Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios
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Marvel Studios’ Phase 4 undergoing changes on Disney+

The Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Four has surprises around every corner

12 mins read

On July 29 Marvel Studios officially revealed a first look image for “Hawkeye.” The Disney+ series is helmed by Rhys Thomas and directed by duo Bert and Bertie for release on Nov. 24, 2021.

The first look image does come as entirely of a shock, but also a sense of reassurance. Due to the confirmation last week during an interview with Variety, executive VP of film production at Marvel Studios Victoria Alonso revealed that “a few other shows” will come out before the end of the year, including “Ms. Marvel” and “Hawkeye.”

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

As of now, no plot details have been revealed besides the fact the series will consist of 6 episodes. It does seem marketing for the series has begun. This means a first-look trailer could emerge on social media in the coming weeks. 

It seems Marvel Studios is trying to keep the focus on “What If…?” for the time. Due to the fact it’s their first attempt at an animated series, and it’s slated to premiere on August 11th on Disney+, which is quite close.  

“[Kate is] a 22-year-old kid and she’s a big Hawkeye fan,” Renner told Entertainment Weekly. “She has a wonderfully annoying and equally charming manner about her, because she’s such a fangirl of Hawkeye. The relationship grows from that, but the biggest problem for Clint is Kate Bishop and the onslaught of problems that she brings into his life.” 

Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner reprises his long-time role as Clint Barton / Hawkeye, with Hailee Steinfeld stepping in as another well-known archer from the Marvel comics, Kate Bishop. Additionally, rounding out the original Marvel Studios series cast are Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James, and newcomer Alaqua Cox who will star as Maya Lopez / Echo. 

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

The series will feature Echo, the second deaf superhuman to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The first is Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) in “Eternals” (2021), and real-life deaf actors are portraying both characters.

Marvel Studios “Hawkeye” will premiere Nov. 24, 2021 on Disney+ 


Update: Ms. Marvel reportedly delayed to 2022! 

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

“I asked around and it is very safe to assume at this point that “Ms. Marvel” is now on track for an early 2022 premiere,” veteran television insider Matt Webb Mitovich reported for TVLine

The news came as a shock. Due to the confirmation from the quote earlier in the article, Executive VP of film production at Marvel Studios, Victoria Alonso, during an interview with Variety, confirmed that both “Hawkeye” and “Ms. Marvel” would premiere on the streaming service this year. Still, with this report from TVLine, it seems fans may have to wait a little longer to meet Kamala Khan, and understand her origin and breathe new life into a chapter of the MCU that fans have been eagerly awaiting. 

Photo courtesy of Marvel Comics

In a way, it makes sense to delay the upcoming series to next year, to give room and direction so marketing could ensue for, say, the following blockbuster films from the cinematic juggernaut. “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” are slated for release in theaters Sept 3; “Eternals” is slated for release on Nov. 5 in theaters later this year. The “Hawkeye” series is slated for release on Nov. 24 on Disney+. Then, finally, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which is officially slated for release Dec. 17, 2021, in theaters. 

Last year at Disney Investor Day in December, Marvel Studios President and producer Kevin Feige revealed Ms. Marvel would reach Disney+ “later next year.” Feige officially announced newcomer Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teen superhero and number one fangirl of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). 

Feige and staff also unveiled a sizzle reel during the virtual presentation. The footage revealed the first look at Ms. Marvel, introducing Vellani’s Kamala before she joins Carol Danvers (Larson) and Monica Rambeau (WandaVision’s Teyonah Parris) in director Nia DaCosta’s 2022-dated Captain Marvel sequel, “The Marvels.”

“Ms. Marvel is a new kind of superhero, but at the core of all of it, her story’s so universal,” series creator and head writer Bisha K. Ali said in the sizzle.

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life), Meera Menon (The Punisher, For All Mankind), and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Pakistan’s Taliban Generation, Saving Face) directed episodes of the series about the fan-favorite character from the Marvel Comics.

“When Ms. Marvel first came out, we had such an incredible reaction,” said character co-creator and executive producer Sana Amanat.

“I never saw a young teenager of color, specifically a Pakastani, in the comic book,” added Ali, who served as story editor on Loki.


“What If…?”

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

A few important details have been confirmed about the upcoming series. 

In an interview with Collider, “What If…?” executive producer Brad Winderbaum confirmed that the original plan for the show’s first season was for it to be 10 episodes. Now, according to Winderbaum, “thanks to COVID, changes had to be made,” which included “push[ing] an episode into Season 2.” 

Winderbaum also added that Season 2 was also set to be nine episodes during the interview, which will put the show’s total at 18 episodes by the end of its sophomore run.

As for the length of the nine episodes in the show’s freshman, Winderbaum spoke on that as well.

“We targeted a half an hour for each episode. Some of them come in a little longer, some of them come in a little shorter,… we wanted to tell as many stories as we could and we had a certain budget we had to work with so it felt like that 10-episode — now 9-episode run — was the right quantity.”

Brad Winderbaum

It seems that even Marvel has assembled one of the most prominent ensembles for this new chapter of the MCU that some major actors didn’t receive the call. Like I previously mentioned before, the series would not feature the following MCU actors. According to a report from Variety, Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man), Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), Chris Evans (Captain America), Benicio Del Toro (The Collector), and Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange). Even more actors of the franchise, such as Tom Holland (Spider-Man), and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), will be part of that list. 

Doctor Strange in Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Also on the list was “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor Dave Bautista (Drax). When asked why he didn’t provide the voice for his live-action character of Drax for the animated show, the actor posted a tweet that read: “Let’s start with I was never asked.” The news came as quite a shock to fans but it was apparently news to “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn who tweeted a simple”What” in reply.

Marvel’s “What If…?” was a hot topic during Disney Investor Day 2020. Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige said the animated series would “feature a different moment from the MCU and turn it on its head.” 

The series’ creator, A.C. Bradley, later clarified that the series would not dedicate a single episode to every film in the MCU canon but that its objective was “to hopefully see the majority of characters from all 23 movies. You’ll see multiple characters in an episode.”

The series will also mark the final appearance of T’Challa by Chadwick Boseman, who posthumously portrayed Black Panther in the MCU till his passing in August 2020. 

“What If…?” executive producer Brad Winderbaum confirmed Boseman’s four-episode role in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com.

“He’s in four episodes, actually,” Winderbaum told ComicBook.com, Brandon Davis. “He plays different versions of the character. I wouldn’t say that anything changed drastically. We wanted to honor, frankly, his performance and his eagerness to be a part of the project. In retrospect, he recorded this episode for us knowing what we all know now. We wanted to honor what he did, so we actually didn’t change a lot of it. There were certain things, in the context of his passing, especially musically…Lauren Karpman delivered what I think is an incredible score for the entire series and the way she approached T’Challa throughout, especially in light of his passing, is really beautiful.”

photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios’ “What If…?” will premiere Aug. 11, 2021, on Disney+.

Brendan Rooney

Brendan Rooney has always been full of creativity and enthusiasm towards the world of widespread media. He is also a passionate comic book fan along with a die-hard sports pedigree. Brendan has written various articles covering all topics and dreams of forging a long-lasting legacy by bringing respect to the Rooney name as either a teacher, journalist, or whatever else the future holds. Brendan plans to graduate from Westfield State University in the spring of 2022 with a degree in English and a minor in Journalism.

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