Marvel reveals Blade, Shang Chi and female Thor

By: BBC
Marvel reveals new superhero productions at Comic  Con
Mahershala Ali (middle) has been announced as Marvel's new Blade

MARVEL has announced a bumper crop of 10 new superhero productions at Comic Con.

Marvel studios president Kevin Feige, flanked by dozens of Hollywood stars, revealed the post-Avengers roster of films to a stunned hall in San Diego.

Many attendees at world's largest pop-culture fan convention had camped out to reserve a seat for the event.

One major surprise was the announcement of Oscar winner Mahershala Ali as Blade the vampire hunter, a role played by Wesley Snipes in the 1998 film.

There was rapturous applause and screams as Ali took to the stage to reveal he would take on the role of the day walker.

Natalie Portman will play a female Thor

Natalie Portman held Thor's trusty hammer at the reveal

Natalie Portman confirmed her return to a fourth Thor film - Thor: Love and Thunder - reprising her role as Jane Foster, but this time wielding the power of the Thor hammer.

"Feels pretty good. I've always had a little hammer envy," Portman told the delighted crowd after being handed the hammer by director Taika Waititi.

Portman's role is based on Jason Aaron's comic book series that sees Jane Foster become the mighty lady Thor when Thor Odison finds himself unworthy of picking up the hammer.

Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson will also return for the film.

Earlier the audience were teased with number of new productions and sequels from phase four of the Marvel cinematic universe.

The first film to be announced was The Eternals. The cast includes Angelina Jolie, and Salma Hayek appeared on stage in front of the excited audience to talk about their new roles.

Jolie, who will play Thena, told the crowd: "I'm going to work ten times harder because I think what it means to be a part of the MCU, what it means to be an Eternal, to be part of this family. I know what we all need to do."

Angelina Jolie spoke about her new role in the The Eternals as she was stood on stage next to Lia McHugh and Dong-seok Ma

"We've all read the script, we all know what the task ahead is and we know what you deserve so we are all going to be working very very hard," she added.

The Eternals are powerful beings who look human but have special powers. The film has a release date of November 2020.

Shang-Chi
The first Asian American super hero film Shang-Chi was also announced, and we now know who will play the lead role. After months of castings Kevin Feige announced Canadian actor Simu Liu had been confirmed to play the Kung-Fu master only a few days ago.

Shang-Chi who was born to a Chinese father and an American mother, first appeared in the Marvel comics almost 50 years ago.

Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings will also star Crazy Rich Asians actress Awkwafina.

Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson has played the role of Natasha Romanoff elsewhere but this is her standalone film
After months of speculation, Marvel finally confirmed the first details of the eagerly anticipated Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff.

The film has been in production for 30 days with a teaser trailer showing early scenes in Budapest.

Johansson told the panel: "I get to play Natasha as a fully realised woman, in all of her many facets, and I'm excited for fans to see the flawed side of her."

A number of Marvel series were also announced which would be available on the new Disney+ streaming service, including Loki with Tom Hiddleston and Hawkeye starring Jeremy Renner and Kate Bishop.

Feige ended the panel by telling a cheering audience that he did not have time to talk about a host of other films.

"We didn't mention that we're making Black Panther 2, we didn't mention the fact that Guardian of the Galaxies 3 is coming.

"We didn't have time to talk about Captain Marvel 2, and I didn't have time to talk about the Fantastic 4 and there's no time to talk about Mutants," he told a delighted crowd.