A Look at the Future of the MCU

Got this as a commission and this is the kind of piece I should have had up last week. I have thoughts on all of this. Y’all know I do.

The best thing to happen to Marvel’s future was a break. Marvel has had 2020 off with the exception of the ill received straggler The New Mutants. It’s been a year for them to breathe and I suspect refresh. There has been a chance to let all this mean something again. When January starts, we’re gonna actually care again. Good.

I’m going to cover TV first in part because the commissioner wanted my thoughts on WandaVision and that’s first so why make them wait. But also because these limited series feel like the future. Let’s dig in.

WandaVision: This looks just plain incredible and a lot of that stems from Elizabeth Olsen being a gift to the series. She’s an intensely expressive, bold actress and she just sells Wanda. I’m also very intrigued to see what Paul Bettany does, especially as he now has to have thoughts on how his casual voiceover role grew far beyond expectation. That said, I do have to groan that the Wanda Goes Crazy trope is back. It started with the 80s and it’s stuck around long beyond its value in part due to Disassembled and House of M, stories we really don’t need. I wish we weren’t getting that. A show inspired by the classic Vision and Scarlet Witch: A Year in the Life mini would have been better.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: This looks like a very strong attempt at doing Mark Gruenwald’s Cap stories. John Walker is a character. Zemo is the villain. The government screwing with Cap is the plot. This is those and those are the best ever. I’m just in for all of it. Action looks unreal great.

Loki: Eh? I like the trailer but this just feels a bit useless. I don’t know what the point is. It’s an alternate Loki. It’s not going to matter. I have no idea what I’m supposed to be in for. Owen Wilson just dates it badly. It’s not something I’m in for.

What If?: I like the idea of an animated anthology. It’ll likely be hit and miss and disposable like the comic. Still in.

Ms. Marvel: I feel like I should be happy and excited to get here and I’m wracked with anxiety after it became clear the supporting cast was hopelessly broken. The controversy over how white this is must be addressed. That said I hope it’s good. We have so little to go on.

Hawkeye: This is behind Falcon in my hype level. It looks Matt Fraction inspired. The queen Hailee Steinfeld is a perfect Kate Bishop. The characters they’re adding include my beloved Echo. It’s gonna be fun. And I’ve always dug Renner as Clint.

Moon Knight: This is a void. We have nothing. Not even casting since it’s not confirmed. So I’ll say I like the comics and move on. This could be anything.

She-Hulk: OK, this is sounding intriguing. Tatiana Maslany is almost too perfect casting for the lead. I’m glad Abomination is coming back, presumably for mostly Tim Roth unhinged. Still early but we’ll see.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special: It’s James Gunn doing something. Cool. But it also feels oddly like we may be losing GOTG3 for this since that’s not on the film slate. This has a real “writing off the contract vibe”.

Secret Invasion: This one and the next two need an asterisk. I’m not sure they’ll happen. They are so early in development. I like the idea of a Nick Fury/Talos story. I am going to need a bit of an explanation as to how this will work since the Skrulls aren’t evil in this universe. We’ll see.

Ironheart: I…don’t know that I care about this one. Sorry. The thing is, I didn’t really gel with this character in the comics and I think that’s on Bendis not getting there are stories that aren’t his to tell. Notice how much greater Miles got when others wrote him and gave him a soul. Maybe that’ll happen here.

Armor Wars: I really want this to happen above any of these three that are iffy to me. The concept is set up in the universe. There’s room to play with the classic theme of responsibility. And this is a War Machine kicking ass show. I am never saying no to Don Cheadle vehicles.

So on to film!

Black Widow: It’s now both late in terms of delays and in terms of how long it took to happen. I’m sure this is actually good but I can’t muster more than a meh here.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: This has a giant obstacle to get over. Being based on an obscure comic didn’t stop Guardians of the Galaxy from ruling but this has nothing to sell. It’s a big kung fu epic from the director of Short Term 10 and The Glass Castle. Um…yay? No I feel no hype here. Watch the trailer change that but eh.

Eternals: Marvel finds itself in a surreal position, holding the next film from a guaranteed Oscar nominated director and probable winner who went to them to get work. This feels beyond special. It’s drawing from Jack Kirby and Neil Gaiman. This one I’m just giddy to see play out. Holding it a year mayt give them major clout.

Spider-Man 3: There are so many rumors that conflict that I’m pulling my card. I hope it’s good. I love the last 2. We will see. I don’t want to discuss anything relating to Raimi films or the multiverse.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: DAMN IT! OK, I feel like putting the multiverse aside as I must, the hype here is going to be on Raimi doing Strange. We know he’s a fan. We know he gets Marvel. We know this is going to get cool. I’m in.

Thor: Love and Thunder: This is my hype film on the list. Waititi is back. Natalie Portman is back to resolve Jane’s story. It’s very Jason Aaron inspired with Jane as Thor and Chrstian Bale playing Gorr the God Butcher. Hook it to my veins.

Black Panther II: I genuinely feel bad for everyone involved in a complete no win. The death of Chadwick Boseman has to be seen as on the level of losing Heath Ledger at the exact moment we realized what a great we had. You can’t recast (and they won’t) but at the same time not recasting leaves a hole.) I think a solution will be found but this has to be a square one project for Ryan Coogler right now. Ouch.

Captain Marvel 2: That Nia DaCosta seems excited to make this is a lot of reason for me to be excited. Which is good because I don’t really like the last one. I feel like it’s missing the Carol Danvers I knew. I need this to be more than the most corporate idea of feminism. I need this to feel like women are driving it.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania: This feels like Peyton Reed getting his reward for having guided two films through tricky hoops. The first he took over from Edgar Wright and had to take his parts to make a workable film. The second he was bound by Civil War and Endgame. Now he’s free to go wild. I’m expecting a lot of cosmic Marvel here. It’s a Kang story no less!

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3: I’m not sure if I think this is happening but I’m putting it here anyway! And after the mess bts I’d rather be shot than say anything here.

Blade: All we have is casting. This is a phantom to me. It’s going to be hard to top the first two though.

Fantastic Four: I like Jon Watts but we have nothing as of right now. No casting. No direction of the story. We’ll see then.

:long breath: So that’s Marvel in the future. Some of these may not happen. Some may shuffle. Others may add. We’ll see!

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