If you’re a fan of Star Wars, Marvel or even Indiana Jones, Christmas may have just come early for you. Last night, Disney announced a slew of new projects as well as providing us with an update on some of their imminent releases for both the big screen and their streaming platform Disney+.
From familiar faces, to brand new stories in alternate universes it seems that everyone will be getting a look-in in the coming years. There’s even a star from “a long time ago” making an appearance. With so much to tell you about why don’t we jump right into it?
With some of their projects already announced, most of the detailed announcements we got came from the house that Stan Lee built. Remember that unlike their Netflix counterparts, each of these TV shows will be intrinsically linked to the MCU film continuity. So, you can probably expect far more references and crossovers!
This will be the first of the new Marvel shows to hit our screens when it drops on Disney+ on January 15th. This seems to be Marvel’s first real foray into the idea of the Marvel multiverse (it will tie into both the upcoming Doctor Strange and Spider-Man movies focussed on the same idea). Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Scarlet Witch and Vision find themselves in a number of idyllic neighbourhoods, each seemingly based on different periods in TV sitcom history (with nods to shows like I Love Lucy, Married… With Children, and the Brady Bunch).
However, things may not all be as they appear as their neighbours become increasingly frenetic and scared of some unknown threat. Will this show bring Vision back into the MCU or will it be his swansong after his death in Infinity War? I guess we’ll find out in January!
The Falcon and Winter Soldier
Fondly dubbed the Falcon and Bucky show, this series will focus on the two-man team consisting of Captain America’s closest partners. Not a lot has been revealed about the show yet, but this trailer gives us a few hints as to what we can expect. It looks like the team will be working to take down Baron Zemo, the man who tried to tear the Avengers apart in Captain America 3: Civil War. You can also count on an appearance from Sharon Carter, as well as Cap’s government-approved replacement US Agent. But will this more ruthless symbol of American justice be a help or a hindrance to our heroes?
As we saw in Infinity War, Loki was able to get his hands on the Tesseract/Space Stone after the “Battle of New York”, seen in the first Avengers movie. This series will follow him from that point onwards and will possibly (hopefully!) tie into Thor: Love and Thunder which is due out in 2022. In this show we’ll see Loki in the employ or the Time Variance Authority (or TVA) under the watchful eye of Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius. The TVA are usually responsible for correcting any faults in various timelines throughout the universe (similar to the Agency in the Umbrella Academy). Is Loki becoming a Timecop to pay off a debt to the TVA? Or has he found a new career path? All will be revealed in May 2021!
The first animated series in the MCU will be centred around its titular question, “What if?”. Narrated by Jeffrey Wright as The Watcher this episodic release will showcase some alternate realities in the Marvel multiverse like “What if T’Challa had been picked up by Yondu and became Starlord?” or “What if Peggy Carter had gotten the Super Soldier serum and became a female Captain Britain?”. Don’t mistake this for some throw-away fanfic, however. All of the MCU mainstays have provided their voices to their respective characters for this interesting take on alternate MCU history. Even the late, great Chadwick Boseman recorded his lines before his passing so expect a tearful goodbye to his character when “What If?” comes to D+ next summer.
Not to be confused with Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel follows a 16 year-old Kamala Khan, a girl of Pakistani descent growing up in New Jersey who gains the ability to Shapeshift. Aside from a late 2021 release date and the fact that the titular heroine will be played by Iman Vellani we know next to nothing about this show. Thankfully, however, Disney were kind enough to provide us with a sizzle reel to give us a feel for what Marvel’s youngest hero so far will be getting up to!
Captain Marvel 2
Ok, this one actually is Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel. Seemingly set in the post-Endgame timeline this will see Carol Danvers take up the Mantle of Captain Marvel once again alongside her new partners Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan. Yep, Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel together, hopefully things won’t get too confusing. This isn’t due out until winter 2022 so we’ve got a lot of time to really get those names cemented in our heads.
Starring Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn as the Skrull leader Talos, this series will most likely follow the comic-book storyline of the same name. I’m guessing there’ll probably be a rogue faction of Skrulls invading Earth and taking over people’s identities in a very “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” kind of way. Will Talos have to turn on his people to save Earth? Or will Talos turn on the Earth to save his people?
With Tony Stark sacrificing himself to save the universe at the end of Avengers: Endgame the famous red and gold suit is up for grabs. Enter Riri Williams as Ironheart, the successor to Tony Stark’s Iron Man. In the comics Riri has an AI based on Tony in her suit similar to Tony’s Jarvis or Friday, will this be a way to bring Robert Downey Junior back to the MCU in a voice role? Only time will tell.
A series following Don Cheadle’s James “Rhodey” Rhodes as he hunts down malicious actors who have gotten their hands on some of Tony Stark’s most dangerous tech. Will Tony’s worst fears be realised, or will Rhodey protect his best friend’s legacy?
Here we go again! Let’s hope that the third time’s the charm for making a series that does justice to Marvel’s First Family. With John Watts (of Spider-Man Homecoming and Spider-Man Far From Home) at the helm there’s a lot to be hopeful for. Fingers crossed the 4th film for Mr, Mrs, the Thing, and the Human Torch will be truly fantastic this time around. No details have been revealed about this second reboot of the franchise so we’ll be keeping an ear to the ground in the meantime for any news we can get our hands on!
There weren’t quite as many details around some of the projects from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Few release windows and even fewer trailers were given. However, the projects that were announced are all very exciting in their own way. Take a look below to see what you can expect from Lucasfilm in a coming couple of years.
The next film in the Star Wars canon will centre around a new generation of fighter pilots in the New Republic. Not a lot is known about this movie right now, but it will certainly draw heavy inspiration from the childhood of Director Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984) whose father was a real-life fighter pilot. In the Star Wars universe Rogue Squadron was founded by veteran pilot Wedge Antilles. Does this mean that Denis Lawson might reprise his role as a mentor to this new batch of pilots? We can only hope so! We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one until it comes out in December 2023.
Untitled Taika Waititi Film
From the comedy genius that brought us What We Do in the Shadows, Thor Ragnarok, and Jojo Rabbit (and is currently bringing us Thor Love and Thunder) comes a second foray into a galaxy far far away. Following his appearance as IG-11 in the first episode of The Mandalorian, Taika Waititi will be putting his own spin on the Star Wars story that I, for one, cannot wait to see. His directing brilliance and sense of humour will certainly make this film one to remember. No details have been announced yet, but we can’t wait to hear more!
Ok, so not technically a newly announced series (we first heard about it last year) but this is possibly one of the most exciting announcements from last night’s event. Set 10 years after the establishment of the Empire and the fall of the Jedi. We will almost definitely see Obi Wan wrestling with his greatest loss, the corruption of his apprentice Anakin Skywalker and his going into hiding on Tatooine. But we knew all that already. What’s got our interest piqued is the return of none other than Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader. In a statement the actor said that he was excited to work with Ewan McGregor again and let me tell you, we’re excited to see it! Of course, we all hope that this won’t interfere with established canon. As we all know, after their fateful duel on Mustafar, Vader and Obi-Wan didn’t meet again until their fateful showdown on the first Death Star in A New Hope. We’ll have to wait and see!
Following on from here acclaimed appearance in The Mandalorian as fan favourite Ahsoka Tano, Rosario Dawson will be reprising her role in a limited series that is also being produced by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. Whether this will show us what Ahsoka was up to between the Clone Wars and the Mandalorian or whether it will continue her search for Grand Admiral Thrawn we don’t know. But we’re looking forward to finding out.
Rangers of the New Republic
Jon Favreau’s going to be a busy boy because here comes his third Star Wars series! Set in the same time-frame as the Mandalorian this series will intersect with both his other works and culminate in a “climactic story event”. We’re sure that some familiar faces will be popping up from the wider Star Wars canon and we’ll be sure to be the first to bring you all the details as they’re revealed.
Taking place before the events of Rogue One, this film will give us a bit more back-story on Cassian Andor, a rebel spy who is key to the Rebellion’s intelligence network. The sizzle reel that Disney presented is giving us real James Bond vibes as Cassian Andor finds himself wrapped up in a world of intrigue and covert action. Both Diego Luna and Genevieve O’Reilly will be reprising their roles as Andor and Mon Mothma respectively with other big names like Stellan Skarsgard and Fiona Shaw attached as well. Not a lot has been revealed about the series so far, but you can expect to see it some time in 2022 on Disney+.
One of the galaxy’s most charming and mysterious men is back with his own series that is currently being developed by Justin Simien. Nothing has been announced about this series yet but here’s hoping the internet’s favourite multi-hyphenate artist Donald Glover will come back on board to give life to Lando Calrissian once again.
Taking place during the so-called Golden Era of the Jedi, the High Republic, this series will give a darker, more mysterious look into the Star Wars universe. Will this suspense-filled thriller give hints as to the origins of the current incarnation of the Sith? We’re certainly on board to see what Emmy-nominated Leslye Headland can bring to the table in this series which will bring us further back in the Star Wars timeline than any TV series or movie to date.
The Bad Batch
Following on from their introduction in The Clone Wars, this new animated series will follow the titular band of clones as they adapt to life after the war. With each member of the Batch possessing a unique skill or trait will they be able to find their purpose as mercenaries or does fate have something else in store for them? Check out the sizzle reel above for a look at what’s to come.
Star Wars Visions
For any big franchise it’s only a matter of time before it gets the anime treatment. Batman got a movie in Batman Ninja, Marvel even has a collection of series creatively dubbed Marvel Anime. But this is a fate that has elided Star Wars for the last 43 years. Until now! Star Wars Visions is a series of 10 short films being produced by some of Japan’s top anime houses. This will be a truly fresh take on the Star Wars continuity and will be high up on my own personal watch list with its blend of eastern and western influences. As a huge anime fan I’m looking forward to the unique perspectives that this new style will bring and what it might mean for the Star Wars franchise moving forward.
So that’s all great, but to borrow an Apple phrase, there’s more….
Untitled Indiana Jones Movie
Surprising everyone, it was announced that Lucasfilm is in pre-production on a new instalment of the Indiana Jones franchise. Almost more surprising is the fact that Harrison ford will be back as Indy to continue his journey. Whether Shia LeBoeuf will be back as Mutt Willaims remains to be seen but one thing’s for certain, after the last outing Indy had it’s probably a good idea that James Marigold is in the director’s chair instead of Spielberg. Let’s hope that Indy can get a better send off in this film than the one he got in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.