It’s been three years since the last in-person San Diego Comic Con and Marvel Studios pulled out all the stops for its panel in Hall H, giving us a full look at Phases Four, Five, and Six of the MCU. We have a new trailer for She-Hulk: Lawyerand attendees were able to see exclusive teasers for Ant-Man: Quantumania, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3and a new crossover series event called Secret Invasion. The panel ended with the first teaser of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
wakanda forever was already in development when Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa in 2018 Black Panther— died of colon cancer in August 2020. Director Ryan Coogler, Marvel’s Kevin Feige, and many others were unaware that Boseman was even sick. They decided not to recast T’Challa, nor try to insert the character using visual effects, although most of the other main actors would return. “Her portrayal…is iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past,” Feige said in a December 2020 statement.
The finished film is in many ways a tribute to Boseman, and the trailer evokes that sense of loss, set to an almost elegiac cover of “No Woman No Cry.” There’s even a photo of a street mural honoring a deceased T’Challa. T’Challa’s mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) mourn the loss of their brother, with Ramonda currently sitting on the throne. “I’m the queen of the most powerful nation in the world and my whole family is gone,” she says in the only lines of dialogue. “Haven’t I given my all?
“I promise you, I feel his hand on me right now,” Coogler said of Boseman during the chat. “Chad’s passion and genius, his culture and the impact he had on this industry will be felt forever. We put our love for Chadwick into this film. We put our passion as well.”
There are plenty of familiar faces. Among the new ones is Namor (Tenoch Huerta), king of a tribe that lives underwater, allegedly related to the Maya. The trailer also features Riri Williams, aka Ironheart (Dominique Thorne), a teenage tech whiz who is a Tony Stark protege in the comics. We see her connection to the equally brilliant Shuri, with another photo showing her making her Ironheart costume. (Thorne will also play Riri in the upcoming Stone heart series on Disney+.) The final shot in the trailer is a new Black Panther, shown only from behind, advancing across a battlefield. Shuri becomes Black Panther in the comics, and it’s possible she’ll do the same in wakanda foreverunless another dark horse candidate lurks in the background.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in theaters November 11, 2022.
Marvel also unveiled a new trailer for its She-Hulk: Lawyer series. According to the official premise: “She-Hulk: Lawyer follows Jennifer Walters as she navigates the complicated life of a single 30-something lawyer who also happens to be a 6-foot-7 green superpowered hulk.” Mark Ruffalo will appear as “Smart Hulk “, Tim Roth will reprise his role as Emil Blonsky / 2008’s Abomination The Incredible Hulk, and Benedict Wong will return as Wong. Jameela Jamil plays Titania, a super strong rival to She-Hulk; Ginger Gonzaga plays Walters’ best friend; and Renee Elise Goldsberry plays Amelia.
The first trailer dropped in May and introduced us to Jennifer, who had just been asked to lead her firm’s superhuman legal division. But then her cousin, Bruce Banner, gave her a blood transfusion and she gained some of her Hulk abilities. Banner becomes her mentor, training her to channel her powers by focusing on her anger and fear (aka “the baseline of every woman who comes into existence”).
During the panel, series creator Jessica Gao described the series as “Marvel’s first true half-hour comedy.” It seems to have that sitcom vibe, with some superhero action thrown in for good measure, although Jessica is that rare superhero who really isn’t very keen on being one. The new trailer opens with Jessica sleeping peacefully in human form as a giant green hand enters the frame. It’s Smart Hulk, who wakes her up with a loud honk, causing her to transform into She-Hulk. Who says scientific experimentation can’t have an element of comedy?
Cue the Hulk/She-Hulk training montage. “‘It’s a multi-year journey you’re about to embark on,'” Smart-Hulk told him. Lesson One: “Spandex is your best friend.” She-Hulk succeeds in every task. Smart Hulk reluctantly says she can be a lawyer again if she wants, leading She-Hulk to break the fourth wall (a risky tactic) and address the camera, “He doesn’t really mean that. ” She chooses the law.
Her Hulkiness makes her the perfect choice to lead the Superhuman Law Division, as “more and more eccentric superhumans are coming out of the woods”, according to her boss Holden Holloway. Her first client: Blonsky/Abomination, who greets her with a cheeky “Namaste.” It’s a clear conflict of interest, given that Blonsky tried to kill his cousin Bruce, but Holloway doesn’t care. And it gives Jennifer a higher public profile. When Titania crashes into the office looking for trouble, She-Hulk goes into battle and her life as a superhero begins in earnest.
Wong appears through a portal, warning as he usually does of a grave existential threat to the universe. We see Blonsky transform into an Abomination in his cell. And at the very end, a mysterious figure somersaults into the frame and takes a fighting stance. Fan speculation is that it’s Daredevil, but we don’t get a very good look.
She-Hulk premieres on Disney+ on August 17, 2022.
Stage 5 and beyond
She-Hulk and wakanda forever will mark the end of phase four of what is officially called The Multiverse Saga (including phases four, five and six). Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will launch phase five with its release in February 2017, 2023.
The Marvel panel included an exclusive first look at the film (not yet released online). The sequence opens with Scott Lang reading his memoir (aptly titled Watch out for the little guy) when he learns that his daughter Cassie has been arrested. She’s working with the Van Dynes, and things are looking good with the family. But something goes wrong with a mysterious device and they are all transported to what appears to be the Quantum Realm. MODOK makes an appearance, but the big reveal is the villainous version of Kang, a character first introduced in the series finale. Loki.
Also coming to the big screen in 2023, James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, scheduled for May 5, 2023. According to the logline: “Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him to defend the universe while protecting one of their own. A mission that , if not successfully completed, could most likely lead to the end of the Guardians as we know it.” Preview footage from Comic-Con revealed that this version of Gamora is now with the Ravagers and doesn’t remember Peter.
It looks like we’ll find out more about Rocket’s origins on a planet known as Halfworld, and fans have finally gotten a good look at Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock, whose power stems from the Soul Gem. The film will also star the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) as the villain, aka Herbert Wyndham, an Earth scientist who toyed with chaos magic. In the MCU, he’s responsible for giving Wanda and Quicksilver their superpowers.
Marvel also showed a trailer for secret invasion, a six-episode crossover event series starring Samual L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, featuring a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls who have infiltrated Earth. The footage showed Fury stepping out of a spaceship to meet Maria Hill (Cobie Smulder) at a bar on Earth, looking rather worse for the wear and tear. Fury will team up with his former Skrull ally, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) to thwart the invading Skrulls.
Remarkably absent from the panel, no new sequence concerning Wonders, slated for release on July 28, 2023; Apparently the footage wasn’t ready in time, but chances are we’ll see something at D23 later this year. same for me Echo and Loki S2, both slated for release next summer as well. The above Stone heart falling drops, Blade– with Mahershala Ali stepping into Wesley Snipes’ vampire hunting shoes – and Wanda Vision spin off Agatha– centered on Wanda’s wizarding neighbor – will end 2023 on November 3, 2023 and December, respectively.
As for 2024, Anthony Mackie will star in the feature film Captain America: New World Orderslated for release on May 3, after making peace with Steve Rogers’ shield at the end of The Falcon and the Winter Weld. Also that spring, Charlie Cox returns as Matt Murdock in Daredevil: Born Again. This was not unexpected, since the character briefly appeared in Spider-Man: No Coming Homewhile Vincent D’Onofio’s Kingpin briefly appeared in Hawk Eye. (The comic book story describes Daredevil’s defeat at the hands of Kingpin.) But it’s still great to see it officially confirmed.
Phase five will end on July 26, 2024, with the release of Love at first sight., centering on a team of villains, possibly led by Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl), introduced in Captain America: Civil War. As for phase six, it’s still a twinkle in Feige’s eyes, but it will kick off with a reboot of The Fantastic Four (tentatively scheduled for November 8, 2024), and will end with Avengers: Kang Dynasty on May 2, 2025, and Avengers: Secret Wars on November 7, 2025.
Listing image by YouTube/Marvel Studios
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