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All the Disney+ MCU rumors and spoilers leaked so far

Ever since the ABC premiere of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the line between the Marvel Studios narrative on the small screen and that of the big screen has been a little blurry. While the events of the films were occasionally referenced on the various shows, the opposite wasn't true. Little, if anything, of the events of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.InhumansDaredevil, Jessica JonesRunaways, or any other Marvel television offerings made a dent in the MCU films. The fact that James D'arcy — who played Edwin Jarvis in Agent Carter — makes a cameo in Avengers: Endgame may be the single biggest narrative contribution Marvel television has been allowed to make to the movies. But with the introduction of Disney's streaming service, Disney+, that's about to change in a big way.

In August 2017, Marvel's parent company, Disney, acquired controlling interest of streaming technology company BAMTech, and soon afterward announced its own subscription streaming service in 2019. A month later, CEO Bob Iger confirmed film and television offerings from Disney-owned properties — including those produced by Marvel Studios — would eventually leave Netflix and be exclusive to Disney's service. It would be another year before stories circulated about new, original miniseries with much more direct connections to the MCU. Keep reading to learn everything we know about the new MCU series on the upcoming streaming service Disney+.

Early rumors

The first news of original Marvel content appearing on Disney+ dropped in September 2018, when Variety reported Marvel was busy developing limited series for Disney's streaming service. 

Details were scarce in that first report, but what little we learned has since been confirmed. Variety singled out Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) as two Marvel characters set to get their own series on Disney+. They reported each series would be between "six to eight episodes" long and that the budgets for each series would be "hefty rivaling those of a major studio production." Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was reported to be directly involved in the shows' developments, and the original actors were set to reprise their roles. 

While the article makes it clear Marvel planned for other series, the fact that Loki and Scarlet Witch were the first named characters to be involved was curious. Both characters were killed five months earlier in Avengers: Infinity War. The nature of Scarlet Witch's death led most to correctly believe that she — along with other Marvel heroes already with confirmed post-Infinity War films like Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) — would be resurrected in the follow-up. But Loki was killed, seemingly, with much more brutal finality — his neck broken by Thanos (Josh Brolin), leading some to believe the Loki limited series either was a prequel or that its announcement spoiled the character's resurrection in Avengers: Endgame. Surprisingly, both guesses would be proven wrong.

Loki's return

In November 2018 Disney confirmed a number of the original series in development, including Tom Hiddleston's upcoming Loki series. There were still no details about when the series would be set, or how it was possible considering Loki's death in Avengers: Infinity War

As time passed and the date of Avengers: Endgame's release inched closer, more news about the Disney+ MCU shows was released that likely confused any fans who believed Anthony and Joe Russo's repeated insistences that Loki was dead and would stay that way. In Feb. 2019, Kevin Feige updated Collider about the Disney+ MCU series, saying all the series would be important to "the entire post-Endgame MCU," and it would seem strange for a Loki prequel to have anything to do with post-2019 Marvel. He also described the different Disney+ series as being "intertwined with each other," which again would seem strange with a Loki prequel unless all the series were prequels.

Finally, the events of Avengers: Endgame gave us an answer: When the Avengers go back in time to the events of 2012's Avengers, they inadvertently give Loki the opportunity to steal back the Tesseract and escape from their custody. Joe and Anthony Russo confirmed a few weeks after Endgame's release that the Loki of the past created an alternate timeline when he escaped.

WandaVision

It took until April 2019 for the Scarlet Witch series to be confirmed, but once it was, we learned it wouldn't be just Scarlet Witch. During a Disney investors meeting, Kevin Feige revealed the show would be called WandaVision, and would feature the return not only of Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, but Paul Bettany as the android Vision as well. 

What we know about WandaVision is both intriguing and a little confusing. Vision died in Avengers: Infinity War and, unlike Scarlet Witch, wasn't revived in Endgame. Olsen's talk with Variety later in April revealed more puzzling details that about the show. Olsen said WandaVision would be six hours long and seemed to indicate that at least part of it will apparently be set in the 1950s. She also revealed that the show's story would be pulled from "quite a few other comic books" and pointed out that "at the Disney+ launch chat, they showed a photo of [Scarlet Witch and Vision] in the '50s." 

In May 2019, a rumor circulated suggesting Scarlet Witch's powers will become more comic-book-accurate in WandaVision. In the comics, Scarlet Witch has reality-altering abilities which she has sometimes used in spite of globally disastrous consequences — most famously almost wiping out almost all of Marvel's mutants in the 2005 line-wide event House of M. While there's been no confirmation, this would go a long way to explain how Vision is alive in WandaVision and how he and Scarlet Witch are apparently hopping through time. 

The sidekicks take center stage

While they didn't seem to get along very well in Captain America: Civil War, in October 2018 Variety reported Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan), a.k.a. the Winter Soldier, would be partnering up for a limited series on Disney+. The story claimed it would be the first of the Disney+ MCU original series to find a writer, naming Empire producer/writer Martin Spellman. 

The upcoming Falcon and Winter Soldier series was confirmed in April 2019, along with WandaVision, when Kevin Feige addressed Disney investors. Since then we've learned more details about the show than any of the other confirmed Disney+ MCU series. The following month Deadline reported Falcon and Winter Soldier would be six episodes long and that director Kari Skogland — known for her work on The Handmaid's TaleNOS4A2, and The Walking Dead among others — was recruited to direct the entire limited series. At the Jus In Bello comic book convention in Italy, Stan hinted the series would give Bucky the chance "to go out there and have an identity outside of the circumstances that we've met him through." 

Disney+ asks What If?

Even before the project was officially announced at SDCC 2019, there were rumblings about Marvel turning their long-running What If line of comics into an animated series for Disney+. We have since learned that the series will be an out-of-continuity anthology of one-off short stories, and will have as many episodes in its first season as there are movies in the first three phases of the MCU (though the show will not necessarily dedicate an episode to an MCU film on a one-to-one ratio). 

The most interesting development since then is the revelation that the 23-episode series will rely on a classic Marvel character to serve as host: Uatu The Watcher. He will appear in every episode as narrator, guiding us through these alternate universe journeys. Some of the strange tales Uatu will be presenting for our speculative delight have been previewed in concept art at Disney's D23 convention, including Peggy as Captain Britain, a Marvel Zombies adaptation, and T'Challa replacing Peter Quill as Star-Lord.

What If...debuts on Disney+ in the summer of 2021.

Hawkeye passes the torch

A little over two weeks before the April 2019 release of Avengers: Endgame, Variety reported a Hawkeye series starring Jeremy Renner as the archer was in the works for Disney+.

The Hollywood Reporter hinted that the show will work as a "jumping-off point" for Clint Barton to find a replacement archer hero. Marvel later confirmed San Diego Comic Con 2019 that the upcoming series will revolve around Barton training the younger Kate Bishop to take over the mantle of Hawkeye. In the comics, Bishop initially takes the name after Barton dies in the 2004 event Avengers DisassembledOnce Barton returns to the land of the living — as most Marvel Comics dead eventually do — both heroes keep the Hawkeye name. 

There's no word yet on just how Kate Bishop enters Clint Barton's life, but all signs point to Hailee Steinfeld taking the role of the young archer.

No Defenders just yet

In December 2018, Variety dashed the hopes of any fans mourning the canceled Marvel Netflix series like Daredevil and Luke Cage who thought Disney's streaming service might resurrect them. 

According to Variety's report, Netflix's agreement with Marvel Television makes it impossible for the stories to be revived under the Disney+ banner, at least not upon Disney+'s launch. The original deal for the first four Netflix shows bars Marvel from using the characters in "any non-Netflix series or film for at least two years after cancellation." At the time of the report, DaredevilLuke Cage, and Iron Fist had all been canceled. In February 2019, few were surprised to learn Punisher was canceled shortly after the airing of its second season and that Jessica Jones' third season would be its last. 

Technically, Marvel could give the characters new series at some point, but there's no way to know whether or not bringing the shows back would seem worth it to Marvel, especially after giving fans series with stars from blockbuster movies rather than canceled TV shows.

WandaVision's creative flavor begins to stew

We've begun to get tidbits of the tone and concept of WandaVision. Everyone involved has played up its ambition to be, according to Elizabeth Olsen, something that has never been done before, but exactly what that means is only just beginning to take form. Matt Shakman, director of all six episodes, has described the show as "a sitcom." That is all well and good, but we are also aware that WandaVision is intended (in some way) to tie into Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, which is explicitly billed as a horror film. 

At first blush that might feel incongruous, but when we look at the whole of Shakman's repertoire, it makes a bit more sense: Fargo (the FX show), It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Childrens Hospital... all of them sardonic and occasionally dark comedies. Sarcastic and irreverent — it's not just a theme, it's his creative strength. Shakman went on to say that the show will also feature the special brand of "big, epic" Marvel action sequences we have come to expect. It feels especially necessary for the likes of Wanda and Vision, who are so effortlessly powerful, to have colossal-scale enemies — when they are not in mortal combat with their own identities as individuals and as a couple, of course. Juicy stuff.

Surprising MCU additions to the cast of WandaVision

In addition to production staff, some surprising and seemingly unrelated roles will be reprised for the upcoming WandaVision series. First off is Kat Dennings making her glorious return as Darcy, who has been tragically absent from the MCU since Thor: The Dark World. As such, there is zero context to pull from in hopes of understanding how and why she would even be on the radar of the likes of Wanda or Vision. We don't even know if she was "blipped" or not, though that may not matter if the title WandaVision is to be taken literally and will feature her reality-altering abilities. 

With Kat Dennings will come Randall Park, who will be reprising his role as Jimmy Woo, the charming FBI parole officer from Ant-Man and the Wasp. We do know that Darcy suffered some criminal repercussions from her involvement with Thor, so... maybe she and Woo met... somewhere... because of that. Perhaps. 

The final and most surprising addition is the return of Monica Rambeau, Maria's daughter first seen as a little girl in Captain Marvel, but now an adult. Teyonah Parris of Dear White People fame (the original film, not the Netflix series) has been cast in the role. With all the mystery surrounding how much of WandaVision will be, well, real, this is extra peculiar. It makes sense for Monica to be an adult in the modern MCU timeline, but how she gets tangled up with Wanda and Vision is anyone's guess.

Is Power Pack coming at last?

Five MCU series set to blossom on Disney+ in its first eighteen months might seem like plenty, but we should know by now that the studio always has an eye out for more. Rumors have surfaced that Marvel has an animated version of Power Pack in pre-production. Whether it is a film or a multi-episode series is currently unknown. In the very earliest days of the MCU, when Marvel Studios was still an indie studio, Kevin Feige had shortlisted a Power Pack movie, and in the years since has re-upped his interest in passing interviews. That long-standing wish seems to be bearing fruit at last as a television project instead. One like this, presumably marketed directly to children and only children (like its source material was), would be a first for the MCU.

Power Pack began as a children's comic series in 1984, running for seven years. Think of it as a kind of mish-mash of Power Rangers' alien bequeathment of powers on top of Captain Planet's social awareness themes. A live-action series was attempted in 1991, with the pilot episode being produced shortly after the comic's cancellation. It wasn't picked up, but it has enjoyed a long life being passed around on bootleg tapes by fans in the decades since. Four siblings — Alex, Jack, Julie, and Katie Power — encounter an alien near death in a crash landing, and he splits his powers among them with the task of protecting Earth. Each has a standard ability, but can be made to involuntarily swap powers when under stress, or even pour all the abilities into just one or two, leaving the others depowered. 

Loki conjures a director

We know less about it than we do about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier or WandaVision, but there has been a bit of movement on Loki's production in picking up a director for all six episodes: Kate Herron. Her most recent and recognizable work is Sex Education on Netflix, but she has previously specialized in horror-comedies. With her career so fresh and new, we're automatically driven to assume that this speciality is part of the reason she was chosen, and gives us some hints about what we might see Loki get up to: comedic awkwardness and hysterical stakes set against them. 

As an example, Herron's short film "Smear" is about a nervous woman going for her first pap smear. The OBGYN discovers that a tentacled creature dwells within her hoo-hah, whereupon a series of doctors are attacked by it, slapstick-style. That kind of hysterical. All this, paired with Rick and Morty producer Michael Waldron coming aboard as screenwriter, immediately suggests a... chaotic vibe, to say the least. Of course, that's what you want in exploring Loki's solo adventures. If that strikes you as potentially a bit too odd, you will be relieved to know Tom Hiddleston is stoked about the plot as pitched to him by Kevin Feige.

Are the West Coast Avengers the long-term plan?

As we look to more long-term plans, any prognostication becomes less detailed and more speculative. Nevertheless, the tea leaves of the MCU do suggest the possible shape of an Avengers 2.0 on (most probably) Disney+: the West Coast Avengers. Feige himself has said another Avengers line-up is coming, and will be vastly different. Almost all the main personalities from the comics lineup either already exist in the MCU, or are on deck. The announcement of the Moon Knight series in particular seems to suggest the increasing likelihood of this future possibility. He's not exactly a well-known quantity to film-first MCU fans who aren't as aware of the comics-verse, compared to most of the other slated series headliners.

Sharp-eyed observers have been stewing on this for some time, even back to Black Panther's ending with Nakia's intent to do non-profit work in California. That sure does sound like a potential hub for new super-characters, doesn't it? And we have pre-established MCU characters based on the West Coast, most notably Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne in San Francisco, with their convenient base at Pym Enterprises. The MCU's big screen outings in Phase 4 are looking away to the stars, Celestials, and extra-dimensional mysticism. That doesn't fix the profound defensive power vacuum that now exists on a post-Endgame Earth. Enter Disney+, which has room for smaller-stakes stories to act as a gateway for new characters painted with more nuanced strokes than the origin films of yore that critics grew to ragging on as repetitive.

Ronda Rousey flexes as Jennifer Walters?

The first solid rumor bubbling up to the top for the Disney+ She-Hulk series is, as you might imagine, about casting. Word is Marvel might be courting MMA veteran, WWE Champion, and Olympic Judo medalist Ronda Rousey for the role of Jennifer Walters. She certainly has The Look, so far as anyone would expect, even before being painted green digitally or physically. You've seen her outside of the ring and on the silver screen before, too, most notably as the bodyguard who fought Letty in Furious 7, as well as small roles in The Expendables 3 and Entourage.

This news has been met with some preemptive skepticism due to Rousey's long-reported difficulty with line-reading both in the WWE and most recently for her VO work on Mortal Kombat 11, which has been disdained to the point of comparison to Tommy Wiseau. That's...a little harsh, perhaps, but as it stands for the moment, rumor is rumor. Also, let's be honest — if anyone can burn cash on possibly-necessary remedial acting lessons, it is Disney.