The end of this month will mark the 10 year anniversary of the Walt Disney Company buying Marvel Entertainment, and to say that time has been stellar would be an understatement. Even without discussing comics, merchandise, and theme park influences, the brand has been a massive acquisition for the company for the big screen – turning the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the most popular franchise in the world.
As bright as the past has been, the future has a chance to potentially be even brighter – and that’s where this weekend’s D23 Expo comes in. Between the Disney+ and live-action/animation presentations planned for the event, fans around the world should prepare to hear some big news come out of the event. And while we aren’t sure yet exactly what we’re going to see (especially after the Phase 4 reveal at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this summer), here are a few big things we’re hoping to see from Marvel at the convention.
Showrunners For Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney+ Series
The integration of serialized television series into the big screen action of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most significant unique aspects of the franchise’s future plans. There are a total of five of them coming out between the beginning and the end of Phase 4, with Loki, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Hawkeye, and What If…? all set to be released on Disney+ amidst adventures playing in cinemas. What we currently don’t know officially, though, are the identities of the filmmakers that will be bringing the respective stories to life. That could change at D23 Expo 2019.
Whether it’s because deals weren’t in place just yet, or because they were withholding information, Marvel Studios didn’t disclose the identities of any of their Disney+ showrunners at San Diego Comic-Con, but that was more than a month ago, and the Disney+ presentation on Friday could be the perfect stage to reveal that new news. Marvel definitely has a knack for getting talented filmmakers involved with their projects, and surely the D23 Expo crowd would love to see them.
Specific Release Dates For MCU Disney+ Shows
While a release date or two has been shifted over the years, Marvel Studios has a solid track record when it comes to announcing release dates and sticking to them. That, however, is one reason why their Phase 4 slate announcement raised some eyebrows – particularly in the Disney+ streaming shows arena. While the seasons in which each of the shows would be released were revealed (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, etc.), what Marvel didn’t do was announce anything specific.
This information could get more detailed this weekend with the events at D23 Expo. The Disney+ presentation is likely going to have Disney announce a full host of shows and where they land on the release schedule, and it’s possible that within that audiences could get new information about exactly where the Marvel programs fit in. And while it may be too much to ask for all of the release dates, given that some of the material is more than two years away, we can perhaps at least cross our fingers and hope we will learn about the first two that are set to arrive: The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, and WandaVision.
More Disney+/Film Crossover News
Marvel Cinematic Universe television shows have been in existence for nearly six years at this point, but the connections between the material have mostly been mono-directional – which is to say that the shows have referenced the movies, but the movies have never referenced the shows. That is a big thing that is changing with the programing slate that is coming to Disney+ in the coming years, though, as crossing over storylines is very much part of the plan. That being said, the only legitimate crossover we’ve actually heard about so far is between WandaVision and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, which is confirmed to include Scarlet Witch in its adventure.
It’s entirely plausible that won’t be the case after this coming weekend. Whether it’s the news that particular events from Black Widow will reverberate in The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, or that Loki will play directly into the plans for Thor: Love And Thunder, the more integration news we hear, the more excited diehards are going to be about everything that’s coming out.
More Eternals Casting
During the Marvel Studios panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige invited an absolutely incredible ensemble of actors on stage while discussing Chloe Zhao’s The Eternals. This is a group that included Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Dong-seok Ma, Lauren Ridloff, and Richard Madden. What’s funny, however, is that Marvel still needs a lot more actors to tell the story of the characters, and D23 Expo 2019 might be the perfect time to reveal members of the extended cast.
With production gearing up to start in the fall, The Eternals is very much still in the casting stages, and just looking at the roster so far you’ll notice an issue: there are no antagonists. The titular god-like heroes regularly oppose their ancient genetic cousins, The Deviants, in the comics, and yet the blockbuster has yet to announce any actors for those parts. We have hopes that information is shared with the world this weekend.
More Black Widow Plot Details
We learned quite a lot about Cate Shortland’s Black Widow last month during San Diego Comic-Con, with first look footage not only revealing that the story is set shortly after the events of Captain America: Civil War, but also that the feature will bring to life the first ever live-action version of Taskmaster. But that’s right about where the information flow stopped. There’s still a hell of a lot that we don’t know about the project, and haven’t seen yet, but with any luck the Live Action/Animation D23 Expo 2019 presentation will quench our thirst for knowledge.
Why is Black Widow’s first stop during her time as a fugitive Budapest? What is her relationship with Yelena Belova, played by Florence Pugh? Who is Taskmaster to the titular hero? How does David Harbour’s Red Guardian factor into the action? These are just some of the questions we are currently asking about Black Widow, and there exists a likelihood that Marvel will spill some more beans in the next few days.
What are you hoping to see from Marvel at D23 Expo 2019 this weekend? Hit the comments section below with all of your thoughts, feelings, and opinions on the matter, and definitely be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend through this weekend as we will be on the ground in Anaheim, California attending presentations, watching footage, interviewing performers and filmmakers, and more.