Marvel Studios is returning to Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 and here is everything we expect will be announced. After skipping out on the convention last year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's return to SDCC is a welcomed one. Marvel Studios has routinely gone all-in on their presentations when they do attend and are known for making some significant announcements. This is expected to be the case this year as, with Spider-Man: Far From Home out in theaters, they officially have more titles with confirmed release dates.
The attendance by Marvel Studios won't just be good for the MCU and its fans, but also the convention itself. Warner Bros., Universal, Sony, and many other major movie studios are bypassing SDCC this year. This has left Hall H more vacant than it has been in years past, but also means that Marvel Studios could dominate the news cycle if they deliver.
Their plans for SDCC are not currently known, but it is expected that Marvel Studios will unveil the first pieces of information on Phase 4 of the MCU. The Marvel Studios panel is on Saturday, July 20, running from 5:15 pm to 6:45 pm PT (1:15 am to 2:45 am GMT; 8:15 pm to 9:45 pm ET), with the description for what will be included as follows: "Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige and surprise panelists provide an inside look at the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe." Thanks to numerous reports over the last year or so though, here is what will likely be announced during the panel.
The long-awaited solo movie for Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff, Black Widow is expected to be the first Phase 4 MCU movie. With that in mind, it will likely be the first movie that Marvel Studios officially confirms is on the way, with the May 1, 2020 release date Marvel Studios previously claimed the clear landing spot. The confirmation of the movie and its release date should also come with plot details, namely in what part of the MCU's past it is set.
Marvel is also expected to confirm Cate Shortland as the MCU's first solo female director and the full cast list for the movie, which so far reportedly includes Florence Pugh (Midsommar), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite), David Harbour (Stranger Things), O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid's Tale), and Ray Winstone (The Departed). More actors could be announced, and character details for most of them should arrive as well. Any of this information will be public knowledge, while attendees of the panel may be treated to exclusive concept art and maybe an early sizzle reel for the film since production is already well underway.
After announcing the first film in 2020, Marvel Studios is expected to confirm The Eternals as their second film. Chloe Zhao (The Rider) should be confirmed to be the director of the movie, which will likely land a November 5, 2020 release date. Feige probably will offer up the first plot details for the film, which could span thousands of years, and explain how the little-known cosmic Jack Kirby-created characters will join the MCU.
Several cast members may also be confirmed during the panel with Angelina Jolie (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil), Kumail Nanjiani (Stuber), Richard Madden (Game of Thrones), Ma Dong-seok (Train to Busan), and Salma Hayek (The Hitman's Bodyguard) all linked to the film. Rumors have also circulated that Keanu Reeves (John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum) and Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) could join the ensemble, so they and others could be surprise announcements. In any case, character confirmations on all are expected, with concept art of some of these actors in their new Marvel roles also in the realm of possibility.
Another new possible franchise coming to the MCU will be Shang-Chi, which is expected to be officially announced during Marvel's Hall H panel. The film, initially planned as a part of what is now known as Phase 1, only recently had a resurgence when Dave Callaham was hired to write the script. Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) has since been linked as the director and will likely be confirmed for that duty. Fans can also anticipate learning when the movie will hit theaters - our best guess is February 2021. If Marvel has worked quietly in the shadows, they could make the surprise announcement of who will play the Master of Kung-Fu during the presentation. Otherwise, just an official announcement and release date should come, with a chance of some plot details being revealed too.
Black Panther 2
The highly-anticipated sequel to Black Panther is also very likely to be confirmed to be on the way during Marvel Studios' panel. Black Panther 2 has been inevitable ever since the original movie shattered box office expectations and reports surfaced that Ryan Coogler would return to write and direct. Along with the official confirmation of the film and an expected release date, Marvel could confirm that core cast members like Chadwick Boseman, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, and Angela Bassett will return. It may be too far out for actual plot details at this point, but if Black Panther 2 receives a subtitle, it could tease the story at hand.
Doctor Strange 2
We expect Marvel will also confirm another sequel in Doctor Strange 2. The possibilities of the sequel were left up in the air after the first film hit theaters, but it has since picked up some steam. Scott Derrickson is reportedly set to direct the sequel again, so Marvel will likely confirm that along with the film's official release date. Cast members like Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, and maybe Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tilda Swinton could be confirmed to return, but no new additions are expected to be announced here. We could get a sense of the plot if a new title is announced that isn't Doctor Strange 2, as a subtitle could offer clues of what the story will be.
Other MCU Movies
Those five movies will likely run Marvel Studios through till the end of 2021 and are the most likely ones to be confirmed to be on the way during the panel. However, Marvel Studios is also developing many other new franchises and sequels that could be announced if they want to peel back the curtain even more. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is arguably the most likely film to be confirmed that we haven't mentioned yet. James Gunn is back to write and direct after previously being fired, and that could be something Marvel wants to remind fans of here.
Other than Guardians 3 though, the other possible announcements are not as necessary to make at this time. Sequels in Captain Marvel 2 and Spider-Man 3 are certainly on the way, but it may be too far away for either to be announced - and Sony's involvement in Spider-Man could make it so Marvel Studios won't be the one to announce it. There have also been countless rumors about Nova, Dark Avengers, Young Avengers, and other properties being in the works, so Marvel could announce any of those if they reveal their plans beyond 2021. If they really wanted to surprise, any announcements on what their plans for the Fantastic Four and X-Men are would do just that.
Marvel's Disney+ Shows
After eleven years of dominating the big screen though, Marvel Studios is now looking to make a splash on the small screen. They are developing multiple limited series' for Disney+, Disney's streaming service. They include a Loki series starring Tom Hiddleston, WandaVision starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, Falcon and Winter Soldier starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, a Hawkeye series starring Jeremy Renner, and rumors have suggested Lady Sif and maybe even Rocket and Groot getting their shows. While only a few of these have been confirmed by Marvel Studios to this point, along with some other content like What If, none of this will likely be covered during their SDCC panel. Disney's own convention D23 is only a month away and is expected to have a big Disney+ push there, which is why Marvel is likely to focus on their upcoming movies at SDCC and then move to TV for D23.
Even though this is everything we expect to learn about during Marvel's SDCC Hall H panel, it is essential to remember that none of this is confirmed. Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige love to surprise people, so that could mean there will be even more announced and discussed at the panel than mentioned here. While it is also possible that Marvel Studios could just as easily scale back on the announcements, that would be very unlike them. Their history at SDCC illustrates the significant impression they want to make, and they want attendees to get their time and money's worth from the panel. As long as that attitude remains, then Marvel Studios has plenty that they will likely announce at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 this coming weekend.