While the future of the MCU on the big screen will remain unclear until Marvel Studios announces the Phase 4 release slate later this year, its future in streaming seems to be on pretty solid ground.
With Disney launching its own streaming service to rival Netflix and Amazon Prime, Disney+, and taking advantage of its shares in Hulu, the Mouse House will be giving Marvel Comics fans a ton of streaming projects that actually tie into the movies (unlike Netflix’s unfortunately short-lived Marvel universe) to binge-watch at their convenience. So, here are the 10 Most Exciting Upcoming MCU Streaming Projects.
Wanda Maximoff and the Vision have long been considered to be the most boring couple in the MCU, but this series could still be successful. For starters, the Vision is still dead and the Mind Stone has been buried in the past by Steve Rogers, so how he’ll even show up in the series is an intriguing mystery.
It’s been suggested that WandaVision could be a superhero-themed version of a ‘50s sitcom like I Love Lucy, which certainly sounds fascinating, and Jac Schaeffer – a brilliant new writer who has worked with Marvel on the scripts for Captain Marvel and the upcoming Black Widow prequel – is writing the pilot and serving as showrunner. So, there is hope for WandaVision after all.
9 Marvel’s Ghost Rider
While Disney’s flagship streaming service Disney+ will be used to release lighthearted series that tie directly into the MCU movies, the studio is also using its shares in Hulu to release series focusing on the darker Marvel characters. The most intriguing one is their series about Ghost Rider.
After Nicolas Cage’s PG-13 movies screwed up the awesome Ghost Rider character and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had to water him down for ABC with disappointing results, hopefully this series can go full-tilt Satanic with the character’s storylines and really ratchet up the insanity. It’s unlikely, coming from Disney, but it would be nice.
8 Marvel’s Helstrom
In one of Disney’s darkly themed shows heading to Hulu, brother and sister team Daimon and Ana Helstrom – the children of an infamous serial killer – decide to become vigilantes and hunt for the most despicable corners of humanity to dole out their own brand of justice.
Daimon’s superhero alter ego is Hellstorm, while Ana’s is Satana, suggesting a show with thinly veiled religious themes to make the superhero narrative dig a little deeper and feel more grounded in a harsh reality. Paul Zbyszewski, who worked as a writer and producer on Lost, has been hired as showrunner for the series.
7 Untitled Hawkeye series
When the Hawkeye series – which is yet to be given an official title – was first announced with Jeremy Renner confirmed to return as Clint Barton, Kevin Smith expressed disappointment with the prospect. He said, “Remember in the middle of Age of Ultron, they showed us a whole episode of The Hawkeye Show and nobody wanted to watch it?” But he’s got it all wrong – he’s thinking it’s a show about Barton’s adventures as Hawkeye.
It’ll actually be the story of Barton training Kate Bishop and passing on the mantle of Hawkeye to her. Then, she’ll be able to join the Young Avengers in the movies. It’s all a part of setting up the MCU’s bright and diverse future.
6 Marvel’s Hit-Monkey
This one won’t tie directly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it is a Disney-mounted streaming series adapted from a Marvel Comics character, so it’s close enough. Hit-Monkey is an anthropomorphic Japanese macaque who is trained to kill by the ghost of an American assassin to take out the trash in Tokyo’s criminal underworld (picture John Wick as a monkey).
Josh Gordon and Will Speck are working on the series, which will premiere on Hulu. They’re the directors behind Blades of Glory and Office Christmas Party, proving they have a suitably wacky sense of humor to tackle the Hit-Monkey character.
5 Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.
This is another series that is bypassing the MCU’s movie-verse and instead diving into Disney’s darker Hulu universe. From his name, M.O.D.O.K. might sound like a terrifying and formidable character. The acronym in his name stands for “Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing.”
However, what makes him a ridiculous and generally comedic character is the fact that he has a giant head with tiny arms and legs sticking out of it. He looks a little like a cybernetic Humpty Dumpty. The immensely talented standup comic Patton Oswalt will voice the character as well as co-writing the series, which is pretty exciting.
In 2011’s Thor, Loki proved to be such a popular villain among fans of the MCU that he returned as the primary villain in The Avengers and continued to make regular appearances in the franchise until this year’s Avengers: Endgame (despite “dying” twice during that time).
Not only is the thought of a Loki series exciting based on the chance to see Tom Hiddleston’s irresistibly charming Norse trickster god take center stage; it’ll also be interesting to see where the producers take the character after he disappeared into a new timeline with the Space Stone during the “Time Heist” in Endgame.
3 Marvel’s Howard the Duck
This one isn’t technically a part of the MCU, but since Howard the Duck is a character in the MCU and Disney is releasing the series with its other darker Marvel series on Hulu, we’ll count it. It’ll be an adult animated series written by Clerks director Kevin Smith.
The abysmal movie adaptation of the character in the ‘80s gave him a bad name, but in the ‘70s, he was a comics icon. He became such a staple of the countercultural movement that some fans even voted for him in the 1976 U.S. Presidential election. Hopefully, Smith’s show can restore his beloved status.
2 What If...?
This animated series is based on the curious Marvel Comics run of the same name. The comics ask questions like, “What If Spider-Man Had Joined the Fantastic Four?” or “What If Norman Osborn Won the Siege of Asgard?” to explore alternate versions of the characters and their storylines.
In the Disney+ show, alternate routes will be explored for crucial moments in the MCU. The episodes won’t be considered canon, but they’ll be an interesting storytelling experiment – with Disney teasing that actors from the movies could return to lend their voice in one-off appearances in the show when their characters are concerned.
1 The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
This one will almost definitely need a title change before its release, since Sam Wilson is now Captain America and Bucky Barnes wants to get as far away from the “Winter Soldier” moniker as possible. Sebastian Stan has said that this limited series is a buddy cop story in the vein of 48 Hrs. or Midnight Run, certainly sounds tantalizing.
The relationship between Sam and Bucky will be an interesting one to build on, following their adversity in The Winter Soldier and their banter in Civil War. If it’s handled properly, this will be a great series focusing on Sam adjusting to life as the new Captain America and Bucky adjusting to life as an un-brainwashed assassin.