Sci-Fi/Superheroes: D23 Announcements

Screenshot of Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin in ‘The Mandalorian’. Copyright goes to Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm

Hey! Hallie here!

The huge Disney convention, D23, is currently happening and just today we got news from their largest panel concerning the future of a majority of their live action franchises. To most fans, the most exciting news here has to do with Disney’s biggest money-makers: Marvel and Star Wars. There’s a lot of news from both parts of the panel dedicated to these two franchises, but not as much as we expected. And there’s also reason to be just as skeptical as we are excited considering D23 is known for announcements that later get shelved before making it to the screen. Still, there’s plenty to talk about and a lot of which I have very strong opinions about. So going into this, know that all the opinions here are my own and you can feel free to disagree with them if you wish. Let’s get into the news!

Marvel:

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ and ‘Ironheart’: Those at the convention got a sneak peak of ‘Wakanda Forever’, but we who didn’t attend won’t be able to see much of anything until the movie releases. This isn’t really surprising considering the release date is just around the corner. They also didn’t reveal much of anything new, which is also unsurprising. The only new information we got is that the movie will focus on Wakanda now that other countries are trying to take advantage of their resources. We also learned that director Ryan Coogler has stepped up as Executive Producer for ‘Ironheart’, which makes sense after the confirmation that Riri Williams will make her MCU debut in ‘Wakanda Forever’. Though we didn’t learn much about ‘Wakanda Forever’ or ‘Ironheart’, I’m extremely excited for both. Specifically ‘Wakanda Forever’. Even for someone like me who’s been experiencing Marvel fatigue, ‘Black Panther’ is a movie I return to often and the trailer for this movie looks so good. I seriously can’t wait.

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’: We already knew that Kang the Conqueror was going to be the villain for this one, but evidently this movie is also going to be direct set-up for the next ‘Avengers’ installment. Kang is already the confirmed villain for this phase of the MCU, but knowing this movie will directly tie into that final plot line makes ‘Quantumania’ feel infinitely more important. Apparently in this film, Kang will kidnap Cassie in order to force Scott to go on a heist. And Jimmy Woo is coming back! Aside from my interest in Kang and my adoration for Paul Rudd, I’m not all that interested in this movie. ‘Ant-Man’ movies sit firmly in the “Meh” category amongst MCU films for me. I don’t see this one being any different.

‘Werewolf By Night’: I’m going to be honest here, I know little to nothing about all of the characters in this MCU project. All I know is that various characters we’ve seen little to nothing about in the MCU are gathered together to figure out which one of them is a werewolf. That said, the trailer was released to the public and it’s very intriguing. It’s completely black-and-white, has a fitting over-the-top feel that makes it come across as retro, and blends both horror and mystery together in a really fun way. It’s also directed by Michael Giacchino who’s an excellent composer. I’m absolutely willing to give this a shot.

‘Secret Invasion’ and ‘Armor Wars’: This one is another project with a publicly released trailer! While the concept of ‘Secret Invasion’ has never really appealed to me, the trailer looks exciting. Samuel L. Jackson is at the top of his game here and feels very intimidating throughout the entire trailer. We get to see some of Maria Hill, Rhodey, and Talos who all look like they’re going to play substantial roles in the series. It looks like it’s going to be an intense spy thriller, which is interesting. Honestly, I feel like this could either be very good or kind of okay. Samuel L. Jackson starring feels like a good sign, though. The series is set to lead into a Rhodey-centric series called ‘Armor Wars’. We don’t know much about this one but I’ve never been the biggest fan of Rhodey, so I’m not as optimistic for this project. Especially because it feels like it’s in really early development right now which means it might not be as solidly in the roster of future projects as it appears.

‘Loki’ and ‘Fantastic Four’: There isn’t much to talk about for either of these. They gave fans at D23 some footage of Kang in ‘Loki’, but they’re clearly not ready to release anything to the public yet. Ke Huy Quan will be joining the cast, though! The director of ‘WandaVision’ is officially going to direct ‘Fantastic Four’ which is cool. But we don’t even have casting for this one so don’t go getting too excited yet.

‘Echo’ and ‘Daredevil: Born Again’: ‘Echo’ was an amazing character in ‘Hawkeye’ so I’m happy to see her series got some love at D23, even if it wasn’t much. We do know that Kingpin will return in the series with an eyepatch, which pretty much every Marvel fan expected. He’s also going to show up alongside Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock in the new ‘Daredevil’ series, but we don’t know much about it aside from the fact that the new season will be eighteen episodes long. Much longer than other series we’ve gotten so far. I don’t really follow the more mature Marvel shows because they aren’t really my thing, but I hear a lot of good things about ‘Daredevil’ and I hope the new season will be everything Marvel fans hope for!

‘Captain America: New World Order’: This one is pretty far off, which is disappointing because it’s my most anticipated Marvel project after ‘Wakanda Forever’. Apparently it’s going to be a thriller, which is certainly an interesting move. The Leader is set to be the villain for this, which is hilarious because he was set up in the ‘Incredible Hulk’ movie they’ve been trying to retcon for years now and have only started to acknowledge. My favorite news about this project is that Carl Lumbly is returning as Isaiah Bradley! Carl Lumbly is an acting legend who many know best as the voice of the Martian Manhunter in the ‘Justice League’ cartoons. He was seen in ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ as the older man who was given the super soldier serum. We still don’t have a ton of information overall for this film, but I’m excited!

‘Thunderbolts’: I have so many mixed feelings about this. We’ve heard rumors about the cast for this, but now we have confirmation. The team will be controlled by Val, who we saw at the end of ‘Black Widow’ and the end of ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’ recruiting potential candidates. The actual team will consist of Ghost from ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, Red Guardian from ‘Black Widow’, John Walker from ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’, Taskmaster from ‘Black Widow’, Bucky Barnes, and Yelena Belova. Yelena and Bucky are confirmed to be the leads for this film. That bit of news is what gets me most interested for this movie. Bucky and Yelena have been some of my favorite characters recently and I’m so pumped to see a movie focus on these two. I’m also excited to see David Harbour return to the MCU, even though Red Guardian isn’t necessarily a character I’m excited about. My biggest concerns here are Taskmaster and John Walker. Taskmaster just isn’t interesting. I suppose this could be their opportunity to make her interesting, but until they do I don’t see anything to get excited about. John Walker is a character I really hated by the end of his show. I didn’t buy his small scene of redemption in the slightest. And I don’t like that this white dude who was definitely a symbol of racism in his show gets a redemption by joining a team of majority white characters. It sits strangely with me. Still, I’m white so my opinion isn’t the most important here.

‘The Marvels’: Once again, we don’t have many new things to talk about. We know that the film will star Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan, and Monica Rambeau. We now know that the movie will be about these three trying to figure out why they keep switching places with one another every time they use their powers. This plot seems kind of ridiculous to me, but it could just be that we’re hearing it without much context for the rest of the film.

Star Wars:

‘Andor’: We have a new trailer for ‘Andor’ out and it looks about as bleak as everything else we’ve seen for this. I’m not the biggest ‘Rogue One’ fan, but I’ve been liking the Disney+ ‘Star Wars’ content quite a bit so I’m willing to give this one a try! I’m particularly excited to see Bix Caleen because of how much I like Adria Arjona. We get a three episode premiere for this one so there will be plenty to talk about once the series drops.

‘Tales of the Jedi’: This is a series of shorts we’re getting next month. The trailer, which was also fully released, gives us some interesting footage of Ahsoka, Anakin, Yoda, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, Captain Rex, and most interestingly, a young Count Dooku with his padawan Qui-Gon Jinn. I’m excited to see where these go even though they’ll only be shorts.

‘Skeleton Crew’: We still don’t know much about this other than Jude Law stars in it, Jon Watts of ‘Spider-Man’ fame is directing, and it takes place during the New Republic. Think after the original trilogy but before the sequel trilogy. I like Jude Law but there really isn’t anything to judge here yet.

‘Ahsoka’: Before this panel even happened we got the news that Ewan Esfandi was going to play Ezra Bridger, joining Natasha Liu Bordizzo, our Sabine Wren, as our first live-action look at ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ characters. For this showcase we got to see a rendering of the last shot in ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ of Sabine looking at the mural of her team. Which indicates that we are, as we all expected, picking up from where the last episode of ‘Rebels’ left off. Aside from this we know that Dave Filoni basically considers this series to be his greatest work and we’ll see lots of lightsaber battles. I’m not certain how I feel about this. I really love almost all of the characters we’re promised to see here, but I’m not a huge fan of Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka as we’ve seen her so far. She’s too much of a generic Jedi and too little of the spunky, hilarious, badass we got to see in ‘Clone Wars’. I really want to like this series, though.

‘The Mandalorian’: Last but certainly not least, we got a trailer for season three of ‘The Mandalorian’! It looks amazing. First off, we’re getting so much more of Bo-Katan Kryze, who I love with my entire heart and will never get enough of. She also seems to be actively recruiting Mando to join her in continuing to rebuild the Mandalorians, referring to the group that just cast him out for taking off his helmet as a “cult” that “fractured” their people. I’m inclined to believe her knowing what I know from ‘Clone Wars’. Then again, I might be biased. We also have characters officially referring to Mando as Grogu’s dad! And we have more cute moments of Mando and Grogu helping each other out in dangerous situations! I’m actively melting into a puddle as I type. On top of these things we also get brief shots of Pell Motto, who is always a joy to watch, and the adorable Babu Frik! I can’t wait until this comes out!

And that’s it! I’m definitely looking forward to the Star Wars content the most, but Marvel caught my eye with a few announcements. There’s just so many projects Marvel’s working on that I have a hard time believing all of them will make it to completion. I’m crossing my fingers for some good content, though!

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

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