For the Marvel Cinematic Universe, 2020 was supposed to be a massive year. But shortly after the year began, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rendered these plans defunct. With movie theaters still shut down, theatrical releases remain up in the air. However, filming on the shows resumed. Discover which will premiere on Disney+ in 2021.
Initially planned for a Spring 2021 release, WandaVision was the furthest along in shooting when the pandemic shut down productions in March 2020. Because it will tie into upcoming films like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the show’s release became essential to the MCU’s continuity.
WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as their respective characters Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) and Vision. Vision died in Avengers: Infinity War, but the series brings him back in a way that’s as magical and mysterious as their relationship. WandaVision begins airing on January 15, 2021, consisting of six episodes.
‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’
Originally planned as the first series in the MCU canon, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier looks to be the most straight-forward of the planned shows. As the title suggests, it follows Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), now equipped with Captain America’s shield, and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes.
Other familiar returning characters include Emily VanCamp as ex-SHIELD agent Sharon Carter and Captain America: Civil War villain Zemo. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier arrives on March 19, 2021, and will also have six episodes.
Of the three live-action series in production in 2020, Loki was the least-far-along when COVID-19 interfered. Star Tom Hiddleston had barely shared his first behind-the-scenes photo from the set when they shut down temporarily. But fortunately, they resumed.
When audiences last saw the titular god of mischief, he made a swift exit following a revised version of the 2012 Battle of New York. Armed with the Tesseract (Space Stone), he gets away — but finds himself in a new kind of trouble. Loki premieres on Disney+ in May 2021 with six episodes.
While all of the other Marvel series were affected by the pandemic, one avoided many of the usual stipulations. What If…? is an animated show, showing significant MCU events if they had occurred differently. And it will bring back many fan-favorite characters.
Among those is the late Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa. Because animation is a lengthy process, Boseman recorded his voice for the show before his August 2020 death. He (and many others) can be heard in What If…? Season 1 when it premieres on Disney+ in Summer 2021 with 10 episodes. Season 2 TBD.
Of the original six Avengers, only Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton came away without his own film. However, Marvel had other plans for him. The character will return to pass the mantle of Hawkeye onto a new hero: Kate Bishop.
Following a year of rumors, Hailee Steinfeld and Renner were photographed filming Hawkeye in December 2020, confirming her casting. The series received a late 2021 premiere.
At Disney’s D23 Expo in 2019, Kevin Feige announced another new series in development. Ms. Marvel depicts Kamala Khan (played by newcomer Iman Vellani), a Muslim Pakistani-American teenager who gains powers like her hero, Captain Marvel. It’s also expected to debut in late 2021.