After Marvel blew the roof off of Comic-Con 2019 with an epic panel, there wasn’t a whole lot left to reveal at Disney’s D23 expo in Anaheim this weekend. Or so we thought ....
Saturday’s presentation began with Marvel president Kevin Feige and “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler announcing the mega-hit’s much-anticipated sequel will open May 6, 2022. (The first film opened Feb. 16, 2018.)
That will put the film in theaters after “Black Widow” (May 1, 2020), “The Eternals” (Nov. 6, 2020), “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (Feb. 12, 2021), “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (May 7, 2021), “Thor: Love and Thunder” (Nov. 5, 2021) and a still to be announced Marvel project slated for Feb. 18, 2022.
The working title revealed Saturday is, wait for it, “Black Panther II.” Beyond that, details are scarce.
“We’re really hard at work on it, trying to give you something special,” Coogler said. “A lot of people are really excited about it. We’re definitely not taking our time with this one, we just really want it to be right.”
The Marvel panel also brought out the full cast of “The Eternals,” including previously announced stars Angelina Jolie as “fierce warrior Thena” and Salma Hayek as “wise and spiritual leader Ajak” and new additions Kit Harington as non-Eternal Dane Whitman, the second “Game of Thrones” cast member to join the ensemble following Richard Madden as the all-powerful Ikaris, and “Captain Marvel” co-star Gemma Chan, who appears to be playing a different MCU character, the humankind-loving Sersi.
The cast also includes Kumail Nanjiani as “cosmic-powered Kingo,” Lauren Ridloff as “super-fast Makkari” (the first deaf hero in the MCU) and Brian Tyree Henry as “intelligent inventor Phastos.” Feige revealed concept art images of each character, and announced the additions of Chan, Harington and Barry Keoghan (“Dunkirk”) as Druig, described as an “aloof loner.”
And finally, Marvel revealed a first look at Scarlett Johansson’s much-awaited solo “Black Widow” film, currently in production. Johansson and co-stars Florence Pugh and David Harbour were not on hand due to filming commitments, but sent a taped introduction to a footage reel.
The footage opens with Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, saying, “I used to have nothing, and then I got this job, this family, I was better because of it. And I have made mistakes, I can’t go back. ” Romanoff squares off with her sister (played by Pugh), going after each other with guns in an apartment. They’re fighting in the kitchen, slamming plates and glasses. Pugh gets a kitchen knife. Soon they have each other in a double headlock via bedsheet, and then they’re suddenly drinking together, as sisters do.
Cut to motorcycle riding and lots of explosions. Then they’re seated at a table with Harbour, who says, “Family. Back together again.” It closes with Black Widow fighting a masked villain on a bridge.