Disney’s 2020 investors day was a 4-hour marathon of announcements, sizzle reels, and some big surprises. Our own Robbert de Koeijer was there virtually. He’s broken down the big takeaways into this four part series.
While 2020 has become the first year without a Marvel Studios release since 2009, the Disney subsidiary will be back with a vengeance in the upcoming years! Lots and lots of theatrical movies and Disney+ series are coming!
- Disney+ original series: WandaVision will be kicking off the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4 on Disney+ with the first Marvel Studios TV series! (Previous MCU set TV series, like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., were made by the now defunct Marvel TV.) Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, we are reunited with Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and, somehow, Vision. While at first everything seems like the couple has found a nuclear family utopia, things quickly become curiouser and curiouser.
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprise their roles of Wanda and Vision, respectively. Also in the series are Teyonah Parris (Candy Man (2020)) as the adult Monica Rambeau, who we first saw in Captain Marvel as a kid played by Akira Akbar. Kat Dennings returns as Thor character Darcy Lewis. Randall Park returns as Ant-Man and The Wasp character Jimmy Woo. Finally, Kathryn Hahn (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) will play the mysterious “Agnes”. The first of six episodes will be released on January 15.
- Theatrical movie: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness received a new release date of March 25, 2022. Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead) directs Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Stephen Strange in this highly anticipated sequel, which is now shooting in London. WandaVision will tie into this movie, with Elizabeth Olsen reprising her role as the Scarlet Witch. Marvel boss Kevin Feige also told us that interdimensional hero America Chavez/Ms. America will be introduced to the MCU and is played by Xochitl Gomez. Feige also confirmed that the movie will have a connection to the currently untitled third Spider-Man MCU movie, which has the current release date of December 17, 2021. As “Spider-Man 3” is legally a Sony movie, it is not Marvel Studios who will determine if this date will change or not. Disney+ series Loki is also rumoured to be connected to this second Doctor Strange movie.
- Disney+ original series: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be the second Disney+ series from Marvel Studios. Picking up from Avengers: Endgame, we will follow Sam Wilson/Falcon and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier as they travel the globe to fight the anarchist group known as the Flag-Smashers. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan will reprise their MCU roles of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, respectively. Also returning from Captain America: Civil War is Daniel Brühl as villain Helmut Zemo and Emily VanCamp as former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter. The series consisting of six episodes will start releasing on Disney+ on March 19.
- Theatrical movie: Black Widow was supposed to kick off the MCU on the theatrical side of Phase 4 in 2020. As you know current affairs have prevented that. Director Cate Shortland’s movie starring Scarlet Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow was long rumoured to skip theatrical release and go to Disney+. However, Marvel boss Kevin Feige reaffirmed that Black Widow is slated for a May 7, 2021 release. A year after the movie was supposed to have premiered.
- Disney+ original series: Loki catches up with the “Loki that got away” after Avengers: Endgame, again played by Tom Hiddleston. Presenting us with a trailer as mysterious as WandaVision’s we only know that Loki will be part of a crime thriller and likely working for the Time Variance Authority’s Mobius M. Mobius, played by Owen Wilson (Night at the Museum). The six part series, that may tie into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, starts in May.
- Disney+ original series: What If…? is Marvel Studios first animated series. Uatu The Watcher, voiced by Jeffrey Wright (Westworld), will take us through the Marvel Multiverse to show us what could have been in the MCU if events had unfolded otherwise. Most if not all actors in the MCU will provide their voices for the ten-part series, expected for Summer 2021.
- Theatrical movie: Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings will be a martial arts movie directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy) and will serve as a kind of sequel to the Iron Man movies and its One-Shot: All Hail the King. Simu Liu plays Shang-Chi, a martial artist who ends up in the Ten Rings origination of the wearer of those titular ten mysterious rings the Mandarin, as played by Tony Leung (The Grandmaster), and has to confront his past. The movie will premiere on June 9, 2021.
- Disney+ original series: Ms. Marvel will be a companion series to the Captain Marvel movies, starring newcomer Iman Vellani as Pakistani-American Kamala Khan. Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel fan Kamala lives a normal teenage life in Jersey City, New Jersey, but one day she gains polymorphic powers.
In the comics Kamala gains her powers from Terrigen Mist, the gas that gives the Inhumans their powers. After the failure of Marvel TV and IMAX’s Inhumans TV series, and before that Marvel Studios cancelling their Inhumans movie, it will be interesting how Ms. Marvel’s Inhuman origin will be introduced in the MCU movies. Inhumans have been running around in the MCU for the longest time on TV. Not just in Inhumans, but primarily in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ms. Marvel is expected in the Autumn of 2021.
- Theatrical movie: Director Nia DaCosta’s Captain Marvel 2 got an update with the news that Ms. Marvel’s Iman Vellani will reprise her character in the movie as a co-star to Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. We already knew that Teyonah Parris would reprise her adult Monica Rambeau from WandaVision. Captain Marvel 2 is slated for November 11, 2022.
- Theatrical movie: Eternals, just like Black Widow, will be released a year later than planned on November 5, 2021. The Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) directed movie about an immortal alien race created by the Celestials, who have been living on Earth for thousands of years in secret, has an impressive ensemble cast. This cast includes Angelina Jolie (Maleficent) as Thena, Richard Madden (Cinderella) as Ikris, Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) as Kingo, Salma Hayek (The Hitman’s Bodyguard) as Ajak and Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) among others. The movie could be connected to Thanos, as he was born to Eternals in the comics.
- Disney+ original series: Hawkeye will see the return of Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye in a series heavily influenced by Matt Fraction’s comic book run of the character. Details are vague, but we know that Hailee Steinfeld (Bumblebee) will play Kate Bishop/Hawkeye in the series. We also know that Alaqua Cox will play the Native American born deaf hero Maya Lopez/Echo, who in the comics shared the moniker of Ronin with Clint. It’s also said a character from Black Widow could turn up. Hawkeye is coming to Disney+ in the Autumn of 2021.
- Disney+ original series: She-Hulk will be a comedic drama starring Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) as lawyer Jennifer Walters, the cousin of Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk. In the comics Jennifer becomes the She-Hulk thanks to an emergency blood transfusion from Bruce. Mark Ruffalo will reprise his role as Bruce Banner in the series. Tim Roth meanwhile will return as The Incredible Hulk’s Emil Blonsky/ Abomination. The series will be with us early 2022.
- Disney+ original series: Moon Knight was mentioned with no extra news. Not even Oscar Isaac (X-Men: Apocalypse) was confirmed in the role of Marc Spector/Moon Knight, a mercenary with multiple personalities who was brought back from the dead by Egyptian god of the moon Khonshu. The series is expected early 2022.
- Disney+ original series: Secret Invasion is the example of Marvel Studios’ big plans for their Disney+ series. In the comics Secret Invasion was a huge event during which the alien Skrulls replace multiple superheroes to take over Earth. Not much is known about the MCU adaption of the story, but Samuel L. Jackson will reprise his role of Nick Fury, as well as Ben Mendelsohn as the Skrull Talos from Captain Marvel. The invasion will start, or finish, in 2022.
- Disney+ original series: Ironheart will be an Iron Man follow-up series starring Dominique Throne as Riri Williams, in the comics a M.I.T. student who builds her own Iron Man suit. The series will be on Disney+ in 2022.
- Disney+ original series: Armor Wars will see Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine. We don’t know much of the series, but in the comics Tony Stark has to fight multiple people who have stolen his Iron Man technology and made their own suits. Surely this series will connect to Ironheart, and it will also come to Disney+ in 2022.
- Theatrical movie: Director Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder got a casting update. Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) joins as Gorr the God Butcher, which is also this character’s resume. Already cast for the movie are a returning Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tessa Thompson as the still unnamed Valkyrie (seriously, what is her name?), and Natalie Portman as Dr. Jane Foster. Expect Love and Thunder on May 6, 2022.
- Disney+ special: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will see us catch up with the space heroes for a festive special. Presumably after their part in Thor: Love and Thunder. The Disney+ special will be written and directed by James Gunn, and will be shot during the production of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The release date is holiday season 2022.
- Theatrical movie: Writer/director James Gunn is back at Marvel Studios for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Pom Klementieff and maybe Zoe Saldana will reprise their roles as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Drax, Groot, Rocket, Mantis and Gamora in the 2023 sci-fi movie, respectively. That and it’s set after Thor: Love and Thunder and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is all we currently know.
- Disney+ original series: What we also know is that a series of short films starring Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot will be coming to Disney+. The series is called I am Groot, and will feature the Baby Groot variant of the character.
- Theatrical movie: Blade, the movie about vampire hunter and half-vampire himself Eric Brooks/Blade, is said to have new announcements coming soon. The movie stars Mahershala Ali, who previously played Cornell Stokes/Cottonmouth in Luke Cage. No release date is currently set, but maybe we can expect more news on that soon.
- Theatrical movie: Peyton Reed returns to direct his third MCU movie, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer are all expected to reprise their roles of Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Hope van Dyne/Wasp, Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne, respectively. The title hints at more Quantum Realm shenanigans and we also know that none other than time traveling villain Kang the Conqueror will be played by Jonathan Majors (Lovecraft Country). Kathryn Newton (Freaky) will replace Avengers: Endgame’s Emma Fuhrmann as Cassie Lang. The movie is expected for 2023.
Just wanted to come on here & say that I see all your kind messages❤️ Thank you for all your support. It has meant the world to me. I was as sad as you all were to hear the news Thursday. I can only hope that this means there is something else for me in the future of the MCU. /1
— Emma Fuhrmann (@EmmaFuhrmann) December 15, 2020
- Theatrical movie: Since the death of Chadwick Boseman we have wondered how Marvel Studios would continue with Black Panther II. Out of respect of Boseman’s achievement in the role Marvel Studios has decided to not recast the role of King of Wakanda T’challa/Black Panter. Returning director Ryan Coogler will now have the daunting task to present us Black Panther II in a most likely much different from than originally planned on July 8, 2022.
- Theatrical movie: Now that Marvel’s first family has returned home after Disney’s 21st Century Fox acquisition, Marvel Studios is hard at work to finally give us a worthy movie starring the characters Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Johnny Storm/The Human Torch and Ben Grimm/The Thing. Especially now that the super science explorers can be brought to their full potential in a universe with many other heroes. Fantastic Four will be directed by the director of the MCU Spider-Man movies Jon Watts, with an expected arrival date in 2023.
Disney+ original series: Days after the Disney Investors Day 2020, on December 15th, Marvel Studios shared news on yet another Disney+ series. Legends will revisit the iconic moments of MCU characters. This sounds to us like it will be a recap show. That isn’t actually a bad idea at this point in the MCU, as it becomes quite daunting to jump in at this point.
Marvel Studios: Legends is a new series that revisits some of the most iconic moments from the MCU, one character at a time. Kicking off with Wanda Maximoff and Vision, the first two episodes start streaming Jan. 8, only on #DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/iTN2kNdhFv
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) December 15, 2020