Three years have passed since the last Marvel Studios panel at San Diego Comic-Con, but the entertainment juggernaut’s return was worth the wait. Appearing in front of a packed crowd in Hall H, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was set to make many announcements about their upcoming film and TV properties. He took the stage shortly after 5:00pm PT Saturday, and the high level of expectation from fans was palpable.
The expected news comes at what is essentially the halfway point of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the massive “Avengers: Endgame” wrapped up many of the franchise’s original storylines, the studio has rebuilt with a combination of new properties and legacy sequels. Films like “Black Widow,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” and “Thor: Love and Thunder” reminded fans that many of the heroes they love aren’t going anywhere. At the same time, movies like “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Eternals” proved that Marvel still has plenty of new characters to introduce. The studio is charting a parallel course with its television strategy, finding a balance between new shows like “Moon Knight” and “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” and utilizing familiar faces in “Loki” and “WandaVision.”
But if today’s announcement is any indicator, Marvel is already looking far into the future, setting its sights on Phase 5 and beyond.
Kevin Feige confirmed that this fall’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” will be the final film in Phase 4 of the MCU. Phase 5 will kick off with “Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” followed by the upcoming Disney+ series “Secret Invasion” and “Echo” and the highly anticipated films “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and “The Marvels.”
Feige described “Secret Invasion” as a dark, gritty political conspiracy thriller featuring S.H.I.E.L.D. legends like Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
Those will be followed by Season 2 of “Loki,” an upcoming reboot of “Blade” that is scheduled to hit theaters on November 3, 2023, and a six-episode “Ironheart” series on Disney+ starring Dominique Thorne.
The rest of Phase 5 will include the new series “Agatha: Coven of Chaos,” a new “Captain America” sequel titled “Captain America: New World Order,” and “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” on Disney+.
A new trailer for “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” gave fans their best look yet at the upcoming superhero legal series, and concludes with a cameo from none other than Charlie Cox as Daredevil. And that won’t be the last that Marvel fans see of Cox in the near future…
Perhaps the most exciting announcement was “Daredevil: Born Again,” a new Disney+ series that features Charlie Cox reprising his role as Daredevil (from “Daredevil” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home”). Vincent d’Onofrio will also reprise his role as Wilson Fisk.
Finally, Phase 5 will end with “Thunderbolts,” a new movie about a group of villains sent on missions by the government from director Jake Schreier. “Thunderbolts” will hit theaters on July 26, 2024.
Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Kathryn Newton, and director Peyton Reed all showed up to promote “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” Fans got an early look at the trailer, which features a cameo from Bill Murray. And Jonathan Majors made an appearance as Kang the Conqueror.
James Gunn was on hand to discuss “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which is set to conclude his trilogy. After debuting some early footage featuring Zoe Saldana as Gamora and Will Poulter as Adam Warlock, Gunn shared that Maria Bakalova voices Cosmo the Spacedog in the new film. He also revealed that the film will touch on Rocket Raccoon’s backstory.
Gunn got emotional as the cast joined him on stage, choking up as he revealed that the most rewarding thing about working on the “Guardians of the Galaxy” trilogy was collaborating with his brother, actor Sean Gunn.
Chukwudi Iwuji, who joined the cast of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” after working with Gunn on “Peacemaker,” showed up in costume as High Evolutionary. He made his way through the crowd before joining Gunn and the rest of the cast on stage.
After introducing Iwuji as the franchise’s latest villain, Gunn bid the crowd farewell and ended the evening on an emotional note.
“I love you sincerely,” he said. “I can’t wait to share this movie with you.”
But Marvel’s Comic-Con festivities didn’t stop with Phase 5! Kevin Feige announced that Phase 6 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe would include the upcoming reboot of “Fantastic Four,” which has been the subject of endless speculation and fancasting.
Phase 6 will also feature two new “Avengers” movies titled “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” and “Avengers: Secret Wars,” which will be released within six months of each other with “The Kang Dynasty” on May 2, 2025 and “Secret Wars” on November 7, 2025
When combined, Phases 5 and 6 will tell a coherent story titled “The Multiverse Saga.”
After dropping that bombshell, Feige moved on to one of this fall’s most anticipated blockbusters: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” After starting the presentation with an African music and dance performance, he introduced Ryan Coogler. The director reminisced about his first appearance at Comic-Con for “Black Panther,” and got emotional as he recalled his experiences working with Chadwick Boseman.
He brought out returning cast members Lupita Nyong’O, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, and Winston Duke before introducing many of the new faces appearing in the sequel. Tenoch Huerta plays Namor, the Submariner and Dominique Thorne plays Ironheart in both “Wakanda Forever” and the Disney+ series “Ironheart.”
Kevin Feige ended the panel by expressing his enthusiasm to see this crowd again next year, confirming that there won’t be another three year hiatus between Marvel Comic-Con panels.