2020 will go down as the first calendar year since 2009 that we were not given a new MCU movie to watch. And despite a few casting announcements, production changes, and one single WandaVision trailer, Marvel Studios were eerily quiet throughout that time. It forced MCU fans to be patient, which is something we have not become accustomed to. But at Disney's Investor Day 2020, Kevin Fiege rewarded that patience ten times over.
After dropping 4 new trailers, presenting 5 new projects, and a variety of huge announcements, Feige and Co. has set the table for the biggest run of awesomeness the MCU has ever seen. We have 25 MCU projects on the books over the next 3 years. Ranging from super-casted space epics to animated toy selling machines, both the theaters and Disney+ will be loaded with new Marvel content more often than not.
We at TheDirect.com have voted and built a list of our most anticipated projects in the MCU over the next 3 years. And while we are all excited about almost every word Kevin Feige spoke during Investor Day, it feels good to get the "Hype-List" made. Here are our most anticipated MCU projects and what we can hope to expect out of them.
#25 on this list but #1 in our hearts! Baby Groot is one of the most beloved and adorable characters in the history of film. And with the announcement of his own animated series on Disney+, I Am Groot is sure to be a big play in the cutest Disney hero debate we all love having.
WHAT TO EXPECT: A Baby Yoda v Baby Groot crossover...hopefully.
One of the biggest themes in the projects set to release in the MCU over the next few years is "legacy". And few projects screams that word louder than Ironheart. Riri Williams officially entering the MCU was not something any of us expected. And while we do not know much about this project moving forward, we know that we have plenty of badass Iron Man suit-ups in our future. And that is a great thing.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Major Young Avengers vibes.
In July of 2019, Kevin Feige topped off an electric Comic-Con with the amazing cherry that was Mahershala Ali being cast as Blade. And while we are still unbelievably excited to bring such an acting talent into the MCU, with such a perfect character, the lack of updates on this project keeps it near the bottom of this list. Still, I expect this kind of movie is one costume leak away from moving up the ranks.
WHAT TO EXPECT: John Wick meets Stranger Things.
Now, lets just back to this Iron Man legacy really quick. Shout out to Don Cheadle for finally getting his time to shine in the MCU with his own Disney+ series. Armor Wars is one of the best Iron Man stories in comic history, so readapting it from the perspective of James Rhodes is something none of us knew we wanted so bad! BOOM!... Looking for this?
WHAT TO EXPECT: Iron Man 2: The Series.
Remember after Guardians Vol. 1 was announced when everyone thought that Kevin Feige was getting cocky and that this was going to be the flop that stalls the MCU? Not only were those people wrong, they were SO WRONG that they are now making a Holiday Special from that property and we are all JACKED about it! Don't worry about any Star Wars PTSD, we have a strict #InFeigeWeTrust policy here at The Direct.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Probably the best Holiday album ever!
As the streaming wars continue to ramp up, we can anticipate more studios embracing the reality that people are watching from home. And that means diving into the animated world of content more and more. What If...? is going to show us our first taste of animated MCU content. And with beautiful art, incredible voice talent, and the return of several major MCU players, this should be a pretty awesome introduction.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Marvel does Clone Wars.
There was a point in this panel where Kevin Feige was feeling himself. And he just kept dropping bombshell after bombshell! Secret Invasion is as good as any Nick Fury show we could have dreamed up. Feige said that this will be "one of the greatest crossover events since Civil War." Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn alone are enough to get this show on the hype-train.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The Mexican standoff scene from The Office.
Ragnarok, Love and Thunder, Multiverse of Madness.... we thought that was as crazy as these titles were going to get. QUANTUMANIA! That is it. That is all we need to build excitement for the third Ant-Man and the Wasp. It doesn't hurt that we officially will be getting Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conqueror as well.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Who the hell knows anymore.
With so many projects set to release over the next few years, we are spending a lot of time contemplating how they are all going to tie together. I personally love the fact that we will not be replacing the late-great Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther II. And now that we know that, we can continue the process of honoring his legacy.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Emotions and Feelings.
Out of all the big announcements from these projects that we got out of Disney's Investor Day, there may not have been one as long-awaited as the return of Abomination in the Disney+ series She-Hulk. One of the few threads that the MCU has yet to tie a bow on is finally going to be brought back into the fold. Match that with a guaranteed badass Jennifer Walters, and we are all getting our popcorn ready.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler rolled into one.
While 2020 was a year to forget as far as MCU movie releases, it may be remembered as the year Kamala Khan finally stepped into the spotlight. Between great comic success, being the face of the new Marvel's Avengers video game, and a shiny new Disney+ show, Ms. Marvel is one of the fastest rising names in the superhero movie game. It was so great to see Iman Vellani show us what got her this role, and we are excited to see more of the future of the MCU.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The MCU's Kim Possible.
And speaking of the future of the MCU, Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan isn't only getting her own show, she is also getting a chance to have a part of one of the most anticipated sequels in recent memory. The powerhouse that the first Captain Marvel was had the benefit of being followed up by the biggest movie ever. Now, Brie Larson welcomes on Nia DeCosta to direct the epic follow up.
WHAT TO EXPECT: A very very big movie.
Just like Captain Marvel and Black Panther before it, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to break barriers. And even though we have heard surprisingly little about this project, it still falls at number thirteen on the list. Simu Liu has been hard at work stirring up excitement and becoming an instant fan-favorite on social media. The mystery behind Shang-Chi has translated to hype in a big way.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Another big step for Hollywood.
Sometimes you get a project and a casting rumor that comes together and it just feels right. Moon Knight has had a great energy surrounding it since we first saw the logo. And with a big name like Oscar Isaac attached to the project, number twelve seems about right. Feige did give us a small hint of Indiana Jones vibes for this show, whatever that means.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Indiana Jones, I guess?
Again, 2020 will go down as the year that wasn't for the MCU. And the disappointment with this year will always be tied to the movie we all wanted more than the others. I weirdly think that all of these delays and all of this waiting will make Black Widow better than it ever could have been. We are ready to see what has been waiting for us for this entire time. We are ready for Phase 4 to finally begin.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The best Mission: Impossible movie you have ever seen!
Here is a little inside information for you here at The Direct, Hawkeye has shot up this list as fast any other project. We have been getting hit left and right with news about this show for weeks and it all came to fruition when Kevin Feige officially announced what we already know, Hailee Steinfeld is going to play a kick-ass Kate Bishop. They are giving this character the full treatment and Hawkeye is looking better than ever.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The Karate Kid with bows and arrows.
While we have been on pins and needles waiting for most of these movies and shows to be released, there are some things we are just willing to wait forever for. Guardians of the Galaxy has been a bigger phenomenon than anyone expected it to be. And we are all ready to see what Jimmy Gunn intended for the third installment to look like. This should be about as epic as any third movie in a franchise can be.
WHAT TO EXPECT: James Gunn's Return of the Jedi.
And projects like Guardians have gotten us primed and ready for big space epics like Eternals. Much like other movies coming out next year, Disney and Marvel Studios has been close to the vest on this mega movie. But from what we have seen, and from what we know about this all-star cast, we are ready for the next great super team in the MCU.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The final 15 minutes of Shazam! but the whole movie.
Feige told us last year that Fantastic Four was at least on the minds of him and his creative team. And that was enough for us to speculate and wax poetic about the potential of an MCU Fantastic Four movie. Feige took that idea and just turned that up to 11. By announcing Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home director Jon Watts will be tackling the first family of comics, this instantly becomes one of the biggest movies on the list. Jon Watts has proven he is able to bring one thing that any former Fantastic Four movie was unable to capture...chemistry.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Something better than Fant"4"Stic.
And now we dive into the meat of the presentation. Our first look at Loki generated as much excitement as the Tesseract scene from Endgame. We still have next to no idea what is going on in this show except for the fact that everyone's favorite villain is in trouble, and he is going to do whatever it takes to get out of it. We say D.B. Loki, Presidential Candidate Loki, and a Loki that looks like he is in 2008's Iron Man. So don't act like you know what is about to happen. And be okay with it.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Back to the Future meets American Psycho.
If you weren't excited for the spiritual tribute to Captain America: The Winter Soldier before Investor Day, then you should have been launched into the hype fire that is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier first trailer. The best bromance in the MCU was met with a tense chemistry and some stunning action scenes. And we learned that this will virtually follow right after WandaVision in 2021. We are going to hit the ground running between these two shows.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Bourne Identity meets Lethal Weapon.
It feels like lately we have been getting bombarded with big news about projects that are going to tie into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. And by association, this movie is becoming bigger and bigger with more and more implications. This really feels like it is going to answer a lot of the crazy questions that are going to be raised throughout Phase 4. To think about how much we have seen the Stephen Strange character grow before his sequel, makes me think this is going to be a very important movie moving forward.
WHAT TO EXPECT: How you felt going into the final season of Game of Thrones.
The addition of Christian Bale into Taika Waititi's Thor: Love and Thunder is an unfair advantage that this movie did not really need. But with the momentum of Thor's character and franchise heading the way it is heading, you cannot help but believe Bale's involvement will take this movie into rarified air when the rankings lists are done 10 years from now. And, we have finally been told that Bale will be playing Gorr the God Butcher, continuing Marvel's precedent of major stars playing the antagonist in big solo movies.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Thor: Ragnarok on steroids.
The beginning of the next era of the MCU officially begins on January 15 with WandaVision. After our second trailer for what is sure to be the MCU's weirdest property, I think it is easy to say the gloves are off right away. Tones will be set. Stories will be put in motion. And we can expect to expect the unexpected every step of the way. WandaVision is primed to kick off Phase 4 in a very special way. Buckle up for endless nostalgia, twists, and turns.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Twilight Zone meets That 70's Show.
Was there any other project that could have taken his spot? Nothing moves the needle quite like Peter Parker. And when you spend a week adding legacy characters from Web Head Movies' past, you are about to see the rich get richer. No one knows how all of these moving pieces will be put together, but Jon Watts has all the confidence in the world behind him. The potential for a Holland, Maguire, Garfield, Dunst, Stone, Zendaya, Cumberbatch, Foxx, Molina, Simmons, and Cox showdown is creating electricity in the air.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Spider-Verse meets Crisis on Infinite Earths.