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.

This Is The End – Avengers: Infinity War * spoiler free review

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The Marvel films have always struggled with villains, it’s a frequently heard complaint that few villains beyond Loki and, arguably, Erik Killmonger, have left too much of an impression. So let’s get this right out there – not only was Thanos worth waiting for, but he instantly ranks at the top of the hall of infamy.

There was concern that the Mad Titan would be a let down, that he couldn’t possibly live up to the almost ten-year build which has led us to this point. But the combination of a wonderfully layered performance from Josh Brolin and superlative animation effects work brings Jim Starlin’s deranged creation to full, terrifying life in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War.

This feat is even more impressive in a film which (as I’m sure you know from the hype) brings together all the expected characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and perhaps even some unexpected ones).

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo (and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) do a splendid job of pulling together an increasingly active number of franchises, giving most characters a neat arc and/or several great moments, though there are exceptions, inevitable even with a two-hour forty minute running time, and a certain amount of shorthand is definitely at play. That they manage this without spending an hour on exposition is a minor miracle, and a testament to deft storytelling (and the good will engendered by eighteen previous films).

There’s an undeniable frisson of excitement (especially for a Marvel geek like me) to see new combinations of characters, having Spider-Man and Doctor Strange interact left me with the biggest grin on my face, but the filmmakers know they need more than just a Marvel Team-Up to make a satisfying film.

There are real stakes here, literally the fate of the universe (or half of it… you’ll see…) hangs in the balance, with a number of different strands occurring in different locations on different worlds, and the action feels all the more vital because Marvel have taken the time to build these worlds and make us care for the characters. And it’s no spoiler to say your emotions will really be put through the wringer – I wept a solitary, manly tear on more than one occasion.

But don’t think the threat of the universe coming to an end or talk of tears means it’s all doom and gloom: this is a thrill-a-minute adventure that hits the ground running and barely lets up on the action, but as usual it’s mixed in with some fabulous and funny character interplay – Thor with Peter Quill and Doctor Strange with Tony Stark bring unexpected delights.

There’s also a distinct feel here of the beginning of a changing of the guard – the first ten years of Marvel movies has seen a very definite roster of characters and Infinity War shows us that the company’s willingness to shake things up is part of what makes them so successful, and which lends even more weight to the story, of course. Even the obligatory post-credit scene nods in that direction (it’s a nod that literally made me whoop in the cinema).

Is there a downside to all this? I suspect that a casual filmgoer would be rather lost but y’know in that case, get with the Marvel game like the rest of the population, I guess.

Avengers: Infinity War is a huge, and hugely exciting, comic book, sci-fi epic that really sees the gutsy long-game approach taken by Marvel pay off, giving us the Empire Strikes Back of their bold, long form narrative, and finally giving the Marvel Cinematic Universe its own Darth Vader, a cosmic villain with a welcome emotional core.

And really, so as not to wander into the spoiler zone, that’s about all I can say, except that this is the huge Marvel adventure we’ve been waiting for.

This is the end*… but bring on May 3, 2019 and Avengers 4 as soon as possible please, I only have so many fingernails left to chew through.

*Speaking of the end, you KNOW to stay right through to the very end of the credits, right…!?

Here Comes Thanos! The Final Avengers: Infinity Wars Is Rather Exciting.

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There’s really not a heck of a lot I can say about this trailer. If you’re not down for Marvel’s All-Star Mash Up by now then there’s probably nothing more here to convince you. You are hopelessly wrong, of course.

For the rest of us, April 27th really can’t arrive quickly enough as Avengers: Infinity War is the beginning of the culmination of ten years of narrative and the chance to see all of Marvel’s flagship characters facing off against the big, bad and purple cosmic Trump, Thanos (as played by Josh Brolin). And seen here? Spider-Man and Dr.Strange, together on screen for the first time! Oh boy! Captain America going mano y mano with Thanos! Gosh!

Marvel have gotten particularly adept and not blowing their wads in trailers and this still feels mighty restrained to me. What do you think? Are Marvel still playing their cards close to their chests?

I’ll see you in the theater in just over a month. I’ll be the one hyper-ventilating.

Epic! The Avengers: Infinity War Trailer Is Here…

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The trailer for Avengers: Infinity War has landed and, wow… you need to see this:


I know, right!?

It’s not the same trailer that wowed audiences at this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con (yes, yes, I peaked at the leaked version) but if anything it feels even more epic.

Rumours are running rife that this may be the last time we see some of these characters (at least in their present forms), so better make the most of… hm, well, that would be telling, right!? In the meantime, we can look forward to the ultimate Marvel Cinematic Universe mash-up of The Avengers, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy as they face up against the Josh Brolin-shaped cosmic might of Thanos.

Avengers: Infinity War arrives May 8th, 2018. The hype starts here…

Black Panther – The Revolution Will Be Televised!

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You know how some days are – non-stop work, no time to think, you come home exhausted and… there’s a new trailer for Marvel’s Black Panther waiting for you. Result!

Feast your eyes on this and we’ll talk more after…

Well, that looks cool as heck, right!? Ryan Coogler’s take on the hidden nation of Wakanda is spectacular, and looks ready to open up a whole, new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And with that truly amazing cast Black Panther is shaping up to be another in the increasingly refreshing run of Marvel movies led by Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 and Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok.

As a bonus you can ogle the lovely new poster, below.

Black Panther opens on February 16th and that date can’t arrive quickly enough.

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Hail to the King – The Black Panther Trailer Kicks Ass!

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Black Panther is an important film for Marvel Studios, and in its way an important film, period. A huge franchise movie written and directed by black talent and featuring a fabulous and diverse cast with its black stars front and centre, it’s a movie which speaks for our times in an incredibly positive way.

We shouldn’t have to point up these things, but now the moment is here it seems churlish not to celebrate it, so it’s great to see that what’s being delivered looks astonishingly cool and majorly kick ass. Also, props to the great use of Legend Has It, by Run The Jewels.

Directed by Creed’s Ryan Coogler, co-written by Coogler with Joe Robert Cole and headed up by the likes of Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o,  Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis, Black Panther will expand on the hidden African nation of Wakanda, as glimpsed briefly in Captain America: Civil War.

For a whole bunch of reasons this is a film that feels very much overdue, so sit back and enjoy what looks like Marvel firing on all cylinders. Hail to the King!

Marvel release magical new Doctor Strange trailer.

“We only want to come when we have a LOT of stuff to show you,” said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios in his introduction at the Hall H presentation of the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con.

After debuting a new studio logo, which will now play before all their movies, with a new musical fanfare by Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles, Star Trek 2009), he brought to the stage the cast (Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan, who will play Erik Killmonger; Lupita Nyong’o, taking the role of Nakia; and Danai Gurira as Okoye) and director (Ryan Coogler) of Black Panther (and revealing a new logo for that film).

Feige followed this by revealing a whole bunch of art and designs (and new logo) for Thor: Ragnarok (which promises to include elements of classic comic book story, Planet Hulk – imagine the green giant in an outer space gladiatorial arena – as well as being a buddy movie). Directed by Flight of the Conchords’ Taika Waititi, the film looks like it will contain a broader streak of humour than previous Thor movies, and – alongside Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo – features Cate Blanchett as the villain, Hela.

Next up, director Scott Derrickson introduced his cast for the highly anticipated Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams and Benedict Wong). Cumberbatch took to the stage in a wild, smoke-filled laser light show, and premiered a second, and far stronger trailer for the film.

The presentation is still going on as I post this and I’ll be sure to bring more news as it hits, but Feige wasn’t exaggerating when he said Marvel had a lot to show!

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Marvel logo source: JoBlo Movie Trailers