WRITETHRU after 5:27 PM post: If you’re a major motion picture studio that skipped Comic-Con this year, that might have been a good idea.
After skipping San Diego Comic-Con last year, and in the wake of wrapping up what is billed as “The Infinity Saga” across 23 movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe returned in raging force to Hall H with the most star-studded presentation ever, dwarfing the studio’s 2010 appearance when they first announced the cast of Joss Whedon’s Avengers movie. Tonight, Marvel took the entire air out of Comic-Con. Hey, theatrical exhibition, rest easy, because Marvel has you covered. For anyone wondering where the heck Marvel could go post Avengers: Endgame (which Marvel Boss Kevin Feige announced at the top of the panel is finally beating Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all-time), the studio laid out their plans over the next two years for 2020 and 2021 including what’s going on with Disney+.
It’s a slate that is the envy of any studio, and which will continue to propel Disney to the top ranks of the global box office for years to come. Near Disney rivals such as Warners Bros. and Universal have already admitted defeat and expect the Burbank, CA based studio to rule the global box office for years to come. This year alone through Sunday they’ve accumulated north of $2.4 billion at the domestic box office. Even if Disney did half of that right now, they’d still tower over the No. 2 ranked studio, Warner Bros. by two-fold.
But what of Fox, and the Marvel universe they bring to Disney? Much of what Feige paraded out has long been buzz, but after dazzling us, and finally revealing what is next to come (up until tonight, we still didn’t know what Marvel movie was opening next summer on May 1, but we could guess — Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow), the Marvel boss left us with a few cliffhangers. In the final minutes of the panel, Feige revealed that a Fantastic Four reboot was in development (which drew great applause), as well as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2 as well as The Mutants. And adding a cherry on top of Marvel’s sundae, Feige trotted out two time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali who will play the title role in a reboot of Blade. Will it be rated R like the original? Who knows, but there also wasn’t mention of Deadpool 3.
Star-wise who wasn’t there? Moments before the event began, Deadline caught wind of who was handing out in the green room: Joe and Anthony Russo, Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Taika Waititi, Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, and Jeremy Renner.
A rundown of what was presented today:
—Black Widow is the next MCU film opening on May 1, 2020. The pic’s cast including David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, Johansson, Florence Pugh were in tow. The trailer is kickass, taking us to Budapest, Hungary. Johansson’s Black Widow breaks into an antique European apartment and fights knife and fist with Pugh’s character who we learn is Ilena, Black Widow’s sister. During the last part of the trailer, Black Widow faces off with a hooded skull armored figure.
–What’s opening Nov. 6, 2020? Why that would be the Angelina Jolie led Gods vs Gods movie Eternals. Feige brought out the whole cast. Jolie, we hear, snuck into the Green Room at the last minute. Richard Madden plays Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani is Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh and Jolie is Thena.
—Feb. 12, 2021 — Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will star Awkwafina and Tony Leung as the Mandarin. Director Destin Daniel Cretton spoke about growing up in Hawaii. “It’s great that Kevin is making a movie that reflects the beautiful colors in this room,” said the director. Simu Liu landed the title role of Shang-Chi days ago: He was cast on Tuesday, and he screen-tested on Sunday. “I feel like I was the social experiment (by Marvel), an ordinary guy living in Toronto.” The actor said it was his first time at Comic-Con. The Ten Rings organization was originally introduced in Iron Man.
—Feige didn’t save the Marvel streaming series for D23, but talked them up in bulk, starting with The Falcon and the Winter Solider which is debuting on Disney+ in fall 2020. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprise their roles as The Falcon and the Winter Solider in a story that takes place post-Endgame. Daniel Bruhl is returning as villain Zemo. The actor’s Zemo face-timed and announced he was coming back for the small screen.
—Wanda Vision is happening on Disney+ in Spring 2021 with Olsen and Bettany. “It’s going to get weird and we’re going to go deep and we’re going to find out what Wanda is like as Scarlet Witch,” said Olsen. Series also takes place after Endgame. Feige says there’s other characters in MCU starring in the series. Who? A little girl who met in 1995 in Captain Marvel, and that’s Monica Rambeau who will be portrayed as an adult by Teyonah Parris in the Disney+ program.
—Loki is also happening in Spring 2021 in Disney+. Didn’t Loki die in Infinity War? This series tells us what happens to Loki after we see him in Endgame, after he took the Space Stone. Hiddleston took the stage as Hall H cheered repeatedly “Loki! Loki!” “This whole thing wouldn’t be happening without you,” the actor beamed to Hall H. “There’s a lot of psychological evolution that has to happen,” teased Hiddleston while staying mum. “it’s new territory, a new world and I can’t wait to get started.”
–Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness is opening May 7, 2021. Director Scott Derrickson said that “we’re making the first scary MCU film”. He didn’t want to make a regular sequel, but a movie that would go after the goth of it all. “It’s still PG-13,” said Feige. Benedict Cumberbatch took the stage and said “this twist in horror will have people gripped…we’ll be going back to trying to destroy him a bit.” Wanda Vision series events will tie into Doctor Strange 2. Olsen returned to the stage because Scarlet Witch, well, she’s in the movie too.
–Feige announced a Marvel animated series for Disney+ What If...The series features stories that present alternate realities in the Marvel universe with many of the MCU thespians reprising their roles as voice talent. It was announced that Jeffrey Wright would play The Watcher in the series debuting Summer 2021. “The Watcher is non-earthly being who observes all things. He’s watching over the multi-verse and occasionally may or may not intervene with the doings of earthlings,” said Wright.
–Jeremy Renner entered Hall H, Robert Dowey Jr. style strolling in from the back of the auditorium. He talked up his Hawkeye Disney+ series. Renner said that “The fiber of what Hawkeye is, he’s a superhero without superpowers…and that means everyone is a superhero.” Renner just saw the title teaser that was shown in Hall H today a few days ago. He couldn’t say much about the series though female archer Kate Bishop will be prominent on the series. Fall 2021 date.
-The third film being released on Nov. 5, 2021 is Thor Love and Thunder. Natalie Portman aka Jane Foster from the first two Thor films will play female Thor. Taika Waititi returns to direct with Tessa Thompson reprising her role as Valkyrie, and of course Hemsworth as Thor. More details here.