It probably wasn’t too big a surprise to anyone, but it was officially announced today that Marvel Studios would be returning to Hall H for the 50th Annual Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Marvel Studios has good reason to return to Comic-Con this year, mainly to celebrate the success of Avengers: Endgame, which has set a number of box office records both in North America and worldwide. It’s even being rereleased into theaters on June 28 with more footage in order to try to crack those last couple records it hasn’t beat yet (mostly Avatar‘s worldwide box office record, which it’s less than $100 million away from surpassing).
So yes, Marvel Studios’ first Hall H appearance since 2017 will definitely be used as a victory lap, maybe even to bring out as much as the cast of Avengers: Endgame that can be reassembled after they’ve scattered to the wind… not literally as in Thanos’ snap, but they’re all working actors doing various projects. I wouldn’t even be remotely surprised if Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans are given special attention since they have such important roles in Endgame, and it very well might be their last appearances as the characters.
I think a lot of people REALLY want Marvel Studios’ Prez Kevin Feige to announce what’s coming up on the Marvel slate, since so far, there are a lot of “Untitled Marvel Movies” taking up dates that haven’t been confirmed. Comic-Con and Hall H seems to be the ideal time and place to make this announcement, but we can’t forget that just a month later, Disney is having its bi-annual D23 Expo. In the past, Marvel has saved a lot of big announcements, presentations and footage for D23, but that’s mainly in the years when it skipped Comic-Con.
We already know that filmmaker Cate Shortland is in production on her Black Widow movie, so presumably that will get that early May release date, but as we’ve learned from the past, EVERYTHING CHANGES. It would not be unheard of for Marvel to take a break for production to fly Shortland, star Scarlett Johansson and others from the cast to San Diego to participate in the panel. Heck, they might even have some footage to show, going by what Marvel did with Captain America: The First Avenger, showing footage in Hall H nearly a year before its release.
The thing is that Hall H can be a huge deal at Comic-Con, and it’s an even bigger deal when Marvel does a presentation, as they are always full of surprises, whether it was the debut of the Avengers line-up on stage together for the first time or early footage from movies that have only started filming.
We also know that Chloé Zhao is well into pre-production on The Eternals with a number of high-profile actors attached to it, including Angelina Jolie and Richard Madden. While there might not be any footage to show, it’s not unheard of to show off some concept art or really shake up Hall H by bringing Jolie back for the first time since she was there to promote the action flick Salt in 2010. Bringing Jolie to Comic-Con is very hard to keep under wraps, and Disney does have its Maleficent sequel in October she could promote.
There are a couple sequels in the pipeline at Marvel Studios including Doctor Strange 2 and Black Panther 2, though there hasn’t been any word on either in some time. Would it be worth it for Marvel to fly out Benedict Cumberbatch or Chadwick Boseman for the panel?
There’s also the announced Disney+ series including the Loki series, starring Tom Hiddleston, which might not have anything to show just yet, but Hiddleston has always been very popular in Hall H. Hiddleston’s turn on the West End in Betrayal just wrapped up in early June… how convenient!
The above thoughts check off a lot of boxes on what makes an exciting Hall H panel: Big stars, big announcements, first footage… and I somehow doubt that Marvel Studios wants Endgame to be its last word for 2019, especially with so many riskier plans in the works. If Marvel gets the fans excited at Comic-Con, it’s going to create even more anticipation for what’s to come in 2020.