Marvel Studios Reveal Marvel Cinematic Universe Panel at the San Diego Comic Con
The wait is over: after a groundbreaking run of 23 hit films, Marvel Studios have just begun their massive panel detailing what the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to look like across film and television.
Fans are hoping for a number of surprises at today’s presentation, such as announcements to sequels to hit Marvel franchises like Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, and Thor, and formal announcements new franchises like Black Widow, The Eternals, and Shang-Chi. Some are hopeful that Marvel may hint at their early plans to integrate the Marvel properties formerly licensed to Fox, and while they’ve said that X-Men won’t be on the table anytime soon, others hope that some kind of continuation of the Deadpool series may be on the cards, or a reboot of the Fantastic Four IP that finally embraces the full potential of the science-fantasy nature of those characters.
Meanwhile, there may be announcements on the television side of things with the first official Marvel Studios-produced series for Disney+; projects that are in development for the service include four live-action shows continuing the stories of the films (including Falcon and Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, and Hawkeye) and one animated show (What If?, a non-canonical series that explores alternate scenarios based on the stories told in the movies). Prior to this point, there were Marvel shows developed by Marvel Entertainment, but they did not have a significant impact on the stories told in the films; conversely, the shows will serve as interludes between new movie installments that will feature the headlining characters, while characters that will appear in future movies may first appear in these shows.
But beyond celebrating the future with the presentation, the event will also serve as a victory lap over the unparalleled level of success that they’ve had over 11 years of movies. It is expected that the original six Avengers will meet up on the stage for what may be the last time as a way of passing the torch to a new set of actors. It will be a while before the next Avengers movie arrives, barring a few possible Avengers spin-offs that are rumored. It’s truly the end of an era as it looks likely that Avengers: Endgame will surpass Avatar as the highest-grossing movie of all time sometime in the next few weeks, and it’s worth celebrating.
We’ll be sure to provide live updates on Marvel’s panel, which is expected to run for 90 minutes, so stick around to hear the latest on the new announcements! There should be lots of things to talk about, so be sure to refresh the page every few minutes. Updates start below the break.
- 7:15: The panel is set to begin, but Marvel are currently encouraging guests to fill out all remaining seats, noting that they want everyone sitting down before they begin.
- 7:20: It’s revealed that there will be a slight delay before the proper beginning of the panel due to some minor technical difficulties.
- 7:25: The panel officially begins. Things start off with a retrospective of every single film in the MCU’s history, dubbed “The Infinity Saga”.
- 7:28: Kevin Feige walks on stage. He thanks the fans and several Disney executives and the staff behind the films, introducing several of his co-workers on the stage and thanking them.
- 7:31: Kevin Feige announces that Avengers: Endgame will become the biggest film of all time in a matter of days. He thanks James Cameron for holding the record previously with Avatar.
- 7:32: Kevin Feige confirms that the next few projects will be called “Phase 4”. There are three release dates for 2020 and seven for 2021.
- 7:33: The first title shown: The Eternals, set for release on November 6, 2020. Said to be set over 35,000 years, the movie is said to be heavily influenced by the works of Jack Kirby. Director Chloe Zhao walks on stage.
- 7:37: The cast of the movie has been revealed: Richard Madden. Kumail Nanjiani. Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, and Angelina Jolie are all part of the movie.
- 7:44: Focus changes to the first Disney+ series: Falcon and the Winter Soldier, set to release in Autumn 2020. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan both return.
- 7:49: A short teaser is revealed, showing Helmut Zemo wearing a purple hood.
- 7:50: The next film is revealed for February 12, 2021: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, starring Simu Liu as the titular character. The title itself confirms that the real Mandarin will be the antagonist of the film, portrayed by Tony Leung. Awkwafina is also part of the cast.
- 7:56: The next show confirmed is WandaVision for Spring 2021. Set after Avengers: Endgame, it will follow Scarlet Witch and (somehow) the Vision. An older version of Monica Rambeau, a minor character from Captain Marvel, will be introduced through the series, portrayed by Teyonah Parris.
- 8:00: Marvel reveals that Loki will also arrive in Spring 2021, with Tom Hiddleston returning to tell his story over several moments in human history. And yes, that one scene of Loki in Avengers: Endgame will factor into the story that they’re telling.
- 8:07: May 7, 2021 will be home to another long-awaited sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The film is more horror-influenced than the previous film. Scarlet Witch will appear in this movie, with her story in this film directly related to the aftermath of WandaVision.
- 8:14: The Summer 2021 series will be the animated What If…?, which while non-canon to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will play off of scenes from previous MCU movies. Jeffrey Wright will be voicing the Watcher (although it’s not clear if he will be Uatu or some other character). Natalie Portman is also returning.
- 8:17: The next Disney+ series to arrive will be Hawkeye. The series will involve Clint Barton passing the mantle of Hawkeye over to Kate Bishop.
- 8:22: Thor: Love and Thunder will take the November 5, 2021 release date. It will see the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster as she assumes the title of Thor. The original Thor Odinson, Chris Hemsworth, will be back as well, alongside Tesssa Thompson as Valkyrie.
- 8:28: Finally, Black Widow has been confirmed for the May 1, 2020 release, revealing her checkered past. David Harbor is portraying Alexi (possibly Alexi Shostakov, the Red Guardian). Florence Pugh has officially been confirmed to be playing Yelena Belova.
- 8:39: A trailer for Black Widow was shown to audience members, revealing that Natasha returns to Budapest after the events of Captain America: Civil War. She gets into a fight with Yelena before they go out for a drink together. Taskmaster is the villain, and he fights using a shield.
- 8:43: As a surprise announcement, a Fantastic Four film has been confirmed to be in development. Simultaneously announced is a new Blade film starring Mahershala Ali, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and sequels to Black Panther, and Captain Marvel.
Marvel Studios are currently developing a number of properties for film and television.
Grant Davis is a freelance writer who has covered entertainment news for more than four years. His articles have frequently appeared in Star Wars News Net as well as as other entertainment-related websites. As someone who grew up on Star Wars and comic book movies, he’s completely thrilled with the current era of genre entertainment.