Moon Knight! She-Hulk! And WandaVision sure sounds wonderfully wacky! Here’s a round-up of everything we learned at tonight’s action-packed Disney+ panel at the D23 Expo.
Moon Knight is coming, for real this time! Back in 2015, there were rumours that the character would be introduced into Marvel’s stable of Netflix shows via a 'back-door pilot' episode, much like the studio did with the Punisher on Daredevil. Of course, that never happened, and the Marvel Netflix experiment is no more. But the idea clearly lingered... and now the show is heading for Disney+.
– Disney+ (@disneyplus) August 23, 2019
So what’s Moon Knight all about? A former boxer and U.S. Marine, Marc Spector left the military to become an international mercenary. But when a mission gone wrong in Egypt left him betrayed and bleeding out in an archaeological dig site, followers of the ancient god Khonshu offered Spector up to their deity, who granted him a second chance at life as well as enhanced strength and durability, which Spector took to become the vigilante crime-fighter Moon Knight.
Also getting her own series: She-Hulk! Like Moon Knight, the announcement offered zero additional information, so feel free to start your dream casting engine right now. She-Hulk, also known as Jennifer Walters, is actually Bruce Banner’s cousin in the comics, gaining her relative’s gamma-radiated superpowers after a blood transfusion when Jen was caught in a near-fatal shooting.
By day, she operates as a successful lawyer, taking on cases in superheroic law – occasionally dabbling in superpowered fisticuffs on the side as She-Hulk. Although in the past it was something that differentiated her from Hulk, her powers kind of work in a similar fashion to how Hulk’s work by the time of Avengers: Endgame, where Jennifer retains her full language capacity and her personality when in her green-hued form.
– Disney+ (@disneyplus) August 23, 2019
These two new series announcements came after Ms. Marvel also got the series nod earlier in the day, with Marvel’s Kevin Feige confirming and noting at the panel that the character will be introduced in her Disney+ series before moving to the big screen.
The D23 panel also offered some updates on the previously-announced WandaVision series, with a slew of casting notes, including Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis (from Thor and Thor: The Dark World) and Randall Park, reprising his role as an FBI agent from Ant-Man and the Wasp. Kathryn Hahn will also play a nosy neighbour character.
The cast of WandaVision, including stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, took the stage with an appropriately off-kilter presentation that makes a bit more sense when you bear in mind how Wanda Maximoff and her synthezoid lover are no strangers to domestic, suburban life in Marvel’s comics. Feige explained that while WandaVision will definitely be an “MCU epic”, he also said that the series will feature strong sitcom influences – specifically he name-dropped The Dick Van Dyke Show which is... interesting.
While Wanda’s getting top billing, the old-timey sitcom nuclear family energy that will apparently define WandaVision sounds like it’s taking inspiration from Tom King’s Vision series, where the phasing Avenger attempted to start a 'normal' life with the family he builds to live in his Virginia home. The series had its comedic moments, but in the end, things ended up getting weird and horrific, which seems to be exactly what Marvel’s going for with WandaVision.
And a little bit more casting news, this time from Falcon and Winter Soldier, which Feige said will offer a deeper dive into their past, as well as their post-Endgame presents: Sharon Carter (Emily Van Camp, who played the character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War) will appear, as will the new-to-the-MCU character John Walker, also known as U.S. Patriot (played by Wyatt Russell).
Finally, there were just a few mentions of the animated What If? series. There was Steve Rogers manning some kind of old school Iron Man suit and he works with none other than... Captain Carter. Yes, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter taking on the Captain America mantle. She rocks a Union Jack shield! And... Winter Soldier fought a Captain America Zombie.
We’ll be bringing you more from D23 all weekend, so stay tuned.
Featured image: Becky Cloonan, Greg Horn (Marvel Comics)