Marvel slates ‘Eternals,’ ‘Dr. Strange’ sequel, Natalie Portman as Lady Thor, ‘Blade’ reboot for Phase Four


The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding following the record-shattering success of “Avengers: Endgame.”

At San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, the Disney powerhouse announced several new projects in the works at the blockbuster factory, which has shown impressive leaps in diversity as well as critical acclaim in its cast: Three upcoming projects will star Oscar winners.

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced plans for the first two years of “Phase Four,” which will include Natalie Portman as Lady Thor in “Thor 4: Love and Thunder,” Angelina Jolie as immortal Thena in “The Eternals” and a “Blade” reboot starring Mahershala Ali.

RUSSO BROTHERS FILED ‘AVENGERS’ QUESTIONS AT SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON

Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, director Chloe Zhao, Lia McHugh, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Lauren Ridloff and Don Lee of Marvel Studios’ “The Eternals” pose for a photo at the San Diego Comic-Con International 2019 Marvel Studios Panel in Hall H on July 20, 2019.
(Getty)

‘SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME’ IS A BOX OFFICE HERO FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK

The stars assembled in the San Diego Convention Center’s Hall H as Feige ticked through the release calendar for 2020 and 2021 movie by movie, giving official cast lists, release dates, titles and logos for everything from “Black Widow,” to the Benedict Cumberbatch-led “Doctor Strange” sequel, said to be the first terrifying installment of the mega-franchise.

“I’m so excited to be here,” Jolie gushed, promising to work “10 times harder” than she has on any of her other action roles because she knows what it means to “be part of the MCU” and “part of this family.”

Fellow “Eternals” castmates including Richard Madden (Ikaris), Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek (Ajak), Don Lee (Gilgamesh), Lia McHugh (Sprite) and Brian Tyree Henry, as well as director Chloé Zhao, joined Jolie at the event.

‘AVENGERS: ENDGAME’ TO BE RE-RELEASED WITH NEW POST-CREDITS SCENE

‘AVENGERS: ENDGAME’ DIRECTORS SPEAK OUT ON DELETED SCENE

“I just really, really wanted to make a Marvel movie for so long,” Zhao said.

It’s set for release on Nov. 6, 2020, after “Black Widow” kicks things off on May 1 with Scarlett Johansson, as well as “Stranger Things” breakout David Harbour, Rachel Weisz and Florence Pugh. Audiences got a look at some early footage from the Cate Shortland-directed film showing Johansson and Pugh in some “Bourne Identity”-style hand-to-hand combat.

Marvel also revealed that newcomer Simu Liu will be playing the lead role in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and coming to theaters on Feb. 12, 2021. He’ll star alongside Awkwafina and Chinese actor Tony Leung, who is playing The Mandarin. A different version of The Mandarin previously appeared in “Iron Man 3.”

“This is the craziest, craziest dream,” said Liu, who was literally cast on Tuesday.

CHRIS EVANS WAS NOT A FAN OF CAPTAIN AMERICA SUIT IN FIRST FILM

Simu Liu of Marvel Studios' "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" speaks at the San Diego Comic-Con International 2019 Marvel Studios Panel in Hall H on July 20, 2019. He called his casting the "craziest dream."

Simu Liu of Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” speaks at the San Diego Comic-Con International 2019 Marvel Studios Panel in Hall H on July 20, 2019. He called his casting the “craziest dream.”
(Getty)

The third film of 2021, after “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which director Scott Derrickson said will be Marvel’s “first horror movie,” is perhaps the most anticipated, however: “Thor 4.”

Portman, who played Jane in the first two Thor films, will be remerging as the female Thor. She ran out on stage to thunderous applause and accepted the hammer from a kneeling Taika Waititi.

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, who alluded to her character, Valkyrie, identifying as LGBTQ, will also be returning for the Waititi-directed “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which is set for release on Nov. 2, 2021.

“As new king [of Asgard], she needs to find her queen,” Thompson told the crowd. “That will be the first order of business!”

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.’S SHOCKING ‘AVENGERS’ PAYDAY

Director Taika Waititi passes the hammer to Natalie Portman as they announce "Thor 4: Love and Thunder" at San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, 2019. Portman was previously believed to be done with the Marvel franchise.

Director Taika Waititi passes the hammer to Natalie Portman as they announce “Thor 4: Love and Thunder” at San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, 2019. Portman was previously believed to be done with the Marvel franchise.
(Getty)

Feige brought out some familiar MCU stars from Tom Hiddleston and Sebastian Stan to Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner to tease some of the upcoming Disney+ “event series” including “Hawkeye,” ″The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” ″WandaVision,” ″Loki” and the animated series “What If…?”

Fans were excited to learn that the little girl in “Captain Marvel,” Monica Rambeau, will be joining “WandaVision” as a grown woman played by MCU newcomer Teyonah Parris.

CHRIS PRATT POSTS ‘ILLEGAL’ VIDEO FROM ‘AVENGERS: ENDGAME’ SET

The energy in Hall H was electric for what was easily the most high-profile and anticipated presentation. The audience only knew going in that Feige would be joined by some “special guests.”

Tense security guards managing the estimated 8,000 people in the room even inadvertently snapped at “Endgame” directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who were trying to figure out where to go in the melee.

Although the studio took a year off from Comic-Con last year, it has a long history of announcing some of its biggest plans at the fan convention.

Nine years ago, Marvel wowed Hall H when the Avengers, including Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth, appeared on stage for the first time together. It’s also where the studio introduced Brie Larson as Captain Marvel three years ago and brought the house down with the first look at “Black Panther.”

CHRIS HEMSWORTH TALKS ‘SENSE OF PRIDE’ AS ‘AVENGERS: ENDGAME’ BREAKS RECORDS

And even though the presentation hardly took a breather, there were still a number of upcoming films, some rumored and some confirmed, that they couldn’t get to including “Black Panther 2,” ″Guardians of the Galaxy 3,” ″Captain Marvel 2″ and even, Feige teased, “Fantastic Four” and “Mutants.”

“But all that stuff is rumored,” he said with a smile.

Mahershala Ali and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige pose for a photo at San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, 2019. Ali has been announced as the new Blade in a reboot of the vampire-hunter series. Wesley Snipes previously starred as the "Day Walker."

Mahershala Ali and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige pose for a photo at San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, 2019. Ali has been announced as the new Blade in a reboot of the vampire-hunter series. Wesley Snipes previously starred as the “Day Walker.”
(Getty)

He closed out the presentation dropping the “Blade” reboot news and Ali’s casting, which hadn’t yet even become a rumor to speculate about. Wesley Snipes played the character in the 1998 film and two sequels.

Ali came out on stage and put on a “Blade” baseball cap as the crowd went wild. No other details were revealed about the project.

‘AVENGERS: ENDGAME’ WRITERS EXPLAIN WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO BLACK WIDOW, HULK ROMANCE

Marvel’s impact on Hollywood over the past 11 years is hard to understate. This year alone, three of the top five movies are Marvel properties (“Avengers: Endgame” is No. 1, “Captain Marvel” is No. 2, and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is currently No. 5 after just three weeks in theaters).

They also account for three of the top five grossing domestic release of all time, unadjusted for inflation. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” holds the first place spot, but then comes “Avengers: Endgame” at two, “Black Panther” at four and “Avengers: Infinity War” at five.

And combined, with over $22.3 billion in worldwide earnings, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is by far the most successful franchise of all time.

With the recent partnership with Sony on Spider-Man and the Walt Disney Co.’s acquisition of Fox, all the missing pieces (including X-Men, Deadpool and The Fantastic Four) are coming together too under the Marvel Studios banner.

CHRIS HEMSWORTH DISHES ON HOW POTBELLIED THOR CHANGED HIM

Feige also said Saturday that in just a few days, not accounting for inflation, “Avengers: Endgame” will also surpass “Avatar” as the highest-grossing film of all time.

He even brought his top Marvel Studios people out on stage to celebrate the moment of having completed the 23-movie “Infinity Saga.”

“We started here,” Feige told the room of screaming fans. “I never thought it would happen, and it never would have happened if it wasn’t for you.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The full Marvel Phase Four slate (so far) is below.

“Black Widow” (May 1, 2020)
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” (Disney+, Fall 2020)
“Eternals” (November 6, 2020)
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (Feb. 12, 2021)
“WandaVision” (Disney+, Spring 2021)
“Loki” (Disney+, Spring 2021)
“Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” (May 7, 2021)
“What If…?” (Disney+, Summer 2021)
“Hawkeye” (Disney+, Fall 2021)
“Thor: Love and Thunder” (Nov. 5, 2021)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Source link