Marvel And Star Wars Fans Are Losing Their Sh*t After Disney Announced 100 New Projects
There’s never been an announcement day quite like this one. We’re going to be watching Marvel and Star Wars content ‘til we die.
Disney is doubling down on its strategy to expand the Marvel and Star Wars universes — or perhaps more accurately, the entertainment giant is tripling down, as they announced a mind-boggling slate of 100 new TV shows and films on Thursday.
"If you're a competitor, this is earth-shaking,” venture capitalist and analyst Matthew Ball told CNN. He tweeted that he was “astounded, shocked by [the] slate's quality, range, volume.”
“This is Disney going beyond a digital ‘Vault’ plus originals,” Ball continued. “It is saying all of your favorite stories, more, always.” (As my partner noted: we’re going to be watching Marvel and Star Wars movies and TV shows until we die.)
The flood of announcements came during Disney’s 2020 Investor Day and covered new Disney+ shows, Disney Animation projects, Marvel series, and a number of Star Wars spin-offs following the success of the streaming service’s hit show “The Mandalorian.” (Is there a corner of the galaxy that doesn’t know about Baby Yoda?)
Perhaps the biggest Star Wars news is that Hayden Christensen will reprise his role as a young Darth Vader, aka Anakin Skywalker, in the previously announced Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor. The unexpected announcement was met with some mixed reactions, given the divisive nature of the Star Wars prequels — people still remember Jar Jar Binks — but there was universal surprise and much celebration from Christensen’s fans.
Other announcements included a Mandalorian spin-off centering on Ahsoka Tano, who is played by Rosario Dawson; a spin-off for fan favorite Lando Calrissian; and new Star Wars films that will be directed by Taika Waititi and Patty Jenkins. Jenkins, the director of “Wonder Woman” and its upcoming sequel, will be "the first female filmmaker in the 43-year history of the 'Star Wars' movie franchise,” The New York Times reported.
The Marvel universe continues to expand
Disney also released new trailers for some of its most anticipated 2021 Marvel shows, including “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” “Loki,” and “WandaVision,” which all star big-name actors from the big screen movies of the past decade (like Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie.) Even Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury, is coming back in a new show for Disney+. He will star with Ben Mendehlson, most recently seen as the hilarious Skrull Talos in “Captain Marvel,” in “Secret Invasion.”
Speaking of “Captain Marvel,” the sequel starring Brie Larson set to be released in November 2022 will get a new character: the young Ms. Marvel, aka the character of Kamala Khan, who will be the first onscreen Muslim superhero. Khan, played by newcomer Iman Vellani, is an adorable Pakistani-American teenager who fangirls over Captain Marvel and discovers her own superpowers.
At the end of the blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame,” Chris Evans’ Captain America hands off his shield to his buddy Sam Wilson, played by Mackie. “The Falcon And The Winter Soldier” will pick up from that moment, and while the new trailer talks about the “complicated legacy” of the shield, there’s no word yet on whether Evans might make a cameo appearance in the TV show. However, Disney roped the superstar into a brand new role and project: Evans will voice Buzz Lightyear in a standalone film.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige also confirmed that they will not recast the late Chadwick Boseman in “Black Panther 2,” currently scheduled for release in July 2022. Feige said, “To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.” That includes Black Panther’s sister, Shuri, and perhaps that Michael B. Jordan could return as the villainous Killmonger.
The introduction of Kamala Khan, continuation of the Black Panther and Falcon’s storylines, and more all add up some impressive new representation for superheroes of color in the Marvel universe — and fans are excited:
Disney said Thursday that its streaming service has 86 million subscribers, and now projects that they “will have 230 million to 260 million subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024,” which is “a huge jump from its initial projections last year of 60 million to 90 million,” according to CNN.
The company is also raising the monthly cost of subscribing to Disney+: it will go up by $1 to $7.99/month in March 2021. Deadline reported that Disney stock already hit new record highs on Friday amid “investor euphoria” following the slew of announcements.
We couldn’t run down all of them for you here, but The Verge has a list of the 52 biggest announcements from Investor Day. Perhaps shockingly — or just expressing his willingness to take everyone’s money for the rest of eternity — Disney executive chairman Bob Iger said at the end of the presentation, “The fact is, we’re only getting started.”
P.S. Disney’s social media managers, who went on a seriously impressive posting spree last night: we salute you.