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A month after unveiling an ambitious Phase 4 slate at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios has confirmed three new series in the works for Disney+: She-Hulk, Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel.
Marvel head Kevin Feige dropped the news Friday at D23 in Anaheim during a panel touting the upcoming streaming service. He noted that Bruce Banner is no longer the only gamma-ray-powered hero around. She-Hulk — aka Jennifer Walters, and attorney and cousin to Bruce Banner, a blood transfusion from whom is responsible for her powers — first appeared in 1980’s The Savage She-Hulk No. 1, and was the last major Marvel character co-created by the late Stan Lee. When her original series ended after two years, she became a member of both the Avengers and the Fantastic Four as the character developed more of a distinct personality from her male counterpart, gaining a stronger sense of humor and intelligence and deciding that she preferred being super-strong and green permanently — or, at least, as much as possible. (Unlike the male Hulk, She-Hulk traditionally maintains her smarts and personality when Hulked out.)
Moon Knight — who showed up as a good guy in 1975’s Werewolf by Night No. 32 — is the vigilante alter ego of mercenary Marc Spector, but it’s actually more complicated than that: Spector also has a couple of other alter egos (millionaire Steven Grant and cab driver Jake Lockley) that may or may not be separate, alternate personalities, and the same may be true of Khonshu, the Egyptian deity who is either guiding Spector through his costumed adventures or a figment of his imagination. In recent years, another persona has emerged: “Mr. Knight,” a police consultant who dresses in all white and wears a mask while solving unusual crimes.
Ahead of the panel, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news Friday that Ms. Marvel is in development with British scribe Bisha K. Ali to write and act as showrunner.
In addition to these new additions to Marvel’s upcoming slate, Feige pulled back the curtain on previously announced series.
First there was the alternate-reality animated series What If…?, which will hit summer 2021 and stars Jeffrey Wright voicing the all-seeing Watcher. It takes major moments from the MCU and changes one key element, spinning off new stories from the resulting alternate timeline. Feige showed off the first footage, which included images of things like a zombie Captain America and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) taking on the mantle of Captain America, calling herself Captain Carter. It also appears that one episode features Tony Stark as Guardians of the Galaxy character Star-Lord.
“I am the Watcher. I am your guide through these vast new realities,” Wright said in voiceover. “Follow me and dare to face the unknown and ponder the question, what if?”
Next came a brief discussion of Loki, which centers on Tom Hiddleston’s trickster god and will debut on Disney+ in spring 2021. Though Loki died in Avengers: Infinity War, this show will follow the version of the character who in Endgame stole an Infinity Stone and teleported away.
“It’s your boundless enthusiasm and your support that means Loki has more story left to tell,” Hiddleston said in a video message to fans. “It will never stop surprising and delighting me that you think he is cool.”
Feige next brought out the cast of Falcon & Winter Soldier, which stars Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Daniel Brühl and Emily VanCamp and will bow in fall 2020. Feige also revealed that Wyatt Russell will play John Walker in the series. When the Marvel chief asked the actor to tell him something about the character, but Russell coyly declined, citing secrecy.
Introduced as “Super Patriot” in 1986’s Captain America No. 323, John Walker was the U.S. government’s choice to replace Steve Rogers as Captain America. More hardline and violent than the original Cap, he didn’t last long in the job but remained a government agent under the name U.S.Agent, eventually becoming a respected hero inside the Marvel Universe and a fan favorite in the real world.
WandaVision, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, debuts in spring 2021 and takes place after Avengers: Endgame as Wanda Maximoff deals with the loss of her partner, Vision.
Feige teased it as being half classic sitcom comedy, half Marvel epic. Filming hasn’t started, but the team showed off a small teaser. It began with a 1950s TV set showing images from the Dick Van Dyke Show intercut with old scenes of Wanda and Vision together in previous MCU movies.
Feige brought news of additional castings, with Thor alum Kat Dennings reprising her role as Darcy Lewis and Randall Park back as Ant-Man and the Wasp character Jimmy Woo. Kathryn Hahn joins the MCU as a nosy neighbor since, as Feige noted, every sitcom needs a nosy neighbor.
Unlike corporate sibling Lucasfilm, which will soon be giving Star Wars a big-screen break for several years as it focuses on Disney+, Marvel Studios is continuing to release both films and series, with its streaming service offerings intertwined with its theatrical releases. Its upcoming series also include Hawkeye, starring Jeremy Renner.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has long had a series of TV shows connected to it, including ABC’s Agents of SHIELD and Netflix shows like Daredevil and The Punisher, but they never truly felt intertwined with what was happening in the films. Disney+ marks a change in the storytelling, allowing the shows to affect the films and vice versa.
Disney+ launches Nov. 12 in the U.S.
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