One of the biggest questions going in to Saturday night at San Diego Comic Con in recent years is, “What does Marvel have planned for us this year?”
The studio did not disappoint as it laid out an ambitious fourth Phase to their cinematic universe which will now also incorporate shows that will be streaming on Disney Plus.
So let’s dive into the next two years of Marvel productions:
May 1, 2020 – Black Widow
Chronologically speaking in terms of Hall H presentations, this one case towards the end, serving as one of Marvel signature surprise announcements.
This will be the first film to kick off Marvel’s Phase Four slate of movies and is directed by Cate Shortland who was on hand to greet the Hall H audience along with Scarlett Johansson, reprising her role of Natasha Romanoff, as well as newcomers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe David Harbour as Alexei aka The Red Guardian, Florence Pugh as Yelena, O-T Fagbenle as Mason and Rachel Weisz as Melina.
The Hall H crowd was treated to a brief clip from the film of Natasha back in Budapest.
The new Black Widow footage starts with a shot of Budapest (with location text over the scene in a similar style to Captain America: Civil War). It then focuses in on Natasha in a small city circle, then walking up the stars of an apartment building. Natasha pulls her gun when a voice calls through the door of an apartment, “I know you’re out there.” Nat responds, “I know you know I’m out here.”
Natasha enters the apartment, there’s a brief shot of a room filled with spy gadgets. She eventually comes face to face with Yelena, they’re both holding they’re guns at each other in identical poses. Natasha suggests they talk like grown ups and Yelena tells her to put her gun down first. They start to fight, using classic Black Widow moves, mimicking each other and using every weapon at their disposal including kitchen knives. The scene cuts to after their fight, Nat says, “It’s good to see you too, sis.”
There is then a sizzle reel from a variety of scenes — one of Natasha running along a mountain ridge in training gear, a motorcycle chase, and a shot of what seemed to be a group of Black Widows in the classic black jumpsuit. At the end of the footage, Natasha is confronted by the villain Taskmaster on a bridge. He has the character’s shield and mask from the comics, and he mimics all of her fighting moves.
November 6, 2020 – Eternals
The presentation kicked off with the introduction of a new team of Marvel superheroes – The Eternals. The cast includes Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh and Angelina Jolie as Thena.
Fall 2020 (Disney+) – The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
The Disney+ original series will pair up Sam Wilson aka The Falcon and Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier in a series of action-filled adventures as they fight together against evil after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
Anthony Mackie (The Falcon) and Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier) came on stage to greet the fans, and it was revealed that Daniel Brühl will return as the villain, Baron Zemo.
February 12, 2021 – Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
In an unanticipated surprise for all, Kevin Feige then announced the confirmed casting of Simu Liu in the title role of Shang-Chi and both the actor and the director, Destin Daniel Cretton, came on stage to greet the audience. Kevin also shared with the audience the casting of Awkwafina in a yet-to-be-disclosed role. Then, Kevin revealed to the Hall H audience that the real Mandarin will be played by celebrated Chinese actor Tony Leung.
Spring 2021 (Disney+) – WandaVision
This is a Disney+ original series where Paul Bettany reprises the role of Vision and Elizabeth Olsen returns to her role of Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. Bettany and Olsen were joined on stage by MCU newcomer Teyonah Parris, and Feige announced that Parris will be playing the grown-up version of Monica Rambeau, who was introduced to audiences in Captain Marvel.
Spring 2021 (Disney+) – Loki
Tom Hiddleston is back as Loki, the god of mischief and everyone’s favorite villain. He received a huge welcome from fans when Feige brought him out on stage. The Disney Plus series will answer the question of where Loki went after the events that unfolded in Avengers: Endgame.
May 7, 2021 – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Feige introduced the second film in the Doctor Strange franchise and called the director, Scott Derrickson, and star Benedict Cumberbatch to the stage to a rousing welcome.
In a surprise twist, Feige also brought out Elizabeth Olsen, who also stars in the sequel and they talked about how WandaVision connects directly to the feature-film storyline. Feige also added that this will be Marvel’s first venture into the horror movie genre.
Summer 2021 (Disney+) – What If…?
Feige offered new information on What If…?, the first animated series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What If…? is being created exclusively for Disney+ and features stories that present alternate realities in the Marvel universe.
Feige mentioned that many actors from across the Marvel Cinematic Universe will reprise their roles as voice talent in the series. He then surprised the audience by bringing Jeffrey Wright to the stage and introducing him as the voice of the popular character The Watcher in the new series.
Fall 2021 (Disney+) – Hawkeye
Jeremy Renner came on stage and revealed the previously undisclosed title of the Hawkeye Disney+ original series. He joined Kevin Feige to give exciting news about Hawkeye including details about Kate Bishop, a character well-known in Marvel comics, who will be an integral part of the series.
November 5, 2021 – Thor: Love and Thunder
Feige talked about the next Thor film, Thor: Love and Thunder. It was revealed that Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman, will become the Mighty Thor, the goddess of Thunder.
Director Taika Waititi, Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman all came on stage for the presentation, eliciting a wild response from the Hall H audience.
Phase 5 or Later / TBD – Blade
Following the Black Widow presentation, Feige had another big surprise up his sleeve for the enthusiastic Hall H crowd. He was joined on stage by actor Mahershala Ali and then announced that Ali will star as the title character as Blade joins the MCU.
In an interview with Collider, Feige said that, “\It is the complete Phase Four the way I announced the complete Phase Three five years ago—things can move, things can change as they did if you go back and look at what we talked about five years ago for Phase Three, but we’ve been working on this for quite a while and it’s pretty set. But there are always changes possible.”
That puts Blade’s release, at the earliest in to 2022 along with sequels for Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther.