In Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, Miss Minutes clocked in to introduce Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and chief creative officer of Marvel. Feige was joined onstage by moderator Ash Crossan to deliver Marvel Studios’ long-awaited live-action panel. Feige didn’t disappoint the enthusiastic crowd, showcasing the upcoming slate of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) titles with trailers, special looks, Q&As with talent and filmmakers, major announcements, and a live, show-stopping performance. Fans at San Diego Comic-Con were also the first to learn that Phases 4, 5, and 6 are officially part of the Multiverse Saga, which will conclude with two new Avengers films.
Fans won’t have to wait long for the next Phase 4 title, as She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, will debut exclusively on Disney+ August 17, 2022. Directors Kat Coiro and Anu Valia, along with head writer Jessica Gao, were joined by cast members Tatiana Maslany, Ginger Gonzaga, and Jameela Jamil for a Q&A about the new series and to share a new trailer (above). She-Hulk: Attorney at Law centers on Jennifer Walters (Maslany), an attorney specializing in superhuman-oriented legal cases who must navigate the complicated life of a single, 30-something who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk. The nine-episode comedy series welcomes MCU veterans Mark Ruffalo as Smart Hulk, Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/the Abomination, and Benedict Wong as Wong, and newcomers Josh Segarra, Jon Bass, and Renée Elise Goldsberry.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever capped the Hall H presentation to thunderous roars and applause, beginning with a live performance by Baaba Maal (vocals), Massamba Diop (tama), dancers, and drummers. Feige was joined on stage by director Ryan Coogler and cast members Mabel Cadena, Michaela Cole, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Tenoch Huerta, Florence Kasumba, Alex Livinalli, Lupita Nyong’o, Dominique Thorne, and Letitia Wright for a Q&A and first look at the film’s first trailer (above). In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Wright), M’Baku (Duke), Okoye (Gurira), and the Dora Milaje (including Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. The film introduces Tenoch Huerta as Namor, king of a hidden undersea nation. Feige also announced Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will end Phase 4 and open in U.S. theaters on November 11, 2022.
Feige—joined by director Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, and Kathryn Newton—announced that Phase 5 will kick off with Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania on February 17, 2023. Epic in scale and tone, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is a sci-fi adventure that is decidedly unique to the franchise. Super Hero partners Scott Lang (Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Lilly) return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and The Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the family finds themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they imagined possible.
Next, Secret Invasion will launch on Disney+ in Spring 2023. Cobie Smulders—who reprises her role as Maria Hill, a decorated spy and Nick Fury’s loyal No. 2—appeared onstage to share details about the thrilling new series and share an exclusive clip. Secret Invasion stars Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn as the Skrull Talos—characters who first met in Captain Marvel. They are joined by Kingsley Ben-Adir, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, and Regé-Jean Page. The crossover event series showcases a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls who have been infiltrating Earth for years.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will open in theaters on May 5, 2023. With director James Gunn taking the lead, actors Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Will Poulter, and Maria Bakalova took part in an engaging discussion. Chukwudi Iwuji then arrived onstage in costume to announce he is play ingHigh Evolutionary. The audience also got a special look at the feature film, which showed the beloved band of misfits looking a bit different these days. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Peter Quill (Pratt), still reeling from the loss of Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), must rally his team around him to defend the universe along with protecting one of their own—a mission that, if unsuccessful, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.
New details emerged regarding a host of previously announced titles in Phase 5. Three series are currently in production for Disney+: Echo (streaming Summer 2023), Loki Season 2 (streaming Summer 2023), and Ironheart (streaming Fall 2023). Agatha: Coven of Chaos begins filming later (streaming Winter 2023). Phase 5 theatrical releases include The Marvels, directed by Nia DaCosta and opening July 28, 2023, and Blade, which will begin shooting in October and open in theaters November 3, 2023. Feige also shared for the first time a trio of captivating projects that will debut in 2024:
- Captain America: New World Order will open in theaters on May 3, 2024.
- Daredevil: Born Again, an 18-episode season starring Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio, will stream on Disney+ in Spring 2024.
- Thunderbolts, featuring an exciting new group of heroes, will open in theaters on July 26, 2024.
Looking ahead, Phase 6 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe promises compelling storytelling and Marvel Studios’ signature style of adventure. Fantastic Four will open in theaters on November 8, 2024; production kicks off in 2023 for the feature film that introduces Marvel’s most iconic family. Avengers: The Kang Dynasty will open in theaters May 2, 2025, followed by Avengers: Secret Wars, opening November 7, 2025.
The day prior, fans got a sneak peek at what’s in the works from Marvel Studios’ Animation via Brad Winderbaum, Marvel Studios’ head of streaming television and animation; Ryan Meinerding, head of visual development; Bryan Andrews, director of What If…? and executive producer of Marvel Zombies; AC Bradley, writer and executive producer of What If…?; Beau DeMayo, writer and executive producer of X-Men ‘97; Kirsten Lepore, writer, director, and executive producer of I Am Groot; and Jeff Trammell, head writer and executive producer of Spider-Man: Freshman Year.
Lepore answered questions about I Am Groot and treated the audience to the trailer (above) and key art. A surprise screening of one of the shorts, “Groot Takes a Bath,” delighted the audience, who applauded when a second collection of shorts was announced. In I Am Groot, there’s no guarding the galaxy from this mischievous toddler! So, get ready as Baby Groot takes center stage in his very own collection of shorts, exploring his glory days growing up—and getting into trouble—among the stars. I Am Groot, five original shorts featuring several new and unusual characters, stars everyone’s favorite little tree, Baby Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel. The executive producers are Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Winderbaum, and Gunn. I Am Groot launches exclusively on Disney+ August 10, with all five shorts available at once.
Trammell teased Spider-Man: Freshman Year with the cast of characters, and Meinerding showed off the new Spider-Man suit designed for the series. It was also announced that panel moderator Paul F. Tompkins will play a character in the series. Spider-Man: Freshman Year will follow Peter Parker on his way to becoming Spider-Man in the MCU—in a journey unlike we’ve ever seen and in a style that celebrates the character’s early comic book roots. The series will debut on Disney+ in 2024. During the panel, a second season was announced, aptly titled Spider-Man: Sophomore Year.
Andrews and Bradley discussed the Emmy® Award-nominated series What If…? and showed the trailer for the second season, launching exclusively on Disney+ in early 2023. The audience went wild when, at the end of the presentation, a surprise screening of one episode from the highly anticipated season was shown and a third season was announced. The second season of What If…? continues the journey with The Watcher as our guide through the vast multiverse, introducing new and familiar faces throughout the MCU. The animated series questions, revisits, and twists classic moments with an incredible voice cast that includes stars who reprise their iconic roles.
Andrews shared background on Marvel Zombies and its origins spawning from a Season 1 episode of What If…?, as well as concept art. Marvel Zombies will reimagine the Marvel Universe as a new generation of heroes battle against an ever-spreading zombie scourge. Written by executive producer Zeb Wells, it will stream on Disney+.
The audience erupted in cheers when Winderbaum reflected on the legacy of X-Men: The Animated Series and presented a sizzle reel featuring cast and creatives from the popular ‘90s animated show. DeMayo then spoke about X-Men ‘97, shared artwork, and presented an animatic AV piece. DeMayo also mentioned the series will use the original X-Men theme music, and a second season was announced. X-Men ‘97, set in the iconic ‘90s timeline of the original series, will stream only on Disney+ in Fall 2023.