Disney Unleashes ALL The Star Wars!



At the big Disney Investor show today the company launched a massive wave of new Star Wars projects – cinema features and TV series for their Disney + service.

Due to its success on Disney + The Mandalorian will gain two spin-off shows: Rangers of the New Republic, and Ahsoka, which will see Rosario Dawson reprise her Jedi character (first seen in animated form during The Clone Wars series), both set in the same timeline as the show that launched them. The Mandalorian will, naturally, receive a third season.

Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy also announced Andor, starring Diego Luna’s Rebel character Cassian Andor, in a spin-off from the film, Rogue One. You can now see the sizzle reel for this show, starring the character we know will ultimately meet his fate retrieving the plans for the Empire’s Death Star:



The Acolyte will be a mystery-thriller from Leslye Headland “that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era”; Lando, is a new event series in early development from Justin Simien, writer/creator of Dear White People (with no announcement yet whether this will star either Billy Dee Williams or Donald Glover, who have played the character in other live-action Star Wars films); Star Wars: Visions, will be an original series of short films from Japanese anime creators coming in 2021.

Droids will be an animated adventure featuring C3PO and R2D2. Kennedy said, “This epic journey will introduce is to new hero guided by our most iconic duo… on a secret mission known only to them. What could possibly go wrong?”

The Bad Batch is a new animated series from The Mandalorian’s co-creator, Dave Filoni, who says the show “follows in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War. Members of Bad Batch — a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army — each possess a singular exceptional skill which makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew. In the post-Clone War era, they will take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose.” No release date for this was given, but we do have a sizzle reel to share with you:



Finally, on the Disney + front, it was announced that Hayden Christensen will reprise his role from the Prequel Trilogy as Darth Vader, for the Obi-Wan Kenobi event series starring Ewan McGregor. The series will be set 10 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, as the Jedi is in hiding and Vader comes to terms with his greatest loss:



Back in the dark of the cinema, JoJo Rabbit and Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, fresh off his stint helming multiple episodes of The Mandalorian, will helm his first Star Wars feature film. Waititi has completed his script and locations are being scouted. No further details were forthcoming, but this can’t be seen as anything except exciting.

Rian Johnson’s previously trumpeted new trilogy of Star Wars films failed to make an appearance in the new round of announcements, so it remains to be seen where those films stand beyond the recent news that their release had been bumped back to 2023, ’25 and ’27. Frankly, typing these far-off dates makes me examine my own mortality.

Finally, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, will helm a feature film of Rogue Squadron:



Even the most cynical among us will find this announcement video from Jenkins rather touching:



And that, folks, is all the brand Star Wars news. Basically, between everything here, plus the Marvel, Pixar and Disney announcements, the Mouse House will pretty much own our entertainment needs for at least the next decade or so. As to whether or not that’s a good thing, I’ll let you argue among yourselves.

But one thing is for sure, The Force will be with us for a long time to come…









Marvel Bounces Back With Phase 4 Releases And Finally… Fantastic Four!



2020 has been the first year in a decade not to see any Marvel theatrical releases. While I’m certain I don’t need to explain why that is, the news from today’s Disney Investors meetings should keep fans of the studio’s output very happy. Buckle up, because this is quite a ride…

A slew of new releases will begin on January 15th, as WandaVision becomes the first Marvel Cinematic Universe TV series, crossing over onto Disney +. Here’s the new trailer for this extremely exciting looking show, starring Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Teyonah Paris and Kat Dennings:



Following that on the same channel, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, starring Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp and Wyatt Russell, will arrive on March 19th. Marvel dropped a brand new trailer for this:



The first trailer also arrived for the Loki series, starring Tom Hiddleston as the God of Mischief, Owen Wilson and Gugu Mbatha-Raw:



And finally we have a sizzle reel, including the first snippets of footage, for the as-yet undated Ms. Marvel, starring Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan/Ms.Marvel:



Also announced and/or confirmed without release dates, were forthcomng series Hawkeye, seeing Jeremy Renner reprise his role, alongside Hailee Steinfeld as comic book favourite, Kate Bishop, and She-Hulk, with Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk, Tim Roth returning as the Abomination and an appearance from Hulk himself, Mark Ruffalo.



Meanwhile, What If…? and I Am Groot will see animated adventures on the channel, and just announced at the last minute: James Gunn will write and direct The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, for an unannounced date in 2022, and the same year will see Don Cheadle in his own series as James Rhodes, in an adaptation of a famous Iron Man comic book storyline, Armor Wars.



Looking further ahead to shows in development, Moon Knight will get his own series (apparently with Oscar Issac in the title role, as a bizarre and complex vigilante), Samuel L Jackon’s Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn’s Skrull, Talos from Captain Marvel, team for Secret Invasion (another comic book series, which saw the shape-shifting Skrulls infiltrate the Marvel heroes on Earth), and finally, Dominique Thorne will play genius inventor Riri Williams in Ironheart, a series about the creator of the most advanced suit of armor since Iron Man.

The long-delayed Black Widow movie will finally be released, to cinemas according to Marvel Studios’ head honcho, Kevin Feige, on November 6th, 2021. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has now completed production and will be in theaters July 9th, 2021.

Christian Bale is confirmed to be joining the cast of Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, released May 6th, 2022.

Meanwhile, Brie Larson returns as Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel 2 on November 11th, 2022, directed by Nia DaCosta. Joining the cast are recently announced Ms. Marvel, Iman Vellani, and Monica Rambeau played by WandaVision’s Teyonah Parris.

Peyton Reed is back to direct the third Ant-Man film, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer all return. Kathryn Newton joins the cast as Cassie Lang and Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror. No release date was given for this yet.

Although news on Black Panther 2 was somewhat understandably slim, Feige confirmed that T’Challa, as played by the late Chadwick Boseman, will not be recast.

And, as if all this wasn’t breathtaking enough for Marvel fans, Feige announced that Jon Watts (director of the MCU Spider-Man films) will bring Marvel’s First Family (created by Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby, in 1961), Fantastic Four to the screen at last, thanks to the all-powerful Disney returning the characters to their rightful home in the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox. There have been two previous screen versions of these characters through Fox (including a rights grabbing abomination, infamously directed by Josh Trank in 2015), but fans of the Four have longed to see them integrated into the MCU, and now that will happen.



2020 may have been a quiet period for Marvel fans, but it’s safe to say the studio will be back with a bang in 2021.