San Diego Comic Con is one of the biggest international conventions for nerds around the world. Not only can attendees celebrate existing franchises, but they are always the first ones to know about upcoming releases. If you couldn't attend SDCC or couldn't keep up with the breaking news on social media, don't worry. Below are all of the major announcements from SDCC 2019 that you definitely need to know about.
With Endgame bringing the Infinity Saga to a close, Marvel is ready to move into Phase 4. Which means there were a lot of announcements about the future of some of our favourite superheroes as well as new additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At the star-studded panel at SDCC, head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige had plenty to reveal. This included confirmation of further sequels for Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Guardians of the Galaxy, and also relaunches for X-Men and The Fantastic Four in the MCU.
Black Widow (2020)
Speculation had been running rife for a while, but SDCC saw the confirmation of a Black Widow solo film. Fans have been waiting for this since Black Widow first appeared in the MCU in Iron Man 2 back in 2008, with rumours about it being in development circulating as far back as 2010. This weekend, the film was given a release date of 1st May 2020 and Florence Pugh (Midsommar) was officially announced as Yelena Belova, who is rumoured to take up the Black Widow mantle after Scarlett Johansson. Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) and David Harbour (Stranger Things) are also officially joining the cast. The events of the film will take place in Budapest (can we expect a Hawkeye cameo?), with Taskmaster as the primary villain.
The Eternals (2020)
Chloé Zhao (The Rider) will be directing a film adaptation of The Eternals, which will arrive in cinemas on 6th November 2020. It features immortal alien beings named the Eternals, who are sent to Earth by their creators (the Celestials) to defend humanity against their enemies (the Deviants). The SDCC panel did not confirm much else about the plot of the film, but it did confirm the cast. It will feature stars like Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Salma Hayek (Savages), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Richard Madden (Bodyguard), Brian Tyree Henry (Child's Play), Lauren Ridloff (The Walking Dead), Don Lee (Train to Busan, as Ma Dong-seok), and Lia McHugh (American Woman). They did reveal some concept art for the Celestials at SDCC.
Agents of SHIELD Final Season (2020)
Fans of the Marvel TV show Agents of SHIELD will be sad to know that the next season is going to be the last one. The current series, Season 6, is airing over this summer, and Season 7 is due to air sometime in 2020. It featured fan-favourite Phil Coulson from The Avengers, who may yet be alive. Several other spin-off television series are also coming to an end, with cancellations across the board for The Defenders and its five Marvel heroes (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, The Punisher, and The Iron Fist). This is due to Disney planning to launch its own streaming service with exclusive original content. Speaking of...
New Disney+ TV Shows (2020-2021)
Disney's upcoming rival platform for Netflix, Disney+, will feature some MCU tie-in TV shows. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will star Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in the titular roles. It is due to arrive on Disney+ in autumn 2020, and will include Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl, Captain America: Civil War) as a villain. Next, spring 2021 will see the arrival of WandaVision. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will also reprise their roles as these characters. The series will also include Teyonah Parris (If Beale Street Could Talk) as the adult Monica Rambeau, who we saw as a child in Captain Marvel. Tom Hiddleston will return as Loki in spring 2021. His series will follow the Loki we saw in Endgame. Summer 2021 will see the What If...? animated series explore other possible storylines in the Marvel multiverse. Finally, Jeremy Renner will also return as Hawkeye in autumn 2021. This series will introduce Kate Bishop as the next Hawkeye.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
According to the reveal at SDCC, the martial artist Shang-Chi will be joining the MCU on 12th February 2021. You might remember the Ten Rings organization for kidnapping Tony Stark in the first Iron Man film, and the (fake) Mandarin as a villain in Iron Man 3. Now we can expect to see Shang-Chi (Simu Liu, Fresh Off the Boat) take on the real Mandarin (Chinese superstar Tony Leung). The film will also include rising star Awkwafina (Ocean's 8, Crazy Rich Asians), but they didn't specify what her role will be. Shang-Chi is the first Chinese superhero to join the MCU. Daniel Destin Cretton (Short Term 12) will be directing.
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (2021)
The sequel to 2016 release Doctor Strange will arrive on 7th May 2021. The Multiverse of Madness movie will see Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange team up with Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch. Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) was teasing about the existence of a multiverse in Spider-Man: Far From Home, but it looks like that could become a reality. Returning director Scott Derrickson says that he is hoping to make this the first "scary" film in the MCU. Head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, says that events in the Disney+ TV show WandaVision will be important for the Doctor Strange sequel, so be sure to watch that.
Thor: Love and Thunder (2021)
Thor: Ragnarok was a breath of fresh air for the Thor series. Many fans are happy to know that director Taika Waititi will be returning to direct the next instalment. It will hit cinema screens on 5th November 2021. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson will return as Thor and Valkyrie, but there is an exciting twist. Waititi confirmed that the sequel is inspired by The Mighty Thor comics, which introduced Lady Thor. And none other than Natalie Portman will be coming back as Jane Foster to take up the hammer.
Although the slate of Phase Four is apparently full, and we won't see other sequels until Phase Five, Marvel couldn't resist making an announcement about another newcomer. Two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Green Book) is joining Marvel as the iconic half-vampire vampire hunter Blade. The original trilogy of films featured Wesley Snipes in the lead role over 15 years ago. Now Marvel Studios intends to reboot it. Blade could possibly arrive as part of Phase Five, maybe as early as 2022.
Despite director Patty Jenkins teasing some early footage of Wonder Woman 1984 at last year's event, the eagerly-anticipated sequel was absent from the 2019 convention. Warner Brothers skipping SDCC 2019 also means no new announcements about Birds of Prey, Joker, The Batman, Man of Steel 2 or Aquaman 2. DC's only representation at Comic Con came from its regular TV offerings. Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, and Black Lightning will all return in October. Although it was the founding series of the DC Arrowverse, Arrow will actually be ending with this season. There were no new announcements about Legends of Tomorrow, but the Arrowverse is preparing for Batwoman's solo debut in the meantime. Separately, DC Universe will launch an animated series for Harley Quinn (voiced by Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory).
Ruby Rose (Orange Is The New Black) already appeared on TV as Batwoman in the Arrowverse crossover event Elseworlds last year. Now Kate Kane will get her own series focusing on her story. Kate's cousin Batman is not scheduled to appear yet, but since Supergirl introduced Superman, that could happen eventually. Batwoman will premier on The CW in October as the other Arrowverse shows also return to the small screen. The teasers at SDCC revealed that Batwoman is likely to introduce the origin story of the villain Hush. Burt Ward (Robin in the original Batman television series) will appear in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. It is not known if he will play Robin, but Brandon Routh will play Superman.
Unrelated to the Arrowverse, or DC movies, is a new adaptation of Alan Moore's Watchmen. The TV series will air on HBO this October. It did not have a panel at SDCC, but they did reveal a trailer. This TV show is not a direct translation of the graphic novel, however. It exists in that universe, focusing on what would happen after the events of the graphic novel. The story will feature recognisable characters such as Dr Manhattan, Hooded Justice, Silk Spectre, and Ozymandias, written by Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers).
Horror usually has a strong showing at SDCC, and this year was no different. The big push for Warner Brothers is IT Chapter 2, and AMC has a few zombie-bombshells to drop for The Walking Dead universe.
IT: Chapter Two (2019)
This year's ScareDiego event involved a panel featuring the adult stars of the sequel to 2017's horror hit IT, with Conan O'Brien as the moderator. They also teased a new trailer and several extended scenes for the upcoming IT: Chapter Two ahead of its theatrical release on 6th September 2019. The 1990 TV miniseries adaptation of the Stephen King novel had both halves of the story running parallel, but this film version chose to split the narrative in two. The director, Andy Muschietti, confirmed that we will see events that happened to the Losers Club when they were young as well. We didn't see these events in the first IT film, but they will be memories returning to the adults. This could involve controversial scenes from the book.
The Walking Dead (2019 - 2020)
If you are still sticking with The Walking Dead and its expanding universe after everything so far, there are some possible treats in store. Fear the Walking Dead is officially renewed for Season 6, and a third TV series is on the way. Though it doesn't have a title yet, the third series will feature young adults coming of age in this post-apocalyptic world. We already knew that Andrew Lincoln would return as Rick Grimes for several movies. However, they will no longer be on TV. SDCC saw a sneak peek trailer for an "Untitled The Walking Dead Movie" which will be released in cinemas instead via Universal Pictures. The movies are likely to feature Michonne as well. Danai Gurira, who has played the character since the third season, confirmed that Season 10 of the original show will be her last. Season 10 won't be the overall final season.
Halloween (2020 - 2021)
This wasn't actually at Comic Con, but the timing of the announcement coincided with SDCC weekend. John Carpenter says that two more Halloween movies will follow up the 2018 sequel. Halloween Kills will arrive on the big screen on 16th October 2020. Then Halloween Ends will follow it on 15th October 2021. Jamie Lee Curtis will return as Laurie Strode, as she did in the 2018 film. Danny McBride will be writing the films with director David Gordon Green. They were waiting to see what the response to the 2018 film would be before committing to any further movies in the franchise, and luckily, it was largely successful.
It wouldn't be Comic Con without Star Trek, so of course, there was a lot of news for Trekkies. Fans of the Terminator franchise also got some film news, and the 2014 film Snowpiercer is going to be a TV series.
Star Trek (2019 - 2020)
The legendary Patrick Stewart will return as Jean-Luc Picard for a new TV series on CBS All Access. Star Trek: Picard will focus on events for the Starfleet officer around 20 years after The Next Generation. The writers collaborated with Patrick to create new dramatic stories for the beloved character. Some familiar faces will be showing up in this series, including Brent Spiner (Data), Jonathan Frakes (Captain Riker), Jeri Ryan (Borg Seven of Nine), and Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troy). The separate series Star Trek: Discovery will continue with Season 3, where the crew has jumped 1,000 years into the future through a wormhole. Six stand-alone Short Treks episodes are due before this. Then, next year, the animated series Lower Decks will premiere. It will be written by Mike McMahan, a writer and producer on Rick and Morty.
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
The latest film in the Terminator franchise, Dark Fate, is going back to the classics. As well as Arnold Schwarzenegger, both Tom Furlong and Linda Hamilton will be returning for the 6th instalment. They are known for playing John Connor and his mother Sarah Connor in the first Terminator sequel, Terminator 2: Judgement Day., back in 1991. This announcement came at the SDCC panel for the film, when director James Cameron called in from the set of Avatar 2. He revealed that the movie, which is due for release towards the end of the year, will have an R rating in the US. At the end of the panel, Tom Cruise dropped by with a surprise announcement, introducing a trailer for a sequel to the 1986 classic Top Gun. It is due to fly into cinemas next summer on 26th June 2020. Top Gun: Maverick will follow the pilot years later.
Bong Joon-ho's 2013 film Snowpiercer, based on the graphic novel, was a dark but critically acclaimed drama. Now the same source material is being adapted for television for TBS, by Orphan Black's Graeme Mason. Heading the cast are Jennifer Connelly (Alita: Battle Angel) and Daveed Diggs (Hamilton). The TV show takes place 7 years after the extinction event, rather than the 17 years in the film. The first season is due in 2020, but a second season is already confirmed. This could follow up quickly, arriving later in 2020.
With Game of Thrones coming to an end, media companies are pulling out the production stops to serve up the latest fantasy epic to capture the imagination of the modern world. Buzz has already been building for a while around these offerings from Netflix and the BBC, which are new adaptations of old favourites.
The Witcher (2019)
Some people are already calling this new TV show the Game of Thrones of Netflix. It promises to feature more magic and monsters than most fantasy dramas currently on television. The first trailer aired during a panel for the show at SDCC, to a buzzing reception. The show is an adaptation of the Andrzej Sapkowski books, not the CD Projekt Red video games. This is causing some tension amongst fans of the games who want to see that version in the TV show. However, the series will flesh out characters much more than in the games. Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) is fronting the show as Geralt of Rivia. Netflix should release the first season by the end of the year, which contains 10 episodes. If this is a success, we can expect more.
His Dark Materials (2019)
Most people have gladly forgotten all about the 2007 film adaptation The Golden Compass, which was an unfortunate flop. Now, the BBC and HBO are adapting Philip Pullman's iconic His Dark Materials trilogy into a television series instead. It has been in the works for a long time to make sure that the material is translated as appropriately as possible. Dafne Keen (Logan) stars as the lead character Lyra Belacqua. Joining her are plenty of eye-catching names like James McAvoy (X-Men), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns), and Ruth Wilson (Luther). Like The Witcher, the show has already been renewed for a second season, with the first season due to air in late 2019. It is reportedly more modern than Victoriana.