What to Expect From the Next Marvel Studios Phase 4 Announcement at D23

We might even learn about Phase Five.

Marvel Studios dropped a ton of information about the many TV shows and movies that’ll comprise its Phase Four during San Diego Comic-Con 2019, but at D23 Expo in late August, Disney should reveal even more about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When will this happen? And what might Marvel Studios reveal? Here’s everything you need to know about the MCU at D23.

Disney announced the official D23 schedule on Tuesday, and it includes a Marvel Studios Pavilion where fans can tour a costume gallery featuring MCU superhero costumes. But the most interesting event to fans — even if they’re not in attendance — is the official “Walt Disney Studios Hall D23 Presentation” taking place on Saturday, August 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. Eastern.

The Walt Disney Studios will present a behind-the-scenes look at its blockbuster collection of upcoming films, including a peek at exciting projects from Marvel Studios. As always, attendees will be treated to exclusive footage, special guest appearances, and more!

Much like footage Marvel Studios has revealed at SDCC in the past, whatever is shown at D23 won’t be made available to the wider public. This was the case with an early Avengers: Infinity War trailer that played at both conventions in the summer of 2017.

avengers endgame thor
Thor in the final battle of 'Avengers: Endgame'.

The two-hour D23 panel will probably include other Disney projects, namely Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the live-action Mulan, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Frozen 2, and more. But “a peek at exciting projects from Marvel Studios” must mean attendees will see images, clips, and potentially even teaser trailers for upcoming projects.

One purported leak on Reddit claims the D23 panel will include “more info about Captain Marvel 2 and Black Panther 2 and their subtitles (also heard — again just rumor for now, Captain Marvel will be about Secret Invasion and Black Panther 2 will have Namor).” At SDCC, these Phase Five projects were name-dropped almost as an afterthought at the very end of the presentation, but they might come into clearer focus as part of D23.

captain marvel skrulls
Talos (right) and another Skrull in 'Captain Marvel'.

Captain Marvel 2

In the MCU, Skrulls were labeled as terrorists by the Kree (a fascist alien empire) when they were, in fact, peaceful refugees looking for a new home. But in the “Secret Invasion” story arc in Marvel Comics, the shapeshifting Skrulls are evil and implement a long-term infiltration of Earth by posing as different characters. The big twist in the Spider-Man: Far From Home post-credits scene revealing that Nick Fury and Maria Hill were actually the Skrull Talos and his wife echoed Secret Invasion.

Since the Skrulls were introduced in Captain Marvel and popped up again in Spider-Man: Far From Home, it feels like Marvel Studios directly hinted at the plot of a Captain Marvel sequel, or at the very least some kind of MCU crossover event inspired by Secret Invasion in some way. Will we learn more about all of this at D23? Possibly.

Black Panther 2 and Namor

Avengers: Endgame had a moment where Okoye may have subtly teased Namor the Submariner’s existence when she mentions an “earthquake under the ocean” near Africa. Many fans took this to mean that Atlantis already exists in the MCU. Namor is the king of Atlantis. He’s similar to Aquaman in DC Comics, but his powers come from a combo of Atlantean and mutant genes. A conflict between Wakanda and Atlantis would be an interesting thing to explore in a Black Panther sequel, but is it actually happening? We might know for sure after D23.

black widow avengers endgame
'Black Widow' as she appears in 'Avengers: Endgame'.

Black Widow and More

Another important thing to remember: Marvel showed off several scenes from the upcoming Black Widow movie during SDCC, and because that film will be the first in Phase Four, it seems reasonable to expect a trailer or at least footage to air during D23 — even if it’s the same clip.

Beyond that, we’ll probably get concept art or other visual teasers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and/or Eternals, the next two projects that’ll follow Black Widow.

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige promised ComicBook.com in June that whatever the studio shows at D23 will be different from SDCC. “If we do both this year,” he said, “we find a way to divvy it up, … or to give it a spin to make each one unique.”

Marvel Studios can make D23 unique in all sorts of ways, chief among them by looking further forward into the future of the MCU. Perhaps the most exciting thing they could possibly do is announce whatever upcoming comic story arc the studio will adapt for Avengers 5.


Disney will announce more info for Marvel Studios projects at the Walt Disney Studios Hall D23 Presentation taking place on Saturday, August 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. Eastern.

Media via Marvel Studios, Inverse / Marvel Studios