It hasn't been a month since Marvel laid out their post-Infinity Saga plans at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, and yet, studio president Kevin Feige is up for another appearance again in this year's D23 Expo at the end of August. Here's every reveal we expect from Marvel's panel at the Disney convention. With Joe and Anthony Russo's Avengers: Endgame culminating the 22-film arc that the MCU was treading since 2008's Iron Man, and Jon Watts' Spider-Man: Far From Home serving as an epilogue, the franchise is currently in a transformation phase.
That means that new characters are slated to be introduced - in Chloe Zhao's Eternals and Destin Daniel Cretton's Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. - while sequels such as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder have also be confirmed. Then there's the long-awaited Black Widow standalone film from Cate Shortland. Aside from big screen projects, though, Marvel Studios is dabbling with TV series exclusively for Disney+, with The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, Hawkeye, and the What If...? animated show.
With a mix of big and small screen projects, fans have a lot to look forward to. And with another presentation coming at D23, the public will learn more about what lies ahead not just in MCU's Phase 4, but possibly even beyond. Marvel will have a strong presence at D23, including a Marvel Studios Pavilion displaying various MCU superhero's costume gallery. But arguably the biggest draw for fans will be Walt Disney Studios Hall D23 Presentation on August 24. Marvel will grace the stage to offer the public "a peek at exciting projects" from the MCU including "exclusive footage, special guest appearance" and new information regarding what lies ahead for the franchise. Here's everything we expect to be revealed at D23.
An event-exclusive clip for Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow film was debuted at San Diego Comic-Con featuring a fight scene between Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Bolova (Florence Pugh). This time, however, we expect a proper cut trailer for D23, which makes sense considering that production at that point will already be in its last stretch. The trailer will most likely feature more characters such as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian (David Harbour), Mason (O-T Fagbeenle), and Melina (Rachel Weisz) - another Black Widow-type of character, and offer attendees a better look at at the prequel movie. Perhaps, it can even reveal the actor playing Black Widow's villain, Taskmaster - a piece of information that was left a mystery at Comic-Con.
Kevin Feige revealed the primary cast for MCU's newest group of heroes, Eternals, during the studio's packed Hall H panel last month. Arguably their most star-studded and diverse ensemble, The Eternals will feature Angelina Jolie as Athena, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Riddof as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Salma Hayek as Ajak, and Don Lee as the villain Gilgamesh. Recent rumors suggest that Gemma Chan and Dunkirk actor Barry Keoghan are also in talks to board the project.
Not much is known regarding the narrative for Eternals, but with filming potentially beginning in the middle of August, a short preview of what they've worked on thus far is a possibility to further drive the hype up for the project, or perhaps a production start video (similar to what they did for Avengers: Infinity War) can be showcased at D23. Otherwise, a string of new concept art can do, especially given how the film will feature a new setting and time period, and will largely delve into the mythology of these old characters.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Another new property for Marvel Studios is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which was officially confirmed at Comic-Con. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, Simu Liu will play Shang-Chi while Tony Leung will be its primary antagonist - the real Mandarin. Akwafina joins the cast in a still-undisclosed role as well.
Feige highlighted the existence of the villainous Ten Rings in the MCU since 2008's Iron Man with a montage of their appearances at SDCC. D23 can reveal even more about the Ten Rings and their ominous leader by unveiling new pieces of concept art. We may also get additional casting information to round up the film's key players with an appearance from those involved, like Cretton and Liu.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
The first sequel film in MCU's Phase 4 brings back Benedict Cumberbatch and director Scott Derrickson for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Dubbed as the first horror film in the MCU, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness comes on the heels of the title character's newfound popularity following his appearance in Infinity War. Elizabeth Olsen is confirmed to appear as Wanda/Scarlet Witch as well, leading to a narrative link to the Disney+ series WandaVision.
Feige didn't reveal much about story of Doctor Strange 2, but he confirmed that it will dive into the concept of multiverse. After Far From Home used the multiverse as a red herring, more details about the film's story and how it will tackle the idea can be revealed at D23, potentially including the announcement of its primary villain, who is rumored to be Nightmare. Furthermore, concept art can also be in the cards, giving fans an idea what the film will look like. This can be a highlight especially with how trippy and psychedelic the visuals were for the first movie.
The Falcon & The Winter Soldier
The first Marvel Studios TV series for Disney+ will focus on Captain America's best pals - Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) - in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. It doesn't have a specific release date yet, but it's slated to debut fall 2020. The SDCC panel didn't reveal any more story details other than that it will involve the unlikely pair battling Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl), the primary villain of Captain America: Civil War once again. And rumor has it that the show will tackle the U.S. government not wanting Sam to become the next Captain America.
Marvel Studios can round up the cast and crew, with additional story information, as well as the announcement of its exact release date at D23. The Falcon & Winter Solider title is a source of confusion, and clarifying its story can help resolve this. In addition to that, Mackie revealed that he's had his fitting for his Captain America suit, so concept art for his costume or even test images can be showcased. While production on the show isn't expected to begin until October, Marvel Studios can also reveal a short clip similar to what they did with Zemo at Comic-Con.
Marvel briefly teased WandaVision at SDCC, but there's still so much left to learn about the show. Olsen and Paul Bettany are confirmed to reprise their roles as Wanda and Vision, but the latter's current state poses a big question. Couple that with the addition of a grown-up Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and the link to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness make it the most mysterious project Marvel Studios currently has. All we know is that it's set post-Endgame, it's going to be weird, and that it will make Wanda worthy of her Scarlet Witch name. Due to the lack of story details, though, Marvel's D23 panel can reveal more pertinent information regarding WandaVision. Plus, WandaVision's exact release date might also be confirmed since it's only scheduled to debut spring 2021.
Marvel's Disney Investor Day presentation gave us our first concept art for Loki, with additional details coming in during San Diego Comic-Con. Tom Hiddleston will reprise his role as the God of Mischief in a new adventure in an alternate timeline that will be a departure for the character. Production is tipped to begin early next year with a spring 2021 release date.
The show will see Loki traveling through time, becoming an unlikely influence on historical events. That premise sounds too generic at this point, and we expect Marvel to reveal specific plot details at D23. Among those details might be the eras that the God of Mischief will pop in. This can be revealed through concept images similar to the one from Disney's Investor Day, which implied that Loki ends up in 1975. Similar to other upcoming Disney+ shows, Feige can also finally confirm the release date for Loki.
Phase 5 films
Marvel's SDCC presentation focused solely on the projects for Phase 4 despite the fact that they also have Phase 5 all laid out, and D23 is a great platform for them to confirm their slate. Admittedly, this is a long shot but it can certainly happen. Feige briefly confirmed sequels like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Black Panther 2, and Captain Marvel 2 during Marvel's Hall H appearance, after all. We know that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's story was already locked before director/writer James Gunn's firing-rehiring snafu took place, while Ryan Coogler is officially back writing/directing Black Panther 2, and he's started cracking the sequel's story just several weeks ago.
Feige can fully talk about these movies in his D23 presentation. That includes potentially confirming release dates, directors, and returning cast members for said movies. Depending on how far along they are in development, he can also officially announce these films' subtitles - similar to how he did with their Phase 4 projects. All of this is possible, but it may not be plausible right now.
Like MCU's Phase 5, Feige only briefly mentioned the X-Men and Fantastic Four toward the end of Marvel's Hall H presentation, possibly saving an announcement for D23. While the prospect sounds ideal, Feige is limited with the type of information he can reveal when it comes to his newly-acquired characters. Part of the buyout conditions is that Disney can't start developing projects for any Fox-owned property until the deal was finalized. Feige announcing a concrete and detailed rundown of projects for the mutants and Fantastic Four might give the impression that they were actively working on their films before the sale was fully done, effectively putting them in hot water.
That said, given that it's been a few months since the sale, Marvel Studios can get away with announcing their general plan for the said characters at D23. Feige can at least talk about possibilities in the MCU now that the mutants and the Fantastic Four's involvements are imminent.
It's safe to assume that Marvel's TV shows will be at the forefront of their D23 panel considering that they are content for Disney's upcoming streaming service, Disney+. Meanwhile, projects like the Hawkeye and What If...? shows, as well as Thor: Love and Thunder, may skip the convention altogether since they've already been announced and don't release until the latter half of 2021.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021