Michael B. Jordan Talks Wakanda Forever and Kilmonger’s Possible Return

Actor Michael B. Jordan as Kilmonger in Black Panther

Actor Michael B. Jordan as Kilmonger in Black Panther
Image: Marvel Entertainment

The topic of Black Panther and its sequel is an emotional one. Its leading man, Chadwick Boseman, passed away last August from colon cancer. Understandably, the cast has mixed emotions about returning to the set without Boseman.

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Recently, actress Lupita Nyong’o commented on her feelings on shooting the Black Panther sequel. “I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there. His passing is still extremely raw for me.”

Last week, Marvel revealed the title for the Black Panther sequel titled: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. On the Just for Variety podcast, actor Micheal B. Jordan gave his thoughts on the new title. “Nice. A good ring to it, I like that. I think that’s great,’ he says.

“We all took a hit with the loss of Chadwick [Boseman], so for them trying to figure out how to move forward, I know it’s not an easy thing to do. So the fact that they settled on a title and figuring out the story, I think is truly incredible. If anybody could figure [it] out, [it’s] Ryan [Coogler, director] and Kevin Feige [Marvel Studios President] and their wonderful producers over there is going to figure out the way to do it.”

There’s speculation that Jordan could be reprising his role of Kilmonger, or returning in another capacity. He recently cleared that up on the Jess Cagle show when asked the likelihood of his return on a scale of one to ten. “I’ll go with a solid two. I didn’t want to go zero. Never say never. I can’t predict the future.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives July 8, 2022. Check the Marvel film release timeline for information on all other Marvel titles.


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Doctor Strange 2 Had to Be Rewritten When Marvel Cut Strange From WandaVision

Strange happenings behind the scenes.

Strange happenings behind the scenes.
Image: Marvel Studios

Benedict Cumberbatch was signed to appear as Doctor Strange on the finale of WandaVision. Then Marvel decided against it and had to change everything.

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Rolling Stone spoke to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and he explained how this surprising news all went down. Basically, because Marvel had announced Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) would be appearing in the Doctor Strange sequel Doctor Strange and Multiverse of Madness, the plan was for Cumberbatch to appear on the show to tie into that movie. One version had him pop up in one of WandaVision’s commercials. Another had the commercials as actual messages from Strange to Wanda. But eventually, they just cut him out.

“Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Doctor Strange,’” Feige told Rolling Stone. “But it would have taken away from Wanda, which is what we didn’t want to do. We didn’t want the end of the show to be commoditized to go to the next movie—here’s the white guy, ‘Let me show you how power works.’”

Once Strange’s link to Wanda was cut out of the show, the movie itself had to be changed too, most likely to add in the bit of story linking the Sorcerer Supreme and Scarlet Witch that would’ve happened on the show. As the MCU stands now, WandaVision left Wanda alone in some faraway place, studying up on her new powers. Some have suggested she got away too easily, without paying the price for what she did to the people of Westview, but Olsen herself has a tease about that.

“She had to get away before the people who have to hold her accountable got there,” Olsen told the magazine. “And where she went is a place that no one could find her. Because she knows that she is going to be held accountable, and I think she has a tremendous amount of guilt.”

It sounds like that might be a clue to how Wanda plays into the Multiverse of Madness. We’ll find out March 25, 2022.


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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Wants to Tackle Big Issues, Fictional and Otherwise

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This is a key relationship in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Photo: Marvel Studios

All Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier needed to be was Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan talking shit and beating up bad guys. If it was that and only that, it would have been great—but Marvel Studios isn’t satisfied with just great. In a world where Sam Wilson has been given Captain America’s shield and half the galaxy’s population has just reappeared out of nowhere, obviously there are more interesting stories to tell, in addition to plenty of shit-talking and beating up bad guys.

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The first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will start streaming on Disney+ this Friday and with it, fans will get their best look yet at what the Marvel Cinematic Universe looks like after the events of Avengers: Endgame. That means no Iron Man and, more importantly, no Captain America. Unless Sam wants to step up to the shield.

That dilemma, and the aftermath of what’s come to be known in-universe as “the Blip,” is where you’ll find most of the drama in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Drama that’s being spearheaded by Malcolm Spellman, the show’s head writer and executive producer. Best known for his work on Fox’s Empire, Spellman spoke to io9 about the important issues the show deals with, how it initially developed at Marvel, and what excites him most about it all.


Illustration for article titled The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Wants to Tackle Big Issues, Fictional and Otherwise

Photo: Marvel Studios

Germain Lussier, io9: I’m curious about when you pitched the show and first got hired. How did that work? How many ideas were already in place? Were there any parameters or limits? Did they already have an ending in mind? How much freedom is there versus what Marvel already had planned?

Malcolm Spellman: All of that. I walked in, I say, “Kevin [Feige], this is how it’s going to go.” No. Marvel partners you with their creative execs. So I got lucky enough to be partnered with Nate Moore and his partner, Zoie Nagelhout, who grew up at Marvel. And they’re just in tune with Kevin and they present you with ideas to start a conversation.

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Almost everyone I’ve sat with thinks that [Marvel is] control freaks—and they’re not, because they know you’re working side by side with their creative team and they just want to get the conversation going. They want you to do the best you could do. So there was no ending. Like, there were definitely ideas. There was definitely a menu of characters. There were different arenas to play in. And then they make it clear that you’re free to change it. And of course, as we worked on this thing, it changed a million times. It is not preconceived notions. They want this stuff to be inspired and born from a truly fair and pure creative space, not from Marvel mandates on checking boxes. 

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Photo: Marvel Studios

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io9: So what were the main ideas that made you want to do it? I mean, obviously, you walk in and you know it’s going to be Falcon and the Winter Soldier. You know it’s after Endgame. You know Sam’s been handed the shield. Beyond that, what were the main things that got you excited about this?

Spellman: Number one, getting to unpack all that baggage that Bucky has accrued and all the fans being aware of it. And to present Bucky not as a tortured hero, but as a human being who has been burdened for so long. Basically, whether you have a friend who has a terrible spouse or a friend that has an addiction issue or a friend that’s dumping money into a house that they need to get rid of, we all have those people in our lives that we wish would break off the thing that’s weighing them down. And by doing that, I think Bucky became super relatable and super modern in that fans got to see him dealing with the same kind of stuff they do. Same holds true for Sam. We want both these heroes to emerge as people who have a real-life story that makes them relatable and makes them modern in how common their struggles are at home.

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io9: I love that. Now, this show is so ingrained in the idea of the Blip and after the Blip. More than the movies have so far, you really dig into the realities of the anger and division that that created. Was that an idea that kind of developed in your discussions? Was it already there? And what is it like coordinating that to make sure it lines up with anything else that comes after?

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Spellman: Yeah, I mean, we very early on knew that that was the thing we wanted. When you’re doing a buddy two-hander, one thing that genre does really well, people always think of the humor, but what buddy two-handers do is use humor to tackle real issues without ever boring the audience or losing the fun.

And so the Blip was just an issue that was so attractive to me because everybody, when we first started, was feeling out of sorts, you know what I’m saying? Everybody is feeling like things are changing. The Blip was the perfect embodiment of that. And then some magic happened, which is we got shut down because we had to deal with covid. And covid, obviously, is an international tragedy, but the magic of the shutdown was that we got to connect the Blip to that even more directly.

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Photo: Marvel Studios

io9: You mentioned real issues. One of the things that Kevin Feige has been saying in interviews is how the show is going to address social issues regarding race. And in the pilot, we get that with the scenes [spoiler redacted]. But I was wondering if you could explain a bit more about how real-world issues of racism are going to work into the framework of a superhero show.

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Spellman: I mean, there’s no way around it. The shield in Steve Rogers’ hands looks very, very different than the shield in Sam’s hand. And a Black man carrying that symbol is not a thing that is necessarily appropriate. And Sam’s got to deal with that because he was tasked with this great thing from Steve. Yet he is decidedly not only Black, but from the South, you know what I’m saying? And that’s not going nowhere, that issue. I can’t wait to see y’all…because the great thing about Marvel is you’re able to tackle those issues in ways that are left of obvious because there is always somebody that embodies an issue and then is able to bring it to life in a unique way.

io9: So do you think the fact that America would be such a shitty place for Black people plays into his debate to not immediately just take the mantle of Cap?

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Spellman: I think it’s right there on the surface. I mean, it’s not an accident that you see [spoiler redacted] talking in that first episode. They are the two…like again, T’Challa is African and does deal with issues—his point of view is Black, but it’s African. And not only is he African, he’s royalty, you know what I’m saying? I mean, as far as he’s concerned, he is top of the food chain wherever he goes. In America, the identity of Blackness is very, very different and the relationship with the Stars and Stripes is very, very different and Sam is not hiding from that and has to cope with it. Yeah, that’s right there.


The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is right here too. It’ll be on Disney+ Friday.

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Mortal Kombat’s Director Wanted to Ground His Gory New Adaptation

Raiden. Wins.

Raiden. Wins.
Photo: Warner Bros.

Anyone who asks “Why is Hollywood making a new Mortal Kombat movie?” probably doesn’t follow Mortal Kombat. The first movie was released in 1995, around the same time the third game in the series was sucking up quarters in arcades around the world. In the 25 plus years since, not only have almost two dozen additional Mortal Kombat games been released, many of which add new characters and layers of mythology, but the entire world has changed, as well as the movie industry.

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“That movie was so steeped in the times of the ‘90s,” producer Todd Garner said during a recent press event. “Superhero movies, comic book movies, and martial arts movies evolved….Martial arts movies in general were very tongue-in-cheek. Movies like Rush Hour…I think, set a tone where it had a comedic bent to it. I think we’ve evolved from there. I look at movies like Mad Max [Fury Road]. I look at John Wick. I look at Deadpool. I look at those movies and even though they have like, a slyness to them and a wit and humor that’s born out of grounded characters and circumstances, they’re not swinging for the joke. They’re not swinging for the wink. And so we knew that was a tone we were going to stay away from and make this its own thing.”

“It’s just a much more epic, brutal, beautiful, sort of tasteful telling of the Mortal Kombat story,” director Simon McQuoid added.

In perpetration to make the adaptation, McQuoid told his team to imagine Mortal Kombat as a series of novels, rather than video games. “As soon as you visualize it as a book, you go, ‘Oh, boy, this really matters,’” he said. “‘This is really detailed and rich.’ So I, stylistically, wanted to not come from the films or come from the game, even though it’s probably more stylistically from the game than it is from the first film.”

From the instant this new version of Mortal Kombat begins, that unique approach is obvious. Gone is the guttural scream of “Mortal Kombat” followed by speaker-thumping techno beats—more on that in a second though—in its place is a serene forest setting where a family fishes and tends a garden. Suddenly, a brutal killer with freezing abilities arrives and murders the family. He and the father, who happens to be pretty good with a Kunai, fight with one emerging victorious.

The scene, which was the sole footage screened for the event, is much more grounded and emotional than you expect, with just the right amount of action and violence. Outside of a few nice winks to fans of the game, there’s no real indication in the film’s first 13 minutes this is anything but a dramatic, fantasy martial arts film. Here’s an exclusive look at the scene:

“The thing [Mortal Kombat] is about, really, comes from blood and what blood means,” McQuoid said. “It’s about bloodlines. Blood means our connections, it means family, it means all these things. It also happens to mean blood spraying everywhere, which is right for Mortal Kombat.”

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That’s another place this version of the movie will stand apart from the original. It’s going to be rated R. “There’s buckets of blood and there’s some crazy shit that happens in this movie,” Garner said. “We did everything we wanted”

Well, maybe not everything. Garner and McQuoid both said this version of Mortal Kombat was made to stand alone and satisfy both hardcore fans of the game, and people who’ve never even heard of it. But that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be more. Maybe even a lot more.

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Photo: Warner Bros.

“I want to do nine hours of WandaVision in this thing,” Garner said. “Whatever our version of that is. Maybe it’s just a shot of the monks. Just Liu Kang and Kung Lao. Nine hours of them. I’m in. There’s so much to draw from…how about just going with Jax and Sonya Blade? You could do a full war movie with those guys.”

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He continued: “Our goal and our prayer is that this movie does well enough and we’ve set it up enough and is satisfying enough for both the fans and people who don’t know anything about Mortal Kombat that they’re going to allow us at some point to sit with [creators] Ed [Boon] and John [Tobias] and all the Warner Bros. execs and put a big whiteboard up like Kevin Feige did and map out the universe. Map out years and years of this.”

If that’s the goal, it probably goes without saying that not every Mortal Kombat character or story is in this movie. Many just couldn’t fit into this particular tale and certain characters, such as Johnny Cage, were purposefully held back. Plus, any sequel or spinoff will depend on how much fans like this new version of Mortal Kombat. For me, much of that rests in telling a new, dramatic story, but also tickling the nostalgia from that first movie—there’s no better way to do that than with that unforgettable opening song: “Techno Syndrome” by The Immortals.

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Photo: Warner Bros.

“Music is one of the fundamentals of what makes “Mortal Kombat” Mortal Kombat. We knew that,” McQuoid said “And Ben Wallfisch, who’s the composer, kind of did a forensic study on that song because we knew it was a key ingredient. So he pulled that song apart and has used it [throughout].”

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But what about the scream, Simon? Tell us about the Mortal Kombat scream! “There’s something that comes up at the end as another little gift to those who like the song,” he said. “So I’ll just put it that way. I don’t want to ruin the surprise.”

Hey, if Mortal Kombat can actually deliver on its promise of great characters, great action, and a great story, that’ll be surprise enough.

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Mortal Kombat comes to theaters and HBO Max on April 16.

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Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’s Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

Sam and Bucky are going travelling.

Sam and Bucky are going travelling.
Screenshot: Marvel Studios

Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.

Fede Alvarez teases his Texas Chainsaw Massacre follow-up. Work has begun on Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers and The Midnight Club. Henry Golding teases reshoots on Snake Eyes. Plus, what’s to come on Supergirl and The Flash. To me, my spoilers!

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Illustration for article titled Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

In a recent interview with Bloody-Disgusting, director Fede Alvarez described the next Texas Chainsaw Massacre film as “Old Man Leatherface, suggesting it will follow the recent trend of sequel-ignoring follow-ups in the vain of 2018’s Halloween. 

It is a direct sequel, and it is the same character. It is old man Leatherface.


Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers

Production has officially begun on the live-action Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers movie.


Peter Pan & Wendy

Coming Soon reports production has additionally begun on Disney’s live-action Peter Pan.

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A House on the Bayou

/Film reports Blumhouse is producing eight new horror films exclusively for Pennyworth’s EPIX. The first in the series, A House on the Bayou, comes from writer-director Alex McAulay and is said to follow “a troubled couple and their preteen daughter who go on vacation to an isolated house in the Louisiana bayou to reconnect as a family. But when unexpected visitors arrive, their facade of family unity starts to unravel, as terrifying secrets come to light.”

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Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

Reshoots on Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins are currently underway according to actor Henry Golding on Youtube.


Troll

NFI has our first look at Tomb Raider director Roar Uthaug’s latest film about a giant troll attacking Norway.

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Illustration for article titled Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

Photo: Netflix


The Falcon and the Winter Solider

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Kevin Feige hints that the show will utilize a location that was not “previously available” to Marvel Studios prior to the Disney-Fox merger:

There’s a setting in particular that people have already glimpsed in some of the trailers that is a setting from the Marvel Comics that was not previously available to us, but it’s more of an Easter egg in and of itself.

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Previous set pictures included elements of the Madripoor flag as set dressing, suggesting that Feige is teasing the infamous Southeast Asian island nation home to many of the Marvel Comics universe’s most notorious gangs and lucrative business dealings—and has many ties to the X-Men.

Meanwhile, in conversation with Comic Book Movie, series writer Malcolm Spellman appears to confirm Danny Ramirez plays Falcon’s successor, Joaquin Torres.


Supergirl

TV Line has photos from the March 30 season premiere of Supergirl. Click through for more.

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Illustration for article titled Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

Photo: The CW

Illustration for article titled Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

Photo: The CW

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Illustration for article titled Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

Photo: The CW

Illustration for article titled Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

Photo: The CW

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The Midnight Club

Production has officially begun on Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Christopher Pike’s The Midnight Club.

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Sasquatch

Hulu has released a new trailer for the Duplass Bros.’s upcoming documentary series investigating a triple homicide allegedly committed by a Sasquatch.


Black Lightning

Painkiller enjoys his own backdoor pilot in the promo for next week’s episode of Black Lightning.

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The Flash

Abra Kadabra returns in the trailer for next week’s episode of The Flash, “Central City Strong.


Superman & Lois

Captain Luthor hunts Lois Lane in the trailer for next week’s episode of Superman & Lois.


Snowpiercer

Finally, the second season of Snowpiercer draws to a close in the trailer for March 29’s two-hour finale.


Banner art by Jim Cook

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13 WandaVision Facts Magically Revealed in Its Making-of Documentary

Filming the black and white scenes in WandaVision.

Filming the black and white scenes in WandaVision.
Screenshot: Disney+/Marvel Studios

Anytime Vision is actual Vision, that’s an effect. In reality, Bettany is painted purple and his finished look is added on later. Since that’s expensive, the producers would always discussed how often he needed to be in that form. The answer was when the story dictated it. So, when Vision is home, he’s comfortable, and he’s his true self. (Side note: in the black and white episodes, the purple didn’t work for effects so they had to paint him blue.)

The io9 Coven Breaks Down the Highs and Lows of WandaVision

Just a witch and her emotional support cognitive family crafted out of years of anguish and volatile magicks.

Just a witch and her emotional support cognitive family crafted out of years of anguish and volatile magicks.
Screenshot: Marvel Studios

WandaVision has come to a close, and with it, Wanda Maximoff and her synthezoid paramour have been forever changed. But now that the dust’s settled on a magically messed up Westview, io9’s very own Charles Pulliam-Moore, James Whitbrook, Jill Pantozzi, and Germain Lussier created their very own grief induced alt-reality to process our feelings about it all.

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Charles: I’m curious to hear before we jump in—do you guys remember how we all heard about WandaVision at SDCC 20 years ago?

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Jill: Wow, way to make me feel old, Charles. And no, I actually do NOT remember.

James: Don’t speak to me of the dark times. But also, like Jill, I can’t really remember when we first heard the rumblings about the show—I remember more when we heard the name for the first time, and was like “Oh! That’s silly. But I love these two, so I can’t wait!”

Germain: I was in the room and I don’t remember.

Charles: Well, I remember quite vividly when Germain Slacked everyone explaining that Marvel was doing a bunch of sitcoms smashed together, and yes, James did say something about it being silly—but CW silly, which…was not the case!

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Jill: To be fair, you’re much more tuned into the Scarlet Witch than the rest of us. But yes, fair to say the Disney+ Marvel series far exceeded any expectations we had back then.

Germain: There was also a TON of news that day and this is just the beginning of it. Which is wild. And yes, it really lived up to expectations, I think.

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Charles: I bring this up because, yeah, I have read a few comics about the Maximoffs in my time, but fast forward to today, and for the past two months or so, a substantial chunk of the internet’s become fascinated with this character who, if we’re all being honest, was kinda just hanging out for the longest time before WandaVision.

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Germain: I think we do forget that while we all called Wanda “Scarlet Witch” in our world, the MCU saved that reveal for this show. Which is saying something considering all the films always teased that she could be the strongest Avenger of them all. (Sorry Thor.)

Jill: Cough, Captain Marvel, cough.

James: But I think Charles is fair to say that, really, until this show hit, Wanda wasn’t really a huge entity, either in the MCU—she was fun, but also just kind of only there to occasionally magic a car or some rocks at someone—or in the comics, where her fandom in particular always waxed and waned, especially in the post-movie world where she and Pietro were no longer Magneto’s kids. I like her as a comics character and always saw the potential in the MCU to do more with her, but coming into this show I definitely leaned more towards expecting something in line with The Vision—Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez-Walta, and Jordie Bellaire’s incredible comic. I was in for that sort of “weirdness in suburbia” angle more than I was for her, but the show really flipped that around by the end.

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Germain: That was always the most exciting thing about all these Disney+ shows. Giving great characters with great histories, who are supporting characters in the movies, time to really develop, even if it’s not in the theater. I liked Wanda in the movies before this but after this now, when she comes on screen, it’s going to be much different. You’ll just have all that baggage and baggage is the best thing the MCU has done. It means filmmakers can skip a bunch of set up because we’re already coming in with all this info. Wanda had a bit of that. Now she has a whole damned meal.

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Screenshot: Marvel Studios

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Charles: I’ve been thinking a lot about that line Wanda has in Endgame when she’s fighting Thanos and how it’s nice to look back at it as foreshadowing for what was going to unfold in WandaVision, but more realistically it feels more like a moment when we saw the machinery working. When you look at it next to that shot of the MCU women squaring up, it comes across a lot like “and just so you know, the first character getting a bit of a massive overhaul is Wanda,” which kind of dovetails to how WandaVision dropped you right into Westview with no context.

Jill: So, what did you think of the series after ingesting those first few episodes? Where everything was still sort of mysterious? I loved it from the jump, but I know a lot of fans were hoping to get answers to what the heck was going on more immediately. I just appreciated it for what it was, a very unique idea and a story unfolding weekly!

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Germain: I liked the finale fine but, for me, it was probably one of the more disappointing episodes. Not in a bad way but just in a “Oh, we’ve seen this” way. Mysteries and questions aside, what made WandaVision so good for its run was how kind of wacky and subversive it was. Sitcom homages, winks back, etc. But by the finale, it was just another Marvel movie with people fighting in the streets and the sky. And I love Marvel movies! But Wanda was more than that and it just kind of went back to basics. Which made sense structurally but that was my biggest gripe.

James: While I’m still a bit mixed on how it landed, going back to the energy of those first few episodes I think I knew by the time we got to the more typical Marvel Machinery of the last act, I’d be coming out of the show happy with what it did. There was just something from the get go that got its hooks in me, and wanting to see what the show was doing with Wanda, what Elizabeth Olsen was doing with her given the free reign this space provided. Those sitcom eps were funny, the chemistry she and Paul Bettany had was electric. Even before the show really got to hinting at what was going on beneath, revealing what it was trying to say about Wanda, I was on board—and for the most part, am happy to see it stuck the landing for me. Not without a few wobbly steps, though.

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Screenshot: Marvel Studios

Charles: I’m still trying to put my finger on exactly when the series began to make that subtle turn away from leading with the cast’s charm and acting chops to leaning a bit more on the MCU’s trappings to keep things moving forward. Everyone was so stunned by Olsen and Bettany, I think both because of what they brought to the series but also because of how WandaVision created more space for a breadth of acting styles that you just don’t see in comic book projects, no matter how genre-bending they’re billed to be. As much as we go on about how great it is when these shows and movies let themselves have “fun,” I think part of what we’re getting at isn’t just a desire for more silliness, but to see what other tricks and random crap actors happen to have up their sleeves.

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Jill: I think that’s an interesting point because as we’re talking I was thinking back to when Guardians of the Galaxy came out and everyone thought that was so “refreshingly different.” And it was, but not really that far outside the MCU we had up until that point, which was always humorous, but it allowed for a whole new range of characters and acting styles. It’s something we’ve gotten to see here in WandaVision both from in front of the screen and behind, I think.

Charles: Right, and I got the sense that that was really what people were taking issue with with the season’s first three episodes which were “too slow” because “nothing was happening.” Plenty of interesting things were going on, and a lot of them were very comic book-y in the sense that “Oh, this colorized helicopter probably means something,” but because it wasn’t going for the full on MCU spectacle up front, people were beside themselves.

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Germain: The Pietro troll/reveal kind of illustrates that for me. Everyone assumed (myself included) “OMFG X-MEN CONFIRMED,” and in the end, it’s just a little wink at the audience that, for now, doesn’t play into the larger universe. I think that’s almost WandaVision in a nutshell, something different that people were trying to really place in its own box.

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James: I think that is why I was a little disappointed the finale spent so much time with Wanda and Agatha in the air special-effects-ing each other. The show we got for the most part really pushed that stuff to the edges, where, yes it was fun to speculate what it all meant, and if people were who they were saying they were. But instead we got this story that really drilled down into how Wanda saw herself as a person in this wild world where she’s gone from fighting Avengers to being one, to accidentally starting international incidents, to falling in love with a robot, and then watching that person die right in front of her at the hands of a cosmic megalomaniac. There’s so much that was already weird about Wanda’s story, but the show made its core of what it wanted to say about her just incredibly human and sympathetic.

Jill: Air special-eff-hexing.

Sorry.

But yes, the emotional story was really where this series will make its presence felt for years to come I think. Sure the concept was fantastic and wonderful to see play out, but being able to dig into a character’s trauma for nine episodes was really interesting to watch. Obviously characters like Steve Rogers have been given ample time for us to really know what they’re all about and why they do the things they do. Wanda probably wouldn’t have been my first choice to delve into further like this but it certainly presents a dynamic way to move forward with her in the MCU at large.

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Germain: Who would be your first choice? And don’t forget, Carol already got a movie with another one to come.

Jill: Wow, way to call me out, Germain. No, I would have liked to see Nakia and what she was up to prior to T’Challa coming back to get her in Black Panther. She was doing some important work.

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Germain: Okay, that’s a good one. Sorry to divert the conversation. Kevin Feige, get on the phone with Lupita’s people!

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Screenshot: Marvel Studios

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Jill: The thing I’m most curious about now is, will we ever get a chance to see the blowback to Wanda’s time in Westview? We know she’s showing up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but something tells me they’re going to be too busy with the multiverse to deal with the countless people she trapped and traumatized for over a week. Did she just create a future-villain there who will want payback down the road or will they drop it completely?

Charles: I’m of the mind that what happened in Westview might kind of be brushed to the side, but not forgotten as part of how the movies keep touching on the idea of Wanda being a constant danger to people that’s been present in the comics. Even though this show was all about Wanda’s grief and pain, I came out of it really seeing her as a villain in the making whose whole turn was wrapped up in a generally well-executed story. The way things end in Westview with her just walking through the town and shrugging things off just seemed kind of like a casual “Shit, my bad, I guess,” that doesn’t read as redeemable.

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Germain: I’ve been thinking alot about what’s next for Wanda. We know, as Jill said, she’s in Doctor Strange 2 and the show gave us a glimpse of her learning from the Darkhold. But, how is it all going to change her? Will she become obsessed with this power? Will she use that for good? Will she reach out to the remaining Avengers (whatever that is at this point) and be like “Yo, check this out?” She has so much to figure out, not to mention there’s still a version of the person she loves out there and maybe her kids in another dimension? I thought the way this show wrapped things up very nicely but then gave, not exactly huge cliffhangers, but real character questions to consider moving ahead was excellent.

James: That’s the thing I really took from the finale, and the thing I liked about it most. It didn’t feel like things were actually that neatly wrapped up, but not in the typical Marvel manner where someone you know shows up and is like “stay tuned for my movie, in theaters soon!” or whatever. Wanda went through this process of accepting and acknowledging her grief, letting the cognitive Vision and her kids go, but she still has so much more to process, more to learn about this power now shown to her. And, as Charles said, she’s doing that in a world where she just walked away from psychically dominating an entire town of people for some unknown length of time, people who now hate and fear her, and she was just like “Yeah, I get it.”

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People were really yearning for some kind of X-Men connection with this show, especially after Fake Pietro showed up, and if anything, that shot of Wanda feeling the anger and hatred around her from Westview’s citizens as she walked up to say goodbye to Monica in the finale (and the confidence she felt that she could just do that and fly away from what she did without reprisal), felt the most mutant-y thing to me: that acknowledgement that yes, she was an Avenger, but people are scared of what she can do…and she’s learned to not really care so much as she did back in Civil War.

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Charles: Looking forward, that’s the sort of thing that feels most pressing, right? What Wanda’s going to do with all that power and how her presence is going to change the world. Agatha mentions that the Scarlet Witch’s power eclipses the Sorcerer Supreme’s and I’m sure that’ll come up in Multiverse of Madness, but to James’ point about mutant-y things to come out of WandaVision, we still don’t fully know how Monica’s exposure to the Hex left her changed, or if it really was the Hex that caused her new powers to manifest. As many little clever bits of story rhyming as there are in the show, I kinda got the vibe that Wanda having always been a witch might have been mirrored in Monica having, you know, something in those genes that woke up after her time in Westview. These are the sorts of things one might ask Carol.

Germain: Who, I assume, is the person who sent Monica her Skrull?

Charles: The Skrulls are their own people, Germain.

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Screenshot: Marvel Studios

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Jill: Lol. I assumed it was Fury but regardless, so much is left hanging with Monica, I am dying to know. It’s wild how we knew she was going to be a part of this story but weren’t sure how much and after the first few episodes, I almost wanted her to be the lead. It felt like we were going to get a lot more from her too but perhaps the covid-19 shutdown affected how much they were able to do with her (and others very clearly noticeable by the last episode), but I’m very excited to learn more about how she has been dealing with life after Carol left her on Earth as a child and just…never really came back.

James: I am…so gutted about Monica in the finale, honestly. Like Jill said, it felt like we were building to something, and the seeds were there to explore not just her becoming a hero but things like her relationship with her mom, whatever happened with her relationship with Carol, but Monica was a side character in Wanda’s story, so it just sort of stayed at that “maybe something’s going on!” level until the finale just went “now here’s a shot of her being shot by her boss to show she’s got powers” and oops, all Skrulls, stay tuned to Carol Danvers’ story to see more Monica.

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I want to see Monica’s story, rather than have it be told in other people’s. Teyonah Parris just completely owned the role from the get go, and I’ve loved Monica since I first encountered her in Nextwave, and to go from the promise there to how the finale just dropped her like a rock was the thing that soured me the most about the show.

Germain: Well, at least we know Monica is coming back in Captain Marvel 2 (and I agree with everything you all just said). We have no idea if a certain Agatha Harkness will ever reappear in the MCU and, frankly, it feels like she needs to, no? Talk about a backstory that’s untapped in the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe. Her story predates it all.

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Charles: If Wanda’s set to become a new fixture in the MCU’s magical realm, I could definitely see Agatha becoming a part of the ensemble of characters who exist around The Scarlet Witch™, which would bring the characters’ relationship closer to what it is in the comics, and give us more opportunities to see Kathryn Hahn hamming it up and having fun. All of that’s possible, but I do think that if subsequent stories don’t address how truly messed up Wanda’s actions are and root her apology in understanding rather than, like a public shaming, she’s just gonna be a baddie.

Jill: Agreed. I will say this though, we at io9 have certainly praised Hahn as the highlight of this series but it truly cannot be said enough how much she brought to this show.

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Screenshot: Marvel Studios

James: YES. I really want Agatha/Agnes to become more akin to how her relationship with Wanda is in the comics, especially in stuff like James Robinson’s Scarlet Witch series, where it’s like…they don’t necessarily like each other, but they’re witches doing witch-y things and both respect that. If it means Kathryn Hahn gets to show up and get in a few good jabs while teaching Wanda some magic goodness, that’s what I need.

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Germain: Yeah, Agatha doesn’t necessarily have to be a “villain.” She was just curious about how the heck Wanda got so powerful, which we all were. I’d love to see her come back in kind of this grey area, “Do you trust her or do you not?” capacity, and just open up a new offshoot of powers in the MCU. That would be rad.

Charles: Folks. They were villains. It was both of them all along.

Jill: Yup. Sad but true.

James: See, for all the praise we just heaped on the serious side of this show, now I need a Kathryn Hahn/Elizabeth Olsen magic duet at some point in the MCU’s future.

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Germain: Paging Kevin Feige.

Jill: Maybe there’s a world in the multiverse where they sing karaoke together.

Until Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessSpider-Man: No Way Home…or The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, see you next time, folks.

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Marvel Updates on Deadpool 3, Black Panther 2, X-Men, and More

Director Ryan Cooler and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige talk Black Panther 2 in 2019.

Director Ryan Cooler and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige talk Black Panther 2 in 2019.
Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney (Getty Images)

It’s been 18 months since fans got a new story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That changes this week with the release of Disney+’s WandaVision, and with it comes the second best part of a new Marvel release: new quotes from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.

Feige and his team at Marvel Studios have been very busy in the year and a half since the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home. They’ve prepped and finished multiple movies and streaming shows, and recently announced even more of both stretching several years into the future. There was also the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman in that time, the integration of Fox’s Marvel properties, and so much more.

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Below, we’ve rounded up just some of Feige’s latest updates on what’s to come for the MCU including Deadpool 3, Black Panther 2, Secret Invasion, Spider-Man 3, and the X-Men, to start.


Deadpool 3:

Speaking with Collider, Feige confirmed that a third Deadpool movie is currently being written, it will be rated R, and it will be in the MCU. But it’s still a little while out. “It will be rated R and we are working on a script right now, and Ryan [Reynolds is] overseeing a script right now,” he said. “It will not be [filming] this year. Ryan is a very busy, very successful actor. We’ve got a number of things we’ve already announced that we now have to make, but it’s exciting for it to have begun. Again, a very different type of character in the MCU, and Ryan is a force of nature, which is just awesome to see him bring that character to life.”

Black Panther 2:

Speaking to Deadline, Feige hinted that while T’Challa won’t be recast in the film, the sequel to Black Panther will dive deeper into the history and vastness of Wakanda. “So much of the comics and that first movie is the world of Wakanda,” Feige said. “Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story. We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa. Ryan Coogler is working very hard right now on the script with all the respect and love and genius that he has, which gives us great solace, so it was always about furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda. There’s also the task of honoring and respecting the ongoing learnings and teachings from Chad as well.”

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X-Men:

With the huge news that Jon Watts is directing a Fantastic Four movie, the Fox Marvel properties are finally coming to the MCU. But what about the biggest of them all, the X-Men? Speaking to ScreenRant, Feige explained they haven’t been forgotten. “You know how much I love the X-Men. I already said that’s where I started,” he said. “I can’t tell you anything before we actually announced it, but rest assured, the discussions have been long and ongoing internally.”

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Spider-Man 3:

Jamie Foxx, Alfred Molina, Andrew Garfield, Tobey Maguire, the rumors and speculation about the third Tom Holland Spider-Man movie have been rampant in the past few months. Speaking to ComicBook, Feige basically said that not everything you’ve read is right, but it’s not wrong either. “I’ve read some things. I’m not sure I’ve read all things,” Feige said. “The fun thing about online speculation when it comes to our stuff is how sometimes it couldn’t be more off the mark and sometimes it’s shockingly close, and that’s held true for the last few years. But saying which is which would take all the fun out of everything.”

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Secret Invasion:

One of the biggest recent announcements from Marvel was that Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn would be reprising their roles from Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home in a new Disney+ show called Secret Invasion. In the comics, Secret Invasion is a crossover event that seems much better suited to the big screen than Disney+ and, speaking to ComicBook, Feige explained things would be scaled back a bit.

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“Well, there were more characters in the Secret Invasion comic series than there were in Endgame so, no, it’s not that,” Feige said. But it very much is a showcase for Sam Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn and tapping into the paranoia elements of the Secret Invasion comic series that was great with the twists and turns that that took. So, that’s certainly our focus more than, ‘Can we cram in more characters than Endgame?”

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The other Netflix shows:

Speaking of crossovers, Marvel already had a big streaming crossover on Netflix with The Defenders. Those shows are no longer around, but when asked by Deadline about bringing back characters such as Charlie Cox’s Daredevil or Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones, Feige didn’t rule it out, but he didn’t seem confident either. “Well, certainly you’ve seen what we announced at Comic-Con a year and half ago and on Disney Investor Day a few weeks ago, so that’s our focus,” he said. “But I’ve been at Marvel long enough to never say never about anything.”

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Star Wars:

In addition to all of this, Feige has also reportedly been working on a Star Wars movie, which reportedly just added Loki writer Michael Waldron to its crew. When asked about this by Variety, Feige got decidedly tight-lipped

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“Everything you’ve heard about that has been leaked,” he said. “It’s not stuff that we’ve officially announced or gotten into. So, suffice to say, the focus is on all the number of Marvel things we’re working on. The what, where, when and how of that [Star Wars movie], I don’t know. I’m excited for The Book of Boba Fett, and the Rogue One show, and the Obi-Wan show, and Patty’s movie, and Taika’s movie. After Thor: Love and Thunder, of course.


The one thing Feige wouldn’t address was where Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was going. When asked if he could say when this group of films and TV shows ended, he simply said “No.” Sometimes saying nothing says it all.

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WandaVision begins this Friday.

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Report: Loki Showrunner Michael Waldron Will Write Kevin Feige’s Star Wars Movie

Waldron and Feige discuss Loki at 2019's D23 Expo.

Waldron and Feige discuss Loki at 2019’s D23 Expo.
Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney (Getty Images)

Kevin Feige’s arrival in the Star Wars galaxy still seems quite a way off, especially while he’s still wielding the Infinity Gauntlet over at Marvel Studios. But he’s apparently bringing some very interesting Marvel talent with him to begin tackling his Star Wars adventure.

Deadline reports that Michael Waldron, the writer behind Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness as well as the head writer and creator of Disney+’s upcoming Loki series, has been tapped to script a Star Wars movie produced as part of Feige’s deal with Lucasfilm, announced in 2019.

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Waldron’s deal with Feige would also bring the writer back for a second season of Loki, but the Star Wars news is particularly interesting given that Feige’s involvement at Lucasfilm has yet to be publicly acknowledged by the studio since it was first officially revealed by the Hollywood Reporter in 2019, and confirmed by Walt Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who will work with Feige on the film, made no mention of plans for the movie when she revealed the studio’s upcoming projects for Star Wars at Disney’s Investor Day 2020 event, only providing theatrical updates on Taika Waititi’s Star Wars project and the announcement of 2023’s Rogue Squadron, helmed by Wonder Woman 1984‘s Patty Jenkins.

Waldron’s alleged arrival on the project being the first news we’ve heard about it since means it’s likely going to be a long, long time until we hear more—but as Star Wars makes a big play post-Skywalker Saga on streaming shows, it’s interesting to get a sliver of an idea of what’s going to be happening for the galaxy far, far away on the big screen going forward.


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Fantastic Four Finally Entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe and More Huge News

Illustration for article titled Fantastic Four Finally Entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe and More Huge News

Screenshot: Disney

It’s official. The Fantastic Four is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jon Watts (Spider-Man Homecoming) will direct. And that’s only the beginning.

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The news came at the end of a long, densely packed Marvel Studios presentation during Disney’s 2020 Investor’s Day event. Here’s a little tease.

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But that was just the beginning of the news. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that Peyton Reed’s third Ant-Man movie will be called Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. (See the logo here.) Cassie Lang will be played by Freaky’s Kathryn Newton and as expected, Lovecraft Country’s Jonathan Majors will be playing the villain, Kang the Conquerer.

In addition, it was confirmed that Christian Bale is playing Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder, and America Chavez will appear in Doctor Strange 2 (which will link with WandaVision and Spider-Man 3). Oh, and Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the official start of Phase Four.

What about Disney+ you say? Oh, I’m glad you asked. Feige announced three new series. The first is Secret Invasion, which stars Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn reprising their roles from Captain Marvel. Which, yes, will be about a mass Skrull incursion and based on the famous comic tale.

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Next, actress Dominique Thorne will play Riri Williams in an Ironheart series about “the creator of the most advanced suit of armor since Iron Man.” Check out the logo. Don Cheadle will reprise his role as War Machine in a new show called Armor Wars that will exploreA classic Marvel story about Tony Stark’s worst fear coming true: what happens when his tech falls into the wrong hands?” Here’s the logo.

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More you say? Sure. How about a Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special written and directed by James Gunn. It’ll be shot alongside Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and come out Christmas 2022, before the movie comes out in 2023. There’s also an animated Baby Groot show called I am Groot.

That’s a whole lot of Marvel Studios! But we can’t wait.

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