I know fans are eagerly awaiting for things to get moving once again at Marvel Studios, once the SAG strike draws to a close. Before the strikes began, Marvel had both live-action projects and animated series at various stages of development, and we’ve been sitting on some information about Marvel animation projects specifically for a little while now. Bear in mind, as things have been changing, for various reasons over at Disney, there is always a possibility some of the previously announced or rumored animated projects are no longer going forward. We don’t have news on that front today, but we can report on the working titles and the production company counterparts associated with some of the upcoming Marvel Studios animated series.
The current status of Marvel’s animated projects
So far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’ve only received one animated series (besides the collection I Am Groot of shorts) which spawned from the events of Loki season one. For a quick refresher, in the Loki finale, Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), a Loki variant, takes matters into her own hands, killing He Who Remains. Doing so causes the Sacred Timeline, which He Who Remains was guarding over, to splinter into “endless possibilities.” As a result, Marvel Studios’ What If…? was born, exploring some of these timelines and the heroes that live within.
As its first animated project, What If…? had a great deal of pressure to set the tone of what the animated side of the MCU would look like. While the success of the series is up for debate, the animated landscape has been almost non-existent since Fall 2021, when the first season of What If…? concluded. That being said, there are more animated projects from Marvel Studios in development, some having already been announced and others just rumors for now.
The next expected series to hit our screens is the second season of What If…?, with nine more episodes exploring stories that closely resemble previous MCU films, but with one component changed. Rumors have been swirling about which stories we may see. What if…? season 2 was also developed under the working title “Anything Goes” and production company Alternate Theory Productions LLC. It’s believed the second season will arrive on Disney+ in late 2023 with a season 3 in development.
Beyond that, there isn’t a clear picture of Marvel Studios’ animated landscape, although we have a general picture of what’s in development. Previously, Kevin Feige announced three other series past What If…? developed by the studio, the first being X-Men ‘97. We speculated in a previous article that X-Men ‘97 was being developed under the working title “Teen Spirit” and with the production company On Your Mark, which we can confirm as correct. That being said, the second season of X-Men ‘97 is changing its production company to the boring Marvel Studios Animation LLC while keeping “Teen Spirit” as its working title. It’s also worth noting that the second season is already recording voice lines (via Comicbook.com).
On top of these two Marvel animated projects, other series announced are Spider-Man: Freshman Year and the adult-oriented Marvel Zombies. Everything past that is just rumored, but sometimes that’s fun to play with, especially as we move onto the meat and potatoes of this article. The Cosmic Circus has been able to confirm four other W/T production company combinations that are strictly animated Marvel projects, with one of them being something we’ve already reported on.
“Golden City” and other working titles for Marvel Animation
Back in March, we reported on a Marvel Studios working title “Golden City“, which was paired with the production company Maglev Train. The pairing of this working title and production company easily lent itself to the rumored Wakanda Series in development by Ryan Coogler. That being said, we can now confirm that instead of the live-action series it was once believed to be associated with, “Golden City”/Maglev Train belongs to an animated property. There were rumors a while ago about an animated series from the world of Black Panther, and now it seems that there was some truth to that rumor. Or at least, at one point there was a Wakanda animated series in development.
While that one seems pretty straightforward, the rest of the combinations might be a bit more difficult to properly match to a series. That being said, all the working titles and production companies we’re talking about here are definitely associated with animated projects from Marvel Studios.
The first is “Great Pumpkin,” which is paired with the Marvel Animated Studios LLC. My mind first went to Spider-Man: Freshman Year, because of the association with the Green Goblin and his pumpkin-shaped bombs. But other possibilities could be that “Great Pumpkin” belongs to Marvel Zombies, to go along with the Halloween vibes that the series is determined to bring to Disney+. Or perhaps there’s a secret Ghost Rider animated project somewhere in development? That’s probably less likely, but it’s exciting to speculate on.
Another on our list is “Rock The Bells” along with Battle Anybody Productions LLC. We’ve known about this pairing for a while, and have been speculating amongst ourselves about live-action possibilities. However, we’ve more recently learned it is in fact a Marvel animated project. It’s possible that the Battle Anybody leans towards something like Marvel Zombies, which promises to be a complete bloodbath of a battle. It’s also likely that the series could be the animated Shang-Chi spinoff 10 Rings series that was rumored to be in development. Or could it be a contest of champions series that no one saw coming? Time will tell.
The final working title we’re reporting today is “Mortlach” paired with Speyside Productions LLC. This combination, which is associated with Scottish Whiskey, seems likely to be tied to something with X-Men or mutants. Although if there’s a spin-off series of X-Men ’97 in development, that is not known yet.
Interestingly, Mortlach is close to Morlacks, which is an underground society of mutants. The group is comprised of mutant misfits, who developed their own community and tend to fall in the column of villains more so than heroes.
What do you think these working titles and production companies could be for?
While we can’t officially connect any of the above working titles and production companies to their series yet, as we learn more, we’ll make sure to share it with you. What If…? Season two is expected later this year. What are your thoughts on these working titles and production companies? What do you think they belong to? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord.