Are you ready for Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?
Marvel Studios’ Hall H panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego revealed its post-Avengers: Endgame plans with a bang, which include a new Blade movie, a female Thor, and the first ever Asian-led Marvel movie.
Before the panel began, it was also announced that Avengers: Endgame will soon be surpassing Avatar as the highest grossing film of all time. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige also revealed that they are currently developing a Fantastic Four movie, which they recently acquired the rights to after Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox. (No news about any mutants joining the MCU yet though).
Here are some of the other highlights of the panel:
The first big news from the panel was the announcement of Angelina Jolie as the latest A-list star to join the MCU. The actress will star in the upcoming Eternals, based around a group of superpowered ‘gods’ that are an offshoot of the process that created sentient life on Earth.
The movie will also star Kumail Nanjiani and Salma Hayek., and is set for release in November 2020.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Earlier this week, it was announced that Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi will be returning for ‘Thor 4’, which is now officially titled Thor: Love And Thunder.
The big surprise during Marvel Studios’ Comic-Con panel was the revelation that Natalie Portman will be returning to the franchise, and her character, Jane Foster, will be wielding Mjolnir as the new Goddess Of Thunder!
The female Thor made her comic book debut in 2014 after the original Thor had lost his ‘worthiness’ and was unable to pick up his magic hammer. The film will also star Chris Hemsworth as the original Thor, and Tessa Thompson as the new ruler of Asgard, Valkyrie.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness
The second Doctor Strange movie, set for 2021, is described by director Scott Derrickson as “the first scary MCU movie”, and will finally explore the concept of the Multiverse that was first teased (but ultimately unconfirmed) in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Benedict Cumberbatch returns as the titular Sorcerer Supreme, and Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Scarlet Witch, is also part of the cast.
The movie will also tie-in with the upcoming Disney+ TV series WandaVision, which will feature Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany’s Vision in the leading roles.
The original Blade, released in 1998 and starring Wesley Snipes, is the film that is largely credited with being the first decent superhero movie, and which paved the way for more such movies to be made.
Now, Marvel Studios will be rebooting the character with Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali (Green Book, Moonlight) donning the half-human, half-vampire ‘Daywalker’s signature shades and wielding his katana on his vampire hunting exploits. No release date has been announced as of now.
Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings
Set to hit cinemas in 2021, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of the Ten Rings will be the first Marvel Studios movie to feature an Asian lead.
Canadian-Chinese actor Simu Liu has been cast as the lead character, with Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu Wai will playing the classic Marvel villain The Mandarin. The movie will also star Crazy Rich Asians‘ Awkwafina.
She may have died in Avengers: Endgame, but that’s not stopping Scarlet Johansson from returning as Natasha Romanoff in this prequel series that will also star David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, and Rachel Weisz. Let’s hope we finally get to see what happened in Budapest.
The movie is directed by Cate Shortland, and will hit cinemas in May 2020.
Besides WandaVision, several other upcoming Marvel TV shows were also given the spotlight at the panel, including the previously announced Falcon And The Winter Soldier as well as Loki.
Also announced was Hawkeye, which will feature both the Clint Barton and Kate Bishop versions of the character, and What If…, the first animated series in the MCU, with Jeffrey Wright as the voice of The Watcher and actors from across the MCU reprising their roles as voice talent.