Why is there no Hall H panel for Marvel Studios at this year's San Diego Comic-Con? SDCC 2018 will be a strangely muted affair, with two major studios - Marvel and Lucasfilm - not putting on their usual Hall H presentations. It's true that both will be well-represented on the floor, and Marvel is planning a 10-year anniversary panel that will release previously unseen concept art for the last decade's worth of films, but these pale in comparison to the usual Hall H panels.
Take last year's panel, for example. Marvel revealed that Michelle Pfeiffer was joining the cast of Ant-Man & the Wasp, dropped concept art for Captain Marvel and confirmed the Kree-Skrull War plot, and screened footage for Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War. Marvel was undeniably the "winner" of SDCC 2017, wowing audiences and generating intense hype for their films. Given this is the 10-year anniversary of the MCU, Marvel's decision to sit this one out seems rather odd.
Related: Screen Rant’s Comic-Con 2018 Guide
So just why has Marvel Studios made this unexpected decision? Why is there no Hall H panel at SDCC 2018? As surprising and disappointing as this may be, it actually makes perfect sense.
Captain Marvel Is Too Far Away
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is essentially going on "pause" for six months or so. Captain Marvel isn't due until March 9, 2019, the longest wait for the next film since 2016's Captain America: Civil War released 10 months after the first Ant-Man. This pause is all the more pronounced given that, since May 2017, the studio has actually released six movies.
Due to the length of this wait, Marvel hasn't even begun to market their next film yet; according to Kevin Feige, the first trailer for Captain Marvel is "still a few months out." In Feige's opinion, "you already know as much as you need to. We've got Skrulls, we've got the Kree, it takes place in the 90s, you have Sam Jackson with two eyes and Carol Danvers, a unique telling of Carol Danvers origin story." His vague comments actually imply that Marvel hasn't even decided on its marketing strategy for the film just yet.
Marvel Don't Want to Spoil Avengers 4
Meanwhile, Marvel is also concerned about unwittingly spoiling Avengers 4. Avengers: Infinity War killed off half the universe, including some headline heroes, and since then Marvel has been playing coy about whether they'll return. Of course, many characters are already confirmed for sequels thus making it pretty hard to believe, but it appears that the studio is sticking to a veil of secrecy.
As such, every announcement Marvel make risks spoiling Avengers 4, something Comic-Con invites. "[We’re] not going to announce any post-Avengers 4 movies until hopefully after Avengers 4," Feige told Collider, "which is another reason we’re not going to Comic-Con." As a result, Marvel's current slate is its smallest since 2014, when the studio announced its entire Phase 3 slate to great fanfare.
Even after Avengers 4, Marvel is unlikely to make another four-or-five-year announcement. Feige has recently stated he believes this idea backfired, because it led viewers to become focused on the ultimate destination - this year's Avengers: Infinity War - and thus drew attention away from more immediate films, like Avengers: Age of Ultron.
In any case, it's now easy to understand why Marvel Studios has chosen to skip SDCC 2018. It's too soon to begin the push for Captain Marvel, and the studio doesn't actually want to draw attention to any of its future films lest it unwittingly spoils Avengers 4.
This #SDCC post is brought to you in partnership with Regal Cinemas.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019