For the first time since 2019, San Diego Comic-Con will take place in person — and Marvel Studios will be there to unveil the future of Phase 4. It was three long/short years ago when Marvel revealed Phase 4, which was a hybrid slate of both movies and Disney+ streaming TV for the first time in MCU history. If a new batch of supposed leaks is any indication, then Marvel is just getting started on an even bigger future for Phase 4 and beyond.
The slate Kevin Feige and company revealed that summer included movies like Black Widow, Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Thor: Love and Thunder, and shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, and WandaVision. By now, just about everything has been released. (Blade, the final reveal from that year, still awaits release.)
Of course, the specifics of what’s to come are known only to Marvel Studios. But a major thread on the r/marvelstudiosspoilers subreddit has compiled all the rumored announcements set for Marvel Studios’ presentation at Comic-Con, which is set to take place on Saturday at 8 p.m. Eastern in the fabled Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center. There are also rumors about what will be announced at Disney’s own D23, which takes place on September 5.
To be clear, there’s no real way to verify any of these leaks. However, with Comic-Con and D23 around the corner, what’s the harm in indulging a few “What if...?” scenarios? Anyway, it’s Marvel we’re talking about here. They’d want us to ask, what if...?
Here are 10 of the wildest Marvel Cinematic Universe rumors ahead of Comic-Con 2022.
10. New Daredevil with a new Elektra
On July 7, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio will reprise their roles from the Netflix hit Daredevil in the Disney+ series Echo. But rumors indicate that there is a new Daredevil project on the way, with the subtitle Man Without Fear (based on the comics). Whether it’s a movie or TV show is unclear.
Actress Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver) is also rumored for the role of Elektra, replacing Élodie Yung, who played the role in the Netflix series. Yung is presumably very busy in her starring network TV show, The Cleaning Lady, on Fox.
9. Homelander will be Dracula in Blade
Anthony Starr is having a ball as Homelander in the Amazon hit The Boys, which satirizes the dominance of superhero pop culture. But can Starr resist the draw of the MCU? Rumors say Starr is circling the role of Dracula — yes, Dracula — for Marvel’s Blade reboot starring Mahershala Ali.
8. World War Hulk could be the next big crossover event
While Universal maintains a grip on the feature film rights to the Hulk, Disney has a fancy streaming service that can sidestep those restrictions. Enter: A rumored Disney+ mini-series adapting Greg Pak’s World War Hulk crossover series. Weirdly, the Reddit thread alleges that World War Hulk might get a hybrid release on both Disney+ and a small theatrical run, and it might have some importance as a prelude to the next major crossover event of the MCU, whatever it might be.
7. Henry Golding is Wonder Man
Back in June, THR reported that Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton and Brooklyn Nine-Nine writer Andrew Guest were at work on a Wonder Man TV series. For those not familiar, the character Wonder Man is a superhero who can do it all, from flying to super strength to super healing. But he has a knack for acting, and in addition to being an Avenger, has enjoyed a career as a movie star.
Henry Golding quickly became a popular fan cast when THR’s story broke. Now, the Reddit rumor mill says it’s actually happening. We’ll actually see come Comic-Con next Saturday.
6. Professor X and Cyclops recast
Giancarlo Esposito has made a career playing cunning villains, from Breaking Bad to The Mandalorian to even voicing Lex Luthor in Harley Quinn. But the MCU rumor mill believes Esposito will join the forces of good as Professor Charles Xavier, taking over from Patrick Stewart (who officially retired from the role in 2017’s Logan and did this year’s Doctor Strange as a one-off deal). Professor X, of course, is the psychic and telekinetic leader of the X-Men.
Joining Esposito is allegedly Glen Powell, who was seen in this year’s Top Gun: Maverick, in the role of Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops. James Marsden and Tye Sheridan played Cyclops in the original X-Men film franchise, which ran before Disney acquired 20th Century Fox.
7. Deadpool 3
Finally, Ryan Reynolds might be able to stop deflecting questions. Reddit rumors indicate that Reynolds will return to San Diego Comic-Con with some news about the next Deadpool. The project is confirmed to reunite Reynolds with Deadpool and Deadpool 2 screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who have also scripted other Reynolds projects like the 2017 film Life and the Michael Bay-directed 6 Underground.
6. Black Bolt and The Marvels
Fresh from his cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, former Inhumans star Anson Mount is said to return as Black Bolt in The Marvels, the sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel. The appearance is meant to re-establish the Inhumans in the MCU, but whether that means implementing the canon of the canceled 2017 ABC series is unknown.
5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten More Rings
Expected as a D23 announcement is a sequel to 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Despite pandemic restrictions, the movie was a box office and critical hit, which can only encourage Marvel to make another one. Very little about what the movie may or may not entail was contained in the Reddit post.
4. House Party of Harkness
The WandaVision spin-off Agatha: House of Harkness may be one of the most unexpected Marvel projects ever conceived, but it’s truly the Hahnaissance. Kathryn Hahn is expected to return as Agatha Harkness, bringing a new coven of witches along for the ride: Actresses Amy Poehler, Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso), and Hunter Schafer (Euphoria) are rumored to co-star in the series. These reveals are also expected for D23 and not Comic-Con.
3. Spider-Man 4 “is happening”
Take this one with heaping doses of salt, but the Reddit post claims that a fourth Spider-Man movie from the 2002 to 2007 Sam Raimi-directed series is “happening.” An announcement will not be made at either Comic-Con or D23, however.
2. An All-Star Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four was confirmed by Marvel Studios in late 2020, but casting for the movie has been nothing but hushed whispers. John Krasinski surprised fans as Reed Richards in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but thanks to the multiverse concept, Krasinski doesn’t have to play Reed in the proper MCU.
The rumors indicate that three big-name actors are attached to Fantastic Four: Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) as Reed Richards, Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!) as Sue Storm, and Joe Keery (Stranger Things) as Sue’s brother Johnny Storm.
An actor for Ben Grimm, a.k.a. The Thing, has not been announced. The reason why is because the one big-name director being courted for the project seeks to cast Ben for themselves. And that name director is...
1. Steven Spielberg joins the MCU
Listen, True Believers. I don’t make the rumors. I just write about them.
Arguably the wildest rumor to the Reddit post is that none other than Steven Spielberg is being courted by Marvel Studios for Fantastic Four. (Jon Watts, who directed Marvel’s newest Spider-Man trilogy, was previously attached to the project before departing last year.) Will it happen? Doubtful, but then again, remember that Chloe Zhao had/has immense clout, and the recruitment of Sam Raimi shows that Marvel isn’t afraid of letting established directors get down to business.
Whether an artist of Spielberg’s stature is willing to work with Marvel’s notorious micromanaging, and likewise Marvel willing to let Spielberg make their movie without interference, are all questions that loom over the eyebrow-raising rumors. Unfortunately, like the Watcher, all we can do is observe and see things play out as they happen.