Features Film TV

Disney+ Day and Its Marvel-lous Offerings

Disney+ Day was the celebration of the House of Mouse’s young streaming service, marking its second anniversary on November 12th. As such, Disney unveiled a collection of new and previously announced upcoming features for the service. As usual, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was at the centre of things. It’s time for a quickfire round up of the new announcements for Marvel, but also a few other notable titles as well.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the roster was the announcement of X-Men ’97, a brand new animated series, a revival of the popular X-Men: The Animated Series. Several of the original cast members are returning, including Cathal J. Dodd (Wolverine), Lenore Zann (Rogue), George Buza (Beast), Catherine Disher (Jean Grey), Chris Potter (Gambit), and Alison Sealy-Smith (Storm). Alyson Court, who played Jubilee, is returning too, though in a new role, citing a desire for the character to be voiced by a Chinese or Asian-American actress.

Disney+ Day provided our first looks at the upcoming shows Moon Knight, She-Hulk, and Ms. Marvel, each with 30-second teaser trailers.

Oscar Isaac plays the role of Marc Spector, a former US Marine who has dissociative identity disorder. He becomes a conduit for the Egyptian moon god Khonsu, creating a new identity of Moon Knight. Spector has several different alters as in the comics, described as “distinct characters”. May Calamawy and Ethan Hawke have been cast in undisclosed roles.  Jeremy Slater will serve as the show’s head writer and showrunner.

Tatiana Maslany plays She-Hulk, or Jennifer Walters, Bruce Banner’s cousin and a lawyer who specialises in cases involving superheroes. Through unknown means, Jennifer will become She-Hulk; the large, powerful beauty who fights crimes in more ways than one. Mark Ruffalo and Tim Roth reprise their roles as the Hulk and the Abomination, with Jameela Jamil appearing as She-Hulk’s rival Titania. Jessica Gao serves as the showrunner, with Kat Cairo being a recurring writer for at least six episodes.

Iman Vellani starts as Kamala Khan, or Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani-American teenager who idolises Captain Marvel. Struggling to fit in, her life only grows more complicated as she develops powers of her own and strives to be a hero. In the comics, Ms. Marvel is an Inhuman, though in the series, she will be reimagined as a shapeshifter. Wow, they really want to forget the whole Inhumans mess ever happened. The series will feature Aramis Knight as Red Dagger, Matt Lintz as Kamala’s friend Bruno Carrelli, and Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, and Saagar Shaikh as Kamala’s family members.

Agatha Harkness, everyone’s favourite spotlight-stealing witch, is getting her own spin-off called Agatha: House of Harkness. There is little context to the show’s setting, beyond Kathryn Harn reprising her role and Jac Schaefer serving as head writer. Exploring Agatha’s past would be an ideal direction to go, or to serve as tentpoles for the inevitable Fantastic Four movie.

Spider-Man: Freshman Year is described as following Peter Parker on his way to becoming Spider-Man within the MCU. This implies it will follow Peter during his first year in high school, prior to his first meeting with Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War. The series appears to be adopting an art style equivalent to the early instalments of The Amazing Spider-Man.

The upcoming Hawkeye not only introduces Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld, but also the character Echo, a deaf, Native American heroine played by Alaqua Cox. Echo will be getting her own spin-off. Interestingly in the comics, Echo is the adoptive daughter of the Kingpin, and rumours have been buzzing around about Vincent D’Onofrio reprising his role as Wilson Fisk within Hawkeye. Oh, if only the rumour turns out to be true!

Other Marvel series include the previously announced Ironheart, Armor Wars, Secret Invasion, I Am Groot, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, and the new addition of Marvel Zombies. What If…? will be gaining a second season.

From LucasFilm, the Obi-Wan television series was teased with a sizzle reel, complete with some gorgeous artwork, teasing the galaxy after the fall of the Jedi and rise of the Empire. An enthusiastic Ewan McGregor spoke excitedly about the project, teasing the return of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader. A new documentary called Under the Helmet: Legacy of Boba Fett celebrates the origins of the iconic bounty hunter, and the impact the character has had on Star Wars. The upcoming Willow series, confirmed to be a sequel to the film, was introduced by Warwick Davis, who gave a humourous role call of the young, new cast of the series, including Erin Kellyman, Ruby Cruz, Tony Revolori, Amar Chadha Patel, Ellie Bamber, and Dempsey Bryk.

Disney+ Day made some surprise Disney announcements too. Tiana, a “long-form musical series”, is a sequel to The Princess and the Frog, as Tiana travels to her new kingdom of Maldonia on a royal adventure. The previously announced Zootopia+ may be an anthology series, exploring the lives of the various denizens of the titular metropolis. Cars on the Road sees the return of Lightning McQueen and Mater, embarking together on a cross-country road trip across America. Not sure if a whole series can withstand Larry the Cable Guy!

Since buying 20th Century Studios, Disney has done little with its new purchased IPs. However, a new movie based on Ice Age has been announced. The Ice Age Adventures of Buck, focusing on the very irritating Crash and Eddie visiting Buck, Simon Pegg’s non-irritating character, to get up to some prehistoric shenanigans. However, the trailer’s animation quality feels a bit hit-and-miss.

Most excitingly of all, Hocus Pocus 2 sees the return of the Sanderson Sisters themselves. After years of speculation and hope, the black-flamed candle summons Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker (and Doug Jones) to reprise their witchy roles twenty eight years after becoming dust.

What new announcements from Disney+ Day are you most excited for? Leave a comment below, or on our Twitter feed.

About the author

Mark Russell