San Diego Comic-Con 2019 was a huge event if you're a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We were expecting a great deal from the Marvel Studios panel and we were not disappointed. We got a look at the complete MCU slate for the next two years and some additional teases of what is to come after that.
With so much news, it's difficult to pick a favorite part of what Marvel has planned, but we here at CinemaBlend have certainly tried. Almost everybody who roams the halls has chimed in with a thought. Here are the things that have each of us at CinemaBlend excited for the future.
Thor: Love And Thunder's A+ Title
VP of Product Mack Rawden:
We all have the same answer, right? It's obviously Thor: Love And Thunder's title. No? Everyone didn't pick this? That's dumb because Thor: Love And Thunder is such a perfect embodiment of everything that makes Thor as a character so wonderful. He's quirky, off-beat, aggressive, not always self-aware and hilarious. It sounds like a porn parody, looks like a discarded '80s metal album cover and has me so freaking excited for what's now angling to be the final movie of Marvel's Phase 4. I can't wait to throw my money at this project and hopefully laugh my ass off at the theater.
Natalie Portman Returns To Play Thor!
Managing Director Sean O'Connell:
One of the most exciting changes made to the God of Thunder, in the comics anyway, was when Jane Foster picked up Mjolnir and assumed the mantle of Thor after the Asgardian lost his ability to be the hero. (Nick Fury messed him up... it's complicated.) Marvel cast members are family, and Natalie Portman may have skipped out on Thor: Ragnarok, but she remains extremely important to the Thor franchise. If the MCU ever planned on doing Female Thor, it had to be Jane Foster... which means it HAD to be Natalie Portman. Her triumphant introduction on the Hall H stage during Marvel's panel was electric, and immediately controversial, though I'm extremely excited by her return, and this turn of events.
The Direct Link Between WandaVision And Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness
Events Editor Eric Eisenberg:
The reveal that the events that play out in WandaVision are going to be directly tied to the plot of Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness is insanely exciting for two major reasons. For starters, while it has been teased in recent months as part of the Disney+ developments, this is the first time that Marvel Studios is doing coordinated storytelling between two mediums, which is a huge deal when you consider how the movies have largely ignored the various existing shows released to this point. More specifically, though, the fact that Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch is playing a key role in both makes me think that we will soon see the Marvel Cinematic Universe fully embrace the true extent of her powers from the comics - her ability to warp reality – and that could ultimately have a massive impact on the future of the franchise (as in “it’s a way to introduce the X-Men” massive).
Bringing Back Blade!
Product Manager Cody Beck:
At first, I was mostly excited for all things Thor (Ragnarok is my #1 MCU movie, @ me) but I had absolutely zero expectation that one of the big Phase 4 reveals would be Blade. I loved Blade when I was younger and the prospect of having our first "R-rated" MCU movie is bloody brilliant. Top that off with a great casting choice in Mahershala Ali, and you can just shut up and take my money.
The MCU Investing In Horror
Traffic Analyst Braden Roberts:
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is going to be the MCU’s first foray into horror and I couldn’t be more excited to be frightened. Plus, that title! Giving off serious H.P. Lovecraft vibes. At The Mountains of Madness, anyone? I’m hoping that tackling the horror genre will open up the MCU to darker and more adult story telling, such as the upcoming Blade. Perhaps Marvel is testing the waters and ultimately paving the way for the MCU’s first R-rated feature? Fingers crossed.
More Simu Liu Please!
News Director Jessica Rawden:
I’ve been pumped about Shang-Chi possibly coming to the MCU for a while, but I mostly loved that Marvel cast Simu Liu, who is mostly known for the underrated Kim’s Convenience (thanks, Netflix). Also, the fact that he straight up asked Marvel for an audition years ago on Twitter cracks me up. I hope he’s as active on social media as the likes of Tom Holland or Mark Ruffalo!
There Can Be Only One...
Features Writer Mick Joest:
Personally, I'm most excited to see Falcon and the Winter Soldier and all that will happen after Steve allegedly passed on the mantle of Captain America. Was it even his title to give? How did Bucky feel about that? Does Sam want to be the next Captain America, and is he even equipped to handle that kind of responsibility? I'm ready for all those questions to be hashed out, and hopefully, Marvel will also tack on an explanation to how Cap lived an alternate timeline, but still made it back to his own timeline.
More Of The Sinister, Avengers-Era Loki
Shift Editor Adam Holmes:
When Loki was killed by Thanos at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, it looked like that'd be the last time we'd see him. But Avengers: Endgame showed us an alternate timeline Loki from The Battle of New York era escaping with the Tesseract, and now we know that this is the Loki we'll follow along with in the Disney+ series. I'm a sucker for time travel, so the premise of Loki visiting different time periods already had me hooked, but the fact that it'll be following this alternate Loki is even better. We get to spend more time with a Loki who's nowhere near the path to redemption, and we get to further explore an alternate time period, which is still a fresh concept for the MCU and other future projects will hopefully take advantage of.
Natalie Portman Bringing Down The Hammer In Love And Thunder
Video Partnerships Lead Jeff McCobb:
Yes, the title is amazing. Yes, Natalie Portman is a wonderful actress. But it's not the film itself that I'm most excited for... it's the shorts that Taika Waititi will inevitably produce before the film's release. I'm a huge fan of Taika and those mockumentary shorts with Thor and Darryl are amazing. Well now, I bet we see Jane Foster pop up in some of them, which would be hilarious. She doesn't take Thor's crap and quite literally slaps him around. Maybe she'll even have to put Fat Thor in his place... we can only hope.
Mahershala Ali Is The New Blade!
Senior Movie Contributor Mike Reyes:
After Blade: Trinity closed its series out, it felt like no one would be able to equal Wesley Snipes' swagger and menace in the role. But then Marvel stumbled upon Mahershala Ali, who's given them not one, but two stand out performances in Luke Cage and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Now he's been cast as the new Blade, and between his acting chops and his ability to present attitude effectively on screen, I'm ready to ice skate uphill for some new adventures with the Daywalker. Let's just hope they nail that R-rating in place, before they get started.
Disney+ And The MCU
Staff Writer And Associate Editor Dirk Libbey:
Quite possibly the best part about the list of MCU announcements was that many of them weren't even movies. Of the 10 projects confirmed for Phase 4, a full half of them were series destined for Disney+. Not only will these shows be part of the MCU that we know and love, but in at least one case, the series WandaVision and the movie Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, there will be a direct connection between them. These series have the ability to add a depth to the MCU that the movies alone have never been able to accomplish alone.
The Eternals: Talk About Star Power!
Staff Writer Sarah El-Mahmoud:
This just scratches the surface of how much hype SDCC created for me surrounding Phase 4 but the MCU has some of the most fun entries when its ventured into cosmic heights, such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok. So while The Eternals is a blind spot for me as far as Marvel characters go, I'm intrigued by what the studio has in store for us in November 2020. Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie sharing a billing is already exciting in any movie, but they're going to be badass Celestials and alongside the immensely talented Brian Tyree Henry, Kumail Nanjiani and Richard Madden?? Can't. Wait.
Nobody knew quite what to expect following Avengers: Endgame. Would the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever had a chance of topping itself? That's certainly a long term question, but so far, we're all incredibly excited for what the future has in store.