MarvelBlog News for November 15th, 2021
This week, we have confirmation on several new Marvel projects coming to Disney+. And we also learned about trouble brewing in the MCU.
I’ll explain in the latest MarvelBlog News.
The Good News about Black Panther
Comic book fans know who Lake Bell is…or at least what she sounds like.
While the actress first garnered acclaim on Boston Legal, you may know her best as the loyal friend in What Happens in Vegas or the lead on Bless This Mess.
I would argue that her best work came on Childrens Hospital (watch it and thank me later!), and she has gained a loyal following due to recent voicework.
Bell plays Poison Ivy on the genuinely spectacular Harley Quinn animated series…and she’s phenomenal!
Marvel noticed and cast her as Natasha Romanoff in What If…?. She’s one of the few people working with DC and Marvel.
Now, she’ll gain another MCU credit, as insiders confirm she has filmed scenes for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
That’s not even the best part. While Bell’s role in this project is reportedly quite small, she will portray…Lucia von Bardas.
This is where I remind you of two previous MarvelBlog updates about this character, the sometimes ruler of Latveria.
The expectation is that once she appears in the Black Panther sequel, Bell will play a more significant role in the MCU.
Realistically, the character’s best fit is in Secret Wars. However, due to release delays with Wakanda Forever, the Disney+ series should debut first.
Either way, the arrival of Lucia von Bardas portends Victor von Doom, which is music to my ears.
The Bad News about Black Panther…
Speaking of delays, The Hollywood Reporter just dropped a bombshell about Letitia Wright, ostensibly the star of the sequel.
Wright chose not to get vaccinated. Then, after an on-set injury, she returned to England, her home country.
Marvel executives fret about Wright’s return given current pandemic rules regarding international travel.
There’s also a report of a schism that could alter the fate of the next Black Panther…
I’m still dubious about this story, as Marvel recently extended Wright’s contract for several more MCU movies.
Even so, some recent reports indicate that Shuri may not finish the film as the Black Panther, instead deciding she doesn’t want/like the gig.
That’s totally speculation, and I don’t even read it as a final decision yet. After all, the project will film again in a few months.
However, I DO think that Marvel has gotten a bit exasperated with Wright and went public with this news as a way of expressing its displeasure.
Right now, the actress faces a choice. She can embrace her good fortune as a potential superstar of the MCU.
Alternatively, she can suffer Terrence Howard’s fate. At this point, only a fraction of Marvel fans even remembers that he was the original War Machine.
That’s the potential fate for Wright if she continues to displease her bosses.
The whole thing strikes me as ridiculous, given that this entire project should do nothing but celebrate the life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman.
Newly Confirmed MCU Projects
I’ll write an entire article about this soon, but it bears mentioning now as well.
Disney+ Day arrived on November 12th, the second anniversary of the streaming service.
The company’s executives want to build Disney+ Day into an annual event. So, they stacked the deck with a bunch of new announcements.
Obviously, Marvel played heavily into these plans, with several new projects confirmed. Some of them were ones we either knew about it or had speculated could happen.
To wit, Disney+ posted a sizzle reel for new and upcoming MCU projects. Notably, you can watch it on Disney+! Here’s the link.
The clip and accompanying media release confirm the following titles:
- Agatha: House of Harkness
- I Am Groot (a series of animated shorts)
- Marvel Zombies
- Spider-Man: Freshman Year
- X-Men ‘97
These titles are in addition to ones that Marvel had previously announced. Technically, we knew about I Am Groot, but it’s got footage now.
Agatha: House of Harkness will continue the character’s story, both before and after her encounter with Wanda Maximoff.
Echo is the motion imitator I’ve discussed recently in MarvelBlog News. Her arrival in the MCU has been an open secret all year.
She’s also part of Daredevil’s collection of frenemies. Read into that what you will.
Marvel Zombies is an animated series that builds off the foundation in What If…?
The final two titles represent the most intriguing ones, at least in my household.
My wife loved an old Sean McKeever series, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane. The innocence and charm of the storytelling enthralled her.
This version of the premise, Spider-Man: Freshman Year, won’t follow that trajectory, but I fully expect some similarities.
Finally, X-Men ’97 takes up where X-Men: The Animated Series ended…which is PHENOMENAL!
People don’t understand what a cultural milestone it was during the 1990s.
The Eternals Update
I’ll still hold off on spoilers this week, but some interesting tidbits came out during post-release publicity.
For starters, Chloé Zhao has confirmed that none of the Eternals suffered dusting during The Blip.
As she wryly noted, none of them technically could. Of course, this explanation only makes sense if you’ve watched the movie…but it’s VERY good.
The film’s writers also noted that two Eternals nearly made the cut. However, Zuras and Valkin were the last two Eternals on the outs after the first script.
Zhao felt that 12 Eternals was too many. Having seen the film, I’d argue that anything over seven proved excessive.
Sersi and especially Ikaris were the ones I’d have cut…or given much better backstories.
Meanwhile, Zuras has also gone by Zeus and Quetzalcoatl, which speaks to his significance as a symbol of the Eternals.
As for Valkin, the leader of the Polar Eternals didn’t make it into the movie…but his son, Druig, did.
Speaking of sons of Eternals, the production team has requested something for the sequels. They want…Thanos. NOW we’re talking!
Of course, that’s not the only request. In addition, they’d like to create an Eternals prequel for Disney+.
The movie will need to do a lot more box office to justify such massive developments, though.
I’m running long this week, but here are a few tantalizing tidbits for you.
Tom Holland stated in an interview that Spider-Man and Dr. Strange’s relationship will fracture soon.
Yes, Mr. Holland. We’ve seen the trailer.
Meanwhile, one of the writers on Captain America 4 recently offered an analogy about Sam Wilson.
To this person, he’s not Captain America inasmuch as Rocky, the underdog who must prove himself to the world. I quite like that.
In more frustrating news, Disney revealed during a recent earnings call that Ms. Marvel won’t debut early in 2022.
The show, which ostensibly should be coming out right about now, has suffered another delay. It won’t debut until Disney’s fiscal fourth quarter of 2022.
To you and me, that means sometime in the range of July through September. Unfortunately, Disney didn’t mention anything about the cause of the delay.
In fact, the company may be doing this strategically, as the company’s executives stressed that next year’s fourth quarter would be the best ever for Disney+ content.
Finally, living legend Bruce Campbell recently stated that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is “worth talking about.”
That’s his cheeky (chinny?) way of confirming that he’s in the film. Of course, it’s not a surprise given his close relationship with Sam Raimi…but it is awesome!