What to Expect From Marvel Studios at D23 Expo

A week ago, Marvel Studios spent ninety minutes in Hall H at San Diego Comic Con unveiling ten projects that will arrive between 2020 and 2021. Those ten projects that they revealed make up the entirety of Phase 4, but they do have Phase 5 planned out.

Next month, Disney will hold their biennial D23 Expo in Anaheim. This is a three-day “ultimate fan event” for all things Disney, and every division of the company shows off something there. As it’s every two years, they normally do present stuff that’s much further out than what you’ll see at SDCC. However, the way the panels are structured and presented is very different than at Comic Con.

The biggest difference is the amount of time the various studios have for their presentations. In Hall H, Marvel had a full 90 minute block all to themselves. They didn’t have to share the stage, and they had all the time they needed to reveal ten brand new projects across two years.

At D23 Expo, it works very differently. There’s no a solo Marvel Studios panel there, they present as part of a much bigger event where they share time with Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm. In previous years, they would have separate presentations on separate days for the animation studios and the live action studios. 2019 is different.

This year, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Walt Disney Pictures, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Studios will all be part of one big panel on Saturday morning. It’s two-hours total, and the time has to be divided among all five of those studios to present what they’re working on. That means that Marvel will realistically have at most 20-30 minutes to show some stuff.

That’s not much time to do a full Phase 5 reveal, but there are some release dates that have been announced that don’t have movies assigned to them yet:

  • Feb. 18, 2022
  • May 6, 2022
  • July 29, 2022

It makes a lot of sense that we’ll learn at least what two of those will be. Kevin Feige confirmed that we’re going to see Black Panther 2 and Captain Marvel 2 in Phase 5, those movies could fit in those release dates very well. We’re also waiting on a date for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which could also land in 2022 after James Gunn finishes The Suicide Squad. So that’s three things they can reveal there.

But what about Disney+? We know that Kamala is headed to the MCU as Ms. Marvel, Feige has confirmed that in interviews, and with the Disney+ shows being an integral part of the Phases now; it wouldn’t be shocking at all if they were to confirm a Disney+ series for her that would then connect to the movies. There could even be time to talk about another Disney+ show, perhaps even one that could connect to the Phase 5 Blade movie.

The Black Widow trailer they showed in Hall H could also be replayed for Hall D23, as they will often do in years where SDCC and D23 Expo are back-to-back. Two years ago, both conventions saw the Avengers: Infinity War footage.

Although Feige did bring up the Mutants at SDCC, he has said that they’re not part of the five year plan they’re working off of. However, 2022 would be seven years since the last Fantastic Four box office failure, and that July 2022 date would be a nice place for Marvel’s First Family. I’m not saying they’re going to reveal that there, it’s just wishful thinking on my part for a great surprise to play off his confirmation of them in Hall H.

So this is what is to realistically expect out of Marvel Studios at D23 Expo. Not a huge ninety-minute dive into Phase 5, but filling in those unnamed release dates and possibly revealing a couple more Disney+ shows. After the overwhelmingly awesome Hall H presentation, that will be a nice cherry on top of the Phase 4 reveal.