Kevin Feige just gave us an exclusive look at the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here are five takeaways.
As we approach the two year anniversary of Avengers: Endgame, it is clear that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in for some big changes. With the exit of prominent characters like Iron Man and Captain America, new heroes are to be introduced this year, both through film and television on the Disney + streaming service. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a lot of uncertainty not just about the future of movie theaters but also about how we can make entertainment in a safe manner. President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, took the opportunity to shed some light on the future of the MCU for diehard fans everywhere. Here are five of the most important hints to where the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going in 2021 and beyond.
Marvel is about to celebrate its first official production on Disney + with the release of WandaVision on January 22nd. Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, the show follows the aftermath of Vision’s death in Avengers: Endgame as a distraught Wanda creates a pocket of reality where the two can coexist. However, things are not as they seem as odd circumstances start to plague the couple’s perfect suburban life. WandaVision is looking to be the launching pad for phase four of the MCU and especially Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in which Elizabeth Olsen will also appear in. Kevin Feige has made sure to let us know that WandaVision is unlike anything we’ve seen on television before. Bouncing between genres, styles, and time periods actress Elizabeth Olsen even had to film in front of a live studio audience to capture the feeling of 1950s sitcoms.
Wanda and Vision aren’t the only characters making their triumphant return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fan favorite Kat Dennings, who played Darcy Lewis in both Thor and Thor: The Dark World, as well as Randall Park as FBI Agent Jimmy Woo, previously featured in Ant-Man and the Wasp, will also appear. Even more intriguing is the resurgence of Monica Rambeau. Monica was first introduced in Captain Marvel as the daughter of Carol Danvers’ best friend, Maria Rambeau. Now portrayed by Teyonah Parris, WandaVision will offer a more mature look at a character we previously only knew as a child.
Other Disney + Shows
WandaVision isn’t the only Marvel show making its premiere on Disney +. In an interview with Collider, Kevin Feige gave us more of an idea of what to expect. He spoke about procuring the length of each episode and season for the lineup. Programs like Loki and Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be developed as six forty to fifty minute episodes. Considering that Falcon and the Winter Soldier has been heavily advertised as a more grounded action television series, it would make sense that the individual episodes would skew longer. This is also true for the upcoming Moonknight starring Oscar Isaac, which will also have six forty to fifty minute episodes. More lighthearted fare like the in development She-Hulk series will opt for ten thirty minute episodes. Despite these promises, Feige has noted that the length of each episode will not be binary, and they can range depending on what the plot requires. It seems that Disney + will take a similar approach they took for The Mandalorian, where episodes could range from thirty minutes to sixty.
For those of us who were worried that we’d never see the X-Men again, Kevin Feige assuaged a lot of those fears. Since Disney acquired 20th Century Fox in 2019 in a landmark merger, they also acquired all of 20th Century Fox’s IP, including their rights to the X-Men. The beloved mutants were last seen in August 2020’s The New Mutants and 2019’s Dark Phoenix. With the merger leaving our favorite superhero’s fates in jeopardy, we have been wondering what Marvel plans to do. They could either bring back actors like Patrick Stewart or Hugh Jackman, who portrayed Professor X and Wolverine, respectively, or scoop an entirely new cast. With the recent announcement that 20th Century Fox’s other Marvel property, The Fantastic Four, will be coming to the big screen with Jon Watts as director, many have questions about the future of X-Men. Feige wasn’t able to give much information, but he did reveal the conversations to reboot the franchise were ongoing. However, we do know that one character from the X-Men series will be making his debut in the MCU.
Deadpool’s Back… And Ready for More
We haven’t heard much from our favorite foul mouthed, fourth wall breaking, mercenary Deadpool in a couple of years. The superhero romp and its sequel, released in 2016 and 2018, paid off in a huge way for 20th Century Fox by becoming the second and third highest grossing R rated films of all time. With the merger between Disney and Fox, fans were very worried that Deadpool would either be lost in the shuffle or made into a scrubbed clean PG-13 shell of its former self. The violence and language that permeate the films have made Deadpool a beloved character around the world. Feige told Collider that Deadpool will not only be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a third movie but will also retain its R rating. He also divulged that the film is already in development with sisters Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin and Wendy Molyneux writing the script with oversight from star Ryan Reynolds. However, Feige tells us not to get too excited since we probably won’t be seeing Deadpool 3 until 2022 at the earliest.
The Release of Black Widow
Expected to release on May 1, 2020, Marvel’s Black Widow has experienced a troubled journey to screens due to the coronavirus pandemic. The film follows Natasha Romanoff, played by Scarlett Johansson, as she confronts her past and history as a spy. This highly anticipated release will be Marvel’s first since Spider-Man: Far From Home’s 2019 premiere. However, as the coronavirus pandemic rages on in the United States and Europe, leading to the closure of more theaters, the plan might have to be reconsidered. After all, Disney had its own successful virtual release of their newest animated film, Soul, while HBO Max broke records by releasing Wonder Woman: 1984 on streaming as well as in theaters. Things changed even further when Warner Bros. announced that all of its new movies in 2021 would debut simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters. Many wondered if other companies would take a similar strategy despite the anger it caused among industry veterans. Feige hinted that Disney could take this approach with Black Widow by releasing it on Disney + and in theaters.