As another year comes to a close, the MCU faithful look back at the biggest and best announcements of the past 12 months.
2022 was another banner year for Marvel Studios and their super-powered franchise, continuing a record number of projects for the big and small screen in Phase 4.
It was a year that came with a lot of change, as a new slate was announced, the next generation of Marvel heroes continued to make their presence known, and one of the most beloved corporate figures of all time made his triumphant return.
So, with a full year of high highs and low lows, here are the ten most significant announcements from Marvel Studios' 2022.
10.) Blade Loses its Director
Coming in at bottom spot is Mahershala Ali's Blade losing its director. The story made waves back in October, as Marvel Studios revealed that "due to continued shifts in [their] production schedule" director Bassam Tariq had left the project, and, at the time just one week before the film was supposed to start shooting.
This news came after weeks of reports of trouble on the Blade set, with Ali seemingly "very frustrated" with production. The move ultimately resulted in the movie getting pushed to 2024, as the project is retooled under the watchful eye of newly-hired director Yann Demange.
9.) Matt Shakman is Directing Fantastic Four
For Marvel Studios, 2022 was a year consumed by Fantastic Four rumors. Whether it was whispers of casting, or the latest big name to pop up in the directing conversation after Spider-Man director Jon Watts left the movie, it was hard to go anywhere without hearing something Fantastic Four-related.
Well, after months of speculation, and a rumor straight from The Direct's sources, it was finally confirmed that WandaVision alum Matt Shakman would be head up Marvel Studios' F4 reboot. Shakman has yet to appear publicly to discuss the film but he did get a shout-out during Marvel Studios' D23 presentation.
8.) John Krasinski Suits Up as Mr. Fantastic
The second Fantastic Four-centric entry on the list comes in the form of The Office star John Krasinski suiting up as Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. After years of fans wishing for Krasinski to don the blue suit, it became a pleasant surprise when the actor popped up Doctor Strange 2.
While this cameo led many to believe this alternate-Earth version of the character meant Krasinski was set to play Reed Richards in Marvel Studios' upcoming Fantastic Four film, that is looking less and less like the case. Both Krasinski and his wife, Emily Blunt, have offered their take on the appearance in the time since the film's debut, most recently telling fans that there "aren't any discussions at all" about a potential MCU return.
7.) Kamala Khan is a Mutant
If Fantastic Four is one MCU pillar fans are looking forward to, mutants and the X-Men are another. And 2022 offered up the first few teases of Marvel Studios' X-gene future, one of which was when it was revealed that the MCU's Kamala Khan was a mutant in the Ms. Marvel finale.
Of course, this was a major departure from the young hero's comic origins and had some fans up in arms over the change. However, it was exciting for many, as the franchise offered up a first taste of where the MCU's X-Men story is going, 90's Animated Series theme and all.
6.) Harrison Ford Joins the MCU
After Marvel Studios mainstay William Hurt (a.k.a. General "Thunderbolt" Ross) tragically passed away back in March, many wondered if his MCU character would ever be seen on-screen again. That speculation picked up even more steam after the announcement of Thunderbolts came at San Diego Comic-Con, a movie based on the team of anti-heroes put together by Ross in the comics.
Then, in October, it was revealed that Harrison Ford would be joining the franchise as General Ross, picking up the torch from Hurt in the upcoming fourth Captain America film. Despite replacing a beloved MCU actor, fans have embraced the idea of Ford hopping aboard the Marvel train, reportedly doing so as a fan-favorite Marvel Comics villain.
5.) Daredevil: Born Again Announced
Announced as a part of Marvel Studios' San Diego Comic-Con Hall H panel, Daredevil: Born Again was easily one of the most exciting MCU announcements of the year. After Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock made his return in last year's Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans were itching to hear the next nugget of news having to do with the character. And then it finally came!
The series received a record-breaking 18-episode first season announcement, and is seemingly going to take "what [was done] with [Netflix's Daredevil] and running with it," bringing in the dark and gritty tone that made the original series so beloved. It was an announcement that officially ushered the Daredevil world back to the MCU, and one that audiences are amped to hear/see more about.
4.) James Gunn Leaves Marvel Behind to Head Up DC
Despite coming in at number four on this list, James Gunn making the jump from Marvel to take on a Kevin Feige-like role for the DCU was one of the biggest Hollywood stories of the year. While this is a Marvel-focused list, Gunn's leap over to the other side permanently is just too big not to include. Gunn has made some major waves early on in his time at DC Studios, but he still has some Marvel work to be done.
Part of this move has been both Gunn and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige making sure fans know Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is still getting the love and care it deserves from the director. As fans watch and wait for Gunn's DCU plans to unfold, Feige joked that he has no clue how "[Gunn will] have any time to work on DC until May."
3.) Bob Iger Returns to Disney
Another seismic corporate shake-up from 2022 sits in the third-place spot. After a little over three years away from the seat, it was announced that former Disney CEO Bob Iger would be coming back in place of outgoing executive Bob Chapek. To say that this news came as a shock is the understatement of the year.
Iger takes over a Disney that is in a worse place than he left it. Chapek quickly became maligned by fans for his profit over product strategy, so Iger takes over a company that many are waiting to win them back. Why this is such a big deal it, as big and slow-moving a titan company like Disney can be, this move could result in real change. The results of Iger's return remain to be seen, but it could be the turnaround the struggling company (and some of its properties) needs.
2.) Hugh Jackman Joins Deadpool 3
In the runner-up spot for the biggest MCU announcement of the year has to be Hugh Jackman joining the cast of Deadpool 3 as Wolverine. After what was assumed to be the actor's final time donning the adamantium claws in 2017's Logan, it came as a pleasant surprise seeing that the actor was back, and this time, he was pairing up with Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool.
Since the announcement of Jackman's return, fans have gotten brief teases at this "road trip" romp for Wolverine and Wade Wilson. This reported Multiversal adventure is still years away and no footage has been shown of Jackman back in the role, but just the fact that Reynolds got the actor to come out of Marvel retirement warrants the second-place spot.
1.) Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars Revealed
And the biggest MCU announcement of 2022, as voted by The Direct team, is Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars being revealed. When it comes to comic book movies, there are none bigger than an Avengers movie, so a duology of Multiverse-focused Avengers films is monolithic.
Not only were the pair of films announced within minutes of one another at San Diego Comic-Con, but they were also originally supposed to be released within six months of each other. That has since changed with the movies now being separated by about a year. As Marvel Studios makes its way through the Multiverse Saga, Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars will continue to be some of the most anticipated movies ever, MCU or not.
And that is it, the 10 biggest MCU announcements of 2022. It has been a busy year for Kevin Feige and co., and 2023 looks like the House of M has no chance of slowing down.
A year ago, the future of the MCU felt vague and shrouded in questions. 2022 was a year of answering some of those questions and pointing toward where the franchise would be going post-Endgame.
2023 will be shaped by these answers, along with any trick cards the studio has hidden up its sleeve.