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Anyone who has not yet seen the Star Wars-inspired hit series The Mandalorian more than likely has the excuse of having not yet started their Disney+ subscription. This is probably due to the fact that they are waiting for the release of the streaming service’s exclusive Marvel TV shows.
Disney’s answer to Netflix was already met with strong reactions of anticipation upon its first announcement, but that excitement increased a hundredfold when last year’s D23 expo confirmed that the streaming service would drop several TV shows that will tie into the MCU. Pre-established fan favorites such as Hawkeye or Loki will be at the center of their own series, as well as lesser-known names of Marvel comics who have yet to be given the live action treatment.
There is still much mystery surrounding many of the upcoming Disney+ exclusive Marvel TV shows, such as when can expect them to finally release, how can WandaVision star Paul Bettany after his character’s (SPOILER ALERT) tragic end in Avengers: Infinity War, and what exactly is the animated anthology series What If…? about? We have most of those answers and more here in this rundown of all the exclusive Marvel content you can expect to see on Disney+ soon enough.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2020)
The unlikely partnership you never realized that you wanted to see until it was announced is Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan’s James “Bucky” Barnes. The bickering MCU heroes are teaming up for their own exclusive Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, that apparently, is said to take place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, which posits a number of questions.
If Avengers: Endgame concluded with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) passing the shield to Sam Wilson, should the series not be called Captain American and the Winter Soldier, or will his title be threatened by Wyatt Russell’s announced role as John Walker (a flip-flopping Cap clone)? Furthermore, with the return of Captain America: Civil War villain Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), will Bucky’s resistance to his assassin programming be put to the test again? We shall find out once The Falcon and the Winter Soldier drops on Disney+ in late 2020.
Hawkeye (Fall 2021)
It has been clear since 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron that all Jeremy Renner’s master archer wants to do is retire from the superhero life and finally settle down with his family. Well, it appears that the Disney+ exclusive Hawkeye will chronicle Clint Barton’s ascension from his MCU moniker, which also promises to be quite the family affair as well.
The six-episode limited series will follow Clint Barton training the successor to his Avengers title, a woman named Kate Bishop, the third Marvel comic character to take up the name Hawkeye and the first female to do so. There is currently no confirmation as to who will play the young archer, who is making her live action debut with this show, but we do know that she will be starring alongside Jeremy Renner himself, as we will see once Hawkeye premieres on Disney+ in the fall season of 2021.
Moon Knight (TBA)
Not only are MCU favorites getting the small screen treatment at Disney+, but new Marvel TV shows centered on some lesser-known comic book heroes are on the horizon. Among these characters is one that executives at Marvel have been trying to adapt for live-action entertainment for years, Moon Knight.
Moon Knight, which has yet to be given an official release date, will follow heavyweight boxer-turned-Marine-turned-mercenary Marc Spector who, after being left to die by a double-crossing colleague at an Egyptian archaeological dig, is resurrected as the Earthbound avatar for the vengeful god Khonshu. In addition to his lunar-powered abilities, skills in kung-fu, and technological expertise, Moon Knight also suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder, which will more than likely make his struggle to balance living as a billionaire playboy, cab driver, and god-like vigilante one of the most unique, and surely one of the darkest, stories to be featured in the MCU canon yet.
Ms. Marvel (TBA)
In the Marvel comics canon, before Carol Danvers took on the traditionally male role of Captain Marvel, she was the originator of the traditional female role of Ms. Marvel. However, since Academy Award-winner Brie Larson’s portrayal of the Kree warrior has been made the MCU’s sole owner of the Captain Marvel name, Ms. Marvel will be brought into the universe under the identity of the current holder of the title in the comic books.
The series Ms. Marvel will follow Pakistani American teenager Kamala Khan and her rise to superheroism after she discovers that she has shapeshifting abilities. The character made history in 2014 as the first Muslim to headline a comic book and will also be the first introduced to the MCU once she makes her small-screen debut on Disney+, that is unless the Captain Marvel sequel leaves a spot for her first.
When the opening scene of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War saw the third demise of Thor’s mischievous adopted brother, the most common reaction among fans was to ask how he would be brought back this time? Then, we received a hint in the form of an Avengers: Endgame sequence that sees 2012-era Loki use the Tesseract to escape capture, which made a lot more sense once Tom Hiddleston revealed plans for his character’s spin-off series.
Other than word that the series will focus on the villainous trickster’s adventures following his Avengers: Endgame cameo, there is still much more we have to learn about Loki before it premieres on Disney+, supposedly in the spring of 2021. However, as Kevin Feige revealed to Bloomberg in November 2019, the Marvel TV show will be heavily related to the upcoming sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Therefore, we may be able to expect some killer psychedelic visuals.
It may come as a surprise to some more casual Marvel fans that Bruce Banner, the alter-ego of the Incredible Hulk, actually has a cousin who is just as green as he is. No one seemed more excited over the announcement of her solo TV series than the MCU’s Hulk himself, Mark Ruffalo, who welcomed She-Hulk to the Marvel family on social media.
She-Hulk will be the first live-action adaptation of character Jessica Walters, whose canonical story as a muscle-bound, green heroine begins with a blood transfusion from her radioactive cousin, Bruce Banner. Not only has Mark Ruffalo not ruled out the possibility of making an appearance in the Disney+ exclusive series, he has been actively promoting its confirmation at D23, even making the otherwise unlikely casting suggestion of Tessa Thompson, who already made her MCU debut as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok.
The D23 announcement of a Marvel TV show centered on the romantic kinship of Wanda Maximov, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) was met with much confusion from fans, considering the Mind Stone-powered cybernetic organism’s tragic end in Avengers: Infinity War, prompting countless theories to his resurrection. However, any suspicions over how Vision could be brought back were put to bed when the MCU made light of WandaVision’s bizarre premise.
Promotional material for the series, whose released date on Disney+ was recently pushed up to mid-2020, boasts a setting reminiscent of a black-and-white, 1950s sitcom, which supposedly takes inspiration from Tom King’s The Vision series, but instead of being a story of a suburban android family, this will explore new territory of Wanda and Vision’s romance. We also know that, like Tom Hiddleston’s Loki spin-off, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be somehow linked to WandaVision, which star Paul Bettany promises is easily the “oddest of all the Marvel endeavors so far,” and certainly one I am most intrigued to learn more about.
What If…? (2021)
If you ask me, no streaming service worth its salt is complete without its own anthology series to add some additional variety to subscriber’s binge - case in point, Netflix’s Black Mirror or Hulu’s Into the Dark. Disney+ will follow suit and drop 23 episodes of its only original animated Marvel TV show, What If…?, in 2021.
The series, inspired by a comic book series of the same that explores alternative story ideas involving Marvel’s most iconic heroes, will follow the same concept by reimagining pivotal moments of the MCU that will put characters on an entirely different path. Established actors of the MCU, including Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan to Peggy Carter actress Hayley at are set to lend their voice talents to reprise their roles in What If…?, which is sure to mark new, irreverent territory for Marvel and pique the curiosity of those who ever wondered, “What if Captain America was a zombie?”
From stories revolving around characters who we’ve been waiting to see enter the MCU for years to stories involving our favorite characters that we could have never imagined, Disney+ is looking to be a refreshing turning point for Marvel with these highly anticipated TV shows. Be sure to check back for more updates, such as plot details and release dates, here on Cinemablend.