At San Diego Comic-Con this year, Marvel Studios head Kevin Fiege unveiled the Phase 4 slate of the MCU. Unlike any previous MCU SDCC announcement, this line up included TV Shows which are all confirmed to be part of the MCU. Previously there have been TV shows that were said to be part of the MCU. Although, as time went on it became clear that this relationship was unrequited. But that’s a different story for a different day…
Some of these TV shows announced for Phase 4 will lead directly into movies. This being the case with WandaVision which is confirmed to lead into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Without a doubt, this is the most unique Marvel SDCC announcement to date. It seems Marvel are really diversifying their content with Phase 4.
Black Widow (May 1, 2020) – Movie
Kicking off Phase 4 we have the Black Widow’s first solo outing. A movie fans have requested for a long time, this will serve as an origin of sorts. Detailing Natasha’s formative years as a KGB agent groomed by the Soviet Union to be the ultimate spy. The movie picks up after the events of Captain America: Civil War (15 years after the collapse of the USSR).
Directed by Cate Shortland, starring Scarlett Johanson as Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow, Stranger Things’ David Harbour as Alexi a.k.a. The Red Guardian, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova (a “sister figure to Natasha” that also takes up the mantle of the Black Widow), O-T Fagbenle as Mason and Rachel Weisz as Melina (an original character also known as Black Widow, trained by the same organisation as the other two Black Widows.. are you still following?). The fan favourite Taskmaster is also set to feature but its currently unknown who will bring this iconic character to life on screen for the first time.
Those who were lucky enough to be at SDCC 2019 got to see footage of Natasha and Yelena going all out in an action-packed fight scene set in Budapest. The clip ends with Black Widow crashing a car before meeting Alexi who blocks her would be fatal gunfire with a shield. Filming is still currently taking place but we are expecting to see a trailer by the end of the year.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Fall 2020) – TV Show
This series will be the first Marvel TV show to debut on Disney+. It will be centred around the new Captain America, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, The Winter Soldier. During SDCC fans got to see a sneak peek of Daniel Bruhl’s return as Baron Zemo. Let’s hope he will not disappoint this time around as he stars in this TV show that literally no one asked for.
It is currently unknown what the episode count will be but we will no doubt find that out very soon.
The Eternals (November 6, 2020) – Movie
One of the most interesting announcements at this year’s comic con was the announcement of an Eternals movie. The eternals are a race of aliens of immortal beings sent to earth by the celestials to protect humans from the deviants (the race of which Thanos is a member). In the comics the deviants are mutant eternals (possessing the Deviant Syndrome gene). They are unstable, naturally evil creatures born with monstorous features.
In the directors seat we have Chloe Zhao. A bit of a strange choice without much previous experience. Most of her filmography is made up of shorts at this moment but they must see something in her. The cast includes Richard Madden as Ikaris, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Salma Hayek as Ajak (the “leader of the Eternals,”), Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos (a “genius”), Don Lee as Gilgamesh (physically the strongest of the eternals), Lia McHugh as Sprite and The Walking Dead’s Lauren Ridloff will be playing Makkari. Marvel are remaining tight lipped about the ins and outs of this project for now. But with a november release next year looming over it shouldn’t be long before we find out more.
Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings (February 12, 2021) – Movie
Another surprising revelation was Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings. Personally, I thought this would be a character we were sure to see in the Marvel Netflix shows but we all know how that played out… The first Asian-led superhero movie with Simu Liu at the helm as Shang-Chi, The Master of Kung FU and Tony Leung as the Mandarin, the leader of the ten rings.
Originally, the Mandarin was actually Iron Man’s arch-enemy. So it’s disappointing that we will not get to see them face off especially since we were already cheated out of this once when they pulled that fast one in Iron Man 3 (2013) when the Mandarin turned out to be nothing but an actor hired to produce propaganda for Aldrich Killian. However, disappointment aside, I for one am excited to see Shang-Chi finally brought to life on the big screen.
Preson Daniel Cretton will be directing but not much is known as of yet about the cast apart from the two aforementioned cast members and that Awkwafina (Neighbours 2) will be starring as an unknown character. But what we do know if the source material is anything to go by is that Shang-Chi is the son of the villainous Fu Manchu. He was raised to be his father’s personal assassin. Shang-Chi later rebelled against his father and faked his death after his first assignment. As a result of his extensive training, Shang-Chi is a master martial artist deadly in both armed an unarmed combat.
Loki (Spring 2021) – TV Show
Tom Hiddleston will be returning as the god of mischief in his very own Disney+ series. Following the events after Loki escaped with the tesseract in avengers. So this means the Loki we get to see in this movie is not the Loki who claimed his redemption in both Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. This is before all that happened, so this Loki is still the scheming trickster we saw in the first Avengers movie.
By stealing the Space Stone from the main timeline he created an alternate timeline. Which will also affect the main timeline. So if he doesn’t return the Space Stone this could greatly affect the MCU. It will be exciting to see how this one pans out.
WandaVision (Spring 2021) – TV Show
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will be returning once again as Scarlet Witch and Vision. Jac Schaffer (Co-writer of Captain Marvel) will be the series showrunner.
It’s currently unknown how Vision will be returning after his death in Avengers: Infinity War. Even Bettany himself said he “has no idea” what’s going on. Olsen told Hall H “We’re gonna have a lot of fun. We’re gonna get weird, it’s gonna get deep, and have lots of surprises. We’re finally going to understand Wanda Maximoff.”
Another character will also we returning after featuring in Captain Marvel as a child, Monica Rambeau. Now all grown up she will be Played by Teyonah Parris. Described by Parris herself as a “Marvel Superhero” it looks like we’re going to see her team up with WandaVision as Photon. This show will also lead directly into..
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 7, 2021) – Movie
Doctor Strange (2016) movie was the first movie in the MCU to explore alternate realities. Now once again Doctor Strange will be exploring the multiverse and this time he will have company in the form of Scarlett Witch played by Elizabeth Olsen.
Benedict Cumberbatch will be returning as the Sorcerer Supreme and Scott Derrickson who directed the first outing will also be returning to his director seat. Another interesting revelation about this movie is the fact that it will be a horror. Cumberbatch told SDCC that there will be “a twist of horror that will really have people gripped… We’re going back to try and destroy [Doctor Strange] a bit I think.”
What If…? (Spring 2021) – TV Show
In what is no doubt one of Marvel’s greatest ideas to date Marvel have confirmed they are developing an animated series based on the popular comic book series “What If…?” A comic book series that reimagines characters and events in the Marvel universe by asking what if…? For example what if uncle ben had lived? or if Daredevil wasn’t blinded? But instead of comic book events, this will no doubt be “what if’s” based on the MCU’s events.
The show will feature reprisals from Michael B. Jordan, Sebastian Stan, Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Hayley Atwell, Chadwick Boseman, Karen Gillan, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Neal McDonough, Dominic Cooper, Sean Gunn, Nicole Portman, Stanley Tucci, Taika Waititi, Toby Jones, Djimon Honsou, Michael Rooker, and Jeff Goldblum who will all be providing their voices and reprising their Marvel roles in the cartoon.
The series will also feature Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright who will be voicing The Watcher, a near-omniscient entity devoted to chronicling grandiose events across the universe.
Thor: Love and Thunder (November 6, 2021) – Movie
Going from good ideas to bad ideas here we have the next Thor movie “Thor: Love and Thunder”. And as you may have gathered from the picture Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman) is the new Thor. Many are no doubt excited about this but personally, I thought it was a bad idea in the comics and an even worse of an idea for the movies. Marvel has been making some disastrous choices with Thor’s character in the past few years (See Thor: Ragnarok) but it sells so people must enjoy it.
Chris Hemsworth will be returning as Thor, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Taiki Waititi will be directing after being responsible for the trainwreck that was Thor: Ragnarok.
Hawkeye (Fall 2021) – TV Show
Also coming to Disney+ is the Hawkeye series, with Jeremy Renner returning as Clint Barton. With the show being so far away not much is currently known as of yet. But we do know the show will feature Barton training Kate Bishop and it will also explore more of Hawkeye’s time as Ronin in between Infinity War and Endgame.
What Else Has Been Announced at SDCC?
Feige also gave us a preview of what’s to come beyond Phase 4. He confirmed Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and Captain Marvel 2 are all in development. He also name-dropped “mutants” and the Fantastic Four.
However, it is unknown if any of these movies will be part of phase 4 or not. One was confirmed to be beyond Phase 4. Another thing he didn’t confirm or deny is the possibility of a new Avengers movie. He just said this chapter is all about “new beginnings”. Another new beginning he announced was…
Blade (TBA) – Movie
The most exciting announcement of all was the upcoming Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali as Eric Brooks a.k.a Blade. Long before the MCU, before the original Spider-Man trilogy, even before the X-Men, there was Blade. The first Marvel movie franchise to become a success. It was gritty, dark, violent and was nothing short of amazing (apart from Blade III)
Marvel got the rights back to the character a few years ago and ever since fans have speculated when or even if Marvel will be using the character. This announcement came as a shock but it was certainly a warmly welcomed surprise.
Which Movie/TV Show are you most excited for? Let us know in the comment section below…