This week Disney+ is launching the long-awaited series Loki; our favorite evil brother is back in a look at what happened when he stole the Tesseract in Avengers Endgame. Throughout 2021 Marvel has brought a new piece to their story-telling by releasing limited-episode series on Disney+ and with it, they have shown new sides to characters that Marvel fans love. This summer will mark the return of the MCU in theaters, as we will finally see Black Widow (July 9th, 2021 release date). Additionally, this fall we will check out Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (September 3rd, 2021 release date), Eternals (November 5th, 2021 release date), and the highly anticipated Spider-Man No Way Home (December 17th, 2021 release date). As we finally get back to “normal” life I wanted to take a little bit of time and talk about a few things that I cannot wait to see in the MCU!
5. Natalie Portman as a BADASS Lady Thor
Thor Love and Thunder is slated for a 2022 release (Chris Hemsworth posted on Instagram this week that they have finished filming the film), and while we may not know too much about the plot we know that Natalie Portman is reprising her role as Jane Foster. Portman is returning after missing Thor Ragnarok with virtually no mention of her character (there is a one-liner in Thor Ragnarok about her dumping Thor). Disney announced Thor Love and Thunder at Comic-Con in 2019 and announced that Portman would return but her character would be a little bit “mightier” as Jane Foster will dawn the role of “Lady Thor”. Portman showed great enthusiasm for the role and took her training for the role very seriously by adding an insane amount of muscle (check out this video to see her routine). I cannot wait to see Portman in her role for Thor Love and Thunder and I think she is going to absolutely nail it. Jane Foster has always been kind of a major dork in the MCU (especially when Hemsworth is shirtless, but I mean do you blame her?), but I think it will be refreshing to see how she takes on the serious side of having powers like Thor.
4. Fantastic Four
It has been a long time since we have heard from the Fantastic Four, but Marvel posted an updated logo for the Fantastic Four in a teaser for Phase 4 of the MCU earlier this year. As fans begin to speculate the cast, it appears that John Krasinski is the fan choice for Mr. Fantastic, and his wife Emily Blunt is the fan-favorite to play Suzanne Storm. All this speculation has me really intrigued to see who Marvel casts for this interesting team that has been misused in previous films. My dream cast would be Krasinski as Mr. Fantastic, Alexandra Daddario as Suzanne Storm, Zac Efron as Johnny Storm, and John Cena as The Thing. I think the more intriguing aspect to the Fantastic Four is what villain Marvel will pick for them to face in their first appearance in the cannon MCU. We have seen two different version of Dr. Doom that fell short of fan expectations, I think they have to find a way to introduce someone new and exciting for the Fantastic Four to match up with.
3. The MCU without Tony Stark and Steve Rogers
Spider-Man Far From Home focused heavily on Peter Parker dealing with life without his mentor Tony Stark, and we saw how Sam Wilson took the weight of becoming the next Captain America in Falcon & Winter Soldier. Life without Tony and Steve is going to play a huge part in our favorite heroes. There is a moment in Spider-Man Far From Home that perfectly sums up the impact Tony had on not only Peter Parker but Happy as well.
“Everywhere I go I see his face and the whole world is asking who is going to be the next Iron Man. I don’t know if that’s me Happy; I’m not Iron-Man”-Peter Parker
“No one could live up to Tony; not even Tony.”-Happy
Tony Stark is arguably the most popular character that Marvel built for phases 1-3 of the MCU. Robert Downey Jr. brought to life a character that at the beginning is so focused on himself to arc to the point where his final suit wasn’t designed to keep him alive, Tony’s death is going to play an impact in phase 4 of the MCU.
Steve Rogers finally got to be with the love of his life at the end of Avengers Endgame and while he may have gone out in his perfect dream the rest of his team will struggle without the heart of the Avengers. Sam Wilson is going to be an absolutely incredible Captain America but the Avengers are going to need more than just Sam to lead the next generation of earth’s mightiest heroes. I can’t wait to see who steps up and becomes the new leaders of the Avengers.
2. Eternals (whatever it ends up actually being)
Marvel released the first trailer for Eternals a little over a week ago and the hype for this movie continues to build. Eternals has an incredible cast featuring talents like Angelina Jolie, Kit Harrington, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanijiani, and many more. Marvel is taking a stab at a part of the MCU that has yet to be explored; it’s a world that features humanoids that have “Avatar” like powers. The cast alone has me absolutely intrigued but I am excited to see how Marvel introduces the Eternals into the MCU. Phase 4 of the MCU is going to see a lot of weird worlds collide; we know that in 2022 we are going into the Multiverse with Dr. Strange and Spider-Man could venture down the same path (more on that here with my next pick). Marvel is going to have to balance all these strange and unique worlds in a way that makes sense to the audience; however, with Kevin Feige at the helm I have no doubt that Marvel will absolutely amaze audiences with Eternals.
- Spider-Man No Way Home
Spider-Man No Way Home is the most anticipated title for Marvel in 2021. Rumors began in 2020 that Spider-Man No Way Home could feature Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire all suiting up in their respective Spider-Man suits to face Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin and the Sinister Six. In April, Variety confirmed that Alfred Molina would be back in the MCU to reprise his role as Doc Ock. If Marvel goes with the Sinister Six angle in Spider-Man No Way Home I think it will be a near perfect movie. Michael Keaton was unbelievable as Vulture in Spider-Man Homecoming, and we can’t forget about how Jake Gyllenhall elevated Mysterio to new heights in Spider-Man Far From Home; take those two villains and add Alfred Molina who was great as Doc Ock with the insanely talented Willem Dafoe, and I don’t see how this movie could fail. Let’s also not forget that at the end of Spider-Man Far From Home we saw the return of J.K. Simmons as the infamous James Jonah Jameson; I cannot wait to see how Spider-Man No Way Home showcases all these incredible stars!
What are you excited to see from Marvel? Comment below and we will feature it in a brand new podcast coming at the end of June.