What Marvel Might Unveil at D23

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Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios
Will the annual Disney fan convention bring release dates for projects such as 'Black Panther 2' or tease the future of the X-Men?

Marvel Studios' presentation at July's San Diego Comic-Con was packed with announcements of its movie and streaming plans for 2020 and 2021, but there were certain projects that were noticeable by their absence. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige noted he didn't have time to talk about films such as Black Panther 2Captain Marvel 2 — or the Fantastic Four and movies about mutants (hint: X-Men).

With D23 Expo taking place in Anaheim this weekend, should fans expect some more signs of what’s to come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

D23, which is essentially a mini Comic-Con put on by Disney, has been a key spot for big Marvel footage revelations. In 2015, audiences got the first footage from Captain America: Civil War, while 2017 saw a lengthy first-look at Avengers: Infinity War before anyone else got to see it. This year, Marvel is expected to tease its upcoming streaming shows during Friday's Disney+ presentation (3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.), and bring a look at its live-action slate to Saturday's Walt Disney Studios panel (10 a.m. to noon).

D23 comes days after news broke that Spider-Man is exiting the MCU following a breakup between Marvel and Sony, but don't expect that to be addressed at the event, which does not include audience questions and is known for running like clockwork.

Here are some of the projects left out of Comic-Con that could be discussed at D23. 

Black Panther 2
It's no secret that Ryan Coogler is already working on a follow-up to 2018's phenomenally successful first solo outing for Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa, and the fact that it wasn't mentioned at San Diego Comic-Con was arguably more of a surprise than Mahershala Ali's Blade reboot. Judging by the titles of the Phase IV movies already officially announced, it's a relatively safe assumption that it'll be called Black Panther and The Something Something, but what could that "something" actually be? (Given what happened in Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and the Massive Restructuring of Wakanda might not be too out of place.)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Another movie that we know is coming — although, according to Sean Gunn, the existing screenplay may go through a rewrite, delaying the project some — is the third Guardians of the Galaxy feature, helmed by a returning James Gunn. With Gunn having to make The Suicide Squad before heading back to Marvel Studios, it's perhaps understandable that this project isn't being dated just yet. But … we all know it's coming, so just admit it, Marvel.

Captain Marvel 2
If, as Spider-Man: Far From Home suggested in its post-credit sequence, there's more to the Skrulls than their Captain Marvel arc made clear, then the most obvious place to follow that up would be a second solo outing for Brie Larson's all-powerful cosmic hero. After all, something happened between her flying into space with the Skrulls at the end of her solo movie and Talos being back on Earth in Far From Home, and it only stands to reason that Carol would know all about it …

Avengers 5
The idea of a Marvel Studios slate without an Avengers movie on it just feels wrong at this point, even if Endgame ensured that there weren't that many Avengers left available for the next installment. As fans of the comic book know, however, that just means that the time is right for an all-new team of heroes to step up, and Marvel already has (comic book) properties with names like Young Avengers and New Avengers ready for their big-screen debut. It's not as if Marvel could resist the lure of a team of superheroes fighting for the greater good for that long, after all.

Something Fox-Related This Way Comes
If there's one announcement that could fully eclipse the San Diego Comic-Con Blade reveal, it's the thing that fans have been eagerly awaiting for some time now: Confirmation of a Marvel Studios X-Men or Fantastic Four project. Such an announcement could also, arguably, take the pain away from losing Spider-Man earlier in the week in such a high-profile manner and indicate that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is continuing to expand, even as parts of it are clearly contracting due to contractual wrangling. But could this be a little too soon for any such official announcement …?