From 'Fantastic Four' to 'Loki': Marvel Studios announces upcoming releases for Disney Plus

Los Angeles: Expanding further its highly-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Disney-owned Marvel Studios has announced a slew of projects, including a "Fantastic Four" movie and three new series for streamer Disney Plus.

The announcements were made during Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige during Disney's Investor Day presentation on Thursday.

Feige revealed that filmmaker Jon Watts, known for making Marvel Studios-Sony's "Spider-Man" movies, will helm the "Fantastic Four" film.

The studio had acquired the cinematic rights for the superhero team, which previously has been made thrice for the big screen, after it took control of 20th Century Fox.

The Marvel top executive also announced the official title for third "Ant-Man" movie as "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania", and confirmed that actor Jonathan Major will be portraying the time-traveling super-villain Kang the Conquerer.

Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer are all returning for the new movie, which will once again be directed by Peyton Reed. They will be joined by actor Kathryn Newton as Cassie Lang, daughter of Rudd's Scott Lang.

Feige also officially confirmed that Hollywood star Christian Bale will be playing the villain Gorr the Godbutcher in Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman-starrer "Thor: Love and Thunder".The Taika Waititi-directed movie will also star Tessa Thompson.

In other news, Feige said the studios' plans for its characters to crossover between theatrical releases and their slate of Disney plus original series.

He said that Iman Vellani of upcoming "Ms. Marvel" series and Teyonah Parris, who will star as Monica Rambeau in "WandaVision", will join Brie Larson for "Captain Marvel 2". The film, directed by Nia DaCosta, has a release date of November 11, 2022.

In another announcement, Feige said production on "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" has wrapped and the film is scheduled for release on July 9, 2021.

The movie, which will launch MCU's first Asian superhero, will feature Simu Liu in the lead alongside the likes of Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Katy, Meng'er Zhang as Xialing, Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Chan, Ronny Chieng as Jon Jon, Fala Chen as Jiang Li and Florian Munteanu as Razor Fist. Feige also addressed the death of "Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman, saying that the studio's upcoming sequel will not recast the role out of respect for the late actor.

Writer-director Ryan Coogler is hard at work on the sequel.

The three new shows for Disney Plus include "Secret Invasion", starring MCU veteran Samuel L Jackson and "Captain Marvel" actor Ben Mendelsohn.

Another series "Ironheart" will be centred on the brilliant inventor Riri Williams, who will be portrayed by actor Dominique Thorne.

Don Cheadle, who played James Rhodey aka War Machine in multiple films in the MCU, will reprise the part for new series "Armor Wars".

Feige also unveiled the official trailer for Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan's "Falcon & the Winter Soldier", which now has a release date of March 19 on Disney Plus.

He launched the first trailer for Tom Hiddleston's "Loki", which will debut in May 2021.

In update for another series at Disney Plus, "She-Hulk", Feige said that the Tatiana Maslany-led show will also see Mark Ruffalo returning as Bruce Banner aka The Hulk.

Actor Tim Roth, who featured in 2008's "The Incredible Hulk", will reprise his role of villain Abomination.

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