Marvel Studios Exploring New Deals With Talent In Case Upcoming Movies Head Straight To Disney+

There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding 2021, and it's now been revealed that Marvel Studios has begun to explore new deals with talent in case their upcoming movies end up heading straight to Disney+.

There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding what 2021 will look like, and while we now have a COVID-19 vaccine on the way, it's going to take a long time for that to roll out. In fact, it's been reported today that the UK - the first to have the vaccine - will likely have less than 50% of the population vaccinated by the end of next year, so perhaps Warner Bros.' HBO Max decision was smarter than we realised.

The big question is, will Disney follow suit? During the company's Investor Day last week, the studio remained committed to the theatrical experience, but it's since been reported that Raya and the Last Dragon (which is receiving a simultaneous big screen and Disney+ Premier Access release) is going to be viewed as an experiment of sorts for the studio to see if that method works for them. 

According to The Wrap, "Marvel Studios is beginning to explore new talent deals to provide flexibility in case the pandemic or other factors lead the studio to bypass theaters and take films straight to Disney+." It's said this will apply primarily to "key above-the-line talent like actors, writers, directors and producers," with them receiving "adjusted compensation depending on whether the film opens in theaters or debuts on the Disney+ streaming service." 

While it's stated in the report that the plan and hope is to release these movies exclusively in theaters, it's clearly something Disney is now considering for its Marvel Studios slate in 2021 (and beyond). 

Interestingly, though, these changes would "only affect Marvel movies that are about to enter production, starting with Black Panther 2."

It's clear that more changes are on the horizon for the way we watch movies, and it could ultimately hinge on the sort of numbers Raya and the Last Dragon does in theaters and when it's sold directly to Disney+ subscribers in their homes for $29.99. 

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biggest Marvel stories from Disney's Investor Day!

10. Ironheart Has Finally Been Cast


There have been rumblings about an Ironheart TV series on Disney+ for a while now, and while it was officially announced yesterday evening, many have overlooked that big casting news.

Relative newcomer Dominique Thorne is playing genius inventor Riri Williams, a character Marvel Studios describes as the creator of the most advanced suit of armour since Iron Man. The actress is a relative newcomer who counts only 2018's If Beale Street Could Talk and the upcoming Judas and the Black Messiah among her credits.

Clearly, Marvel Studios sees something special in her, and we're likely looking at the new face of the Iron Man (well, Ironheart now) franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

9. Tim Roth Is Making His Return As Abomination


Kevin Feige confirmed that Mark Ruffalo will reprise the role of the Hulk in Disney+'s She-Hulk TV series, while also announcing that Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany is playing Jennifer Walters. 

The biggest casting news, however, is the fact that Tim Roth will reprise his role from The Incredible Hulk as Abomination. Fans have been dying to see what became of the villain after his defeat at the hands of the Jade Giant back in 2008, and it seems we're finally going to see him back in action.

It's also been confirmed that Dead to Me and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Kat Corio and Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens' Anu Valia will serve as the show's directors. 

8. Secret Invasion Is Coming!


Another Disney+ TV series (don't worry, we're getting to the movies), Secret Invasion could be a game-changer for the MCU. Kevin Feige confirmed that the show will focus on the Skrull invasion of Earth, though we do hope it has wider ramifications beyond however many episodes this runs for.

Samuel L. Jackson is back as Nick Fury, so we're assuming this and that rumoured series revolving around the former S.H.I.E.L.D. Director are, in fact, one and the same. 

Captain Marvel star Ben Mendelsohn will join him as the shape-shifting Skrull Talos, and we'd be willing to put money on this tying into that movie's sequel. Either way, it should be a lot of fun, though it remains to be seen how much it borrows from the comic book event series of the same name. 

7. America Chavez Is Coming To The MCU


When newcomer Xochitl Gomez was cast in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it was widely speculated that she might be playing multidimensional superhero America Chavez.

Well, Kevin Feige confirmed that last night, also announcing returning cast members Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Benedict Wong (Wong), Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo), as well as the addition of WandaVision's Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff). 

We didn't learn much more about the sequel beyond that, but it's likely key to the MCU's future. 

6. The Guardians Of The Galaxy Land On Disney+


One of the biggest, most unexpected announcements came with the news that the Guardians of the Galaxy are coming to Disney+. Vol. 3 will still be released theatrically (in 2023), but The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is set to hit the streaming service in 2022 over the holidays.

Gunn will shoot that at the same time he's working on the threequel, but that wasn't the only reveal!

We're also getting a new live-action series called I Am Groot which will feature the seedling, along with "several new and unusual characters" joining Groot in a series of shorts. Given the massive popularity of Baby Groot, it makes perfect sense that Disney is looking to capitalise. 

5. Marvel Studios Cast A New Cassie Lang


Chicago Fire actress Emma Fuhrmann played the older Cassie Lang in Avengers: Endgame, and while she only appeared very briefly in the movie, we all expected her to star in Ant-Man 3 (which has been given the wonderfully wacky title, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania).

Instead, Marvel Studios has cast Supernatural and Detective Pikachu star Kathryn Newton as the new Cassie, presumably because she's going to play a key role in the MCU moving forward as Stature, the size-changing member of the Young Avengers. There was no mention of that team during this presentation, but most fans expect them to appear in Quantumania.

Peyton Reed will direct the threequel, while returning cast members Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly will be joined by Michael Douglas (Hank Pym) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Janet Van Dyne). 

4. War Machine Takes Centre Stage In Armor Wars


One of the most intriguing reveals has to be Armor Wars. Don Cheadle is set to take centre stage as War Machine in a story about Tony Stark’s worst fear coming true: what happens when his tech falls into the wrong hands? Not much was revealed beyond that, but this could be huge. 

It's a shame Iron Man won't be part of the proceedings, but exploring his legacy and what happens when his suit falls into the wrong hands could be fascinating (Iron Man 2 dropped the ball on that latter idea).

We'd be willing to be that Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer is making his return for this series, though there are plenty of unused Iron Man villains from the comics at Marvel's disposal as well. We don't have a release date for this one, but find it hard to believe Ironheart won't be showing up! 

3. Christian Bale Is Playing Gorr The God Butcher


Thor: Love and Thunder remains on track for its May 2022 release, and while we weren't treated to a first look at the Mighty Thor, we did get one huge piece of casting information for the movie.

After months of speculation, it's been confirmed that Christian Bale will be taking on the role of Gorr the God Butcher. Whether the actor will just voice the villain or play him on set remains to be seen, but we're hoping for more than just a motion-capture performance. Then again, when you look at what Josh Brolin did with Thanos, there are really no bad options for Bale's role here.

Something tells us this is going to be the perfect part for the former Batman, regardless.

2. Captain Marvel 2 Adds Ms. Marvel


Captain Marvel 2 is heading to theaters on November 11th, 2022, with Nia DaCosta at the helm.

It was nice to see that confirmed, but the big news is that Brie Larson will be joined by Iman Vellani, who makes her debut as Ms. Marvel in the Disney+ series of the same name. Additionally, joining the cast is Teyonah Parris, who portrays grown-up Monica Rambeau - a character introduced as a child in Captain Marvel - in upcoming Disney+ TV series WandaVision.

Seeing these two share the screen promises to be a lot of fun, and it's something fans have been hoping for from the start. It also likely indicates that this sequel primarily takes place on Earth. 

1. Fantastic Four Finds A Director


Many fans were hoping for some news on the X-Men during Marvel Studios' Disney Investor Day presentation, but it was Marvel's First Family that took centre stage instead. 

A Fantastic Four movie is now in active development, and it has a director in the form of Spider-Man trilogy helmer Jon Watts. The filmmaker is clearly taking a break from the wall-crawler's franchise to bring Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny back to the big screen, and it now seems likely that Spider-Man 3 will serve as a conclusion for his take on the Sony-owned superhero. 

Talking of Spidey, it was confirmed that the upcoming threequel will tie into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. That's as good as confirmation that we're heading into the Spider-Verse!

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