You, uh, may have heard that Marvel Studios’ SDCC panel was yesterday. I have some thoughts.
I haven’t actually seen Spider-Man: Far from Home yet, due to a vile combination of Ongoing Medical Calamity and raw timing making it difficult to get out to movies. I think this is the farthest out from release weekend it’s ever taken me to get to one of these movies. Hopefully sometime this week. But! I was on Twitter and io9’s live blog last night during their panel (why why why wasn’t it being streamed?) and … well, here we go:
EXCITEMENT LEVEL: MEDIUM-LOW. Not terribly psyched about this except insofar as it’s going to be a return for the MCU to lower-tech spy films in the vein of Winter Soldier except even more, which ought to be awesome, and it looks like Taskmaster is the villain, which is double awesome. High hopes, but I’m not jumping up and down over it.
EXCITEMENT LEVEL: MINIMAL. I have been reading Marvel comic books since I was nine. I have never heard of a single character in this movie. I can tell you nothing. I’ll see it, because I don’t miss Marvel movies, but only to see how they tie it in with everything else. The cast looks great, but other than that if you’ve just heard about this movie reading about it just now you know as much about it as I do.
EXCITEMENT LEVEL: MODERATE-HIGH. I don’t have any particular fondness for Shang-Chi as a character, but the notion of the real Mandarin making his way into the MCU has me salivating. I just wish it was in an Iron Man movie like it was supposed to be. That said, they’ve been talking about the Ten Rings since the first Iron Man, so there’s a lot to do here. Also, while I’d never heard of Simu Liu, who will be playing Shang-Chi, before yesterday, his Twitter feed has rapidly turned him into one of my favorite Internet people.
EXCITEMENT LEVEL: EXTRAORDINARY. I’m not the biggest fan of Doctor Strange as a character, and I’m not the biggest fan of the first Doctor Strange movies– in fact, if I was forced to rank the Marvel films, it would be close to the bottom. But the notion that they’re selling this as a horror film, and the phrase “Multiverse of Madness,” and the fact that the Scarlet Witch is going to play a large role in it? Take my fucking money. All in.
EXCITEMENT LEVEL: QUITE HIGH. It would be higher if I didn’t know that the Jane Foster Thor would be played by Natalie Portman, who I loved almost at an indecent level as a younger man and have grown increasingly bored with as the years have gone on. The fact that they’ve got her back for the movie after having to cut around Jane in Endgame probably speaks volumes about the quality of the script, or at least the quality of the check, but yeah, I’m looking forward to this one quite a lot.
EXCITEMENT LEVEL: TAKE MY FUCKING MONEY. Literally the only thing I know about this– as far as I know, they didn’t even announce the release date– is that Mahershalalhashbaz Ali is playing Blade.
Mahershala Ali is playing Blade. Okay, technically this is double-casting, because he was Cottonmouth in the first season of Luke Cage, but there is nothing I will not watch Mahershala Ali in. Nothing. I am all over this.
EXCITEMENT LEVEL: VARIOUS. It remains to be seen if the Disney+ streaming series will be tied into the MCU any more thoroughly than the Netflix shows were, which is to say, not at all, and the fact that they recast Mahershala Ali shows how little respect they have for those shows. But they’re putting movie actors into these shows, and talking about them at the MCU panel, so they’re probably gonna be tied in pretty close. That said, this is probably going to sell me a (reluctant, annoyed) Disney+ subscription, because:
Fuuuuuuuuuhuhuhuck the fuck yes Monica Rambeau confirmed as an adult in the MCU. EXCITEMENT LEVEL: IN NEED OF TIME TRAVEL GIVE IT TO ME NOW. I don’t know that the name Spectrum or any of her other superheroic identities were actually confirmed at the panel (she’s my Captain Marvel and she always will be) so it may be that she doesn’t have powers at first, but her presence in the ridiculously named Wanda Vision means that I have to see it, which means I may as well watch all four. And, I guess, The Mandalorian while I’m at it.
Interestingly, while they said “they’re coming” about sequels to Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy and left with a vague allusion to “mutants” and an actual Goddamn Marvel Fantastic Four movie, no dates for any of them. So Phase Four is going to be mostly dedicated to expanding the MCU again, which I’m all good with.
Other, non-MCU stuff: I’m really looking forward to the Dark Crystal Netflix series and while I want to be excited about Picard I haven’t managed to watch the trailer yet, which … yeah. If there’s anything else I should know about it hasn’t penetrated the fog yet, so tell me about it in comments and I’ll react.