Analysis: Who is the Final Sinister Six Member in Spider-Man No Way Home?

When the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer finally landed, it confirmed the multiverse and that it will indeed revive Spider-Man foes from the previous movies.  Most notably, the trailer ended by revealing the return of Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus.  However, the trailer also teased the return of Electro, Green Goblin, the Lizard, and Sandman. 

With so many supervillains in this movie, it seems like Marvel is creating a live-action version of the Sinister Six.  In the comics, the Sinister Six were a team of Spider-Man’s deadliest enemies — Doc Ock, Sandman, Vulture, Electro, Mysterio, and Kraven the Hunter.  Marvel will shake up the original lineup, but the trailer only teased five villains.  Hence, fans have been wondering who the final member of the Sinister Six is.  There are a few potential options.

Vulture

One of the more respected live-action villains, Michael Keaton’s Vulture, is one candidate to join the Sinister Six. The Vulture first appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming. It makes sense for him to appear, but something is different between him and the rest of the Sinister Six villains. 

The Vulture would be the only villain that is from the MCU. It would be odd to have all multiversal villains and then one MCU villain. Now, there is a possibility, but the Vulture will likely not be in the movie. However, Keaton is reprising the role in Morbius. Thus, Marvel certainly has big plans for Vulture in the future and maybe even apart of the MCU’s version of the Sinister Six.

Mysterio

In Spider-Man: Far From Home, we saw Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio take on Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. Mysterio was a phenomenal villain but ultimately met his demise at the end of the film. Spider-Man was framed for Mysterio’s death, and we will see how that plays out in Spider-Man: No Way Home

However, it would not be surprising if the master of illusion reveals to have faked his death. Mysterio is in the same situation as Michael Keaton’s Vulture; both villains are not from the multiverse. Mysterio would make more sense than Vulture because he would give the film more emotional grounding. Still, I don’t see Mysterio or Vulture appearing in the film.

Rhino

Perhaps the most hated Spider-Man live-action villain, the Rhino is rumored to appear in the film as the last member of the Sinister Six. Paul Giamatti has denied reports that he is returning, so there is a chance he won’t. However, Rhino makes the most sense considering the film is about the multiverse. Also, reliable scoopers have revealed that Rhino would return. It would be perfect having three villains from Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man and three villains from Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man. I would place my bets on Rhino.

Therefore, which Spider-Man villain has the best chance to be the final member? The odds say Rhino due to reliable scoopers and the multiverse connection. Mysterio and Vulture will appear in the future either way. We should stop playing the guessing game and just wait until the movie comes out.  

Let us know whom you think is the final member of the Sinister Six and why by tagging us on Twitter at @ReviewedCinema! Spider-Man: No Way Home premieres exclusively in theaters on December 17, 2021.

Analysis: Will Happy Hogan Die in Spider-Man No Way Home?

The first trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home was released on August 23rd, and since then, fans have been speculating on who could potentially die in the film. The top candidates are Zendaya’s MJ, Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan, or even Jacob Batalon’s Ned Leeds. However, a few clips from the trailer could point to Happy Hogan dying in this film.  

We see a clip of Happy surrounded by a SWAT team. The SWAT team aims their guns at something past Happy’s car. More importantly, Happy doesn’t seem worried about the SWAT team but instead concerned about something to the right of his vehicle. Hence, who or what is threatening the SWAT team and Happy? The Lizard.

Looking back at the Amazing Spider-Man 1 from 2012, a SWAT team attempted to take down the Lizard. Logically speaking, a SWAT team would be a method in trying to defeat a human-lizard hybrid. For example, the Lizard could be breaking out of Strange’s prison and the SWAT team would be called over. Happy could be unfortunately in the middle of of the fight and die. Thus, it’s easy to connect the dots and theorize that Happy dies from the hands of Lizard in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Let us know whom you think will die in Spider-Man: No Way Home and why by tagging us on Twitter at @ReviewedCinemaSpider-Man: No Way Home premieres exclusively in theaters on December 17, 2021.

Analysis: ‘Top Gun’, ‘M:I-7’ Among Films Delayed In Latest Musical Chairs Of Release Dates

Once again, it’s happened. Hollywood is back to playing musical chairs with their films and release dates. Before, it was Black Widow, Cruella, and Wonder Woman 1984. Then it was F9, The Suicide Squad, and Eternals. Now, it’s Mission: Impossible 7, Top Gun: Maverick, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

With the ever-evolving Delta variant, it’s impossible to predict what will happen in the coming weeks, and it seems that Paramount delaying their 2021 slate is a precaution, just in case things get worse. Below is the list of delayed films:

Top Gun: Maverick – November 19, 2021 to May 27, 2022 (Paramount)

Mission: Impossible 7 – May 27, 2022 to September 30, 2022 (Paramount/Skydance)

Jackass: Forever – October 22, 2021 to February 4, 2022 (Paramount)

Ghostbusters: Afterlife – November 11, 2021 to November 19, 2021 (Sony)

This is likely only the tip of the iceberg if Shang-Chi underperforms at the box office. We’ll have to keep an eye on the worldwide box office in the coming weeks, as we’re likely to see more films being pushed, even if Shang-Chi overperforms. The major studios that are still TBD are Universal, Warner, Disney, Lionsgate, and Sony.

‘Shazam!’ Director Celebrates Wrap On Film With Brand-New Set Photo

To say that the sequel to Shazam! is not anticipated would be a poorly informed statement. Since the original released in 2019, fans have been begging for a sequel. Once they got it, they have been patiently waiting for news regarding it. Now, we have some.

This afternoon, director John F. Samberg announced that filming had concluded on Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Surprising, given that the film isn’t scheduled to release until June 2023. Then again, there is plenty of time for editing, reshoots, and the like, which gives the opportunity to make it an even better movie. See what Samberg said below:

Shazam! Fury of the Gods releases in theaters on June 2, 2023.

The Trailer For Spider-Man: No Way Home Is FINALLY Here!

The trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home is FINALLY here! We’ve waited for months on end, and it’s finally here!

The trailer showcased many things, including many shots of Doctor Strange, Peter Parker, and a little cameo at the end from someone you weren’t expecting…..a Raimi universe character.

Breakdown

Our first shots showed us Peter and MJ on a roof of a building, talking. It then switches to JJ Jameson narrating the reveal of Peter Parker as Spider-Man. MJ and Peter are shown to be on the top of a building, surrounded by helicopters. Peter, Ned, and Aunt May are shown to be cuffed and held in interrogation rooms. Cut to the Marvel Studios logo.

Peter approaches the Sanctum Sanctorum. He asks Doctor Strange to cast a spell to erase the memories of everyone who knows that he’s Spider-Man. The spell goes wrong. Doctor Strange narrates that the Multiverse is a concept that isn’t known much about. We see a lot of action scenes. Finally, we see Doc Ock’s glowing red arms appear (the arms are in control of him), and Doc Ock (from SM2) appears. “Hello, Peter.”

Peter is also shown fleeing from Doctor Strange in multiple shots, and Green Goblin, Lizard, Sandman, Doc Ock, and Electro are all shown or teased at various points! Watch the full trailer below:

Let us know what you thought of the trailer by tagging us on Twitter at @ReviewedCinema! Spider-Man: No Way Home premieres exclusively in theaters on December 17, 2021.

New Poster and Trailer For ‘Eternals’ Releases

Today, Disney and Marvel Studios released a trailer for the upcoming film Eternals along with its poster. Check it out!

We won’t be doing a breakdown, but we also got a official poster to go along with this trailer! Take a look:

The outstanding ensemble cast includes Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, with Kit Harington as Dane Whitman/The Black Knight, with Salma Hayek as Ajak, and Angelina Jolie as Thena.

Will you venture to the theaters when Eternals releases on November 5, 2021? Let us know by tagging us on Twitter at @ReviewedCinema!

Marvel Studios: All Upcoming Projects And Our Take On Them – Part 2

In Part 1, we gave a quick overview of all the Phase 4 projects so far. In Part 2, we’ll go over Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Marvel Studios has a lot of projects in the works. Secret Invasion, She-Hulk, and Blade, to name a few. We’re nearing the end of the year, and our team thought it would be good to give our take on all the Phase 4 projects left in 2021.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Wenwu (Tony Leung) and Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021.

Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, has been a hit with test audiences. People are praising Simu Liu for his jaw-dropping performance as the first Asian superhero in the MCU, and the supporting cast, consisting of Tony Leung, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Ronny Chieng, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, and Florian Munteanu. It releases September 3rd, exclusively in theaters, and it seems that they will stick to a theaters-only model.

The film is set in present-day San Francisco. It’s not clear if the film is pre or post-Endgame, but it’s set after The Incredible Hulk, and presumably after Avengers: Infinity War, as Abomination and Wong appear in the film. Shang-Chi is trying to live a normal life, away from his father’s villainous organization, when he gets drawn back in, and sucks Awkwafina’s Katy into the mess.

(L-R): Xialing (Meng’er Zhang), Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
What We’d Like To See + Notes

It’s unknown what impacts this film will have on the wider MCU. There are now options for how to make an origin story, a 2.5 hour way, or a 6 hour way. As a result, many origin stories have been shifted to Disney+. For some reason, Shang-Chi seems to be exempt. The only other 2 upcoming origin stories that are not TV series are Eternals and Fantastic Four, but as these are both team origins, that may have been the factor in deciding to make these stories in the movie format, not a show.

Things we’d like to see included in this film are stunning action sequences, which we’re sure to get. We’d also like to see serious character development of both Shang-Chi and Katy in this film. The last thing we’d like to see are ties to the MCU, and hopefully some spoiler-filled post-credit scenes! Fans love easter eggs every time they pop up somewhere, and as we saw in Black Widow, post-credit scenes still can be good in the post-Endgame era/Multiverse saga.

Ms. Marvel

Not much is known about the plot of Ms. Marvel, as Marvel Studios has been very secretive about this series, as well as Hawkeye. An odd thing to note is that TV series seem to be subject to less leaks than feature films. It’s unknown as to why, but certainly less set photos have come out of Ms. Marvel than Spider-Man: No Way Home. Ms. Marvel herself is played by none other than the talented Iman Vellani. Nothing is known about the villain, but some have speculated that The Inventor will play that role. In the comics, The Inventor was Ms. Marvel’s original villain, taking teenagers and brainwashing them to do his bidding. The Inventor also goes by the alias “Birdman” because, well, he has a bird’s head on a human’s body.

Production & Release

The series started production in November 2020, and concluded in May-June 2021. Hawkeye received a November 24th premiere date on Disney+. As a result, there has been recent controversy as to the release date of the series. Some have said that this means that Ms. Marvel will be delayed to Early 2022. After, others defended recent comments made by Victoria Alonso, that Ms. Marvel will premiere before the end of 2021. The only time slot where the show could fit in is a short, 6-week gap between the finale of What If…? (October 6), and the premiere of Hawkeye. That slot would be October 13 to November 17, giving the show just enough time to air. It’s unlikely, but possible.

Questions, Theories, & Leaks

Main questions surrounding this show, are mainly, will Kamala Khan be an Inhuman, as in the comics, or will Marvel Studios adapt her to live-action by giving her man-made powers? Recent leaks have said that Kamala will be wearing bracelets, and when she puts on those bracelets for the first time, they will infuse her with energy-based powers.

This reinforces a theory recently made by professional YouTuber and film critic Grace Randolph, that when Monica Rambeau (Spectrum), Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel), and Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) all meet up in The Marvels, they can sync their powers together.

A report from IMDB suggests that Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson), will make an appearance in 2 episodes of Ms. Marvel. If this is true, it could be how we see Kamala and Carol first meet in the MCU, and if true, would lead directly into either The Marvels or Secret Invasion, as another recent report on IMDB claims that both Iman Vellani and Brie Larson will appear as their characters in Secret Invasion, both for 6 episodes. That show will lead directly into The Marvels.

Eternals

This film and Spider-Man: No Way Home have the most Twitter fan pages out of all the upcoming MCU projects. Eternals, directed by Oscar winning-director Chloe Zhao, releases November 5th, 2021. There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding this film.

Questions, Theories, & Leaks

One month ago, one of our writers posted an exclusive about the true villain of Eternals. Our sources have said that Ikarus would be a traitor, and Sersi would discover that. Our sources told us that Ajak had decided to save Earth. As a result, Ikarus kills her. If this turns out to be true, it could make for a very interesting dilemma with the remaining members of the Eternals. Sprite, Phastos, Thena, Druig, Kingo, Makkari, and Gilgamesh would all have to pick sides. It also raises questions as to how the Deviants and Celestials fit into the film.

Box Office

It’s too far for any box office projections of any kind to be graphed, and there have been rumors that Eternals will shift to a day-and-date format with a simultaneous release in theaters and on Disney+ with their Premier Access service. However, if the Delta variant does begin to fade a little by November, and Disney chooses to keep Eternals theaters-exlcusive, we could expect a $100M opening weekend. But at this point, it’s a waiting game.

Hawkeye

(L-R): Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) in Marvel Studios’ HAWKEYE, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Hawkeye. Kate Bishop, Clint Barton, Yelena Belova, Maya Lopez, and more. The cast of Hawkeye is stacked, with Hailee Steinfeld, Jeremy Renner, Florence Pugh, Vera Farmiga, Alaqua Cox, Fra Fee, and more. The series is set to premiere on November 24, and is expected to run until December 29.

Notes, Leaks, Questions

Leaks from the set of Hawkeye and on Reddit claim that Madame Masque will be the main villain of season 1, and that Vincent D’Onofrio will reprise his MCU role as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin. Note that there are only 6 episodes, yet so much story to cover. This show will have a spinoff, with Maya Lopez getting her own series, Echo. The series has been fast-tracked, with a January 2022 production start. Main questions include how the series will connect to the wider MCU, and what happens to Clint Barton going forward.

Production & Marketing

There hasn’t been any marketing concerning this series besides a tweet announcing the release date from Entertainment Weekly, and the first look photo (shown above). Given that the series is only about 3 months away from it’s premiere date, we should be seeing a trailer soon. The series started production in December 2020, and ended in May 2021.

All in all, it looks to be a very enjoyable series. We’ll see what happens when Hawkeye premieres on November 24, 2021.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

(L-R): Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland), Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), and Michelle Jones (Zendaya) in SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, exclusively in theaters. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Perhaps the hardest project to preview, Spider-Man: No Way Home. It seems like the entire script has leaked, with everything we know. Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Green Goblin, Sandman, Mysterio, Doc Ock, and more are all rumored to appear in the highly-anticipated sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home. That’s all I’m going to say. Enjoy No Way Home on December 17, 2021.

Previous: Marvel Studios: All Upcoming Projects And Our Take On Them – Part 1

Marvel Studios: All Upcoming Projects And Our Take On Them – Part 1

Marvel Studios has a lot of projects in the works. Secret Invasion, Eternals, and Moon Knight, to name a few. We’re nearing the end of 2021, and our team thought it would be good to give our take on all the Phase 4 projects left. But first, let’s give a quick overview of Phase 4 so far.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the following Marvel Studios projects: WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Black Widow, What If…?. If you have not watched or finished any of the aforementioned TV series or films, stop reading now. The preview of new content for the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in Part 2.

WandaVision

(L-R): Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), Tommy (Jett Klyne), Vision (Paul Bettany), Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

When Marvel Studios’ WandaVision was announced at Comic-Con 2019, fans instantly knew it was going to be a hit. The release date was announced in November 2020, and 2 months later, on January 15, 2021, the first 2 episodes of WandaVision finally premiered. People everywhere were talking about Wanda Maximoff in a sitcom, if Mephisto would pop up, and whether Wanda’s quirky neighbor Agnes was really Agatha Harkness.

View Statistics

Since then, WandaVision has become a cultural phenomenon, Elizabeth Olsen a household name. The series has garnered nearly 1 billion views worldwide to date. In mid-July 2021, the series received 23 nominations for the Television Academy Awards, including a nomination for Outstanding Limited Series. The number of nominations was the the second-most, after The Mandalorian and The Crown, which both received 24.

(L-R): Jett Klyne as Tommy, Julian Hilliard as Billy in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Suzanne Tenner. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
MCU Impact

The impact that this show had for the MCU as a whole was that Wanda Maximoff was formally introduced as the Scarlet Witch for the first time, and introduced a whole new range of powers and abilities to the MCU, magic. We had already known sorcery from the first Doctor Strange film, but WandaVision introduced magic as a whole, including Chaos Magic, which seems to be the category of the Scarlet Witch’s powers. The show also introduced Billy and Tommy Maximoff, which in the comics, are Young Avengers that go by the names Wiccan and Speed.

An often overlooked detail are the two post-credit scenes in the final episode of WandaVision. The less notable one, which finds Wanda in a remote cabin in the mountains, where she’s studying the Darkhold intensely. As a result of that, she hears Billy and Tommy scream for help. We’re led to assume that this is the scene that will lead into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The second post-credits scene finds Monica Rambeau in the aftermath of the Battle of Westview, and when she is asked to go into the movie theater by an FBI agent, that very same FBI agent turns into a Skrull. This sets up Secret Invasion mainly, but also The Marvels.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

(L-R): Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and John Walker (Wyatt Russell) in Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Anthony Mackie is The Falcon. Sebastian Stan is The Winter Soldier. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier opened 2 weeks after the finale of WandaVision, to extremely high hopes. The release date was announced at Disney Investor Day 2020, it was revealed to be March 19, 2021. While it was a good series, it wasn’t WandaVision level, so this series received a lot of flak it didn’t necessarily deserve.

View Statistics

Even though that was the case, it topped the Nielsen rankings, at #1 for several weeks. It also was the second-most watched premiere on Disney+ ever, after Loki. WandaVision was third. In mid-July 2021, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was awarded 5 Emmy nominations.

Sharon Carter/Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) in Marvel Studios’ THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Eli Adé. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
MCU Impact

The ramifications for the wider MCU that this series provided were threefold. First, Sam Wilson took on the mantle of Captain America. Second, this introduces yet another potential Young Avenger to the MCU, Eli Bradley, grandson of Isaiah Bradley. In the comics, Eli goes by Patriot.

Last, Zemo is transported to the Raft, where he could be recruited for the Thunderbolts or Dark Avengers. Val now has an impressive list of candidates for her team, consisting of John Walker Zemo.

The post-credit scene finds Sharon Carter in a US Senate hearing, where she is recruited back into government intelligence agencies. She is given a squad of her own, and access into the government database. She leaves the hearing. Immediately after, she calls her “contact”, saying that she has access to government databases, and to start lining up buyers. Could this “contact” be the same contact that Sonny Burch mentioned in Ant-Man and the Wasp? Knowing Feige, anything is possible. This comes after the reveal earlier in the episode that she is the Power Broker, which could potentially set up Armor Wars, or, as many fans have been speculating, Secret Invasion, if this Sharon Carter is revealed to be a Skrull.

Loki

(Top): The Timekeepers, (bottom center, l-r): Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Where to start? Marvel Studios’ Loki is arguably the best streaming television series ever. From score to story, Loki shines in every category. The casting is off the charts. Tom Hiddleston is the only returning character from the MCU, everyone else is new.

The casting of Owen Wilson as Mobius M. Mobius is flawless, so is the casting of Gugu M’batha Raw as Judge Ravonna Renslayer. To name a few more, Jonathan Majors as He Who Remains and Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie. The score, composed by Natalie Ann Holt, was EXTRAORDINARY. The script, crafted by Michael Waldron, was so good that Kevin Feige hired him to pen Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Kate Herron, the director, captured the elements of the settings and story feels perfectly.

(L-R): Hunter B-15 (Wunmi Mosaku) and Mobius (Owen Wilson) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
View Statistics

Every part of Loki was done to the best of Marvel’s ability. Top 10 MCU project, some say Top 5, and a few even go as far as to say Top 3. Every week that a new episode of Loki released, it was #1 or #2 on the Nielsen charts. Views well surpassed 1 billion per episode, and it was the most-watched premiere on Disney+ ever, surpassing WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and The Mandalorian. Unfortunately, the series concluded too late to be considered for the 2021 Emmys, but fingers crossed for as many nominations as possible in 2022.

What we learned from this series, WandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, is that Marvel Studios is crafting stories for Disney+ that focus more on individual character development, and less on wider MCU repercussions. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any impact on the MCU. In this show, there is actually quite a lot of it.

(L-R): Miss Minutes (voiced by Tara Strong) and Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in Marvel Studios’ LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
MCU Impact

The event that has the biggest impact on the MCU is Sylvie killing He Who Remains, thereby freeing the multiverse. She also ends up letting infinite variants roam free, and starting another multiversal war. This sets up Loki season 2, What If…? season 1, What If…? season 2, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Other things include the introduction of yet another Young Avenger, Kid Loki. Man, Feige is really fast-tracking this team.

It also sets up the possibility of other characters’ variants in the MCU, an example being a report we heard last year, that Tom Cruise would play a variant of Iron Man in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Black Widow

Taskmaster in Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW, in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. Photo by Adrienn Szabo. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Before its’ release, Black Widow was delayed 3 consecutive times. From May 1, 2020 to November 6, 2020. Then from November 6, 2020 to May 7, 2021. And then finally, from May 7, 2021 to July 9, 2021, with the Disney+ Premier Access announcement. While it’s not the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s certainly one to remember. Florence Pugh shines in this action-packed blockbuster, with Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, and Ray Winstone as the supporting cast.

While this is Scarlett Johansson’s film, we already know the character of Natasha Romanoff so well, so it’s hard for Johansson to remain dominant throughout the film. Director Cate Shortland does a great job of turning the script into something presentable, as Head Writer Jac Schaeffer didn’t do the best job on Black Widow, even as she masterminded WandaVision.

Box Office

The film has the biggest domestic gross of the year, but still sits somewhere in the Top 5 for worldwide gross, since China has so far neglected Black Widow. In its premiere week, it took in $60M in domestic gross, $80M in international gross, and $50M in Premier Access revenue. It was #3 in its’ premiere week on the Nielsen streaming charts. However, the film could be an Oscar contender for the Best Visual Effects category, but likely no more than that.

Yelena (Florence Pugh) in Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW, in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. Photo by Kevin Baker. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
MCU Impact

There is a very small MCU footprint in this film, but that’s to be expected, the film is mainly a prequel. The sole impact is that Val shows up in the post-credit scene, telling Yelena that Clint Barton was responsible for Nat’s death, and sends her to hunt Barton down. 1) This makes Yelena a very strong contender for whatever team Val is putting together, whether it’s the Thunderbolts or the Dark Avengers. 2) It leads into the Hawkeye TV series, which premieres November 24th (covering in Part 2). We’ll see her in Hawkeye. Yelena indicates that her and Val have met previously, which raises questions. What Yelena was up to in the years between being freed from the Red Room, to when she was at Natasha’s grave.

What If…?

Doctor Strange in Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

What If…?, Marvel Studios’ first venture into the realm of animation, does not fail to prove its’ worth. From the first episode, we can see just how good the voice acting is. The first episode seems basically like Captain America: The First Avenger, but with a twist. However, it’s important to note that the tentacled villain at the end of the episode is NOT Shuma Gorath.

Notes From Episode 1

In a recent interview, a showrunner on What If…? confirmed that characters that hadn’t yet appeared in the MCU would NOT appear in What If…?. Even as he’s slated to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Shuma Gorath hasn’t appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe YET, so he won’t appear in What If…?. More likely that it’s just some random tentacled Hydra god.

Looking Ahead

In any case, it will be exciting to see what What If…? provides over the course of 7-8 weeks, through the next 8 episodes. I’m particularly excited for the Spider-Man zombie hunter and the Doctor Strange episode. And remember, we will see some of these characters in live action, some are coming sooner than you’d expect…..

This is Part 1 of Marvel Studios: All Upcoming Projects And Our Take On Them. Part 2 is live now, accessible in the link below. In the next part, previews of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, and Spider-Man: No Way Home will be featured.

Next: Marvel Studios: All Upcoming Projects And Our Take On Them – Part 2

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