Last weekend at the D23 Expo, Marvel took the stage to announce six new movies, six Disney+ series and a Halloween special. Here’s a recap on the new projects plus my thoughts on them.
“Blank Panther: Wakanda Forever” is the sequel to the smash hit and culturally significant 2018 film “Black Panther.” The film will follow a weakened Wakanda defending its resources from the rest of the world. Director Ryan Coogler announced that the film is currently in the editing process and shared a few clips to the attendees; one of Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) at a United Nations meeting and an action sequence involving Namor (Tenoch Huerta).
I think that the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman will make an impact on the sequel, but Ryan Coogler created a great cast of characters and a country that the audience fell in love with in the first film. Coogler and the cast have talked about the uphill battle to make this movie, but they all have said that this is a special project that they can’t wait to share.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is set to release November 11, 2022. You can watch the trailer here.
Riri Williams, played by Dominique Thorne, will make her MCU debut in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” then start her own journey in the Disney+ series “Ironheart.” The show is being pitched as a tech versus magic matchup as Riri battles The Hood, played by Anthony Ramos. There was no special footage or a release date announced at the expo.
Personally, I am unfamiliar with this character and this villain. I know Riri is a fairly new character in the comics, but she has a lot of fans. As long as she’s her own character (not a revamped version of Tony Stark), I’m cool with it. Hopefully her debut goes well so that fans can look forward to her series.
“Ironheart” is set for release on Disney+.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” wraps up Ant-Man’s trilogy. Paul Rudd , Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfieffer are all set to return. Randall Park, who played Agent Jimmy Woo in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “WandaVision,” was also announced to be a part of the cast. Jonathan Majors will return with another iteration of Kang the Conqueror as the main villain of Ant-Man’s third outing. The main announcement at the panel was that the trilogy would tie into future MCU project, “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.”
The Ant-Man movies have always been fun but forgettable, however the third movie in the franchise has been set up as being the darkest one of the three. It’s both interesting and bold that Marvel is having Ant-Man face off against an Avengers level threat. Also, Majors as Kang in the Loki series was a great sneak peek at what’s to come.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is set to release February 17, 2023.
At D23, Marvel released the trailer for their Halloween special, “Werewolf By Night.” As far as plot details, a group of strangers, all in one room, are told that one of them is a werewolf. For casting announcements, Gael García Bernal and Laura Donnelly are confirmed to be in the special.
The trailer gives classic horror movie vibes with the special being shot in black-and-white. It’s great that Marvel is playing with genres more, as well as testing out a TV-14 rating.
“Werewolf By Night” is set to release October 7, 2022 on Disney+. You can watch the trailer here.
The next Disney+ series that was announced, along with its trailer, was “Secret Invasion.” Samuel L. Jackson is back as Nick Fury, along with Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill and Ben Mendelsohn as Talos. Emilia Clarke, Olivia Coleman and Don Cheadle are also a part of the star-studded cast.
Again, Marvel seems to be playing with genres; this time, a spy thriller where the protagonist doesn’t know who to trust. I can’t believe it took this long for Marvel to give Samuel L. Jackson a project that he’s the lead in. The only thing I can expect is a lot of surprises and revelations in the miniseries. My only concern is that fans might get upset when the show isn’t exactly like the “Secret Invasion” in the comics.
“Secret Invasion” is set to be released on Disney+ in 2023. You can watch the trailer here.
Following the announcement of “Secret Invasion,” Kevin Feige and star of “Armor Wars,” Don Cheadle, confirmed the series is still happening and that the events of “Secret Invasion” tie into the show. Filming will start in 2023.
I think the “Tony Stark’s technology getting into the wrong hands” has been overdone in the Iron Man movies as well as the MCU Spider-Man movies. Although I feel that the concept has been overused, I look forward to seeing Don Cheadle lead this project since it seems that this is his last outing in the MCU.
Tom Hiddelston, Sophia Di Martino and Owen Wilson announced that a second season of “Loki” will be released in mid 2023 on Disney+ and that Ke Huy Quan, from “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once,” will be joining the cast. The attendees were also shown some special footage of Kang in action.
Season 1 of “Loki” really surprised me. The storytelling was solid and the show made you care about the characters. Its plot, creativity, characters and well paced season finale make it the best MCU Disney+ show in the current MCU phase. I look forward to seeing what season two has in store.
“Fantastic Four” was announced back at San Diego Comic-Con and at D23 there wasn’t anything new except the announcement that Matt Shakman, director of “WandaVision,” will direct the project.
I know Marvel is going to take their time when it comes to this property, and I don’t blame them. They have a lot of pressure, especially after having three Fantastic Four films that are disappointing to fans. The only thing I have against this movie is that the longer it takes for more developments, the more fancasts will be posted on social media.
Maya Lopez, also known as Echo, who was played by Alaqua Cox, made her MCU debut in the “Hawkeye” series and will now have a spinoff show. The show will follow Echo as she faces past and present confrontations with the Kingpin, being played by Vincent D’Onofrio. A release date wasn’t announced but the show has wrapped up filming.
I thought Alaqua Cox killed it in the “Hawkeye” series with her acting and stunts, but I didn’t think her character could have her own series. Again, this could just be my lack of familiarity with her comic history. So far, it seems this series will be a bridge to connect the new Daredevil series to the MCU. Hopefully the show has more to offer than just being a filler.
Charlie Cox, playing Matt Murdock/Daredevil, and Vincent D’Onofrio, playing the Kingpin, came out to the stage to announce the new Disney+ series. The show will be 18 episodes long and will begin filming in 2023.
I won’t lie, this is the project I’m the most excited for. I was a huge fan of the series when it was on Netflix. Its storytelling, action, cinematography and characters rival the best MCU Disney+ shows. Although Cox has said that this series is not a season four to the Netflix Daredevil series, I hope Marvel can continue the tone, grittiness, quality and storytelling that made the original series great.
Anthony Mackie’s Captain America will continue from “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” miniseries to his own movie. Tim Blake Nelson, from “The Incredible Hulk” movie, will return and play The Leader, the antagonist of the film. Other returning characters are Isaiah Bradley, played by Carl Lumbly, and the new Falcon Joaquin Torres, played by Danny Ramirez.
I’m happy that Mackie’s Captain America is getting a theatrical release. I think he’s been loved since he first appeared in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and to see where his character is now is awesome. Also it’s nice that Marvel is finally acknowledging the events and characters of “The Incredible Hulk” movie.
The full cast of the “Thunderbolts” took the stage to share the project. The new team will consist of Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), the Red Guardian (David Harbour), U.S. Agent (Wyatt Russell), Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko) and Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). Concept art of the new team was also revealed during the expo.
This movie is already getting bashed by fans because it isn’t the lineup they wanted or envisioned. However, I think the team makes sense for what the MCU has already set up in their recent projects. Apparently there’s still members of the team that weren’t revealed, but time will tell. I believe Marvel can pull off another misfits team movie like “The Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), Photon (Teyonah Parris), and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) will all team up in “The Marvels.” The film will take place after the events of the “Ms. Marvel” series.
Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel was a jolt of young energy that I think the MCU needed. Parris’ introduction as Photon in “WandaVision” set her up well as far as origin of powers and a possible grudge towards Captain Marvel. Larson as Captain Marvel had been reduced to cameo roles after her solo movie in 2019. The first movie had mixed receptions so hopefully the sequel can win over more of the MCU fans.