Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm both had a fair bit to show at last weekend’s Disney-run D23 2019 expo in Anaheim, California.
To start, president of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director/writer/producer J.J. Abrams showcased the conclusion to the Skywalker saga. Kennedy and Abrams revved up the audience, introducing nine stars from the film — many of whom were attending D23 Expo for the first time: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, and Billy Dee Williams, plus special appearances from R2-D2, BB-8, and the new droid D-O. A brand-new poster was revealed and the audience got a sneak peek at the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which opens in theatres on Dec. 19th, 2019.
Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, then kicked off his part of the proceedings with a surprise visit from Black Panther director and co-writer Ryan Coogler. Together, they revealed that Black Panther 2 (working title) will hit theatres on May 6th, 2022.
Feige segued to next year’s The Eternals, inviting cast members from the anticipated film to the stage: Richard Madden (Ikaris), Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo), Lauren Ridloff (Makkari, the first deaf MCU hero), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos), Salma Hayek (Ajak), Lia McHugh (Sprite), Don Lee (Gilgamesh), and Angelina Jolie (Thena). Feige revealed concept art images of each character, and announced three new cast members: Gemma Chan (Sersi), Kit Harington (the non-Eternal Dane Whitman), and Barry Keoghan (Druig). Directed by Chloé Zhao, who helmed the critically acclaimed Sundance film The Rider, The Eternals opens in theatres on November 6th, 2020.
Feige concluded with Black Widow, the Cate Shortland-directed first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which hits theatres on May 1st, 2020. Feige shared a pre-recorded greeting featuring the stars, and an exclusive look at the upcoming film.
D23 2019 was an eventful time, and Black Panther 2‘s confirmation, as likely as it was, is nice to see. You can check out the offerings by Disney’s other studios in our other two D23 articles.