Not so long ago in March 2018, before Avengers: Infinity War opened in theaters and grossed a billion dollars, Marvel Studios booked a total of nine theatrical release dates between May 1, 2020, and July 29, 2022.
Now, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding yet again, via its Disney ownership’s streaming service, with a scheduled slate of nine Marvel series (all untitled) coming to Disney+ in the coming years.
Back in 2018, when Marvel had plotted out nine release dates between 2020 to 2022 release dates, I took an earnest stab at guessing what potential Marvel movies were coming down the pipeline. I was right on at least one, which was Black Widow; that said, after pandemic-related delays, the film was released on a weekend Marvel hadn’t previously set aside (July 7, 2021).
All my other guesses — including wishful thinking like X-Men and Agents of Atlas, or a sequel to Black Panther — did not pan out. (I did, however, correctly anticipate sequels to Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. So I’m not completely off the mark.)
But cut me some slack: Avengers: Endgame had not yet opened in theaters, which meant speculating about the future of the MCU at the time required guesswork about who’d be left standing after the Phase 3 finale. Disney’s streaming service Disney+, launched in late 2019, was also an unknown entity at the time; it’s since featured many buzz-worthy Marvel shows that serve as connective tissue, setting up crucial events in future films. And no one could have predicted a pandemic completely upending all of Phase 4, forcing WandaVision to open before any movie. (Also: Could you have predicted a show like WandaVision?)
That brings us up to now. Marvel scoop site Murphy’s Multiverse confirmed another nine unannounced projects, all television shows for the Disney+ streaming service, to be in “various stages of development.” No scheduled release dates have been slotted for the series, meaning that speculating about what’s arriving when is a real shot in the dark.
However, fans already know plenty about Marvel’s Phase 4. And recalling what stories the comics tell can give us a clue to what’s on the way. And so, in 2021, here’s another earnest effort at guessing what’s to come on Disney+. To be clear: We are not talking about shows already announced, like Armor Wars, Ironheart, Moon Knight, and World of Wakanda. What we’re talking about are the nine unconfirmed shows coming to Disney+ in the far future, along with our best guesses from the comics.
Got that? Good. Here are the nine potential Marvel shows coming to Disney+.
9. Agents of Atlas
Stop laughing! I know I guessed this one before. The key difference now: WandaVision. The very end of the series teased that Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) had climbed the ranks to become a charismatic, commanding leader after being introduced more comedically in 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp.
There exist several iterations of the ensemble superhero team Agents of Atlas, led by Woo, in Marvel’s comic book universe. Throughout that superteam’s appearances, Woo steers the ship in an authoritative way that puts Star-Lord to shame. With WandaVision elevating Woo’s stature, it’s only a matter of time before he gets his own series.
This one is technically announced. On March 22, 2021, Variety reported that the comic book character Echo, a deaf Native American superheroine with the power to perfectly copy another person’s physical abilities, was getting her own series. And the character will make her screen debut, as played by Alaqua Cox, in the upcoming Hawkeye.
But Marvel hasn’t officially acknowledged that an Echo standalone series will follow Hawkeye, so file this one away in that narrow subspace between speculative thinking and done deals.
7. Werewolf By Night
Shortly after the Comics Code Authority started relaxing its puritanical rules about what comic books could and couldn’t feature content-wise, Marvel started experimenting more freely with the horror genre. This led to a surge of darker, edgier comics like Ghost Rider, Tomb of Dracula, and Son of Satan (which, believe it or not, has already been adapted to the MCU). Another comic to make such a splash was Werewolf By Night.
The character Moon Knight, initially created as an antagonist to the titular werewolf, made his first appearance in Werewolf By Night #35 in 1975. Moon Knight proved so popular as to soon receive his own comic book series and earn his own legacy, surpassing the lycanthrope he was made to fight against. But the upcoming series Moon Knight on Disney+, which will star Oscar Isaac, may not have forgotten ol’ wolfy.
Rumors abound that actor Ethan Hawke, who has an undisclosed role as a villain in Moon Knight, will play Werewolf By Night — or perhaps his human alter ego Jack Russell. (Fun fact: The name was unintentionally chosen by creator Gerry Conway, not a pet owner and unfamiliar with the dog breed.) While Hawke could play Werewolf By Night for just the run of Moon Knight, it’s also possible the MCU will want to utilize Hawke’s talents further and have him star in a solo series.
Fueling rumors that Werewolf By Night will star in his own series: filmmaker Kevin Smith was barred from using Werewolf By Night in his now-canceled Howard the Duck series at Hulu, with Marvel higher-ups citing that the MCU already had plans for him. Sure sounds like it won’t be long before there’s howling on Disney+.
6. Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch)
Hardcore MCU fans know that one of several incarnations of Ghost Rider — Robbie Reyes, played by Gabriel Luna — has already appeared in the franchise via the fourth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. A Ghost Rider series at Hulu was previously in production, with Luna originally to reprise his role from S.H.I.E.L.D. But the project fell apart by 2019, which left a Spirit of Vengeance without a home. Maybe not for long.
Murphy’s Multiverse has an out-there theory involving a new limited liability company (LLC) that Marvel Studios appears to have formed exclusively for a streaming series. The LLC, Richmond Street Productions, is named for a Brooklyn street located close to Cypress Hill Cemetery. Of course, In the Marvel Universe, Cypress Hill Cemetery carries significant weight, as it’s the location where Danny Ketch first appears in Ghost Rider #1 (Vol. 3) and was in the comics also a meeting place for the Midnight Sons.
5. Secret Warriors
In May 2020, another fansite, Geeks Worldwide, reported that Marvel was developing a new series, Secret Warriors for Disney+. The series was not among those announced at the Disney Investor Day later that year, which makes this one another potential possibility.
The Secret Warriors, created by comic book creators Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev during their run on Mighty Avengers and Secret Invasion in 2008, was a top-secret team of young, diverse superheroes — and children of supervillains — led by Nick Fury. In the MCU, a version of the Secret Warriors was formed in the third season of the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
4. Totally Awesome Hulk
Purely speculative here, but She-Hulk with Tatiana Maslany could be a possible launching pad for another green rage monster: teenager Amadeus Cho, who starred in the series The Totally Awesome Hulk by Greg Pak. A teen prodigy and student of Bruce Banner, Amadeus Cho took over as the Marvel Universe’s new Hulk in 2015 when Banner was out of commission. He later adopted his own name: Brawn.
There has been no word whether Amadeus will appear in She-Hulk, and no actor has been attached to the role. However, color us unsurprised if an Asian-American teenager shows up alongside Tatiana Maslany’s She-Hulk in her upcoming series.
3. Young Avengers
Across all of Phase 4, from WandaVision to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to Black Widow to the upcoming Hawkeye, the MCU has seen a slow assembly of young heroes ready to take up abandoned mantles.
With even more heroes on the way, like Ms. Marvel, it’s quite obvious that a Young Avengers project is in development, even though Marvel hasn’t said anything official. Whether such a project becomes a theatrically released movie or stays a Disney+ exclusive remains to be seen.
2. Any Major Marvel Crossover
During the later stages of the Infinity Saga, it appeared Marvel was reserving the biggest Marvel comic crossovers for the big screen. The 1991 series The Infinity Gauntlet was seeded across all the MCU movies, culminating in both Infinity War and Endgame. And let’s not forget the 2006 series Civil War, which became the 2016 film Captain America: Civil War.
But with Secret Invasion now in development as a Disney+ series, it’s possible that another Marvel project for the streamer could be an “adaptation” (we’re using that term generously) of an existing Marvel crossover. For example, Secret Invasion was originally a 2008 event crossover.
After WandaVision, a House of M adaptation seems likely, though it appears Wanda’s story will play out in other films, including 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Secret Wars — both the 1985 story where the Beyonder kidnaps heroes and villains to fight on Battleworld and the 2015 story where the Marvel multiverse is merged into one — is a movie-caliber premise. But what if it becomes the biggest Disney+ series of all time?
Again, we’re just speculating here, but with the multiverse meant to play some kind of role in both Spider-Man: No Way Home and Multiverse of Madness, it’s possible that the next step is a multiverse battle in an amalgamized, onscreen Secret Wars. And, hey, if there’s any way for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to get the Symbiote powers from Tom Hardy’s Venom, this would be it.
1. Miss Minutes
Didn’t expect her, did you? But seriously, can we agree there’s more to Miss Minutes than initially appears? Right?