This week at their annual end of the year shareholders call, Disney previewed some of the things that are coming from Marvel Studios. So where is Marvel going? The answer is Marvel is all in on Disney+.
The Shows We Already Knew About
On the call Marvel not only confirmed shows that we already had heard about, but offered footage.
Ever since Thor’s adoptive brother started creating drama in the MCU, one thing has flummoxed creators: How do we keep using this character that audiences seem to be drawn to?
The gimmick that they seemed to have landed on is Loki working off some kind of sentence, an agent of a time crisis correcting team, with Owen Wilson as his handler. The clips are somewhat vague but overall, they really seem to hold my interest.
And if I was iffy before then, when you get to the end and the hints of Loki being DB Cooper? I was all in.
So the issue that I think may be a trial for the upcoming WandaVision show isn’t with the creators. They seem to be mining some fine comic work from across the ages to tell this tale of Wanda, an uber powerful person with time and world warping abilities, and Vision, her android created husband and how they live life together.
My concern is can this kind of weird, intertwined show find an audience? It has some tonal feels to the short-lived FX Legion show but there could be more to this. I am genuinely curious to see how it plays out on the larger stage Disney+ is giving it.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The Falcon and the Winter Solider is an interesting series because at least its first season is about the guy who isn’t there, Steve Rogers. From the get go, Cap’s modern day best friend, Sam Wilson aka Falcon, is teaming up with his oldest friend, Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier.
I am pulling for this one to lean hard into the things that made Captain America: Winter Soldier such a great movie: espionage, great fights and preserving the best part of America and her Star-Spangled Sentry.
If you don’t know Ms. Marvel, then you haven’t been introduced to the best character addition to the Marvel Universe in years. To hear that they are rushing her story to the screens is no doubt indicative of the support they want to add to this show.
As a teenage girl from a devout Muslim family, Kamala Khan is a fan of Captain Marvel, who suddenly develops superpowers and embarks on a superhero life of her own. The series and her appearances have made her this generation’s Peter Parker and I am so excited to see what this show is like, because the source material is stellar.
Hawkeye stars Jeremy Renner as well as Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop. Arrows will be flying when this series debuts on Disney+.
Filming has begun and Hailee Steinfeld has been shown on set photos sporting a very comic-accurate wardrobe.
New Stuff They Announced
In the comics, the Secret Invasion storyline is a mammoth, universe expanding showstopper that is built around the idea that the Skrulls are invading Earth. In fact, a fair amount of heroes have turned out to have been replaced by Skrulls at varying points. (This was somewhat hinted at the end of Spider-Man: Far from Home with Maria Hill and Nick Fury.)
Given that the Skrulls were set-up as a more peaceful race against the more aggressive Krees, who we have seen in the Guardians of the Galaxy films and in Captain Marvel.
In the comics, Riri Williams is an African-American teenaged genuis, who, while going to MIT, manages to build her own equivalent to Iron Man’s suit. And once Tony Stark discovers her, and endorses her decision to become a super-heroine, everything changes.
With the current state of the MCU, it will be interesting to see how Riri is introduced into the MCU and if Stark knew anything about her before, well, you know.
Armor Wars is a fantastic long standing Iron Man storyline that involves Tony Stark discovering his technology has been stolen and going to war with a variety of armored heroes. It seems like Disney+ is going to do a similar storyline just centered on James Rhodes aka War Machine aka Rhodey, as played by Don Cheadle, taking on the role of defending his friend’s legacy.
I am Groot!
I am Groot! is a series of specials starring Groot. We don’t know much about this show other than it will focus on Baby Groot and be some shorts. It feels like someone said “But what is our Baby Yoda?” and the MCU birthed this. It could still be some silly fun.
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special drops in 2022 with Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 3 in 2023. James Gunn will lead both of these, which should create some amazing fun.
Does Star-Lord have to give an explanation about his Earthly holidays? Will Drax explain some crazy holiday from his people? Regardless, I am onboard for it and seeing where their story goes. (And is it still going to have Thor?!?)
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Okay, so the comedy styling of Paul Rudd as Ant-Man is plenty for me. But because of the large piece that he plays in the Marvel Universe and the time/space continuum, it means BIG deal things can and should happen in his films. In this one, we have heard two fun rumors. First, his daughter gets aged-up and starts to become the Young Avengers’ Stature. Second, KANG, the crazy time traveling supervillain of the Marvel universe shows up!
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
Hands down the award for best title of a new film is Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Not sure what exactly will happen but we do know it will involve the Scarlet Witch and be tied into the new Sony Spider-Man movie, which, we think, is going to be Multiverse centered given the casting announcements of multiple characters from previous Spider-Man movies.
Fantastic Four was just lightly teased but we heard that the director of the recent Spider-Man movies, Jon Watts, is directing a Fantastic Four movie.
I am fingers crossed and hoping that they can get a script together that centers on what is the best part of the Fantastic Four: they are a family. And if they want to cast real life couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, as Reed and Sue Richards, I won’t be mad.
And, maybe they have learned a bit from Spidey: we don’t necessarily need an origin story, so if you want to give us the kids now, I won’t fight you. (And Charles Xaiver showing up to pitch the kids a spot at his school for Gifted Youngsters is the X-men connection, so be it!)
We don’t know much about Moon Knight other than the show is going to lean into the Marc Spector version of the comic book character Moon Knight, who has a history of mental illness and ties to Egyptian mythology.
If the Netflix Defenders shows were still around, Moon Knight would be an obvious next wave for that street level type character. Much discussion has been of Oscar Isaac as the title role but they didn’t seem to confirm as much at press day.
She-Hulk is about Jennifer Walters, cousin of Bruce Banner who gets his same powers. (In the comics, it is retconned around many, many times). The main thing that you should know is that the best She-Hulk stories in comics are fourth wall breaking, hilarious, and center around She-Hulk as both a lawyer AND a hero.
It has a chance to be unlike any other show as well as being spectacularly cast with Tatiana Maslany, who is an amazing actress with incredible range, as seen if you’ve ever seen her work in Orphan Black, where she played almost all the major lead characters herself.
Now, it is interesting to think about this same event in 2019, when we weren’t really sure what was happening with Disney’s Marvel properties. The Netflix Defenders crew of Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Iron Fist and Punisher all seemed to run their course and no one was getting a fourth season. Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD on ABC was formally announced to be closing up at the end of its fifth season.
Now we look above and see that Disney is bringing a bounty of new Marvel stories to our screens.