I would not be surprised to learn how many people had not yet started their Disney+ subscription until the middle of January because they were 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 the D23 expo in 2019 confirmed that the streaming service would drop several TV series that tie into the MCU.
While the dazzlingly unique WandaVision has already had its explosive series finale and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier officially gave us a new Captain America in its last episode, there are plenty more shows starring your favorite Marvel characters (and some highly anticipated newcomers) that have yet to debut, but the question of when remains a mystery (among other things) for some. Fortunately, 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.
Loki (June 9, 2021)
The opening of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War saw Thor’s adopted brother suffer his third, and most convincing, death yet, prompting questions of how he would be resurrected next. The sight of a 2012-era Loki using the Tesseract to escape capture in Avengers: Endgame the following year gave us the hint we needed to make sense of plans for Tom Hiddelston’s upcoming spin-off series.
From director Kate Herron and head writer Michael Waldron, the show (also starring Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku, and Richard E. Grant) follows the God of Mischief after his Avengers: Endgame cameo. That is about as far as we know about the first season Loki, which is set to premiere on Disney+ on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, giving it plenty of time to lead into Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, scheduled for March of the following year.
What If…? (Summer 2021)
These days, a streaming platform without its own the anthology series almost feel incomplete. Disney+ will follow that trend with 23 episodes of the animated What If…?, which is set for release in the Summer of 2021.
Inspired by a comic book of the same name that explores alternative storylines involving Marvel’s most iconic characters, the series will follow the same concept by reimagining pivotal moments of the MCU and putting key characters on an entirely different path. Established actors of the franchise, including Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan to Peggy Carter actress Hayley Atwell will lend their voices to reprise their roles on 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?”
Hawkeye (Late 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, Kate Bishop - the third character to take up the Hawkeye mantle in Marvel Comics and the first female to do so. It was recently confirmed after a long history of rumors that Oscar-nominee Hailee Steinfeld will play the young archer when Hawkeye premieres on Disney+ in late 2021.
Ms. Marvel (Late 2021)
In Marvel Comics, before Carol Danvers took on the traditionally male role of Captain Marvel, she originated the traditionally 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 name, Ms. Marvel will be brought into the universe under the identity of the comics' current iteration.
The Ms. Marvel series will follow Pakistani American teenager Kamala Khan, the first Muslim character to headline a comic book, and her rise to superheroism after she discovers that she has shapeshifting abilities. Newcomer Iman Vellani will debut as the young heroine when the series debuts on Disney+ in 2021, before appearing in Nia DaCosta's upcoming Captain Marvel sequel in November of that year.
Moon Knight (2022)
New TV shows centered on lesser-known comic book heroes are also on the horizon, such as one whom executives have been trying to adapt for live-action entertainment for years. The upcoming series Moon Knight, set for a 2022 Disney+ release, will be directed by Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Diab and run by The Umbrella Academy developer Jeremy Slater.
Star Wars star Oscar Isaac will play the title character of Moon Knight - a lunar-powered kung-fu master and tech wizard named Marc Spector. He 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 part of MCU canon yet.
It may come as a surprise to more casual fans that Bruce Banner 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, due for release in 2022, will be the first live-action adaptation of Jennifer Walters, whose story as a muscle-bound, green-skinned attorney/vigilante begins with a blood transfusion from her radioactive cousin. Emmy-winning Orphan Black star Tatiany Maslnay, after some confusing back-and-forth over news of her casting earlier this year, was finally confirmed as the series' lead, along with word of an appearance by Ruffalo and also Tim Roth returning as Abomination.
Secret Invasion (TBA)
In addition to its bizarre, mysterious premise, fans anticipated Disney+'s first Marvel-based series WandaVision for how it would connect to future MCU installments, such as the aforementioned Doctor Strange sequel that Elizabeth Olsen is confirmed to appear in. A mid-credits sequence in the season finale seems to have paved the way toward Secret Invasion - an upcoming Disney+ show named after the 2008 comic book crossover event that revealed several superheroes were really Skrulls in disguise.
No confirmed showrunners or directors are currently attached to the show, which will star Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn returning to his Captain Marvel role Talos. The news of Secret Invasion (which also has yet to be given an official release date) assured fans' suspicions that a previously untitled series led by Jackson's former S.H.I.E.L.D. director announced in September would be MCU's official adaptation of the popular arc.
Another game-changing Marvel Comics event which fans have been anticipating the live action treatment of is when Riri Williams took over for Tony Stark as Ironheart. That succession will be reinterpreted to fit the MCU canon in a series named after the young armored vigilante.
Cast in the role of the titular, teenage genius is Dominique Thorne, who made her screen debut in the Academy Award-winning film If Beale Street Could Talk and later appeared in Judas and the Black Messiah sometime in February 2021. There is no word at the moment, however, when Ironheart will premiere on Disney+.
Armor Wars (TBA)
Speaking of armored vigilantes, "Armor Wars" is yet another celebrated Marvel Comics arc becoming a TV show for Disney+ at some point in the future. The storyline follows Tony Stark in a struggle to retrieve his Iron Man tech after falling into the wrong hands.
Of course, given the events of Avengers: Endgame, Robert Downey Jr. is unable to reprise his role for this other Iron Man spin-off series either. Thus, Armor Wars will be reimagined with James "Rhodey" Rhodes, otherwise known as War Machine, as the central character with Don Cheadle returning to the role.
I Am Groot (TBA)
Another beloved Marvel hero getting what is destined to be the cutest MCU-related show to debut on Disney+ is Groot. The series of short films, centered on the Guardians of the Galaxy's tree-like creature, has been fittingly titled I Am Groot.
The announcement of the spin-off came in addition to word of a Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special also coming to the digital platform in late 2022. Yet, at this time, there is no confirmation of when I Am Groot will premiere or if Vin Diesel is returning to the role.
Untitled Black Panther Spin-Off Series (TBA)
In 2010, BET aired an animated miniseries based off the Black Panther comic books with no canonical connection to the MCU (other than the coincidence of Djimon Honsou as T'Challa). However, Ryan Coogler, director of 2018's award-winning, smash hit adaptation, is about to bring his interpretation to the small screen as well.
As part of a new five-year deal between Disney and his company, Proximity Media, Coogler is developing a TV show set in the kingdom of Wakanda for Disney+, in addition to writing and directing his feature-length sequel to Black Panther, slated for 2022. No further details for the upcoming spin-off series (including the general plot, release, or title) are currently known.
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. For more updates, such as plot details and release dates, please stand by.