Marvel Reveals a Ton of Casting News, Secret Wars Disney+ Series, Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Plus: new series Armor Wars and Ironheart, along with the full title for Ant-Man and the Wasp 3

marvel casting secret wars christian bale Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez she-hulk armor wars
Xochitl Gomez (photo via Instagram/@_xochitl.goemz), Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury (Marvel), and Christian Bale (via WikiCommons)

    Forget stockholders; Disney’s investor’s presentation on Thursday was the best first-night-of-Hanukkah gift Marvel fans could ask for. Kevin Feige was on hand to present updates on the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe projects — and boy were there a lot of updates.

    After showing teasers and trailers for all of Marvel’s mostly completed Disney+ series (WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Ms. Marvel, and What If…?), Feige unloaded a stream of other upcoming projects. Some we knew about, such as Hawkeye; the Marvel head confirmed long-standing rumors (substantiated by recent on-set photos) that Hailee Steinfeld is playing the new Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, alongside Jeremy Renner’s archer. Also cast in the series are Vera Farmiga, Fra Free, and newcomer Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez — known to comic fans as Echo.

    Next, Feige announced Mark Ruffalo will indeed be reprising his role of Hulk/Bruce Banner alongside Tatiana Maslany as the title heroine in She-Hulk. The bigger news, though, is that Tim Roth will be back as the Abomination, having last appeared as the villain way back in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk when Edward Norton was still playing the Jolly Green hero.


    Also coming to Disney+ is an adaptation of the iconic Marvel story Secret Invasion. The storyline finds the shape-shifting aliens the Skrulls infiltrating Earth by taking over the identities of prominent figures. This, it turns out, is the series Samuel L. Jackson will be leading as Nick Fury. Joining him will be Ben Mendelsohn as the Skrull Talos, who debuted in Captain Marvel and cameoed at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home.

    Other new series include Ironheart, which will star Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, a young genius who invents her own Iron Man-like armor. Then there’s another Iron Man-adjacent series called Armor Wars, an adaptation of another popular comic story that will star Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine. The plot is described as being “Tony Stark’s worst fear coming true: what happens when his tech falls into the wrong hands?”

    Feige also mentioned the Moon Knight series, though he stopped short of confirming Oscar Isaac as the title vigilante.

    Guardians of the Galaxy fans will have plenty to look forward to on Disney+, as well. In addition to a series of shorts titled I Am Groot, the intergalactic team will return in the live-action The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. James Gunn will be back to write and direct, and the special will shoot simultaneously with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The movie is out in 2023, with the special dropping on the streaming service during the 2022 holiday season.


    (Sign up for Disney+ here.)

    On the film side of the MCU, Feige announced that Iman Vellani will be the first Marvel star to transition from their own Disney+ series to the big screen. She’ll bring her Ms. Marvel character to Captain Marvel 2, which will also feature WandaVision actress Teyonah Parris as an adult Monica Rambeau. The movie is set to be directed by Nia DaCosta.

    News that Christian Bale would be playing the bad guy in Thor: Love and Thunder came out in January, but now we know who he’ll play: the vengeful alien Gorr the God Killer.

    In more casting craziness, it was revealed Xochitl Gomez (Netflix’s The Babysitter’s Club) will join Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as the reality-busting America Chavez. (Folks paying attention to the WandaVision developments can see the thread to Young Avengers becoming ever more taut.) Feige also reiterated that the movie, due out March 25th, 2022, will be strongly tied to WandaVision as well as Spider-Man 3.

    We also got the official title for Peyton Reed’s third Ant-Man film, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. The movie will recast Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) daughter, Cassie Lang, with Kathryn Newton (Freaky). Perhaps she’ll grow to the hero Stature as she helps her dad battle the time traveling menace of Kang the Conqueror (the previously announced Jonathan Majors).


    After briefly mentioning Eternals and the Mahershala Ali-starring Blade, Feige confirmed that they won’t be recasting the title role for Black Panther 2 following the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Instead, when the sequel hits theaters on July 8th, 2022, it “will explore the world of Wakanda and the rich characters introduced in the first film.”

    As a final bit of excitement, Feige announced that Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home director Jon Watts will be bringing Marvel’s First Family, The Fantstic Four, to the big screen.

    Not mentioned at all? X-Men. Yeah, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to be around for a long time.