Marvel Boss Kevin Feige stunned fans at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 by revealing that Natalie Portman will play a female version of God of Thunder Thor in the just-announced Thor 4.
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Feige brought a massive slate of stars to reveal plans for phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, confirming a lot of things that we already knew, with some massive surprises thrown in for good measure,.
Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and director Taiki Waititi, came out to tell the audience that they are on board for Thor: Love and Thunder, which is set to be released on 5th November 2021.
The other massive surprise was that Blade – the vampire hunter formerly portrayed by Wesley Snipes – will return, this time with Mahershala Ali in the title role. That’s another Oscar winner on board for the MCU then…
Angelina Jolie came out to confirm that she will indeed play Thena in The Eternals, a film based around a race of vastly powerful aliens with incredible abilities. “I’m going to work ten times harder because I think what it means to be a part of the MCU, what it means to be an Eternal, to be part of this family,” she told the audience. “I know what we all need to do.”
The Black Widow movie was also confirmed, with a release date of 1st May 2020. Footage shown saw Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanov fight with Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova in Budapest, which suggests that we’ll finally get to see the mission that has been referenced several times throughout the Avengers films. This would also suggest that the film is indeed a prequel. David Harbour, Rachel Weisz and Ray Winstone will also star.
Next up, Feige announced that the studio has found their Shang-Chi, with Canadian actor Simu Liu set to play the Chinese-American Master of Kung Fu in his standalone film, which is set for 12th February 2021. Its full title is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Then there’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which will see Benedict Cumberbatch reprise his role as Steven Strange and also feature Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch. That one is due out on 7th May 2021.
On top of all this, Feige also confirmed that they are indeed making Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and a new version of the Fantastic Four – though he didn’t offer any new information on any of them.
“I didn’t have time to talk about the Fantastic 4 and there’s no time to talk about mutants,” he teased, referencing the X-Men, who are expected to be integrated into the MCU in the future, following Disney’s takeover of 20th Century Fox.
Disney+ TV Series
There was plenty of news about TV shows too – though some of the release dates might disappoint fans who were expecting the likes of Loki and WandaVision to arrive on Disney+ when it launches later this year.
WandaVision, which stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, will premiere in Spring 2021, and will also feature a grown up version of Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel, played by Teyonah Parris. Loki will also premiere in Spring 2021, and it appears to be centred around the Loki who stole the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, which sees Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprise their roles as the titular heroes, will be released in Autumn 2020.
There is also a What If anthology show in the works, with Jeffery Wright as narrator. Hayley Atwell and Natalie Portman are the first of a massive slate of MCU stars expected to reprise their roles for the series. That one is coming in Summer 2021.
And last but not least, Jeremy Renner confirmed that he will return for the Hawkeye series, in which the hero will train another human with no powers, Kate Bishop. We can expect that one in Autumn 2021.