Movie time has been at a premium lately so I haven’t been able to watch much but after the announcements at SDCC this weekend it was an area where it felt like this was a great time to just talk about the Marvel Studios stuff a bit.
With the fourth phase films and TV projects in place, we’ve got an intriguing slate that’s made up of some introductions, a few sequels, and some expansions. There are no true “big ticket” films here in the vein of Avengers but there are films that will do very well as we’ve seen before. There’s a lot more uncertainty to some of these projects which adds a layer of excitement because there’s this sense that things are even more open to possibility than they were before. Just the fact that a Loki series exists that deals with the out of place version of him from Avengers is intriguing.
With Black Widow, we get to give the character a proper send-off with what should be a solid story that mixes past and likely recent events that eases in the next person to take on the mantle of the character, as happened in the comics before. I’m pretty psyched for this as it has a great cast and it’s introducing one of my favorite villains from childhood with Taskmaster.
The Eternals as a project is hugely exciting because it’s one that most fans, myself included, have no skin in the game with. It’s not something that registers for most and how it’s going to be adapted is completely up in the air. But it has a cast that’s unlike other Marvel films and I’m just thrilled at the idea of Salma Hayek in a Marvel film like this.
What needs to be said about Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings beyond having Tony Leung giving us what should be a definitive Mandarin? Simu Liu is almost a complete unknown to me outside of him guesting in an episode of The Expanse so there’s a really great sense of newness there that’s appealing. I’ve got no investment in the original comics or updates done over the years so this is another fresh title for me.
While Doctor Strange may have been Iron Man with magic, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has me really excited because I enjoyed the first film and the appearances elsewhere to open up more of the realm of magic. With the WandaVision series tying into it, there’s a lot of foundation that can be laid down there and further the idea of connectivity.
Finally, I’m super excited for Thor: Love and Thunder. I’m a fan of all the actors involved over the length of their careers, Taika Waititi gets how to manage this property, and the logo feels like it’s right out of some 70s action/fantasy animated project in all the right ways. I wasn’t able to read all of the comics that set up some of this that they’re working from, but I loved what I read and while Natalie Portman can’t replicate the stature, I’m curious to see what Hollywood transformational magic might occur here to bring it to life.
On the Disney+ side of things, I’m naturally on board with something that lets all of this gets explored further. My poor playlist, however, in trying to come up with a full singular way of viewing everything chronologically! At this point, I think the Falcon and Winter Soldier is at the top of my list to see since it’s going to give us some Baron Zemo material and more Agent 13. I’m also looking forward to the Hawkeye series to see who they cast as Kate Bishop and just for Renner to have some really strong screentime to bring the character to life fully.
The What If…? series, being animated, is part of the continuity and will use the actors to reprise their roles when they can, and I’m in love with it. I loved the comics of these in the 80s and what they did with them and have great hopes for something silly, weird, scary, and exciting with this. Especially with Jeffrey Wright taking on the role of the Watcher!
With no new Marvel films until early next year, and only two of them on tap, it’s going to be light for a bit and that’s welcome. After Avengers: Endgame and Spider-man: Far From Home, a gap of just under a year will be good for things as a whole. None of the TV series are coming on until 2021 for most of them and only Falcon and Winter Soldier in summer 2020. This gap period is a great time to revisit The Infinity Saga itself.
I still can’t believe, after growing up as a kid reading these characters in the 80s, that they’d be such huge films with so many fans. It does nothing but warm my heart.