Marvel’s returned to Hall H after a short hiatus and it’s brought an incredible amount of news to celebrate its return. From the cast of The Eternals film, to details on Black Widow’s last (?) hurrah, to some idea of what actual movies will go with all those release dates Disney and Marvel already announced through 2022.
Phase 3 of Marvel’s cinematic universe ended earlier this month with Spider-Man: Far From Home. Marvel has announced a whole lot of films that would theoretically appear in Phase 4, with many of them already in pre-production and at least one currently shooting, but we haven’t known which films would be released on which dates until now.
Black Widow is currently shooting so it makes sense it would be taking the first open slot on Disney and Marvel’s big Phase 4 calendar, but what about the rest?
May 1, 2020 - Black Widow
November 5, 2020 - The Eternals
February 12, 2021 - Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
May 7, 2021 - Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
November 5, 2021 - Thor: Love and Thunder
The Black Widow film is currently in production and thus is the only one with real footage to share. It’s directed by Cate Shortland, written by Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson.
She’s joined in the new film by Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, Midsommar’s Florence Pugh, and Ray Winstone, and it will premiere May 1, 2020.
If you’re having trouble telling the Eternals apart from other lower-tier super teams from Marvel like the Inhumans it might be easier to think of them as counterparts to DC’s New Gods. Or you could read our handy explainer.
Created by Jack Kirby at Marvel after he left the New Gods behind at DC, they seem to share some of the same DNA, creatively speaking. The Eternals are immortal cosmic beings who often resemble characters from Greek mythology.
Chloé Zhao, who directed the American Indian western The Rider, is directing the film with Matthew and Ryan Firpo writing the script. Big casting rumours have surrounded the film for months, with Angelina Jolie rumoured to play Sersi (based on Circe).
Today Marvel announced the cast for the film, and Jolie isn’t playing Sersi. She’s playing Thena, based on the Greek goddess Athena.
She’s joined by Salma Hayek as Ajax, leader of the Eternals, Richard Madden as Ikaris (based on Icarus), Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo Sunen, Bryan Tyree Henry as Phastos (based on Hephaestus), Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh (also known as the Forgotten One in comics) and Lauren Ridloff as Makkari.
It starts shooting next month and will premiere November 5, 2020.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Born out of the Bronze Age of comics, when comic book creators looked to popular films for inspiration, Shang-Chi is dubbed “the master of kung fu” and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be the first Asian-led film from Marvel.
Destin Daniel Cretton (who previously worked with Captain Marvel’s Brie Larson on Short Term 12) will direct the film with David Callaham (who wrote the sequel to Zombieland and co-wrote Wonder Woman 1984) writing the script.
At the panel, the film was not only confirmed to be in development, but we actually got a cast and an idea of what it would be about. The story will follow Shang-Chi’s battle with the Mandarin — the real Mandarin in this case, not the straw man villain of Iron Man 3. Tony Leung will play the Mandarin, and Akwafina will have an as-yet-unannounced role.
Shang-Chi himself will be played by Canadian Simu Liu, best known as one of the stars of the Canadian comedy Kim’s Convenience. Liu was only cast this Tuesday after performing his screen test Sunday.
It will premiere February 12, 2021
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
The new film, set after Avengers: Endgame, will explore the multiverse first hinted at in Spider-Man: Far From Home and will be Marvel’s first attempt at something more akin to a horror film.
“We’re gonna make the first scary MCU film,” director Scott Derrickson told the Hall H crowd. But Strange won’t be terrified alone. The events of WandaVision will tie directly into the next Strange film and Elizabeth Olsen will appear as Scarlet Witch.
It will premiere May 7, 2021.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Taika Waititi might have only been announced to return for Thor 4 Tuesday but you’d be a fool if you didn’t think he was ready for Hall H. The director, along with Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, appeared on stage to talk about the new film.
Both Hemsworth and Thompson will return for Thor: Love and Thunder, with Thompson quipping that now that she’s King, she’ll need to find her queen.
Which may or may not have been her setting up the prettiest love triangle in recent memory, because Natalie Portman will also be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
And she will be playing THOR.
Thor: Love and Thunder will premiere on November 5, 2021.
Captain Marvel 2, The Fantastic Four, and Blade
In addition to the slate of films through 2020, Kevin Feige also reminded the crowd, “Black Panther 2 is coming. Guardians 3 is coming. Captain Marvel 2 is coming. The Fantastic Four is coming.” While the first two had already been announced, Feige’s proclamation served as confirmation of the latter two.
Then, just because all the news announced during the course of the hour-and-a-half panel wasn’t enough, Mahershala Ali appeared on stage to announce he’d been cast as Blade.
Blade was the very first big successful Marvel film, and while Wesley Snipe’s version of the character might not have been in the MCU, he’s a big reason for why it exists. It’s only fitting to see the character finally introduced into the larger fabric of the universe, and with films like Dr. Strange, and shows like WandaVision, dipping into the horror side of things, it sounds like the daywalker is coming in just in time.
In addition to announcing a whole lot of movies, Marvel also continued to tease its shows appearing on Disney+ in the coming year. More on that in this spinout blog:
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier appeared to talk about their excitement for the show and tease its villain, Baron Zemo.
It will premiere fall 2020.
Later Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany appeared to talk about WandaVision, which is intended to explore the Scarlett Witch’s headspace after losing her boyfriend and being dust for five years. Joining the cast is Teyonah Parris, known for her starring turn in Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, as Monica Rambeau.
Monica last appeared as a child in Captain Marvel, but in the comics, she’s also the hero Spectrum (who previously went by the name Captain Marvel).
It will premiere spring 2021.
Tom Hiddleston also appeared to briefly chat about the show Loki, which appears to be focused on the Loki who stole the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame.
It will premiere spring of 2021.
Jeffrey Wright narrated a brief sequence from Disney+ show What If, which also served as the announcement of his role as the Watcher, a cosmic being that oversees the multiverse and will perceive the different versions of familiar stories.
Wright won’t be all alone. A huge cast of characters will appear, with everyone from Hayley Atwell (the first actor confirmed for the series) to Natalie Portman reprising their Marvel roles.
It will premiere summer 2021.
Jeremy Renner showed off an animated teaser for Hawkeye, which will focus on him training another hero with no powers, Kate Bishop. We still don’t know who will play Bishop but we do know the show will appear on Disney+ in the fall of 2021.