After a year of inactivity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans were chomping at the bit for the tiniest crumb of news and Disney Investors’ Day finally delivered much more than just a morsel of what’s to come from the powerhouse movie studio. We were treated to updates on all of the MCU’s upcoming projects including some that were previously unknown to fans. Here’s a rundown on everything that was shared.
WandaVision is the next new project that we’ll be seeing from the MCU. Coming exclusively to Disney+ on the 15th of January 2021, Wandavision will focus on the pairing of titular characters, Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch and Vision portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany respectively. At Investors Day, Disney premiered a second official trailer and it’s clear that the show is unlike anything we’ve seen before as it will take inspiration from sitcoms over the decades, blending comedy with classic Marvel action. It is also said to tie in directly with the upcoming Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
WandaVision also stars Katherine Hahn as Agnes, Fred Melamed as Arthur Heart, Debra Jo Rupp as Mrs. Heart and Teyonah Parris as a grown-up Monica Rambeau, a character that first appeared in Captain Marvel (which for those who don’t know was set in the 90s). Wandavision will also see the return of Randall Park as Jimmy Woo and Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, both of whom, haven’t been seen since 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World (respectively). The rest of the cast is said to include Josh Stamberg, Evan Peters, Asif Ali and Jolene Purdy in undisclosed roles. The series is directed by Matt Shakman with Jac Schaeffer as head writer.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Next up is the long-anticipated The Falcon and the Winter Soldier which has had a bumpy ride thanks to the “current situation”. It has taken some time but we are finally getting the team up on March 19, 2021, with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan as the titular heroes. Along with the release date we were treated to the first look trailer and a brand new poster.
Mackie’s Falcon and Stan’s Winter Soldier will be joined by the return of Daniel Brühl’s Baron Helmut Zemo, Emily VanCamp’s Sharon Carter and Georges St-Pierre as Georges Batroc aka Batroc the Leaper. Wyatt Russell will appear as John Walker, the government’s replacement for Captain America, and Erin Kellyman, as seen in the trailer, will be part of a group known as the Flag-Smashers. Other cast members include Adepero Oduye, Desmond Chiam, Miki Ishikawa, Noah Mills, Carl Lumbly and Danny Ramirez, all in currently undisclosed roles.
Malcolm Spellman is the head writer for the series with Kari Skogland at the helm.
Black Widow (May 7, 2021)
There was no real update on Black Widow but we do know that, despite HBO Max’s plans to release motion pictures in the cinema and the streaming platform on the same day, Disney have no plans to follow suit. Despite all of us aching to finally see Natasha Romanoff’s first (and last) solo film, it will not be debuting on Disney+ before or on the same day as its theatrical release. Here’s hoping we don’t get any more delays on this blockbuster!
Black Widow will delve into the past of the lethal Avenger with the official description reading: “Following the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), Natasha Romanoff finds herself alone and forced to confront a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Romanoff must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
Scarlett Johanssen returns as Natasha and is joined by William Hurt reprising his role of Thaddeus Ross. Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, O-T Fagbele and Ray Winstone debut in the film as Yelena Belova, Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, Melina Vostokoff, Rick Mason and Dreykov respectively. Taskmaster will also debut in this film but we don’t know who is playing the mercenary as of yet. With Cate Shortland at the helm, Eric Pearson wrote the script based on a story by Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson.
The first trailer for the God of Mischief’s solo Disney+ series also debuted on Disney Investor’s Day giving us our first look at what will clearly be a rollercoaster ride of a show where you never know what’s around the next corner. It gives us a bit more of an idea what the series will entail and revealed some surprises such as adapting Vote Loki from the comics to some degree.
The trailer confirms that the series will be following what happened to Loki after the timeline was disrupted in the 2012 time heist of Avengers: Endgame. So far the trailer has shown shows us that Owen Wilson and Gugu Mbatha-Raw will be members of the Time Variance Authority with speculation pointing to Wilson portraying Mobius M. Mobius. Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku, Richard E. Grant, Sasha Lane and Cailey Fleming are also confirmed to be playing undisclosed roles. Rumours suggest that Di Martino will be playing Lady Loki and Richard E. Grant will also be playing a version of Loki. However, neither of these rumours have been confirmed and both actors are absent from the trailer.
Loki will be released in May 2021 with Michael Waldron as head writer and Kate Herron directing.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be released in cinemas on July 9, 2021. The film is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from a screenplay by David Callahan. Although we didn’t get to see anything from the film, the main cast list was officially announced along with their roles.
We already knew that Simu Liu would be playing Shang-Chi himself with Tony Leung as the Mandarin. We did learn that the Mandarin is getting an alter ego in the movie and will be known as Wenwu. The other main cast members are Awkwafina as Katy, Meng’er Zhang as Xialing, Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, Ronny Chieng as Jon Jon, Fala Chen as Jiang Li and Florian Munteanu as Razor Fist. Other than Razor Fist, none of these characters appear to be from the comics. Unless of course, their names have been changed or alter egos have not yet been revealed.
The final trailer we were treated to at Disney Investor’s Day was for the upcoming animated series What If…? with Jeffrey Wright as “The Watcher” as he observes various different “What if?” scenarios such as What if Peggy Carter was given the Super Soldier Serum instead of Steve Rogers? What if T’Challa was taken by Yondu instead of Peter Quill? and so on.
The animated show boasts an impressive voice cast with actors from the live-action movies returning to voice their respective characters, including the late Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Star-Lord, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Hayley Atwell as Captain Peggy Carter, Josh Brolin as Thanos and many, many more.
A.C. Bradley serves as head writer with Bryan Andrews directing and Stephan Franck as head animator for the series. What If…? is said to be released in the Summer of 2021.
There was a very brief teaser/glimpse of the title animation for Hawkeye including our first official look at Hailee Steinfeld as the titular hero’s protégé Kate Bishop. Kevin Feige also officially confirmed the recent casting announcements.
Joining the returning Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton and Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop are Florence Pugh, reprising her role of Yelena Belova from May’s Black Widow, Fra Fee as Kazi, Vera Farmiga as Eleanor Bishop and Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez.
Jonathan Igla is on board as head writer with Rhys Thomas and Bert & Bertie as directors. The series is slated to release sometime in late 2021.
Another series coming in late 2021 is Ms. Marvel and during Investors Day, Feige revealed an official sizzle including snippets of footage from the currently filming series.
Not a great deal was revealed about the series which stars Iman Vellani in the titular role as Kamala Khan. Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Laith Naki, Azher Usman, Travina Springer and Nimra Bucha will all appear alongside Vellani but details of their roles are still under wraps.
Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Meera Menon will direct whilst Bisha K. Ali heads the writing team.
Eternals (November 5, 2021)
There were no real updates regarding The Eternals. Which is a shame considering it was originally supposed to be the next release following Black Widow before “the current situation” caused a wave of release dates being shuffled around left, right and centre.
Chloé Zhao directs the movie with an impressive cast including Angelina Jolie as Thena, 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, Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, Gemma Chan as Sersi and Barry Keoghan as Druig.
To learn more about the characters check out our breakdown here: Who are the Eternals?
Spider-Man 3 (December 17, 2021)
I think the biggest (or only?) disappointment about Marvel’s announcements at the Investor’s Day was the fact that they didn’t address Jon Watts’ sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home. The only mention of the threequel was that it will tie into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness which makes sense considering the Sorcerer Supreme is set to feature in the wall-crawler’s adventure. This seemingly confirms those long-standing rumours of the live-action Spider-Verse but you can’t help but wish we got something a little more concrete or at the very least a title!
There have been countless rumours and supposed casting confirmations that neither Sony nor Marvel Studios have confirmed so some kind of clarification of what is official and what is strictly made up would have quite possibly broken the internet.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022)
There wasn’t a huge update on Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness but it was once again confirmed that it would tie directly into WandaVision and Jon Watts’ third Spider-Man. Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor are all confirmed to reprise their roles as Doctor Strange, Wanda Maximoff, Wong, Christine Palmer and Karl Mordo with an additional cast member in Xochitl Gomez whose role was revealed to be America Chavez.
Sam Raimi is in the director’s chair, taking over from Scott Derrickson who helmed the first movie. Jade Bartlett and Michael Waldron have written the script and the film began shooting in November 2020.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Thor: Love and Thunder is Taika Waititi’s second Thor film and the first solo character to get a fourth film in the entire MCU. Again, not a great deal was revealed about this one which is understandable as it is almost a year and a half away (providing there are no more delays). It is slated to begin filming in January 2021.
Two new casting additions, alongside Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Taika Watiti as Korg and Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, were announced – one confirming that Christian Bale’s villainous role will indeed be Gorr the God Butcher and the second that Jaimie Alexander will make her long-awaited return as Lady Sif.
Black Panther II (July 8, 2022)
Following the tragic news that we got earlier last year that Chadwick Boseman had lost to his battle with cancer, eyes have been on Marvel Studios to make the unenviable decision of how to continue the Black Panther franchise without their lead actor.
The options were to recast and have someone else step into the role of T’Challa or find a way to continue the story without T’Challa, which in the comics others had taken up the mantle of the Black Panther, including Shuri (portrayed by Letitia Wright in the MCU). Well, on Investor’s Day, Feige confirmed that they wouldn’t be recasting the role but would be returning to the world of Wakanda.
Ryan Coogler is returning to direct the sequel and is working on the script to rework it to accommodate the loss.
Captain Marvel 2 (October 7, 2022)
The sequel to the 2019 movie Captain Marvel sees Nia DaCosta in the director chair. Currently, no writers are attached to the project. However, we do have a release date and three confirmed cast members. For now it is slated for October 7, 2022, and will star Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, Teyonah Parris reprising her role as Monica Rambeau from WandaVision and finally Iman Vellani returning as Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Ant-Man 3 was confirmed with an official title and two new cast members. Joining Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne/Wasp, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym and Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne and Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang, replacing Emma Fuhrmann and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror
Guardians of the Galaxy
Three Guardians of the Galaxy projects were touched upon. Nothing was really said about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 other than that it’s aiming for a 2023 release. What was said is that James Gunn will write and direct a Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special alongside the third instalment of the franchise. No word yet on the cast, setting or anything else other than that it will be released during the holiday period of 2022 and will air exclusively on Disney+.
I Am Groot will be a series of shorts following Baby Groot as he gets into all kinds of shenanigans. There is no word on whether this series will be animated or live-action, who or what else will be appearing, an expected release date or whether Vin Diesel will be voicing Groot in the series or not.
Tatiana Maslany was officially announced as portraying Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk after previously denying being cast in the role (presumably having been sworn to secrecy in an NDA). But it was further revealed that she will be joined by in universe cousin Mark Ruffalo aka Bruce Banner/Hulk AND Tim Roth returning as Emil Blonsky/Abomination from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.
Feige was very brief with the mention of Moon Knight other than saying that it is in development there were no other details. Earlier this year it leaked that Oscar Isaac had been cast as the titular vigilante but the lack of confirmation perhaps suggests that the deal has not been finalised just yet on that front.
Three new Disney+ series were also announced. The first being Secret Invasion which is the Nick Fury Disney+ series that was rumoured to be in the works earlier this year. The show will feature the return of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, reteamed with Ben Mendelsohn’s Skrull Talos.
It was also announced that Ironheart would be getting her own Disney+ series. Ironheart aka Riri Williams is fairly new to Marvel Comics, debuting in 2016. Riri designed the most high-tech armour since Iron Man’s and seeing as the role of genius armour designer is currently vacant the MCU have decided to fill the void. Dominique Thorne has been cast in the role.
The last new Disney+ series that was announced was a live-action adaptation of the classic story “Armor Wars”. Tony Stark’s worst nightmare comes true when people all around the world begin to replicate his armour successfully. Of course, Tony Stark is gone so that leaves War Machine to clean up the mess with Don Cheadle reprising the role.
Blade and Fantastic Four
Nothing new was announced regarding Blade but it was once again confirmed that Mahershala Ali will be portraying the daywalker and that news would be coming “soon”.
The final reveal of the Marvel segment was confirmation that Fantastic Four is indeed coming and will be direct by Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home director Jon Watts.
Marvel Studios Legends
A new series was announced after Disney Investors’ Day. It doesn’t seem like Marvel Studios Legends will be new content but instead will recap character journeys through the MCU. Almost like a refresher before seeing them in a new project. Case in point with the first two episodes that will focus on Wanda Maximoff and Vision and debut on January 8, 2021 – one week before WandaVision airs.