All eyes are on Marvel Studios with Phase Four as their first wave of Disney Plus shows finally have release dates. During an earnings call (where the future of “Star Wars was also discussed), Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” will be heading to the Mouse’s streaming platform Aug. 2020 followed shortly by “WandaVision” in Dec. While Iger declined to reveal a date for “Loki,” the series is expected to drop sometime in 2021. All three of these projects made their first public appearance during the Super Bowl as part of Marvel’s Disney Plus spot.
Based on the Big Game spot, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” looks to be drawing from the political thriller aesthetic previously established in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The series will follow the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” as Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities and their patience. The show also features the return of Emily Van Camp’s Sharon Carter and Daniel Bruhl’s villainous Helmut Zemo along with the debut of Wyatt Russell’s John Walker (AKA U.S. Agent) Kari Skogland directs the all-new six-episode series; Malcolm Spellman is the head writer.
“WandaVision” blends the style of classic sitcoms with the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany)—two super-powered beings living their ideal suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems. Matt Shakman directs the new series; Jac Schaeffer is head writer.
In “Loki,” the mercurial villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” Kate Herron directs, and Michael Waldron is head writer.
There’s a lot of pressure being placed on these shows as it’s a Marvel’s first real foray into narrative television, and these projects will play an integral part in their Phase Four plans. Add on top of that the pressure of continuing to interconnect the already established cinematic universe. It’s a daunting task, but the hope is that these series will allow Marvel to take bold swings with different kinds of stories. If word of mouth surrounding “WandaVision” is to be believed, that is precisely what Kevin Feige and company are setting out to do.