The Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to make a big splash on the streaming platform next year with tthe announcement of several new series, updates on existing projects, and cast additions to feature films like Thor Love and Thunder and the new Ant-Man and the Wasp.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe had a very big Disney Investor Day. There was plenty of news unveiled at the annual event as Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige detailed the progress of projects that were already in the works and introduced a handful of bombshells during his State of the Disney + Union address.
Sticking to the streaming platform first, Feige revealed a host of new programming in set to begin development. Among the heavies during this portion included the confirmation of Secret Invasion, the series featuring Samuel L. Jackson in his first reoccurring television role as S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Nick Fury. Though the details were slim, it was mentioned that Ben Mendelsohn will resumes role as Skrull Talos as seen in Spider-Man Far From Home and the 2019 Captain Marvel films.
Among the series entires that come from the Iron Man orbit, Ironheart will bring the comic book heroine Riri Williams to the screen. The show will center around a young engineering prodigy in Williams, played by Dominique Thorne, who follows in the footsteps of Stark’s defense wizardry with her own suit of armor.
Also announced was the series reprising Don Cheadle’s role as Colonel Rhodes, better known as War Machine. The series Armor Wars is said to follow the storyline that regularly worked it’s way into the Iron Man saga of Stark always working to ensure his technology never fell into the wrong hands, only this time it does.
Baby Groot from the Guardians of the Galaxy will be getting his own series of shorts with I Am Groot. The series is set to debut exclusively on Disney +. However, this wasn’t the only news from the Guardians. James Gunn, the director at the helm of both previous Guardians films and the upcoming third installment will write and director a Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special slated for 2022.
Marvel will also be launching a She-Hulk series starring Tatiana Maslany as Bruce Banner’s cousin, lawyer Jennifer Walters. Confirmed to be involved in the project are both Mark Ruffalo making his return as Banner/The Hulk and from 2008’s Incredible Hulk film, Tim Roth will resume his villainous role as Abomination.
The first look at Ms. Marvel was prominently featured in the presentation as the series is said to have significant crossover with the upcoming sequel to Captain Marvel being directed by Nia DaCosta. Iman Vellani will be introduced to the world as comic book favorite Kamala Khan. He role in the Ms. Marvel series will segue into her role starring alongside Brie Larson in the second installment of the wildly successful film.
There were also a healthy amount of trailers revealed during the presentation – specifically for the Disney + series Loki, Wandavision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Each of the mentioned series have a premiere date slated for 2021 on the streaming platform.
Among the biggest takeaways from Feige’s time onstage include the emphasis on how the streaming series will play into the feature film releases as part of a bigger narrative of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. Specifically, the storyline of Wandavision will parallel with the what happens in the next Spider-Man installment as well as the Benedict Cumberbatch-led Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Wandavision begins streaming on Disney+ in January 2021.
On the feature film side, Marvel confirmed plans for the third installment of the Ant-Man franchise with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The film will again start Paul Rudd, along with the familiar cast of Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, and Michelle Pfeiffer. This time around, Rudd will be pitted against Jonathan Majors starring as Kang the Conqueror.
The upcoming Thor sequel, Love and Thunder will christen Christian Bale into the MCU, as he takes on the role of villain Gorr the God Butcher, opposite Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman.
Likely the biggest announcement of the day however was the news that Marvel will begin work on a Fantastic Four feature film with Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts helming the project. Reed Richards and the crew have made big screen appearances in recent years but the 2015 reboot fell significantly short of expectation. The announcement from Marvel offers hope that the family of heroes can again rise to prominence within the MCU’s body of feature films.