Marvel Studios’ Next Wave Approaches on Disney+ in 2021

Marvel Studios' Next Wave Approaches on Disney+ in 2021 1
Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was supposed to be in gear by now, but Marvel Studios is positioning itself to make up for lost time with a host of series for Disney+.

During yesterday’s exhaustive Investor Day presentation, executives from Disney and their studios spilled the beans on the next items in their respective pipelines. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige detailed the path ahead for the world’s biggest movie multiverse.

Marvel Studios' Next Wave Approaches On Disney+ In 2021
Marvel Studios will be rolling out a steady slate of shows to Disney+ while theatres struggle to get back on their feet next year. (Disney)

First up is WandaVision, debuting January 15—Marvel’s first original programming for Disney+, and perhaps it’s most unorthodox. Alternating between traditional Marvel action and classic sitcom style, the series will see Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olson) come to terms with her grief over the loss of Vision (Paul Bettany) during Avengers: Infinity War, while struggling with her exceptional magic. Feige teased that its events will impact movies in Phase 4, such as the upcoming Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and Captain Marvel sequels.

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Marvel Studios then debuted the first look at The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, due in March. These unlikely allies must join forces to fulfill Steve “Captain America” Rogers’ legacy in the post-Endgame world. Emily VanCamp and Daniel Brühl are returning from Captain America: Civil War.

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Next in line is Loki, arriving in May. The first look trailer confirms the long-theorized premise for the show: that the time-travel plotline in Avengers: Endgame would set Loki free upon an alternate reality with the Tesseract in hand. Owen Wilson calls out Tom Hiddleston’s beloved villain in the trailer, which teases the sort of chaotic ride one might expect from a story based on the god of trickery.

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What If?, an animated anthology series, will arrive afterward, in the summer of 2021—possibly July, given the two-month schedule of the previous shows. The series will explore different hypothetical situations diverging from certain events in the MCU’s first ten years of movies. Two main scenarios were teased: T’Challa is picked up by Yondu instead of Peter Quill, and Peggy Carter receives the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. Haley Atwell, Michael Rooker, and a host of other MCU veterans will reprise their roles, including Chadwick Boseman in one of his final, posthumous performances.

(Kevin Feige also mentioned that Boseman, who passed away from colon cancer earlier this year, will not be recast in the upcoming Black Panther sequel.)

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Last to be premiered was Ms. Marvel, slated for “late” 2021. Executive producer Sana Amanat enthused about the series’ diverse and authentic leadership, including star Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, and directors Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and Meera Menon, who are “taking the material and elevating it.” The character, though relatively new to Marvel Comics, has a universal appeal and connects to the MCU’s overarching themes of relationships.

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Hawkeye, starring Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, could fill out the busy 2021 release schedule, or appear in 2022.

Beyond Disney+ in 2021: Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury show will be Secret Invasion, also featuring Ben Mendelsohn as Talos; Tatiana Maslany is confirmed for She-Hulk, also featuring Mark Ruffalo and Tim Roth; everyone’s favourite infant tree will star in a series of I Am Groot shorts; and two Iron Man-related shows are in the works, including Don Cheadle’s Armor Wars and Ironheart, starring Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, another comic newcomer.

As for next year’s theatrical offerings (depending on the state of cinemas), Marvel Studios will release Black Widow on May 7, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on July 9, Eternals on November 5, and the yet-unnamed Spider-Man 3 on December 17.

2022’s Marvel offerings are more uncertain, but theatregoers should be able to see Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on March 25, Thor: Love and Thunder on May 6, Black Panther II on July 8, and Captain Marvel 2 on November 11. Feige did mention that Christian Bale is tapped to play villain Gorr the God-Butcher opposite Chris Hemsworth’s Thor.

The Marvel Studios presentation ended with the announcement of a Fantastic Four film, directed by John Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming), but no word if John Krasinski and Emily Blunt will get their wish to play Marvel’s First Family.

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