Marvel Studios has long been famous for its blockbuster announcements events that see President Kevin Feige stand before a crowd to showcase the future of the MCU. After a two-year hiatus from such events due to the pandemic, Feige returned to San Diego Comic-Con in July to show off the Multiverse Saga, which also got its official name at the fan convention.
The grand-scale event brought with it new footage, the Phase 5 slate, and confirmation for two new Avengers blockbusters on the way. Despite that, Marvel Studios still left some gaps in the pipeline, most notably in Phase 6 to be filled in at a later date that may be coming soon.
Feige will soon take the stage once more at the bi-annual D23 convention in a panel that will be shared with Lucasfilm and other Disney studios. Marvel Studios is expected to bring plenty to the table and The Direct has some predictions for the event before it takes place on Saturday, September 10.
Black Panther 2 Shows Off New Footage
San Diego Comic-Con brought with it the debut trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and it brought with it glowing reactions. With the November release now just two months away, D23 ought to bring more footage.
Who knows whether this will amount to the full online release of the second trailer or just attendee-exclusive footage, but the next public look can’t be far away. Perhaps fans will finally see a closer look at Namor and his Kingdom of Talocan.
Werewolf by Night Finally Announced
Marvel Studios’ upcoming Disney+ Halloween Special has been among the worst-kept secrets in its history. Composer Michael Giacchino will make his directorial debut on the secretive project that stars Gael García Bernal and Laura Donnelly.
The Werewolf by Night special began production in March and wrapped shortly after. The composer-turned-director promised in June that news is coming “very soon,” and with release expected in October, that ought to come at D23.
MCU Directors Become Official
Many of the MCU’s upcoming Phase 5 and 6 projects have reportedly signed directors, but have yet to be formally revealed in a presentation. Among these is Shang-Chi‘s Destin Daniel Cretton, taking Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and WandaVision‘s Matt Shakman, who will tackle Fantastic Four.
These directorial signings ought to be part of Kevin Feige’s D23 announcements, perhaps with them even coming out on stage to offer a tease of what to expect from their upcoming MCU flicks.
Guardians Holiday Special Reveals Footage
Werewolf by Night may be hiding in the shadows, but Marvel Studios has already confirmed The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special for this year. Although the festive event was strangely omitted from the Phase 4 and 5 slates, it’s expected to serve as the epilogue to the current chapter of the Multiverse Saga.
Having previously gone undiscussed at Comic-Con, the Holiday Special ought to be highlighted at D23 only a few months out from release. This should involve the reveal of the first trailer, but who knows whether it will find its way online or remain exclusive to attendees.
Deadpool 3 Goes Official
Four years after Ryan Reynolds’ last superhero outing, Deadpool 3 is finally close to becoming a reality with Free Guy‘s Shawn Levy taking over directing duties and the writers of the last two flicks back once again.
Reynolds has begun training and filming preparations are getting underway, suggesting production on the “fish-out-of-water” story will begin soon. With evidence pointing to the sequel joining Phase 5 on February 16, 2024, news ought to come at D23, perhaps with Reynolds even coming out on stage.
Thunderbolts Cast Confirmed
Thunderbolts was one of the biggest reveals of Comic-Con as it will round out Phase 5 on July 26, 2024, with production expected to begin early next year. Unfortunately, Feige omitted the roster from his last presentation, but that ought to come at D23 this month.
Based on the latest report, Yelena Belova, The Hood, and Valentina are all a lock for the ensemble. Other potential villains to be included are reportedly Abomination, U.S. Agent, The Punisher, and Baron Zemo.
Blade Drops News Before Filming
Mahershala Ali’s Blade now stands as the only element of Kevin Feige’s 2019 Comic-Con presentation to have not yet been released. Nonetheless, Blade’s release is set for next November and production will begin in October, so there’s likely to be some news at D23 ahead of filming, such as casting announcements.
Wonder Man Finds Its Star
Progress appears to be moving fast on Disney+’s Wonder Man series that is being developed by Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton as a “Hollywood satire.” The cast already includes the return of Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery, but D23 ought to offer the reveal of the titular star and a release window.
Comic-Con Clips Gets Re-Runs
Comic-Con brought with it the first footage of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Secret Invasion, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, including Kang the Conqueror, privately shown to attendees. These same clips may well show re-runs, possibly along with some new snippets as post-production continues to progress on all three.
The Marvels Gets a First Look
Despite having concluded filming prior to the event, The Marvels didn’t show any footage at Comic-Con, likely due to the Ms. Marvel finale still being fresh. With some time now passed, attendees ought to catch an exclusive look at the all-female ensemble, showing off Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Monica Rambeau.
Phase 5 Disney+ Series Make Waves
After She-Hulk wraps up in October, Marvel Studios won’t have another Disney+ series until spring’s Secret Invasion. Nick Fury’s mystery thriller may have already shown footage at Comic-Con, but D23 will likely bring exclusive peeks at Echo and Loki Season 2, the former of which has already wrapped filming.
The other Phase 5 Disney+ series include Ironheart, Agatha: Coven of Chaos, and Daredevil: Born Again, none of which would have enough footage to reveal. However, there may still be casting announcements or other news to offer.
She-Hulk Drops Mid-Season Trailer
By the time D23 gets underway, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will have just premiered the fourth installment of its nine-episode season. As Disney will likely be eager to market the legal comedy to some degree at its biggest event of the year, a mid-season trailer, or at least some new footage, ought to be shown.
Whatever Marvel Studios does show ought to feature a recap of the events so far, along with a peek at what’s to come in the second half. Perhaps this could even include more of Charlie Cox’s Daredevil and the return of Bruce Banner/Hulk.
Armor Wars Receives Update
Don Cheadle’s Armor Wars – which will explore the legacy of Tony Stark as his technology falls into the wrong hands – was strangely omitted from Comic-Con, despite having been announced over a year prior. Nonetheless, the team behind the show has insisted it is still going ahead amid cancellation fears.
Now, most are expecting Armor Wars to finally get its moment in the spotlight at D23 as it gets slotted into one of the vacant Phase 6 release slots. Perhaps this will come with casting, storyline details, and hints toward Ironheart connections.
Eternals 2 Gets Revealed
The controversial Eternals ended on a game-changing cliffhanger that many are now desperate to see resolved. A sequel has yet to be formally announced but Pip the Troll actor Patton Oswalt recently let slip that Eternals 2 will be happening with director Chloe Zhao returning at the helm.
As Marvel Studios will probably want the Eternals to get involved in the climax of the Multiverse Saga, this should release at some point in 2025 in order to free up the team from their current cliffhanger ahead of the crossover event. So, if that is indeed the plan, it may become official
Shang-Chi 2 Goes Official
Shang-Chi 2 has already been revealed to be in development but has yet to be made official. One factor that could greatly influence where Shang-Chi 2 places in the future is whether the first film’s director will be returning.
With Destin Daniel Cretton turning his focus to Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Wonder Man, it’s hard to imagine him having time for the sequel anytime soon. So, whether Cretton returns ought to dictate if Shang-Chi 2 is announced for Phase 6 at D23 or if it’s saved for the next saga.
World War Hulk Confirmed
Hulk fans have been waiting for a sequel to The Incredible Hulk for over a decade now, but rights issues with Universal have prevented that. Now, World War Hulk appears to be in the pipeline and may even be getting set up by She-Hulk: Attorney at Law right now.
Production will reportedly begin in the not-too-distant future, so an announcement is entirely possible. But if the storyline hinges around the latter episodes of She-Hulk then that reveal may be saved until later to avoid spoilers.
Nova Enters The Fold
The wait has been long to see Nova – either Richard Rider or Sam Alexander – enter the MCU, and all signs are pointing to it being not too far away. Granted, nobody yet knows whether this will be a big-screen movie or Disney+ series, but reports indicate Rider will be the star.
The last word on production indicated a 2023 start to what is “likely” to be a Disney+ series, so it ought to slot somewhere into Phase 6, perhaps leading Marvel Studios to shock fans with the reveal at D23.
Major Casting Announcements
Among Marvel Studios’ most shocking event moments yet was the shock reveal of Mahershala Ali’s Blade at Comic-Con 2019. Part of what made this moment so special was the fact this had yet to be reported anywhere, and perhaps Kevin Feige has something similar up his sleeves again.
One report suggested Marvel Studios has signed John Boyega, Henry Cavill, Jodie Comer, Daisy Edgar-Jones, John Krasinski, Giancarlo Esposito, and Denzel Washington in various roles that may be announced at D23. For now, this rumor is unverified, but this may be a taste of the potential shock castings to expect.
Secret Wars Gets a Director
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty may have signed Destin Daniel Cretton as director, but reports are suggesting Secret Wars may put someone else at the helm. There’s no telling which director will take the job on the November 2025 release, but the Russo Brothers have been taken out of the equation.
Secret Wars won’t have to begin filming until 2024, so Marvel Studios doesn’t necessarily need to choose and announce a director right now. But if Kevin Feige already has one lined up, he may choose to announce that name at D23.
Scarlet Witch Goes Solo
Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch has been rumored to lead her own solo movie or Disney+ series ever since Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Now, with months passed since her apparent demise in the reality-hopping blockbuster, it may be time to announce her upcoming return.
However, even if a solo project is on the cards for Wanda, Marvel Studios may wish to deliver her triumphant return on screen before announcing anything. After all, her shocking return in Avengers 5 to turn the tides in the fight against Kang the Conqueror would be jaw-dropping for moviegoers.
Avenger Icons Receive Sequels
With the Multiverse Saga spanning three Phases, many of the flicks coming earlier in the saga ought to receive sequels by the time the end of it all. Doctor Strange 2 and Thor 4 have both arrived this summer and left off on intriguing cliffhangers to tease the future of their characters, so when will they be resolved?
As of now, there have been no major reports pointing toward either Doctor Strange 3 or Thor 5 having entered development, lowering the chances of a mention at D23. But perhaps Marvel Studios will come with some surprises to continue these stories before the current saga comes to a close.
Disney+ Season 2 Renewals
On the topic of sequels, the time may have come for more Disney+ series to receive a coveted Season 2 renewal. As of now, Loki is the only live-action MCU show to have confirmed a follow-up is on the way, but the odds are high that more will eventually follow suit, even if that’s not necessarily at D23.
Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk all ought to see their stories continued on Disney+, but some will come sooner rather than later. Perhaps the most likely contender for now is Oscar Isaac’s Egyptian epic, especially since Moon Knight has yet to line up any more upcoming appearances.
Marvel Brings X-Men Updates
With every Marvel Studios presentation since acquiring Fox, fans have been eagerly awaiting news on the X-Men. Now, the odds are higher than ever as the MCU has begun planting seeds for their introduction with Ms. Marvel, but the time may still not be quite right yet.
Firstly, reports have indicated that existing Fox contracts may prevent the MCU from recasting the X-Men until 2025, likely placing their debut into the next saga. Marvel Studios also has plenty of new characters and teams to play with for now, so it may opt to save a whole new super-powered race for the next saga.
Fantastic Four Finds Actors
Fantastic Four may have found its director in Matt Shakman, but there’s still the question of which actors will bring Marvel’s First Family to life. As high as hopes may be to see the cast come out on stage, actors have likely yet to be signed as the newfound director ought to have some say in that choice.
But with filming placed to begin next year, Marvel Studios is likely currently hard at work on finding its four leading actors. If those, or even any of them, happen to be found before D23, there’s a chance they will be revealed at the event.
Doctor Doom Enters The Fold
Doctor Doom earned his own spot on this list thanks to rumors he could be involved in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and possibly even make an appearance. Rumors have suggested the Latvian ruler may be the one pulling the strings of the war between the African nation and Namor’s Talocan.
If these rumors were to pay off, Doctor Doom could be joining the MCU before the year is out, meaning an actor may well have been cast. Granted, chances are Marvel Studios will want to keep any shocking cameo from the Fantastic Four villain quiet, but perhaps they may lean into it to further push the sequel.
The Phase 6 Slate Gets Completed
Almost every potential Phase 6 project was placed in the lower echelon of likelihood on this list. This comes down to the chance that Kevin Feige steers clear of the Multiverse Saga’s conclusion altogether and instead focuses on Phase 5.
The first Phase 6 entry isn’t expected to release until Fall 2024, so Marvel Studios could comfortably save those announcements for 2023’s Comic-Con. But even though those projects likely won’t start filming until the second half of 2023, Feige may wish to complete the picture of the Multiverse Saga sooner rather than later.
Manage Expectations for the MCU at D23
It’s important to go into D23 with reasonable expectations for what Marvel Studios will reveal. Feige just dropped plenty of major bombshells at Comic-Con, so it wouldn’t be awfully surprising if D23 isn’t quite as spectacular.
As the studio will probably want to save some announcements for future events, the Phase 6 slate may well be left incomplete. After all, there are still two more Comic-Cons to come before the final phase of the Multiverse Saga gets underway.
D23 ought to be used more as a platform to expand on what has already been revealed, as opposed to announcing tons of new projects. Nonetheless, the D23 weekend will undoubtedly be an exciting one for MCU fans.
Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige will make his D23 presentation on Saturday, September 10. He will also be joined by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, and The Direct has 14 predictions of what to expect from the Star Wars galaxy.