Marvel Unveils Post-'Endgame' Slate with 'Eternals', 'Shang-Chi' and Multiple Sequels
"The Infinity Saga is complete," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige declared at Comic-Con Saturday. After 11 years and 23 movies, the Marvel boss pulled back the curtain on the Marvel Cinematic Universe's future as it enters Phase 4 following the events of Avengers: Endgame. (Scroll to the bottom for the full slate he revealed.)
After touting that Endgame will soon overtake Avatar as the No. 1 film of all time, not adjusted for inflation, Feige set dates for a number of movies and Disney+ shows.
Heat Vision breakdown
But at the end of the panel, just when fans thought he was done, Feige caused a new uproar by casually telling fans there were films he didn't have time to talk about, such as Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2 — and more importantly, Fantastic Four and movies about mutants (code for X-Men). He also unveiled an A-list casting, revealing that Mahershala Ali would be joining the MCU as Blade, the vampire hunter played by Wesley Snipes in three previous movies.
While those films don't have dates, earlier in the panel Feige revealed that up first will be Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, which will open May 1, 2020, and is directed by Cate Shorthand.
"What's more exciting than the mythology of Marvel movies?" asked Black Widow's Rachel Weisz, on stage with the movie's cast.
Johansson, meanwhile, commented, "I couldn't have played this iteration of the character 10 years ago. … I get to play her as a fully realized woman with many facets."
The Eternals will follow on Nov. 6, 2020, and Feige brought out the cast, including Angelina Jolie as Thena, Richard Madden as Ikarus, as well as Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek as Ajax, Lia McHugh and Don Lee as Gilgamesh.
Chloé Zhao is directing the film, which Feige described as "full-on Jack Kirby," a reference to the cosmic property's creator.
Nanjiani described Marvel as being "throwback" movies. He referenced Casablanca and other movies that had various tones to them, made in a time before everything was split into definitive genres. "Marvel is a throwback to those old movies. They have action, romance, comedy. They have everything!"
Hayek, meanwhile, underscored the representation angle of the movie, saying Eternals will be as diverse as the Hall audience itself.
While the studio no longer has Robert Downey Jr., it does have a new weapon in its arsenal: Disney+, the upcoming streaming service that will feature Marvel shows that connect to the films. Feige revealed Falcon & Winter Soldier, starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, will bow in fall 2020.
Mackie, whose Sam Wilson was given the mantle of Captain America at the end of Endgame, came out on stage with the Captain America shield. Meanwhile, a video message from villain Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) appeared on screen, with the villain saying he looks forward to seeing the heroes soon.
Next up, Feige unveiled the title for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which he revealed will star Simu Liu as Marvel's first Asian leading man. It will open Feb. 12, 2021, and also star Tony Leung as the real Mandarin (Ben Kingsley played an imposter version in Iron Man 3). Awkwafina is also to star in the film from Destin Daniel Cretton.
Cretton gave Feige and Marvel props for pushing non-white actors to the forefront. "Kevin and MCU reflect all the beautiful colors that I see in this room. To be a small part of that is very special to me."
WandaVision, the Disney+ series starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, will follow in spring 2021 and take place after Endgame as Wanda Maximoff deals with the loss of her partner, Vision. Captain Marvel character Monica Rambeau, who was a child in that film, will appear as an adult and be played by Teyonah Parris.
Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston's trickster god, will debut on Disney+ in spring 2021. Feige revealed that this features the 2012 version of the character who in Endgame stole an Infinity Stone, but it will take place after Endgame. Part of the mystery is where he's been and what he's been up to.
The upcoming Doctor Strange sequel was revealed to be titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It will hit theaters May 7, 2021. Olsen's Scarlett Witch will appear in the film, and her series WandaVision will lead into the movie. Filmmaker Scott Derrickson, known for his horror work, described it as Marvel's first scary movie.
Back on the Disney+ front, the alternate reality animated series What If…? will hit summer 2021, with Jeffrey Wright voicing the all-seeing Watcher. A number of MCU actors will reprise their roles.
A Disney+ Hawkeye event series will star Jeremy Renner, who strolled out on stage, and will feature the fan favorite comic book character Katie Bishop, a young protege of the archer. It hits fall 2021. The theme of the show will be Hawkeye, a superhero with no superpowers, teaching someone else how to be a hero with no powers.
The next Thor movie was revealed to be titled Thor: Love and Thunder, and will debut Nov. 5, 2021, from filmmaker Taika Waititi.
"As new king [of Asgard], she needs to find her queen. That will be the first order of business," star Tessa Thompson told the crowd to cheers.
In a big twist, Natalie Portman will return to the franchise as a female Thor, with the story taking its cues from the recent comics run penned by Jason Aaron. Portman hasn't acted in a Marvel movie since 2013's Thor: The Dark World, and was believed to be done with the MCU.
Here's the full slate:
Black Widow (May 1, 2020)
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+, fall 2020)
Eternals (November 6, 2020)
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Feb. 12, 2021)
WandaVision (Disney+, spring 2021)
Loki (Disney+, spring 2021)
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (May 7, 2021)
What If…? (Disney+, summer 2021)
Hawkeye (Disney+, fall 2021)
Thor: Love and Thunder (Nov. 5, 2021)
by Graeme McMillan
by Graeme McMillan
by Phil Pirrello