It’s been a whirlwind of a Comic-Con folks! So much news, and not enough time or resources to cover it all. But there was no way, no way we were not going to talk about the biggest mic drop of the convention: Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios panel!
Perhaps it could be that between D23, Disney+, and this, expectations were low regarding how much they were going to cover. After all the scopes of several of the other panels prior to this one in Hall H were a lot more limited. But I don’t think anyone expected Feige to cover two Phases in a single panel, within a one hour timeframe.
That said, holy crap. Feige covered two Phases in a single panel, within a one hour timeframe!
I was absolutely floored by how much information there was to share, so rather than give you snippets from our Twitter coverage, we’re posting this larger article to walk through the details, nooks, and crannies of all the goodies we heard and discovered during this single hour marvel! And don’t worry we’ll also be updating our MCU tracker too! That said, ready? Here we go:
The panel kicked off with a sizzle reel with a message stating that while it has been a difficult time, we’re in this together – an allusion to the 3 long years it’s been since the last Marvel Studios panel hit Hall H in 2019. Clips of everything from The Infinity Saga to Phase 4, including those from Moon Knight, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder, and Ms. Marvel. At the conclusion of the reel, we got a jump scare in the form of the abrupt appearance of Ms. Minutes. We got the familiar, “hey y’all” greeting, before she introduced Feige and moderator Ash Cronan (who did just such a stellar job).
Knowing how much ground there was to cover, Feige wasted no time, and dove straight into the future of the MCU.
Feige summarized the entirety of Phase 4 by saying that it was hard to believe that since the last time he was in Hall H, everything he announced has essentially been released. He concluded by saying Phase 4 would be completed with the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in November (more on that later). And that the official start of Phase 5 would be Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania!
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be released February 17, 2022 (more coverage on this later). Following that, the previously mentioned Secret Invasion series starring Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury will be debuting in Spring 2023. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will hit theaters May 5, 2023. Echo will be hitting Disney+ in Summer of 2023 along side Loki Season 2. The Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels, will be hitting theaters July 28, 2023. Then after a bit of a break, Blade with Mahershala Ali will hit theaters November 3, 2023. Ironheart will also debut on Disney+ Fall 2023. Then Winter of 2023/2024 will be the Wandavision spin-off Agatha: Coven of Chaos.
Feige then officially announced the title for the fourth Captain America film, this time led by Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson, who assumed the mantle officially after last year’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The new film will be called Captain America: New World Order. And it will be debuting May 3, 2024.
The next huge reveal from Feige was that sometime in the spring prior to Captain America: New World Order would be a massive 18-episode series: Daredevil: Born Again. Charlie Cox and Vincent D’onofrio would be reprising their roles for the series, who both made their MCU crossovers in 2021 with Spider-Man: No Way Home and Hawkeye respectively. The show will be debuting on Disney+.
Feige then revealed that Phase 5 would be concluding with the announcement of a massive crossover movie that’s been building since the introduction of Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (aka Val) in both The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. That crossover movie will officially be The Thunderbolts. The Thunderbolts will be debuting July 26, 2024.
The panel swiftly moved on to a brief look at She-Hulk. Feige and Cronan brought out the cast and showrunner Jessica Gao to chat about each of the new characters and the tone of the show.
They then debuted the new trailer, which you can see below. The CG is still a work in progress, but there’s an exciting tease at the end that was not shown at the panel!
The next show Feige covered was Secret Invasion which is expected to debut Winter of this year on Disney+. Secret Invasion is going to be a whirlwind story about thrills, deception, paranoia, and twists anchored by Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Talos, and Rhodey, as they navigate through a sea of potential Skrulls who have infiltrated the highest levels of the government. The trailer they showed at the convention featured appearances from Emilia Clarke and Oscar and Emmy winner Olivia Coleman. We see a tired and weathered Fury returning to Earth after potentially months of dodging Maria Hill’s calls, as she meets with him in a bar expressing her frustrations with him. There was a terrific scene with Ben Mendelsohn confronting Kingsley Ben-Adir’s yet-unnamed character, only to be surrounded with a whole army of Kingsley’s soon after. The vibes were incredibly tense and exciting; almost like the S.H.I.E.L.D. v Hydra stakes of Winter Soldier.
Actress Colbie Smulders dropped by to chat briefly about the show and what to expect.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Following Secret Invasion, Feige brought out director Peyton Reed, who showed us the first footage from Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The trailer was incredibly impressive, showcasing the aftermath of Endgame with Scott Lang, the Pym/Van Dyne clan, and Cassie Lang. We can confirm that since the events of Endgame, Scott has been riding high on the success of helping to save the world, and has published a book about “standing up for the little guy.” Cassie (now played by Kathryn Newton) seems to be in some trouble with the law (teenagers, amirite?). After an experiment gone wrong, it seems like a fair amount of this film will be taking place in the Quantum Realm. Cassie will be suiting up as Stature in this. Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) will have a much larger role in this than in the previous film. And we got glimpses of new characters including an appearance from Bill Murray, a shot of MODOK, and lastly, our first official look at Kang, played by Jonathan Majors!
Reed then brought out stars Newton, Evangeline Lilly, Paul Rudd, and Jonathan Majors. They each talked about their respective characters. Rudd was asked where audiences would find Scott after the events of Endgame.
Lilly discussed how this film will deal with her fragilities and vulnerabilities. And it will showcase how she overcomes some pretty dire challenges to showcase what a powerful woman Hope Van Dyne is. Then Newton was asked about playing Cassie Lang. She mentioned that Cassie is becoming who she’s supposed to be and figuring out everything. She was naturally vague given Feige was standing right next to them and no one wanted to spoil anything.
Later, Reed brought out Majors and officially introduced him as Kang the Conquerer! Never one to shy away from the charismatic entrance, Majors took to the stage hooting and hollering in excitement whilst throat singing. All he cryptically said when asked about his character was “there will be conquering.” There was also a confirmation from Reed, based on the footage they showed, that MODOK is going to be in the film. All in all it looks epic, and grander than any other Ant-Man and the Wasp films before it!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Feige then introduced James Gunn. Ever the showman, Gunn took to the mic naturally and regaled the crowd with a nostalgic tale of pitching the first Guardians to Feige and Louis D’Esposito exactly 10 years ago this week. “It’s been a very good 10 years, James,” said Feige, going over to hug his old pal. Gunn continued saying he was worried how people would take the film, wondering if folks would think of it as “Bugs Bunny joining the Avengers.” Luckily the gamble paid off.
Gunn, like his panel predecessors, also brought along the first footage from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and it was emotional. The footage, set to The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize,” showed Quill dealing with the fact that his true love, Gamora, is no longer the same character he knew, and doesn’t remember or have any connection or affection for him. It also showed the slightest glimpse of Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), complete with gold skin and a stone on his forehead (albeit not the soul stone, I don’t think). Groot is now pretty roided out, being a lot more muscular than the appearance of the initial Groot from Guardians 1. And the trailer gave us some idea about how the film will begin to explore the origins of Rocket, and how he was altered by the film’s villain The High Evolutionary. The trailer ends with a pretty hilarious scene regarding Quill having a private conversation with someone on an open channel.
Once wrapped, Gunn brought out stars Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Poulter, and Borat 2′s Oscar nominated actress, Maria Bakalova, who Gunn confirmed would be playing Cosmo the Dog (who we met in the first Guardians movie in The Collector’s warehouse). However, midway through everyone describing their arcs for the new film, Gunn stopped and called out that The High Evolutionary was coming! From the crowd, Peacemaker star Chukwudi Iwuji came out and walked among the fans to dramatic music, in full High Evolutionary gear. He dramatically took to the stage and in a sinister fashion declared “he couldn’t wait to dissect every one of us” stating humans were unevolved and vomitous. It was epic, brilliant, and hilarious.
Phase 6 and The Multiverse Saga
Following Guardians Feige took a moment to ask the audience if they wanted to hear about “a couple of ensemble [films]” that haven’t been discussed yet. And went on to say he wanted to talk about Phase 6!
Feige laid out a bare timeline, before adding the film that will be kicking off Phase 6 on May 3, 2024: The Fantastic Four. He mentioned however that he would not have any time to take the audience through everything, and that he’d go through those details another time. There were 10 slots at the time that were unfilled. However, Feige told the audience that he wanted to show them how it would end. And with that, he announced two features: Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars! The former will be released May 2, 2025, and the latter only months later on November 7, 2025.
Much like how Phases 1-3 made up The Infinity Saga, Feige then announced that Phases 4-6 would encompass what will be known as The Multiverse Saga.
And thus, in a single hour, the critics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe who have stated that the current phase has no direction, were immediately hushed! Feige brought the game plan and shared it with 6,000 people and the world!
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Marvel Studios saved the most emotional panel for last. As Feige said, “we are going from the future to Forever.” And with that, the sounds of Wakanda filled the air. And a live performance of Ludwig Goransson’s Oscar-winning score with amazing singers, drummers, and dancers took over Hall H. It was an indication to the audience that they were returning to the kingdom.
Once the breathtaking performance concluded, Feige brought out master filmmaker, Ryan Coogler. Coogler then began reminiscing about the first time he and the cast saw the debut of the first film’s trailer. He was remembering how his friend, the late great Chadwick Boseman, placed his hand on his shoulder in pride and excitement over seeing the trailer for the first time. And how now that they’re back in Hall H, it feels like his hand is on his shoulder again. And how even though Chadwick isn’t there physically, his spirit is in every aspect of the film.
After the emotional introduction, Coogler brought out the cast: franchise vets Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, and Winston Duke, and Florence Kasumba, as well as newcomers Alex Livinalli, Mabel Cadena, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel and lastly, Tenoch Huerta. Coogler officially confirmed that this installment would include the Atlantians, and Huerta will become Namor: The Sub-Mariner!
After going down the line and asking each individual about how it feels to return to the world of Wakanda, Huerta said a few truly beautiful lines regarding inclusion.
The panel concluded with the debut of the first trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The trailer confirmed that the character of T’Challa has died. And the film will be about how the rest of his friends and family struggle with the loss.
Check out the amazing trailer right here:
The show-stopping trailer concluded the panel, but the emotions were heavy as was the love, as the whole Wakanda crew hugged one another in celebration of the upcoming film and in honor of their late friend, Boseman.
Emotions didn’t stop on the stage however. After years of speculation and time away from Hall H, Kevin Feige and the crew at Marvel Studios proved once again why they close down that Hall every year. The entire program went above and beyond the theories audiences would slip together. And finally restored something the audience seems to have lost over the years: a greater sense of hope. After all, they are superheroes!