Breaking Down the Star Wars and MCU Announcements

Disney held their investor event on December 10; this is their big showcase of what’s coming in the future. We were anticipating some Star Wars and Marvel news, but they out did theirselves at this event. Below are the key points for both the big franchises.

First, Star Wars…

The Mandalorian: Not much other than the fact that this season is leading to other shows (see the next 2 items) and the season 3 debut. ETA: Dec 25, 2022

Rangers of the New Republic: Not much is known at this point. I’m expecting a Cara Dune spinoff show, based off her being “deputized” by that X-Wing pilot in the Mandalorian. It’s interesting timing if this is the course of the show, as many Star Wars fans are trying to cancel Dune actress Gina Carano. I don’t know what to think here. The concept could be interesting, but they’d need a really good support cast to pull it off; I don’t think Carano could handle being the lead of a Star Wars show. After last episode of the Mandalorian, I’m willing to be Mayfield will be pulled into the Rangers; I almost expected him to stay with the crew to set it up. ETA: TBD

Ahsoka: Not surprising for a few reasons. First off, you don’t cast Rosario Dawson for the role unless you have plans for more than an episode or 2 of guest roles. Secondly, there have been rumors going around that Ahsoka would receive her own show. Especially after her episode of the Mandalorian had her searching for Grand Admiral Thrawn and Rebels ended with her searching for Ezra Bridgers (who, for those that don’t know, were last seen together). I’m excited about this show. ETA: TBD

It should be noted that they are planning a crossover event between the Madalorian, Rangers of the New Republic, and Ahsoka; could this be the live action debut of Grand Admiral Thrawn?

Andor: We got the official name of the Cassian Andor series and a sizzle reel. The reel (embedded below) confirms 12 episodes and some of the sets and storyboards. We don’t get much else though. ETA: 2022

Obi-Wan Kenobi: We got the title sequence and news that Hayden Christensen will reprise his role of Darth Vader in the series. I’m shocked by this because I anticipated the full series would take place on Tatooine and we wouldn’t see much of the Imperials; there are rumors that Obi-Wan does leave the planet and there is a faceoff with Vader. Again, these are just rumors I’ve heard and I don’t know how much I believe them. They did confirm it will take place 10 years after Return of the Sith. ETA: TBD (late 2021 or early 2022)

The Bad Batch: Out of the final season of the Clone Wars, we get the continued adventures of the Bad Batch. These are genetically different clones that didn’t fit the mold of the typical clone. They helped Anakin in the first 2 arcs of the Clone Wars Season 7. This appears to take place after we meet them and we’ll see how they are impacted by Order 66; it almost seems like they are fighting their clone brothers at times. I’m very excited for this one. ETA: 2021

Visions: This is an unexpected one. Disney is releasing a series of short, animated Star Wars films that are in the style of Anime. I’m torn here; they’ve done really well with their animation style on the Clone Wars and Rebels, so I don’t know if they need to change. At the same time, it’ll be interesting to see some different takes. Hopefully these will be new stories and not rehashing what’s already out there. From all reports, this will be a one and done series. ETA: 2021

Lando: Another rumored series that’s coming to fruition. Hopefully this will include Donald Glover as the title characters (they did not mention him at the event), because there is a lot that can be done after Solo: A Star Wars Story with the character. I think I would prefer this rather than doing a movie, since you can do so much more with a show; since they classified it as an event, expect only one season. ETA: TBD

The Acolyte: Star Wars announced a while ago that they were shifting to the High Republic for their next big era in the timeline; set 200 years before The Phantom Menace, the High Republic was going to show the beginning of the government we saw crumble in the prequel series. Most of the announcement was for books and comics; this is the first show we are hearing about. This is also the project that Leslye Headland has been attached to for a while. I’m very excited about it, especially if the rumors of Darth Plagueis are true. ETA: TBD

Rogue Squadron: There was one movie announcement…that Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) is directing Rogue Squadron, about the best X-Wing pilots in the Rebellion/New Republic. There is really no other news for this, but damn, this is big news. Rumors are circulating that this will take place post The Rise of Skywalker, so could this be a Poe Dameron vehicle? Everyone wondered when a new movie would be out, well… ETA: December 2023

A Droid Story: Not much was said about this. It looks to be an animated R2-D2 and C-3PO film where they guide a new hero for the network. ETA: TBD

Taiki Waititi’s Star Wars film was confirmed, but no details given. They also announced a few other Lucas Films projects, including the next Indiana Jones movie (the final one directed by James Mangold) and the Willow Disney+ series.

On to Marvel…

WandaVision: Disney released a new trailer for the show, which they announced will debut on January 15. This will lead directly into the next Dr. Strange and Spider-Man 3. ETA: Jan 15, 2021

Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness: Besides the WandaVision tie in news, Kevin Feige also confirmed that Xochitl Gomez will play America Chavez, as rumored. ETA: Mar 25, 2022

Black Panther 2: Ryan Coogler is working on the film now. They announced they will not be replacing the late Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa. They want to explore the characters of Wakanda. My guess is we’ll see Shuri take on the mantle. ETA: July 8, 2022

Falcon and the Winter Soldier: We got some new info, finally. Besides a release date, we know that Sharon Carter is in the show, Baron Zemo dons the mask, and we’re getting characters like U.S. Agent and Flag Smasher. We also got a trailer. ETA: March 19, 2021

Loki: Besides casting Owen Wilson as part of the TVA, we knew little of this show. Now we have confirmation that Lady Sif will return and a trailer. From what I’ve read, it’ll be more of a cop action show. The trailer shows many things, including a very recent Loki look. ETA: May 2021

What If…?: The animated series also got a trailer, which includes looks at a few of the storylines, including Peggy Carter as the Super Soldier, T’Challa as Starlord, Marvel Zombies, and a Dr. Strange vs Dr. Strange story. The voice cast is pretty incredible, including the last time we get Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa. ETA: Summer 2021

Ms. Marvel: Another sizzle reel. Plus we get an introduction to Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan and confirmation that she will be in the Captain Marvel sequel. ETA: Late 2021

Captain Marvel 2: Besides Kamala Khan, we’ve also learned that Monica Rambeau will join the cast; she’s already appearing in WandaVision. ETA: Nov 11, 2022

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Production has wrapped for this one. No real other details were given. ETA: July 9, 2021

Hawkeye: Well, after days of leaked photos, Marvel confirmed that Hailee Steinfeld is Kate Bishop; they did not confirm Pizza Dog though. Vera Farmiga, Fra Free, and Alaqua Cox (Echo) will be part of the cast with directors Rhys Thomas and Bert and Bertie confirmed. We’ve also heard that Florence Pugh will show up as Black Widow and it’s set a few years after the events of Avengers: Endgame. ETA: 2021

She-Hulk: This might be one of the biggest ones. Beyond confirming the rumor that Tatiana Maslanny is Jennifer Walters, we also learned that Mark Ruffalo is back as the Hulk and Tim Roth is returning as the Abomination. There were also hints that Matt Murdock might show up as an opposing attorney in court; hopefully it’s going to lead to a bigger role for Daredevil in the near future. ETA: TBD

Moon Knight: This might sound silly, but Disney officially confirmed the series is in production. I guess that means Oscar Isaac as the lead character is not confirmed yet. ETA: TBD

Secret Invasion: There were rumors that Samuel L. Jackson was going to receive a Nick Fury series, but this was a huge surprise. Fury and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) will be the focus of the series. The Secret Invasion comic dealt with an infiltration of Skrulls on Earth, with some heroes being replaced by the shape shifters. I’m curious to see the details of this series, because the MCU has set up the Skrulls as allies. ETA: TBD

Ironheart: Ironheart is the story of Riri Williams, a teen that got the attention of Tony Stark for her intelligence. She built a suit of armor and Tony was the A.I. after he “died” in the comic. Dominique Thorne will star at Riri. I’m curious is Robert Downey Jr will be the voice of the suit, or if they will try to get a voice actor that sounds like him. ETA: TBD

Armor Wars: James Rhodes, AKA War Machine, is the leading character in a series about Stark Tech that gets into the wrong hands. There are some details from Iron Man II that match up with this, so I’m hoping we get Justin Hammer in the middle of it all. ETA: TBD

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special: James Gunn is going to film this one episode while working on GOTG3. No other real details were given, but this whole franchise hasn’t let us down yet. ETA: Winter 2022

I Am Groot: This animated short series will deal with Baby Groot for Disney+. Besides the title character, there will be a lot of “new” and “unusual” characters. ETA: TBD

Thor: Love and Thunder: Taika Waititi’s next Thor movie was only mentioned to announce that Christian Bale will be Gorr the God Butcher from Jason Aaron’s run of the comic; its the same run that introduced Jane Foster as the Mighty Thor. We’ve also heard rumors that the Guardians will play a role in the film, as Thor was last seen leaving Earth with the team in Avengers: Endgame. ETA: Feb 11, 2022

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania: We get the official title of the movie as it’s moving into production. We’ve got confirmed returns of Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Evangeline Lilly (Wasp), Michael Douglas (Hank Pym), and Michelle Pfeiffer (Janet Van Dyne) along with Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror. Rumors are circulating that Kang will be the big bad of the next phase of movies, which is logical since the Avengers and Ant-Man have played with time travel. It’s also worth noting Kathryn Newton will take over the role of Cassie Lang. It was also announced Peyton Reed will write and direct again. ETA: TBD

Blade: We got the official announcement that Blade is coming with Mahershala Ali as the title character. This was announced previously though. ETA: TBD

Fantastic Four: There will be an MCU Fantastic Four movie, and Jon Watts will be directing it; he’s familiar with the MCU, as he’s directed both of the last 2 Spider-Man movies. Now word on the cast, but this is pretty big by itself. ETA: TBD

There were a few various other bits dropped that might interest fans…

Y The Last Man: The series from Brian K Vaughn is coming to FX on Hulu. Diane Lane will star in it in an unknown role.

Aliens: Josh Hawley (Fargo, Legion) will be running an Aliens TV show for FX on Hulu.

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers: The series will be coming to Disney+ with Emilio Estevez and Lauren Graham.

There will be live action prequels to The Lion King and The Little Mermaid along with live action Pinocchio and Peter Pan and Wendy.

Chip ‘N Dales Rescue Rangers: This Disney+ series will see John Mulaney as Chip and Andy Samberg as Dale. It’ll be a animated/live-action hybrid.

Baymax: The Big Hero 6 character will receive an animated series dealing with his original function: an EMT robot.

Pixar will be doing a Cars series and Lightyear, an animated origin of Buzz Lightyear starring Chris Evans as the title character.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: The show has been renewed for another 4 seasons.

That’s a lot of news, and it makes the future of Disney very exciting for fans. Check back for more updates.

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