Yesterday was a doozy for Marvel Studios announcements after they took the stage at Hall H and revealed an outline for what will follow the remainder of Phase 4. Phase 5, which kicks off early next year with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on February 17th, will lead us further into what Marvel Studios calls the “Multiverse Saga”.
Eventually, all of this will bring us into a crazy new era with Phase 6 which begins with Fantastic Four on November 8, 2024. And now we know that while Phase 6 only has three films slated so far (Fantastic Four, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars), that eight additional “projects” are being kept under wraps until the D23 Expo.
For those that don’t know, D23 is the official Disney fan expo in Anaheim, CA which celebrates “the wonder and excitement of Disney’s stories, characters, songs, and experiences”, including both Star Wars and Marvel Studios. Here, these additional eight projects will come to light and fill in the gaps of the MCU’s Phase 6.
What sort of “projects” is Feige alluding to? Well, a mixed bag of both Disney+ shows and films most likely but as to what franchises specifically is anyone’s guess. However, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that the head of Marvel Studios is keeping a few surprises to himself until then. That said, we do have a few guesses as to what he may have waiting to share with fans at the September convention.
Right now, a handful of film franchises have not had their sequels confirmed but we know are coming. Shang-Chi is among those and most definitely deserves a sequel after a slam dunk first movie with Simu Liu. Plus, that film opened up a whole new world (literally) filled with magic and mysticism and beyond. We have a lot of ground to cover in this franchise and it desperately needs a sequel.
Then of course we wonder about Tom Holland’s return in Spider-Man 4. We know that Sony wants a new trilogy but after No Way Home, Holland’s contract is up and nothing has been announced in any official capacity for Holland’s return or what’s next for the MCU wallcrawler. Curiously, Tom isn’t expected to return for the upcoming Freshman Year animated series to voice the character, with many assuming they will just use the same guy from that Marvel Zombies episode of What If…
Doctor Strange 3
Multiverse of Madness is one of three films that saved Phase 4, in my opinion. This entire phase has been hit or miss but the Doctor Strange sequel definitely saved it from having more we disliked than liked. For those that saw it, that end of credits scene with Charlize Theron as Clea stirred up a whole new issue by introducing an incursion that the Sorceror Supreme will need to step in and help out with. Of course, we know that is Wong but we expect Steven to be there, too. Plus, if this is the Multiverse Saga, you can’t leave out the only guy who has had a film quite literally with “multiverse” in the title.
With everything announced at SDCC during the Marvel Studios panel, Armor Wars was one of a few things not to get any mention, despite having been confirmed to be on the way. The Disney+ original hasn’t received a release date but we are 98% confident that Feige was saving this for D23. The series will star Don Cheadle as James Rhodes aka War Machine who must face what happens when Tony Stark’s tech falls into the wrong hands. Sounds like a rad idea and we would hate to see this one ignored for too much longer. No doubt that it will come eventually but we expect it to arrive in 2024 as a part of Phase 6 at some point.
We already know that Ryan Reynolds is working on the script for the third Deadpool film and he and Feige have been pretty vocal about the character retaining the R-Rating like the first two films under Fox. Plus, both have also shared that Deadpool’s next film will indeed be under the MCU roof so you can expect a ton of wild references and jokes to be made when that film comes out. This is probably among the most likely announcements and sure to be one of the biggest at the expo, if we had to put money on it.
Another confirmed series that was left out of SDCC’s announcements, we are most excited for this series above all else. Or, I am, at least. My dream is to see this in live-action but I assume it will be animated like that watered-down What If… episode. However, we have it on good authority that this series, in whatever form it comes in, will be a mature series (whatever that means). We just hope it’s more true to its comicbook counterpart than that more playful tone in What If… In any case, we have high hopes for the series getting a release date at D23 in September of this year.
Season 2 of Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and or Hawkeye
Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight are two shows that we enjoyed enough to be wanting more but we definitely, definitely hope both get better with a second season. These two are likely to get confirmed with having a second season at some point and considering they are both shows on Disney+, we bet they are getting announced at D23.
Hawkeye is a show that we don’t know if there ever really was a plan for a second season (at least with Renner), but Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner were a blast to watch, even if the show was too short for our liking (like every other MCU series on Disney+, honestly). Plus, Kate Bishop is a fun enough character deserving of her own solo season, to say the very least.
Eternals was a disaster of a film and easily the worst in the MCU by a long shot. Say what you will about any MCU film you disliked (not counting Inhumans), but Eternals checked off all our boxes for what not to do in a movie with an all-star cast and huge budget. Chloe Zhao wrecked any chance for returning to direct a sequel with that awful screenplay she wrote with Ryan and Kaz Zirpo. After that mess, you can bet none of them will be returning either if a sequel actually does get announced. Sadly, the Eternals movie was so lousy we don’t honestly expect a sequel to come but the cast and those characters all deserved better.
To be truly honest, we would prefer if Eternals 2 became a Disney+ show that was more fleshed out rather than another movie that will have to desperately try to undo the failures of the first while carrying the burden of trying to be a halfway decent sequel film. And even if a sequel does get announced, because the MCU could certainly use more super-powered god-like figures like the Eternals, we hope they save themselves the trouble and leave the Firpos and Zhao at home this time.
All of the above is just speculation but we bet we are right about at least a few. The most unlikely is Eternals 2 and maybe Spider-Man 4. Despite being a play-thing in the MCU toy chest, it still belongs to Sony so maybe they want to be the ones to announce it. Hard to say, as it could go either way. Still, we are confident that a handful of our guesses above will be confirmed but we could also just as easily be surprised by something new coming out of left field. We will just have to wait and see when D23 comes in a couple of months.
The D23 Expo will be here before you know it when it arrives at the Anaheim Convention center on Friday, September 9th – 10th. Tickets are already sold out, as to be expected, and you can bet that some big things will be announced, revealed, and confirmed for not only Marvel Studios but Star Wars and many other Disney classics.