Screen Crusades Discuss Marvel and More on Disney+ Day - Knotfest
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Screen Crusades Discuss Marvel and More on Disney+ Day

Posted by Nicolás Delgadillo in Culture on November 14, 2021

Ryan J. Downey and Nicolás Delgadillo talk about the huge slate of Marvel and Star Wars and more coming to Disney+

Our resident pop culture critics and franchise devotees Ryan J. Downey and Nicolás Delgadillo spent a significant portion of the day discussing the multitude of new revelations from Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Walt Disney Studios today. Friday, November 12, 2021, was Disney Plus Day, kicking off the second year of the Mouse House’s streaming service with teasers, announcements, and more.

The stuff covered today included: the Obi-Wan Kenobi prequel series starring Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen, overseen by The Mandalorian veteran Deborah Chow; Oscar Isaac in Moon Knight; Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk; Ms. Marvel, which will introduce Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, leading up to her appearance in the Captain Marvel sequel, Marvels; Agatha: House of Harkness, a WandaVision spinoff for Kathryn Hahn’s fan-favorite witch, Agatha Harkness; a more extended look at this month’s Hawkeye series and the official announcement of its long-rumored spinoff, Echo; Secret Invasion, starring Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn as Talos,  loosely based on the classic comic story in which several key Marvel characters were revealed to be Skrulls; a grip of animated shows, including What If? Season 2; Zootopia+; I Am Groot; Big Hero 6 spinoff Baymax; X-Men ’97, resurrecting the animated series so many fans grew up watching; and Spider-Man: Freshman Year, set in the MCU but done in the style of the classic Spider-Man comics of the 60s.

Here’s a bit of what Downey and Delgadillo had to say today.

RYAN J. DOWNEY: Let’s talk Marvel first! 

As someone who grew up reading X-Men when it was just a single title, I’m thrilled to live in an era where there’s a blockbuster Shang-Chi movie (I first encountered the character as a guest star in Rom Spaceknight) and a forthcoming series on Moon Knight. It’s bonkers how far we’ve come.

I loved that we got a glimpse of Moon Knight today. Oscar Isaac seems perfect for the role.

The expanded look at Hawkeye was killer, too, though I must confess that seeing a “street-level hero” story set in NYC makes me long for the abandoned Netflix corner of the MCU. 

Daredevil is my favorite superhero, and all three seasons of the Netflix show were A-plus in my book. And even with the fantastic onscreen iterations of Thanos, Loki, Hela, and Kilmonger we’ve had in the MCU, Vincent D’Onfrio as Wilson Fisk is unquestionably my favorite Marvel villain performance.

Perhaps we’ll get to see Charlie Cox back as Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Way Home and maybe even D’Onfrio’s Kingpin in Hawkeye, like the rumors insist.

I was amazed and stoked to see a 60s style take on the MCU version of Spidey in the forthcoming Spider-Man: Freshman Year and the revival of the 90s X-Men cartoon, X-Men ’97!

What got you most stoked in Marvel-land today? 

NICOLÁS DELGADILLO: Oh man, I totally agree with the Netflix Marvel stuff.

Daredevil consistently blew my mind, and I need to see those versions of the characters in the greater MCU. I loved Jessica Jones as well.

I think Moon Knight wins the day. I know many people are excited about that, and of course, Oscar Isaac is just always brilliant, and Ethan Hawke is fantastic. I’m hoping that will be something cool and different.

I think I’m most excited about Secret Invasion, if only to see how they pull it off. Something like that would have enormous ramifications for the MCU, and I’m excited to see Samuel L. Jackson lead his own series.

Also, what in the world is Echo?!

DOWNEY: I’m admittedly not familiar with Echo either, but if she’s springing forward from the Hawkeye series, I’m here for it. 

There’s a Moon Knight arc where Marc Spector hallucinated that Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Captain America were giving him instructions. At one point, he even thought he was Spider-Man. It would be a great story arc to explore and connect him to the broader MCU. 

Agreed on Secret Invasion! I loved the twist with the Skrulls in Captain Marvel, but I also love the idea that the Skrulls aren’t monolithic in their views, strategies, or intentions and that we can still see some traditional-style Skrull action. (Perhaps the Sharon Carter in TF&TWS was a Skrull?)

She-Hulk looks fun, and naturally, Mark Ruffalo’s participation will be a big draw. And if Charlie Cox will be reintroduced to the MCU, however, modified from the Netflix show, this would be a great place to put him for an episode or two, given that he’s also a super-powered attorney. Bringing back Tim Roth as Abomination is a stroke of genius, potentially, given what a great actor he is and how it (combined with his cameo in Shang-Chi) shores up the loose connection of Incredible Hulk to the MCU. It’s a filmscarcely referenced since Edward Norton was recast a decade ago for The Avengers

Absolutely yes on Jessica Jones, including the entire cast. I mean, I’m even a fan and supporter of the Netflix take on Iron Fist. Season 2 was a significant improvement over Season 1, but I liked things about Season 1 as well, especially Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey. I loved The Defenders, too! I’m disappointed in the idea that it will be scrubbed officially from the canon if that’s genuinely going to be the case. Et Tu, Frank Castle?

Marvel Television nailed the casting for every one of those shows. Elektra! Hellcat! Bullseye! Jigsaw!

One of my favorite actors and performances from that era is Jessica Henwick, who was nearly cast as Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. And speaking of Star Wars…

DELGADILLO: Yes, to ALL of that, the Punisher series was amazing too. Jessica Henwick is so awesome, so happy to see her in the new Matrix.

I am a little surprised that we didn’t get a teaser for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, but we still got a lot of concept art. It looks like they’re really expanding on the Disney+ side of Star Wars and keeping it in theme with The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett series as well. I’m glad to see Deborah Chow is directing a good bit of it. I think she did a great job on her Mandalorian episodes.

Interestingly, that was pretty much it for Star Wars though, maybe they’re cooling down there just a little bit. With no word on the Rian Johnson trilogy that may or not be happening and the indefinite delay on the Rogue Squadron movie, it feels like many Star Wars-related things are up in the air.

DOWNEY: Deborah Chow is fantastic. 

Like just about every fan, I’ve always loved Ewan McGregor in the Kenobi role, even if I don’t love everything about the movies in which he appeared as the character. Hayden Christensen suffered a lot public perception-wise, a bit unfairly, and the goodwill toward him from fans in recent years is incredible. I think he and Rosario Dawson owe a tremendous debt to their cartoon counterparts, Matt Lantner (who was good on the first 90210 redux, incidentally alongside Iron Fist’s Stroup!)  and the great Ashley Eckstein, under the sage-like direction of the great George Lucas padawan, Dave Filoni.

I have tremendous faith in Filoni’s stewardship. I’d like to see him made the Kevin Feige of Star Wars.

With Filoni’s involvement in all things Star Wars on Disney+, I’m confident that the Obi-Wan Kenobi series will please deep canon obsessed fans like me and the general audience alike. 

I sang the praises of The Clone Wars series when none of my Star Wars fan friends were watching, as so many of them soured on the prequels. I feel like Filoni did “the Lord’s work” with that series to enhance and retroactively better the prequel trilogy. Now, given the divisive nature of The Last Jedi (a film I mostly loved) and The Rise of Skywalker (a train wreck of epic proportions), I believe he’s doing the same thing for the sequel trilogy over on Disney+.

After the A+ storytelling of TCW and Rebels, I was underwhelmed by the mostly “fine” Rise of Resistance. But The Mandalorian gives me a lot of hope, and setting so many things in that timeline is, well, brilliant. The period between Episodes III and IV, where Kenobi and Andor will live, is also quite rich, as we’ve seen with the excellent Rebels and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

You do make a great point about the lack of Star Wars today vs. Marvel. 

Speaking of sci-fi, I’m intrigued by the Prey announcement as a longtime fan of the Predator franchise. A Predator on 18th Century earth? Awesome. I liked Predators and even 2018’s poorly-received The Predator. Of course, Predator is a near-perfect movie, and Predator 2 is an unreserved thrill, with a nice early dose of “shared cinematic universe” at the end! 

Quite enjoy 30 Rock’s Scott Adsit as Baymax. That should be fun. 

What non-Marvel/Star Wars stuff from today wet your whistle? 

A first look at ‘Prey’, an upcoming prequel to the Predator franchise

DELGADILLO: The Last Jedi is my absolute favorite Star Wars movie, hands down.

Rise of Skywalker is indeed a massive train wreck to the point that I couldn’t believe what I was watching and have no desire to watch again.

Filoni really gets it, man. He seriously gets the universe and characters, and it makes sense considering he studied directly under George. Watching any interview with him is so great. I have not seen all of The Clone Wars, but I liked it a good bit from what I have seen, and my friends who do watch all the animated stuff say it’s fantastic stuff.

I am all for a new Predator movie. I think the idea behind Prey is really solid and could make for something really unique, exciting, and even scary again. Predators is great. I was disappointed in the 2018 movie, though.

Scott Adsit is an underrated MVP of 30 Rock, for sure. A Baymax series is neat, but there was already a Big Hero 6 show! So, I wonder how it’ll be different from that.

I am most excited for Tiana, I think Princess and the Frog is so, so underrated, and as one of the very last traditionally animated Disney films, I find it one of the most gorgeous looking. I love the music, the setting, everything about it. So, giving Tiana another spotlight and a return to the world of that movie is super exciting to me. I think that’s a Disney character that actually deserves it. And apparently, it’s supposed to be a full-fledged musical series, so that’s even more exciting.

Other than that, I’m also pumped about Win or Lose, which will be Pixar’s first-ever long-form series. Pixar always knocks it out of the park (usually), and I think they often present their audiences with intelligent and original ideas. Having each episode follow a different character is a cool way to use the series format.

For a complete list of the movies and shows covered during Disney Plus Day, head here:
https://variety.com/2021/film/news/disney-plus-trailers-news-1235110365/


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