Marvel studios have announced their Phase Four lineup at San Diego Comic Con, nailing down five movies and five TV series to be aired on the new Disney+ service over the next 2+ years, plus a few other glimpses into the future.
Let’s start with the movies, and first up on May 1st, 2020 we’re getting BLACK WIDOW with Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, and Rachel Weisz. Directed by Cate Shortland.
Next is possibly the most tantalising for me personally as we get THE ETERNALS on November 6th 2020. The cast include Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh and Don Lee, and the film will be directed by Chloé Zhao.
Next up, Marvel produce their first Asian-led film, possibly redressing some of the bait and switch on display in Iron Man 3 and Doctor Strange with SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Set for release on February 12th, 2021 and featuring Simu Liu, Awkwafina and Tony Leung, the film will be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.
Back to established characters and everyone’s favourite mister doctor returns on May 7th 2021. DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS will star Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen, and will see Scott Derrickson returning as director.
Finally, and surprisingly not going with the Aguardians of the Galaxy monicker on November 5th, 2021 we have THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER with Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman. As previously announced, Taika Waititi returns as director. Natalie Portman’s surprise return and image of her holding Mjolnir up with Jane Foster taking up the mantle of Thor is a great moment.
It has also been announced that Oscar-winner, Mahershala Ali will take on the role of BLADE, although a date and format for the project (whether movie or TV has not yet been confirmed.)
Moving on to the new TV projects for Disney+.
First of all in Autumn 2020 is THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, with Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan and Daniel Brühl. That should be a lot of fun.
Next up in Spring 2021 and surprising to me is WANDAVISION, with Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany and Teyonah Parris. I expect this to be some wholesome neuroatypical content.
Also in Spring 2021 we get the long expected LOKI, with Tom Hiddleston.
In Summer 2021 we get the the first animated series in the MCU in the shape of WHAT IF…?, with Jeffrey Wright as the voice of The Watcher and many actors from across the MCU reprising their roles as voice talent.
Rounding out the lineup in Autumn 2021 is’ HAWKEYE with Jeremy Renner, an original series that will also introduce Kate Bishop. Hopes for an adaptation drawn from Matt Fraction’s run with the character seem to be dashed as this looks likely to focus on Clint’s time as Ronin between the Infinity War movies.
The slate of programming for Disney+ is certainly star packed and draws on more established characters and interesting pairings from the previous MCU. Hopefully they draw on what worked well in Agents of Shield and the various Netflix series and shy away from the issues that plagued the somewhat cursed Inhumans series.
Kevin Feige had also confirmed that FANTASTIC FOUR, BLACK PANTHER 2, MUTANTS, CAPTAIN MARVEL 2 and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 3 are in the works and that pencils in probably the next two years of the MCU up until 2023. Marvel are not done raiding our wallets by a long shot.
Let the fantasy casting for the Fantastic Four and Mutants commence! I can’t shake the idea that Namor is an obvious antagonist for Black Panther 2.
What do you think of the announcements from SDCC? Let us know in the comments.