What to Expect From Marvel Studios At D23 (Hint: It's Not Phase 5 Films)

Marvel Studios 10 years

With next weekend's D23 Expo comes a flurry of rumors and speculation about what Disney and its subsidiaries -- Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm and Pixar -- have planned next. While some of the lineup for their announcements has already been released, it's the parts that have not been revealed that drives the internet wild.

Could Marvel Studios plan to unveil its Phase Five slate at the official Disney convention, just a month after its Phase Four plans were announced at Comic-Con International?  It seems highly unlikely, given the studio's devotion to secrecy. Marvel held back any details about Phase Four until after the premieres of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. (Heck, the studio wouldn't even acknowledge Black Widow until Comic-Con, despite photos and videos of its production.)

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Those already clamoring for news about Phase Five, and the possibility of the X-Men and Fantastic Four, shouldn't holds their breaths. Marvel prefers to focus on the next film, not the ones arriving years from now. One of the surest bets for D23 is first-look footage of Black Widow, the highly anticipated solo film starring Scarlett Johansson.

It also seems likely Marvel Studios will go into further detail about its planned Disney+ series, confirmed last month in San Diego. Given that the first project, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, won't premiere for another year, it's doubtful there's any footage to screen. However, it's possible we'll learn more about the approach to the slate, which also includes Loki, WandaVision and the animated Marvel's What If...?

While sequels to Black Panther and Captain Marvel were confirmed during the studio's Comic-Con presentation, it's not clear whether they're part of Phase Four or Phase Five. The D23 Expo would be perfect opportunity to clarify that.

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Of course, not everything Marvel has in store for the future involves the MCU. While much of the event does indeed center around the MCU, with exhibits featuring costumes and props from the films, as well as conversations with filmmakers and artists in the Marvel Studios Pavilion, there will also be a presentation by Marvel Animation focused on Marvel's Spider-Man, which will introduce the fan-favorite Venom. Marvel's latest animated film, Marvel Rising: Battle of Bands, will likely get attention as well.

D23 Expo will be held Friday through Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. The Marvel Studios component is part of the The Walt Disney Studios presentation, held Sunday, Aug. 24, from 10 a.m. to noon PT in Hall D23.

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