We can call the people behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe a lot of things but procrastinator is not one of them.
Comic Con 2019 was this past weekend and Marvel made, I would say, the biggest splash at the event. It might as well have been called Marvel Con. During their panel Marvel announced their Phase 4 which is a complete lineup of all the movies set to release as far forward as 2021. This lineup included up to 10 big projects in both Tv and movies. Fans are applauding Marvel for their newest phase for setting out to be more diverse and include all different kinds of superhero’s. We’ll get to see the first Asian superhero and the first LGBTQ superhero. Marvel also added some heavy hitters to lead the next phase of the franchise, after ending the stories of so many of the original fab 5 Avengers characters.
It was announced that Natalie Portman will join the franchise as the female Thor and Angelina Jolie will join the franchise in The Eternals. Natalie Portman’s character has been missed by fans and has not been seen since the second Thor movie in 2013. She played Thor’s love interest but in comics she eventually is deemed worthy of wielding Mjölner, Thor’s hammer, therefore becoming the female Thor. That will be the premise of this new movie and I am so here for it. I’ve liked every Natalie Portman movie I have ever seen so I’m pretty excited for this new movie. Too bad I have to wait until November of 2021. I’m not quite as familiar with The Eternals and what that whole storyline is, but Angelina Jolie is a great actress so I’m sure she’ll be a great addition to the MCU.
Two original Avengers are finally getting their own stand alone movies. I always told my sister, who is obsessed with everything Marvel, that Black Widow always seems to be the one ignored. As someone who isn’t so immersed in that world, I didn’t really hear much about her and she was one of the few without an origin story movie. Her and fellow underrated superhero Hawkeye. Well that’s all about to change because Marvel officially announced the release dates for their origin story movies. Black Widow’s movie is set to be released in May 2020 and Hawkeye is set to be released in fall 2021. I always found Hawkeye to be a little boring, but as a martial artist I always admired Black Widow’s abilities and am ready to watch a woman kick ass on the big screen.
The first Asian and LGBTQ superheroes were also announced over the weekend. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to be released in February 2021 with Simu Lui set to portray the titular character. Up until this point Asian characters have only been featured as supporting or background characters and it is refreshing to see them represented on a larger scale. Along with featuring a female Thor, Natalie Portman’s Thor: Love and Thunder will also feature the first LGBTQ character. Tessa Thompson will resume her role as leader of the Valkyrie, an all female army, and it will be revealed in this film that she is bisexual. She is openly bisexual in the comics and many fans were upset when a scene revealing that was cut from Thor Ragnarok. Marvel has made it clear that her sexuality will be revealed and there will be LGBTQ representation.
Other films announced included Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Wanda Vision, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, Loki and What If…?