Maybe the least discussed aspect of Marvel Studios’ future is it’s upcoming line of animated series. I hope that Kevin Feige and company treat these projects with an equal amount of respect as their signature live-action material, and we get loads of new information on What If…? Season 2, Marvel Zombies, and especially Spider-Man: Freshman Year. Until further notice, Freshman Year is the only officially announced Spider-Man project on the horizon for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I would love to have my hype levels increased with some casting announcements, or even a trailer that includes a villain reveal. As I’m constantly saying on Twitter…I just want pictures of Spider-Man!
Otherwise, I just hope Marvel’s Hall H panel gives us plenty to be excited about going forward. Title reveals for Captain America 4 and the Halloween Special, logo reveals for Daredevil and Nova, and more official word on projects that have huge creative potential. I love how different Phase 4 has been, and I can’t wait to see how Phase 5 might carry that torch. Oh, and please, second season announcements for Hawkeye, Moon Knight, and Ms. Marvel.
4. I want to see who will win the Con between Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Two fantasy IP juggernauts square off in the late summer/early fall, and both want to leave an impression on fans. Much has been said about Amazon’s big money bet on Rings of Power, but for HBO, after the 4th Quarter goal line fumble that was the GoT Finale, Time Warner Discovery may have even more riding on House of the Dragon scorching old narratives and soaring into a more hopeful future.
3. DC Films Timeline – With no Flash to wow people, but with that film so essential to the future slate of their DC connected universe, it will be intriguing to see whether there are any nods to connectedness between their upcoming projects. Black Adam and Shazam! have natural connective tissue, but there isn’t a lot of clarity on Batgirl, or whether those Black Canary rumors are true. And maybe we’ll get some Blue Beetle footage.
2. MCU Animation – In the Star Wars side, we’ve seen seamless integration between the live-action and animated prongs of the franchise under Dave Filoni. But What If only offered the smallest promise of seeing something similar with Marvel. However, between What If…? Season 2, Spider-Man: Freshman Year and X-Men ’97, animation could be used as a way of filling narrative in the massive multiverse undertaking Marvel is engaged in right now as they march to Secret Wars. I’d love some more details.
1. Marvel Phase 4 and Beyond – We’re all looking for a road map, and who can forget the massive calendar reveal for Phase 3. Marvel could really wow us by giving us the remainder of the Phase 4 slate, and how it will culminate. Marvel has a lot of balls in the air and places the stories could be going. Offering us some clarity for the next 3-5 years like they did back in 2014 would settle a lot of stomachs within the fanbase, as they strap in for the ups, downs, loopty-loops that Feige and Co have planned for us.
Anthony Canton III
When it comes to SDCC I’m thinking of two projects, one coming soon and one a bit off in the distance. First, Wakanda Forever is on my mind. The tribute to Chadwick, what that means to everyone who came out for the first film and supporters world wide. It’s going to be emotional. You want to protect this film and hope it’s treated with the utmost care. There’s a curiosity with everything around it so hoping to learn a bit more.
Secondly, there’s a project next year. Quantumania comes to the forefront. Sure it’ll be great to see Scott, Hope, and the gang all back. The real intrigue is Jonathan Majors. His “He Who Remains” performance is the most electrifying singular appearance we’ve seen in the MCU. Now we see Kang in all his glory and hopefully get some more answers to the multiverse. Hopefully there’ll be some footage with a “See You Soon.”
I’ll basically set this up in three different levels, each with decreasing odds of actually happening:
1) Some footage with our first look at Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Besides introducing audiences to the MCU’s take on Atlantis, Namor, Namora, Attuma, and Riri Williams, this would always be a special project following Chadwick Boseman’s passing. Ryan Coogler and the team behind the movie have worked extremely hard to give us a majestic sequel to Black Panther and seeing it finally come to fruition is extremely high on my wishlist.
2) New information regarding Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four. After years of expectations, and theories regarding who might get to portray Marvel’s First Family on the big screen, finally getting an official announcement would feel like the once impossible movie is one step closer to becoming a reality. Getting a director confirmation would also do wonders in terms of shedding some light on what might be Kevin Feige’s approach to the project.
3) With all the talk that the MCU’s Phase 4 lacks direction, getting an announcement of a project spinning out of several Phase 4 entries would do wonders in terms of making audiences relax regarding the MCU’s near future. Be it a project focusing on the Young Avengers (bringing together characters from Hawkeye, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Secret Invasion, Multiverse of Madness, and Quantumania), or on the Thunderbolts (Black Widow, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Falcon and the Winter Soldier), by getting news of what we might call Phase 4’s Phase 2 would bring us closer to understanding what secret wars might be in store in the MCU’s upcoming future.
Fans like myself were relieved to see the film rights to Marvel’s most beloved characters return to Marvel Studios after Fox somewhat butchered the X-Men and Fantastic Four. With the deal having only been completed 4 months before, it’s understandable that at SDCC in July of 2019, Feige could only bring mere mention to the plans the studio had for the F4 and mutants. However, it has now been 3 years since Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox. And aside from the appearance (and prompt disposal) of Earth-838’s Professor X and Mr. Fantastic, and a directorless Fantastic Four film in the works, the only indication fans have had after 3 years that these characters are on the horizon is the word ‘mutation’ being dropped at the end of Ms. Marvel.
Yes, fans know that the pantheon of characters once forbidden to be touched by Marvel Studios will soon be making their way into the MCU. But after 3 grueling years, knowing just doesn’t cut it anymore. I want to see it. That is why my SDCC 2022 wish list simply consists of a rundown on how Marvel Studios plans to integrate the properties once belonging to 21st Century Fox into the MCU. Now, will this happen? No, there is no chance in hell that this will happen. Will Marvel Studios instead probably date their upcoming Disney+ series’, show some footage from an upcoming film or two, maybe even announce a certain Halloween special? Yeah, that sounds very reasonable. But the ‘what ifs’ of how Marvel Studios will choose to explain the fact that Mutants have been completely absent from the MCU thus far, or whether or not they will explore the Fantastic Four’s origin in their upcoming film have been cluttering my brain for far too long. So, if Feige takes the Hall-H stage and announces Marvel’s plans for the Mutants and Fantastic Four, which include the new director of the Fantastic Four movie and maybe a little more information on it, as well as a core X-Men movie, a proper Magneto origin project, a Storm movie, a New Mutants series, an X-Factor series, a Hellfire Club series, an Excalibur series, a Starjammers series, I will finally be at peace. Anyway this will certainly not happen, but you can bet that I am looking forward to that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer they will probably release. And who knows, maybe they’ll confirm Namor is a mutant.
Blade. When Mahershala Ali came out in 2019 and put on the Daywalker hat like the first pick in the NFL draft, it signaled that things were about to get real trippy and comic-booky for the MCU. 3 years later we don’t know much other than the director and some casting… Oh, and he stopped Jon Snow from picking up the ebony blade! That short intro was incredibly exciting, as was the casting of Delroy Lindo and Aaron Pierre (as perhaps Jamal Afari?), and with rumors that we could see Blade go toe to toe with Dracula, this is at the top of my wish list.
Then, I need to see Kang. Maybe a mash-up of different Kangs in different projects teasing the secret war ahead. Mahershala v Majors down the line in a Blade versus Kang fight? All in.
And, lastly, I’d kill for the Fantastic Four cast and director to be announced. There’s a lot of speculation on who will play who and where, but I loved Krasinski’s take on a weary and still arrogant Reed Richards and wouldn’t mind him being Mr. Fantastic. Him being directed by Spielberg, maybe? Home run.
While more of an esoteric than any specific desire for San Diego Comic Con, I’d most want to learn as much context for the upcoming slate of Marvel Studios projects. When looking back at Marvel Studios’ showing at the 2019 event, the most interesting takeaways weren’t really the announcement of the projects themselves (there weren’t really any surprises on that front for those who knew where to look). Instead, curiosity was most piqued at what those projects would be bringing to the table. It was at the 2019 Hall H panel that the concept of the multiverse was quietly established as a major future narrative direction through Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Loki. It was also where audiences learned that the Ten Rings would be coming back into the fold of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Shang-Chi and that Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster would become the Mighty Thor in Love and Thunder. Being able to receive this level of context and major story elements for projects like potentially Secret Invasion, Echo, or Captain America 4 (amongst others) would go a long way in creating sustainable intrigue well past this year’s Hall H showcase.