Marvel Studios has a history of announcing big projects at San Diego Comic-Con during its panel events in Hall H — and bringing out unexpected stars.
With that level of anticipation, aided by a two-year hiatus, it's no surprise that the Hall H line returned to its usual monstrous dimensions Saturday, stretching around the building, snaking through a tent and down the marina by the boats moored in back of the San Diego Convention Center. Those who braved it — along with an uptick in California's COVID cases and new entrance requirements — may have wished they could Infinity-Gauntlet-snap away the crowds, but they were rewarded handsomely with news from Phases 4, 5 and 6 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Among the highlights were emotional appearances from the casts of "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," confirmation that Daredevil is returning to a small screen near you, and dates for new "Captain America" and "Avengers" movies.
Here are our live updates from Marvel's Hall H mega-panel, as they came in.
6:26 p.m. Ryan Coogler and cast embrace following the "Wakanda Forever" trailer — which immediately receives an encore showing for the Hall H crowd. There's no mention of a new Panther, only an image of the back of a figure in a panther suit. But the trailer, marked by tears and somber tones, does offer indications of an acknowledgment of Boseman's death: There is what appears to be a funeral procession, and at one point the camera lingers on a spray-painted image of Boseman (as T'Challa) on a wall that could be an in memoriam.
6:07 p.m. "Wakanda Forever"! One African singer and drummer walks through the Hall H crowd toward the stage while performing — to be joined by many drummers and dancers.
Director Ryan Coogler comes on stage following the performance to an emotional ovation and pays tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, praising his effect on the industry and saying he can feel Boseman's hand on him even now. He's joined by cast members Lupita Nyong'o, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke and Michaela Coel, among others.
6:04 p.m. Kevin Feige returns to confirm a release date — Nov. 8, 2024 — for the latest "Fantastic Four" and jumps ahead to the end of Phase 6, which he says will conclude with two new "Avengers" projects: "The Kang Dynasty" and "Secret Wars," due in November 2025.
5:43 p.m. In an emotional appearance by the team from "Guardians of the Galaxy," director James Gunn talks about the conclusion of the story line in Vol. 3 — but just because it will end doesn't mean the characters will die, he assures the crowd. Onstage were the film's stars Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff and the director's brother, Sean Gunn, with Will Poulter as Adam Warlock and "Borat" breakout Maria Bakalova as Cosmo the Space Dog.
One more tease: The High Evolutionary (to be played in the film by Chukwudi Iwuji), appears — in all his purple glory — to walk from the back of Hall H to the front and insults us humans and threatens to dissect us all. Then walks off.
5:32 p.m. "Ant-Man" director Peyton Reed comes onstage, bringing with him Katherine Newton, who plays Cassie; Evangeline Lilly, who plays Janet Van Dyne/Wasp; and Ant-Man himself, Paul Rudd. The trailer reintroduces Jonathan Majors as Kang from "Loki" (who also makes an appearance onstage) and Reed confirms that M.O.D.O.K. will appear.
5:29 p.m. Cobie Smulders comes on for "Secret Invasion." She and Kevin Feige tease it as a darker series after the fun of "She-Hulk." Samuel L. Jackson will feature prominently.
5:26 p.m. Tatiana Maslany and Jameela Jamil introduce "She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law," Marvel's next Disney+ series, which premieres Aug. 17. A quick flash at the end of the trailer suggests that Daredevil — alluded to throughout "Hawkeye" — will be re-introduced in "She-Hulk."
5:20 p.m. Phase 5 is on the horizon: "Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantummania" will begin the next phase Feb. 17, 2023. Other Phase 5 titles include "Secret Invasion," "Guardians of the Galaxy" Vol. 3, "Echo," Season 2 of "Loki," "The Marvels," "Blade," "Ironheart," "WandaVision" follow-up "Agatha: Coven of Chaos," "Thunderbolts" and the fourth "Captain America" film, "New World Order." But the largest cheer may have been reserved for the anticipated show "Daredevil: Born Again," which brings back Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio from Netflix's canceled "Daredevil" series.
5:14 p.m. Finally underway, the panel kicks off with an aspirational trailer narrated by comic book legend Stan Lee, emphasizing surviving "together." Miss Minutes ("Loki") introduces Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. An image of the Phase 4 movies and TV shows is on the screen, and the phase will end with "Black Panther" sequel "Wakanda Forever."