CCI 2019: Let’s Talk About Those Marvel Announcements

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Last night at SDCC Kevin Feige unveiled the lineup (or most of it anyways) for the long-awaited phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Needless to say there was a lot of excitement in Hall H last night. Some of the projects that were revealed had been on the back burner for quite some time so seeing the in the official announcement was nice. But others, others came out of nowhere.

The biggest reveal of course was that Mahershala Ali (who already played the Cottonmouth in season one of Netflix’s Luke Cage series) was set to take over the Blade franchise as the daywalker was officially welcomed into the MCU. Let’s start off by stating the obvious, he’s the perfect choice. He has the persona and charisma to pull off Blade like no other. Wesley Snipes will be a tough act to follow but if anyone can do it’s Ali.

About half of the roster that was announced won’t actually be seen in theaters. Instead, properties like WandaVision and Loki will find their home on Disney+. This is the first time any of Marvel’s television properties have been acknowledged to be a part of the canon MCU.

One gets the feeling the Feige is actually holding back on stage. Right now what’s been revealed only takes the audience to 2021 but there’s still a lot of ground to cover. With The Eternals on the way the MCU will fully embrace it’s cosmic origins. They are going to double down on that tone with Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness (which sounds the best kind of bonkers) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3.

Not only that it was revealed that the fourth Thor film will actually bring in Natalie Portman as Lady Thor. This is easily one of the greatest moves the studio could have done. On it’s surface Lady Thor feels like an unnecessary gender switch for the main character and an excuse to extend the franchise. But if you’ve ever read the comics Jane Foster’s arc as Lady Thor (she’s recovering from terminal cancer but when she wields that hammer becomes Mighty) it is some of Marvel’s best modern storytelling.

Even this far down the road it’s hard not to have faith in Marvel and the MCU. They seem constantly willing to experiment and push the boundaries of superhero movies. Here is looking forward to Phase 4 and beyond.