Oh, by the way, there may be potential spoilers ahead. Don't say you weren't warned!
Whilst Marvel won't have a presence at this year's Comic-Con, there's still plenty of news to share about their upcoming slate.
Captain Marvel has finished shooting. Joining Brie Larson - who will play Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel- is Samuel L. Jackson will reprise his role as Nick Fury for the ninth time on screen. Because it's set in the 1990s, he won't have the iconic eyepatch. Former MCU participants Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, and Clark Gregg will reprise their roles as Korath, Ronan the Accuser, and Agent Phil Coulson respectively.
New cast members include Ben Mendelsohn, Gemma Chan, and Jude Law (who is playing Danvers' mentor Walter Lawson a.k.a. Mar-Vell), whilst multiple Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has reportedly been cast in an unknown role. Captain Marvel is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, and will be released in early 2019.
The title of Avengers 4 is still shrouded in mystery- or is it? Reports suggest that the full title may be Avengers: End Game. Cinematographer Trent Opaloch- who was worked on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War- updated his website to list Avengers 4 under that title before quickly changing it back.
The sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming is going to be called Spider-Man: Far From Home (which was 'leaked' by Tom Holland and then confirmed by Kevin Feige). The film that will kick off Phase 4 of the MCU, it will see Peter Parker on a trip around the world, fighting bad guys. Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon, and Michael Keaton will all reprise their roles from the original film, whilst Jake Gyllenhaal is down to play villain Mysterio. It has been confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch WON'T be appearing as Doctor Strange in this movie.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is about to enter pre-production. Once again written and directed by James Gunn (who has already delivered a draft script), it's due to start shooting early 2019- most likely for a 2020 release. Gunn has said that Vol. 3 ISN'T set before Infinity War, and that it will 'end this iteration' of the Guardians team. It'll also 'complete the story of the three films'.
There's a standalone Black Widow movie coming - and it's already got a director. Cate Shortland will be taking the reins, with Scarlett Johannson reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff. This will be the first solo female-directed MCU film.
Kevin Feige has also teased a sequel to Doctor Strange, but no firm details given other than that.
DC WILL be presenting at Comic-Con this year, so expect a lot of hype and some cool trailers and such from their upcoming roster.
Expected in the UK on 14th December 2018, Aquaman is directed by James Wan. Jason Momoa will reprise his role from Justice League, facing off against Patrick Wilson as Aquaman's villainous half-brother Orm Marius (also known as Ocean Master). Other cast members include Amber Heard as Mera, Temuera Morrison as Thomas Curry, Randall Park as Dr. Stephen Shin, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, and Nicole Kidman as Queen Atlanna (Aquaman's mother). Several official pictures of various cast members have been released:
Directed by David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation, Lights Out). SHAZAM! will hit cinemas on April 5th 2019. Shazam is a bit of an odd choice, as it isn't particularly well known outside of comic-book circles. The basic premise is a young boy, Billy Batson, is granted superpowers by a mysterious wizard and- when he says the magic word 'Shazam!'- transforms into an adult with strength, speed and various other powers. Zachary Levi has been cast as the adult Billy, with Asher Angel playing him as a child.
Djimon Hounsou will be 'crossing the floor' and going from the MCU to DCEU (actually, just like Zachary Levi) as he'll be playing The Wizard, the mysterious sorcerer who bestows super powers upon the young Billy. Dwayne Johnson has been cast as Shazam's nemesis Black Adam, but reportedly won't be in the film at all (but may appear in his own film, or possibly Suicide Squad 2). Other cast members include Dylan Grazer, and Mark Strong who will play the villain Dr. Sivana.
After Shazam, we get Wonder Woman 1984, in cinemas in November next year. Directed by Patty Jenkins, this will see Diana come to America to deal with a new threat. Gal Gadot will reprise her role as Diana/Wonder Woman, as will Chris Pine- although quite how that'll work given Steve Trevor died at the end of the first film is anyone's guess at the moment. In terms of villains, Kristen Wiig has been cast as Dr. Barbara Minerva (a.k.a. Cheetah). Pedro Pascal has been cast in an unknown role, and there are hopes to get original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter a role in the film (which would be frankly splendid)
Margot Robbie will reprise her role as Harley Quinn in Birds Of Prey, which she describes as an 'R-rated girl gang film'. Joining Harley in this iteration of the girl gang will be Black Canary (Dinah Lance), Huntress (Helena Bertinelli), Cassandra Cain, and Renee Montoya. The villain is supposedly a Batman comics villain who hasn't yet appeared on the big screen. No other casting has yet been announced. Birds Of Prey will be directed by Cathy Yan, and written by Christina Hodson.
The Batman, the Matt Reeves-directed solo adventure, is still part of the DCEU plan (for now). However, it looks increasingly likely that Ben Affleck will not be playing the Caped Crusader in it. Whilst nothing official has been announced (which might change come this weekend), rumour has it that the film will focus on a younger Batman- and may contain The Penguin as the main villain.
The Flash solo movie is still on the cards, with Spider-Man: Homecoming writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein directing. Ezra Miller is still on to play Barry Allen and the rumours have it that the film will heavily adapt the Flashpoint storyline- where Barry creates a terrible alternate world when he tries to save his mother. Kiersey Clemons will make her debut as Iris West, after being cut from Justice League.
Warner Brothers and DC have confirmed that Joaquin Phoenix will play the Joker in an upcoming film directed by Todd Phillips. This will be a gritty 80s origin story, but is unconnected to the wider DCEU.
Current DCEU Joker Jared Leto is, however, taking a role in an offshoot of the MCU. He's been cast as the lead in Morbius The Living Vampire, a spinoff from Spider-Man (so in the same vein as the upcoming Venom). Daniel Espinosa is slated to direct.
Another spinoff from the Spider-Man universe will be Silver & Black, focusing on the characters of Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) and Silver Sable. Director Gina Prince-Bythewood is attached, although no casting or release date has yet been announced.
X-Men spin-off Dark Phoenix has been pushed back to February 14th 2019, to allow for reshoots. Directed by Simon Kinberg, Dark Phoenix focuses on the young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner). Several members of the casts of the X-Men prequel trilogy (First Class, Days Of Future Past, and Apocalypse) will reprise their roles, with James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters and Olivia Munn all coming back.
They'll be joined by Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain in a mystery role- but she's definitely not the alien empress Lilandra.
Originally due April 2018, Josh Boone's New Mutants has also been pushed back to August 2nd 2019 (a second push-back from February 2019), not only to allow for reshoots, but to include a new character. Taking a more horror-themed route, the film will focus on a new generation of X-Men, to be played by Anya Taylor-Joy, Henry Zaga, Charlie Heaton, and Maisie Williams.
I did say there was a lot to catch up on... No doubt there'll be much more to talk about once the dust settles from Comic-Con!