Marvel's 8 Best MCU Announcements From D23, Ranked

By Klein Felt Updated:
D23 MCU Announcements Ranking

It has been a busy couple of days for Marvel Studios and the rest of Disney as the D23 expo winds down in Anaheim, California. The event was a celebration of all things that fall under the House of Mouse's corporate umbrella, with plenty of announcements across Marvel, Star Wars, and the rest of Disney's catalog. 

And despite some fans being disappointed by Marvel's presence at the event, there were plenty of things to get excited about from a dozen projects present. For every Fantastic Four casting announcement that wasn't there, there were things like the Secret Invasion trailer, or the reveal of Ke Huy Quan in Loki to get the heart racing. 

So with D23 in the rearview, here are The Direct's rankings of Marvel's various MCU announcements from the show. 

8.) Tim Blake Nelson Returns for Captain America 4

Tim Blake Nelson Returns for Captain America 4

Coming in the eighth position it is the news that Tim Blake Nelson will be returning to the MCU in Captain America: New World Order

For those that don't know Nelson's name, he played The Leader way back in 2008 in The Incredible Hulk. Dropped in as a bit of an Easter Egg in the early MCU film, Nelson will be back as the character playing the main villain in the upcoming Captain America sequel

This is exciting news for longtime MCU fans, and a true testament that no one is off limits when it comes to returning to the franchise, but this announcement comes in at the bottom of the list simply because only a small contingent of Marvel Studios die-hards will even remember Nelson from his time in the franchise more than 14 years ago. 

7.) Cox & D'Onofrio Confirmed for Born Again Reunion

Daredevil Vincent Donofrio

Holding the seven spot on our list is news that Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio are set for an on-screen reunion in the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again Disney+ series. Cox's Daredevil and D'Onofrio's Kingpin went head-to-head in Daredevil on Netflix, and with both the actors back in their roles, it only seemed to be a matter of time before the two butted heads yet again. 

And that is why this reveal comes in a seventh, simply because of the inevitability of it. When the pair made their returns late last year in Hawkeye and Spider-Man: No Way Home, it sort of felt like a sure thing that they would eventually meet, and Born Again seems to be just the place to do it. 

6.) Sabra Joins Captain America 4

Sabra, Captain America 4

Another Captain America: New World Order announcement that made headlines at D23, was news that Marvel Comics hero Sabra would be making her MCU debut in the film. The reveal came as Israeli actress Shira Haas was announced to be taking on the part, joining the film as the MCU's first Israeli superhero. 

This will be a big deal for a lot of people, serving as yet another example of the continued push for representation on-screen for Marvel Studios. And a new hero being unveiled in the franchise is always exciting. But why Sabra's reveal wasn't high on the list is simply because of how exciting some of the other news was. If Sabra was more of a household name, then maybe this tidbit would rank higher, but that is sadly not the case (at least for now). 

5.) Werewolf By Night Unveiled (Finally)

Werewolf by Night, Disney Plus

Next up is the first trailer on this list, with Werewolf by Night (finally) being announced as a part of Marvel's D23 showcase. This spooky special presentation from Marvel Studios, debuted with a reveal trailer, showing off all sorts of fun, super-powered Halloween action in a unique black and white style. 

But this was a project that fans have been hearing about for what seems like months at this point, and that is why it comes in at the fifth slot. The Michael Giacchino-directed special has felt like Marvel Studios' worst-kept secret for quite some time, so while it was nice to finally see it get officially confirmed, it maybe would have more of an impact if it had been a complete surprise. 

4.) Ke Huy Quan Joins Loki Season 2

Ke Huy Quan Joins Loki Season 2

At number four is some Loki Season 2 news. As a part of the D23 festivities, it was revealed that Ke Huy Quan is joining the cast of the Tim Hiddleston-led show. For those that do not recognize Quan's name, that is not their fault. 

The actor has been out of the business for nearly 35 years, playing roles like Short Round in Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom and Data in The Goonies. But he has recently come out of retirement, starring in the critically acclaimed 2022 film Everything Everywhere All At Once

It seems that Quan has some time to make up for and is going to be making it up with projects like Loki. There was nothing shown of the actor in the series, but it was confirmed that he will be playing a TVA agent alongside Hiddleston's Loki and Owen Wilson's Mobius. 

3.) Matt Shakman Confirmed to Direct Fantastic Four

Matt Shakman, Fantastic Four

Despite there not being much Fantastic Four news at D23, there was one nugget of gold that came out of the event. Towards the end of the Marvel Studios presentation, Kevin Feige stood on stage, pointed to director Matt Shakman in the audience, and told fans around the world that Shakman will be sitting in the director's chair for Fantastic Four

If this came with a little more pomp and circumstance it very easily could have been number one on this list, but the whole thing felt very insignificant. Shakman wasn't brought on stage, there were no more tidbits of information given. It was just a point of the finger and the confirmation that nothing else F4 would be on the cards for the day. 

2.) Secret Invasion Trailer

Secret Invasion Skrull

In the runner-up spot is the reveal of Secret Invasion's debut trailer. The first look offered peeks at what is shaping up to be one of Marvel Studios' most thrilling Disney+ series to date. 

The brief trailer showed off Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury as he looks to uncover a great Skrull conspiracy. Alongside Fury, the teaser spotlighted Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, Emilia Clarke (who makes her MCU debut in the project), as well as a host of other Marvel Easter Eggs. It was a fantastic first trailer for what is looking to be a fantastic Marvel Studios streaming series. 

1.) Thunderbolts Team Revealed

Thunderbolts Marvel lineup

And number one on the list is the announcement that broke MCU Twitter for the afternoon. It was the reveal of the Thunderbolts team that will be seen in the upcoming Thunderbolts movie. Since the announcement that this film was happening, fans have been rampantly speculating on who would show up in the Thunderbolts lineup, and now they have their answer. 

The concept art that was released featured Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes and Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova (two characters fans knew were a part of the film), standing alongside John Walker (aka US Agent) played by Wyatt Russell, David Harbour's Alexei Shostakov, Black Widow villain Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), Ant-Man and the Wasp's Ghost, and Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (portrayed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus). It was a simple look at the team of anti-heroes, but one that proved to be the highlight of D23 weekend. 

A D23 Weekend to Remember

What a D23 weekend it was for fans of all things Disney. There was plenty to get excited about and so many more announcements from all over the convention. With D23 and San Diego Comic-Con now over fans turn their sights to whatever is next from Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, and Disney. 

And those looking to catch up on every detail from the weekend, check out The Direct's continued D23 coverage

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.