It’s the first business week of 2020 meaning it’ll back to business for the visionaries over at Marvel Studios. With a big year ahead of us, we decided to look at some of the stuff Marvel Studios has in store for us this 2020 and what to expect from them.
First thing’s first. We’re getting Natasha’s untold backstory in the Red Room and how she ends up the way she is in Avengers: Infinity War. It’s not clear what the specifics of the film will be given how the first trailer was tight-lipped on the actual plot but she reunites with former allies and breaks David Harbour out of a gulag. Oh, and this ragtag crew of Russians is being hunted by one Taskmaster.
Black Widow is business as usual for the MCU but what truly piques our interest is how this film purportedly sets up the next phase of the cinematic universe. Better Call Saul was cited by Kevin Feige as one of the main inspirations in telling a prequel story while building a larger Breaking Bad world. But unlike Breaking Bad, the MCU does not have a definite ending so the seeds they plant here may bear fruit somewhere down the line.
If you’ve kept track with the increasingly regular rumor-mill then you’ve heard of the Benefactor, a mysterious role that was being cast several months back for an unnamed MCU film. Well, I’ve heard that this mysterious character would be appearing in the film. It’s unclear on who he/she is but if Black Widow is purportedly setting up Phase 4, it’s fair to guess it’ll have to do with the Benefactor.
The last season of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Who knew that the last standing series from Marvel TV would be the network show that went through thick and thin? It’ll be 7 years since the show debuted when it premieres this summer and boy has it been a long journey. We’ve seen Coulson’s team deal with deaths and betrayals in the family, fight aliens, fly to outer space and time travel before any of the Avengers did in Endgame.
The conclusion of the 6th season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ended with the team stranded back in time. In a recent interview, Chloe Bennett revealed that the team would travel to various points in history and would come face to face with a lot of familiar faces, one of which we know to be Peggy Carter herself. Like the final Avengers film, this final season of S.H.I.E.L.D. has the tremendous task of wrapping up years of storytelling so it’s only apt we get one last look at all the things that made this show a big hit among fans.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Talk about heavy lifting. This show is not only tasked with the massive undertaking of continuing Captain America’s legacy through Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes but also staying true to each characters’ own journey outside of Steve Rogers’ shadow. All the while dealing with the politics of state-sanctioned propaganda as the administration introduces their own Captain America with John Walker aka U.S. Agent and the escape of the man who dismantled the Avengers single-handedly, Baron Zemo.
On top of all those juicy stuff, we’re also getting what might be Marvel Studios’ first attempt in incorporating the Fox properties since Disney’s acquisition with the debut of Madripoor, a location commonly known to X-Men readers as Wolverine’s favorite hang-out spot and home to all kinds of other villainous bastards. Does this mean we’ll get to see Logan in the show? Unlikely but assume that we’ll get a TON of easter eggs alluding to really cool comic book stuff.
There’s so much to be said about Wandavision. I don’t think there has been a singular MCU property that is tonally as ambitious as this. You’ve got the sitcom trappings Kevin Feige has been teasing. A friend of ours Charles Murphy says that the first three episodes will pay homage to various sitcom eras of Hollywood, from the ’50s to ’70s and that it would culminate in a massive cinematic blowout.
This show is also going to be a goldmine of nerdy character cameos, in addition to the confirmed appearances of Monica Rambeau as a S.W.O.R.D. agent no less!, Jimmy Wu, and return of Thor character Darcy Lewis.
If the Madripoor appearance in Falcon and the Winter Soldier didn’t excite the X-Men fan in you, Wandavision is going to debut Agatha Harkness, a character closely tied to the Maximoffs, Avengers, and the Fantastic Four, as evidenced by leaked set photos depicting a witch-burning. The fabled twins of Wanda and Vision, Speed and Wiccan, are also expected to appear all throughout the show, which in the grand scheme of things indicates a possible formation of Young Avengers down the road. And just this week, an audition video surfaced online hinting at the return of Quicksilver himself.
Wanda’s powerful abilities are also going to get a juiced-up depiction in this show. That scene of her bitch-slapping Thanos in Avengers: Endgame? That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what Wanda can do.
There’s also a reason why the show was originally slated to premiere just a mere weeks before the Doctor Strange sequel in 2021 – as of this week, the show has been moved to this year : the two properties are reportedly tethered by a villain named Nightmare. So expect this show to be the Phase-breaker that was Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War and have strong tie-ins to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Jack Kirby‘s fever dream of Celestials coming to Earth to engineer the next step in human evolution comes to life late this year. This film is gonna treat us with a look at various eras in the MCU from the ancient days down to the present post-Endgame world.
We’re getting a major classic Avengers’ tie-in with the inclusion of the Silver Age Avenger, Black Knight, to be played none other than Game of Thrones‘s Kit Harrington. Front and center in this story will be Sersi played by **Gemma Chan, who’s getting a second chance at MCU glory following her measly appearing in *Captain Marvel as Minn-erva.
Being largely absent from any of the contemporary comic events, it’s hard to tell how the Eternals are going to fit within the MCU moving forward. However, there’s a lot of talk about how this film could essentially bring about the introductions of mutants, a largely absent subset of characters, within the MCU.
With 2020 in tow, it’ll only be a matter of time until we hear about the next round of casting news for the Disney+ shows that will enter production in a few months. The search for Marc Spector and Jennifer Walters has kicked off with insiders reporting a few days ago that the search for Kamala Khan has ended. The possibility of Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop has been looming for some time so let’s hope that she ends up getting it because she’s perfect for it.
2020 will be a big year for the MCU for a multitude of properties that will enter production but for the diehard Daredevil fan in me, it’ll be the year that the Netflix Defenders characters become available for Marvel Studios to use since their cancellations two years ago. There’s no official timetable on when in the year Disney gets the go-signal to use them but it’ll be in the month/order they were canceled. So Iron Fist and Luke Cage revert in October, Daredevil the following month, Jessica Jones and Punisher in early 2021.
In addition to the big batch of Disney+ shows that will enter production this year, Taika Waititi revealed this weekend that the Thor: Love and Thunder will begin production around August along with the Spider-Man sequel that’s slated to start filming in August. Deadpool 3 is finally being developed by the home team so they could have a big announcement for this film down this year.
2 months ago, Disney revealed release dates for 5 untitled MCU films spanning 2022 to 2023. Expect a chunk of that to be sequels to established franchises and a portion to be new properties. This year’s SDCC is a big candidate if Kevin Feige wants to top last year’s Blade surprise;