the road as fans would have revolted otherwise. The big news is that Mutants, Fantastic Four and Blade are in the works as well. I was surprised by the Mutants title at first, but it makes sense to slowly introduce mutants and then form the X-Men team later like what they did with the Avengers. The Fantastic Four will play a key role in the future of the MCU as their villain’s gallery includes some of the most powerful enemies in comic history. Where in the world did Blade come from?! Not only do we get to witness an MCU version of the day-walking vampire hunter, but he’s going to be played by the incredibly talented Mahershala Ali?! Mike drop, Feige out!
There was something for absolutely everyone in this panel. We had surprise reveals, teaser footage, and an exponential expansion to the realm of possibilities within the MCU. The villain slate for this next phase has potential to be the best yet. The only thing that concerns me is the lack of Spider-Man, but Sony may have wanted to reveal the web head’s future in their own way. We know a third film is coming so I guess I’ll be patient. Congratulations Marvel, you just won San Diego Comic Con 2019. Now to go hibernate until Black Widow hits theaters.