Marvel Studios unveiled three new live-action Disney+ Original Series and two other projects at their Walt Disney Investor's Day presentation.
Marvel Studios released trailers for every one of their 2021 Disney+ Original Series (except for Hawkeye), but they didn't stop there - they announced three new series, a series of shorts, and a holiday special all releasing in 2022 or 2023!
Iron Man's successor is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe much quicker than some had anticipated. Riri Williams is an African-American teenager who has built her own powered exoskeleton, and she'll be taking on Tony Stark's mantle in her own Disney+ series. Dominique Thorne has already been cast in the title role, which was entirely unexpected given the lack of rumors surrounding the role. Ironheart was last reported to be in early development almost a year ago, but no one realized how far along it actually was!
The previously announced Nick Fury series has now been revealed as an adaptation of the iconic comic book storyline Secret Invasion, in which Skrulls infiltrate the Earth at the highest level and even replace several Avengers. Samuel L. Jackson returns as Nick Fury, while Ben Mendelsohn reprises his role as Talos from Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home. This series is rumored to tie into Captain Marvel 2, which will presumably revolve around the Skrull invasion hitting the Avengers.
Don Cheadle will reprise his role as War Machine in Armor Wars, a new Disney+ Original Series that will explore a classic Iron Man storyline. In this series, Tony Stark's technology falls into the wrong hands, and War Machine is drawn into the fight. Iron Man 2 adopted part of this storyline with Justin Hammer attempting to replicate the Iron Man technology, and bringing Hammer back after 10 years doesn't seem impossible after the news that Abomination will be returning in She-Hulk. This series may also tie into Ironheart, as Riri Williams will be building her own suit and improving upon Stark's work. Hopefully we'll see Pepper Potts return as Rescue!
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
After a five-year hiatus, we'll finally see the Guardians of the Galaxy return in their own solo project: a live-action holiday special on Disney+! James Gunn will return to write and direct. This special will be filmed during production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, with all of the main cast reprising their roles. Nothing else is known at this time, but with Vol. 3 releasing in 2023, the special will be streaming in the 2022 holiday season.
I Am Groot
Finally, Vin Diesel will reprise his role as Baby Groot for a new Disney+ Original Series. This series will consist of several shorts that will debut new and unusual creatures, and will presumably be set between Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War as Groot has grown into a teenager by the time of Infinity War and Endgame.
I can't wait to see all of these new Marvel Studios projects, although there is an overwhelming amount of content coming our way in the next three years. Marvel has taken a longer hiatus than they planned to due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they're coming back in a big way by settling into a schedule of four movies and five to six Disney+ Originals per year. That means we'll be getting MCU content practically every week for the next few years. While it's incredibly exciting to see the MCU expand like this, I'm worried that it's going to be too much to keep up with. Marvel seems to be going in many directions at once, and while these storylines are quite interesting, it seems like they're blowing through some huge stories very quickly.
Between 2021 and 2023, we're going to see plots involving the House of M, the multiverse, time travel, Kang the Conqueror, Celestials, the Young Avengers, Secret Invasion, and more. That's not even mentioning the rapid introduction of new iconic characters - in the same time frame, we'll see characters replace or take on the mantle of Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Hulk, and Hawkeye. Everything seems to be happening very quickly, which is a weird feeling for a franchise that took ten years to deliver the kind of epic, show-stopping crossover story that we'll be seeing multiple times per year from now on. Spider-Man 3, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, Captain Marvel 2, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania are all shaping up to be Civil War-size events, and four of those movies are coming out within 11 months of each other. I have faith in Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige to deliver some incredible movies and television series, but I just hope the MCU doesn't become overexposed and too much to keep up with.
Ironheart, Secret Invasion, Armor Wars, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, and I Am Groot will all be streaming exclusively on Disney+ in 2022 or 2023.