Disney revealed a Hulk-sized update for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s next phase during the House Mouse’s Disney Investors Day presentation earlier this morning. And the media giant got fanboys jaws dropping early when it announced that there were ten new Marvel series in the pipeline for Disney+. Yes, TEN! And when Marvel boss Kevin Feige stepped up to the plate to talk, he wasted no time in revealing a bunch of them and HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS!
No, your eyes do not deceive you! We are indeed getting an adaptation of Marvel’s epic 2008 comic book crossover where it was revealed that the shapeshifting alien Skrull raise had covertly invaded Earth by abducting and replacing heroes and villains. Many fans – myself included – had thought that this would be the next big story arc for the movies in the MCU, but instead we’re getting a TV series… with Samuel L. Jackson!
Yes, contrary to what we heard before, the veteran won’t be starring in a standalone Nick Fury series, but rather he will be joined by his green-skinned Captain Marvel co-star Ben Mendelsohn who will reprise his role as the leader of the (surprisingly nice) group of Skrulls who had been hiding out on Earth in the 1990s and who had also replaced Fury for a time while the real former head of SHIELD was off-planet.
After making the ultimate sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is no more. But just because the hero who kicked off the MCU is no longer with is, doesn’t mean his legacy won’t live on. And now we know how as we’re getting an Ironheart live-action series starring Dominique Thorne (If Beale Street Could Talk) as Riri Williams.
Debuting in Marvel Comics in 2015, Riri Williams is a genius teenage engineering student at MIT who is inspired by Tony Stark to design her own suit of armour. In the comics, Stark begins to mentor her before he “dies” (trust me that is a simplification), but not before his brainwaves are turned into an AI which is then inserted into Riri’s armour, guiding her as the hero Ironheart.
Ironheart won’t be the only high-tech armour-wearing superhero on Disney+ though, as it was announced that Don Cheadle will return James Rhodes to don the War Machine armour in Armor Wars.
First published back in 1988, Armor Wars is a classic Iron Man story arc that was penned by David Michelinie and Bob Layton, two of the most influential Iron Man writers ever. That original storyline saw Tony Stark discovering that his Iron Man armour designs had been stolen and sold to various criminals by competitor Justin Hammer, kicking off a high-tech arms race that saw Tony face off not only against a wave of armour-wearing baddies but other heroes as well.
Of course, the upcoming series will have to tweak that story with “Rhodey” now being the one that will be trying to save his best friend’s legacy from being used for ill-gain.
Although not a new announcement, we finally got the confirmation that yes, Tatiana Maslany is a big fat liar! Despite every single scrap of evidence to the contrary, the immensely talented Orphan Black actress had recently been denying outright that she had been cast as Jennifer Walters in Marvel’s She-Hulk series on Disney+, but now it’s all been been made official.
What’s more, we’ve also got confirmation that Mark Ruffalo will be reprising his role as the Hulk aka Bruce Banner, who in the comics is lawyer Jennifer Walters’ cousin and also the source of her hulking out after he gives her a blood transfusion to save her life. In a surprise announcement though, Tim Roth will be back as Emile Blonsky, aka the villainous Abomination who faced off against Edward Norton’s pre-Ruffallo Green Giant in The Incredible Hulk, the oft-forgotten second film of the MCU.
I Am Groot
And the last of the big Marvel/Disney+ announces was all for a little guy as it was revealed that Guardians of the Galaxy’s Groot will be starring in a series of shorts on Disney+
There’s no word on whether Vin Diesel will be voicing the character again, though I doubt it seeing as this will be the younger adolescent version of the character. That and the fact that all he can say is “I am Groot” so just about anybody could do this job. It’s also unclear if this will be a live-action or animated offering, but more Groot is never a bad thing.
Last Updated: December 12, 2020