Spoilers follow for some Marvel movies and TV shows.
San Diego Comic-Con is almost here and, understandably, the hype is starting to grow about what may be announced at this year's event.
As with other past events – the in-person ones that were held pre-pandemic, at least – Marvel Studios will be in attendance. And, considering the enormous popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), fans are desperate to find out more about the company's upcoming slate of Marvel films and Disney Plus shows.
So, what can we expect to see from Marvel's main panel? For starters, more information on the rest of the MCU Phase 4 slate. However, we'd like to get some announcements on what the future holds for Marvel's juggernaut franchise, including its plans for Phase 5 superhero flicks and Disney Plus TV offerings.
Here, then, are six things we'd love to hear about as part of Marvel Studios' Comic-Con panel this weekend.
When is Marvel Studios' main panel at Comic-Con 2022?
It'll take place on Saturday, July 23 in Hall H at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET. Those based in the UK, India, and Australia can tune in on Sunday, July 24 at 1 AM BST / 5:30 AM IST / 10 AM AEST.
For those who can't attend in-person, the presentation will be livestreamed on Marvel Entertainment's YouTube channel.
1. A Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the final Marvel film of the year. It'll arrive in cinemas worldwide on November 11 and, when it does, it'll be the 30th entry in our ever-expanding Marvel movies in order list.
Its release is less than four months away now, but we've yet to see any footage. That is, unless you attended Marvel's CinemaCon panel in March, where a sizzle reel of Black Panther 2 scenes was shown to attendees.
With She-Hulk: Attorney at Law the only other major MCU release coming in 2022, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever should be Marvel's headline act at this year's Comic-Con – so it would be fantastic to finally get a teaser trailer for the much anticipated flick.
2. MCU Disney Plus TV special release dates
Black Panther 2 and She-Hulk's TV series will be the biggest projects on show during Marvel's panel – unless we get some surprise announcements, but more on those in a bit.
That doesn't mean there won't be other MCU productions coming later this year, though. Marvel Studios has two Disney Plus specials releasing in 2022, with Halloween and Christmas-themed one-off episodes launching on Disney Plus around those holidays.
We know that The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will be Marvel's Christmas special, while it's been all-but-confirmed that its Halloween installment will be based around B-list antihero Werewolf by Night. Neither special has a confirmed release date yet, but we're confident Marvel will reveal when these specials will launch during its Comic-Con presentation.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has already confirmed he'll be in attendance – could we get Guardians 3 news, too? – so expect Marvel to announce official launch dates for its specials this weekend.
3. Plots, plots, and more plots
Moving onto Marvel's 2023 slate, it's high time we learned about the stories that its next three movies (those coming after Black Panther 2, that is) will tell.
We're yet to receive official plot summaries for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, or The Marvels. Hopefully, Marvel will reveal some details as to what the plots of each of these films will entail.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will arrive in theaters in February 2023, so we may get a sneak peek at some early footage, too. Meanwhile, Gunn's attendance should mean we'll learn more about how Guardians 3 will pick up events after the group's brief appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder, as well as the Guardians Holiday Special. Finally, given that Ms Marvel's post-credits scene teased The Marvels' story, we should hear more about how that brief sequence sets up the MCU's next cosmic adventure.
4. A TV slate full of launch dates
It isn't just MCU movies that'll arrive next year. Marvel's Disney Plus slate is likely to be as stacked as it was in 2021, with potentially six TV series potentially debuting on Disney's streaming platform in 2023.
Secret Invasion, Loki season 2, Echo, and Ironheart are all at various stages of development right now, but that quartet is likely to arrive on our screens next year. None of them have official launch dates, but we may get some idea on when they'll be released at Marvel's Hall H presentation.
Meanwhile, Marvel is hard at work on season 2 of What If...?, its animated anthology series. Additionally, online rumors suggest that WandaVision spin-off Agatha: House of Harkness may start filming in late 2022/early 2023. If development on those shows is completed early next year, they could also launch in late 2023. Fingers crossed Marvel gives us some idea of when a few of these projects will be with us.
5. An un-X-pected film announcement
Marvel Studios has form for delivering huge and surprising announcements at Comic-Con. The company did so with the revelation it was developing a Blade MCU movie during the 2019 event, while studio president Kevin Feige also namedropped the Fantastic Four and the X-Men – or the Mutants, as he referred to them – at the same panel.
We suspect that Marvel will have updates on where development, on its Blade and Fantastic Four films, is at during this year's presentation. How cool would it be, though, if Marvel officially confirmed that active development had begun on an X-Men or Mutants MCU film, too?
Marvel has teased the arrival of mutants in the MCU in previous productions, such as Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Doctor Strange 2, before outright confirming their existence in Ms Marvel. According to Deadline, a film called The Mutants may be announced as part of Marvel's panel, while The Kingsman star Taron Egerton has confirmed he met Marvel Studios to discuss playing Wolverine in the MCU (per The New York Times).
All the signs point towards the X-Men – or should that be X-People? – making their MCU debut very soon and, D23 Expo aside, Comic-Con would be the best place to announce that such a project was in the works.
6. Taking a stride into Phase 5
While we know these MCU movies and TV shows are coming, we don't know if they'll be part of Marvel's Phase 4 slate or if they'll kickstart the next stage of its wildly popular franchise.
What better place than Comic-Con, then, to confirm their Phase 5 plans? The studio revealed its Phase 4 line-up at Comic-Con 2019 and – Blade, Fantastic Four and the X-Men aside – every film and series announced from that event has been released. So it would make sense for Marvel to confirm whether any of the above projects will set its Phase 5 plans in motion.
Sure, it's possible that Marvel may reveal its plans for Phase 5 at D23 Expo in September instead. But, considering Comic-Con is currently a bigger event than Disney's in-house fan event, it would be better to reveal its Phase 5 line-up this weekend. Kevin Feige has suggested we'll learn more about the MCU's next Thanos-level threat "in the coming months" (via Total Film), so Comic-Con or D23 Expo are the most likely events where we'll hear about Phase 5, the MCU's next major villain, and more.
For more MCU-based content, check out our ranking of the best Marvel movies and best Marvel villains so far.