In the wake of Avengers: Endgame, big changes and interesting prospects seem to be awaiting the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A few movies and Disney+ shows have been announced here and there; Endgame also ended with a few hints to a possible path ahead. Let’s take a look at what we know, what we can infer and what would be super cool for Phases 4 through 6 of the MCU.
Spoilers ahead for all MCU films including Avengers: Endgame:
The Announced Projects
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Now that we know Peter is back from the dead, we can move towards Spider-Man: Far From Home with a bit more assurance. I still hope it is a prequel film, much like Captain Marvel was, because otherwise it can be assumed that every one of the supporting characters (MJ, Ned, Flash, Aunt May, Happy and the math team) were snapped away and brought back to the 5 year future at their same age. I only base that on the few characters we have seen in the trailer. If so, that seems a bit convenient but I’ll go with it. We knew from previous interview slip-ups that Tom Holland signed a contract for a Spider-Man Trilogy. So we can expect at least one more Spidey film and maybe some team up appearances along the way.
Falcon & Winter Soldier
The first live action MCU show to premiere on Disney+ is based around Captain America’s two best buds, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. Endgame ended with Cap taking his long deserved retirement and meeting Peggy for that dance. He spends his life with her and visits the boys in his old age. Cap lived a full life with his lover and passed the shield on to Sam. The title would suggest that Sam is not taking up the Captain America mantle by name, but will have his own shield as its symbol. There is no telling whether this show, or any of the MCU shows, will be limited to a season or ongoing. If so, maybe the two will dawn the screen again in a future Avengers team up film, or Sam and Bucky share the mantle in a new Captain America movie.
After dying at the hands of Thanos in the opening minutes of Avengers: Infinity War, it was a shock to find out that the God of Mischief would be getting his own MCU show with Tom Hiddleston reprising his role. Avengers: Endgame, however, gave us the means for how this can all be possible. During the mission to retrieve the Tesseract, Tony and Scott bungle the job and evil 2012 Loki grabs the cube and disappears. The show will most likely follow this Loki, who has yet to experience the events from Thor: The Dark World on through to his untimely demise on the Asgardian ship. I think it is safe to say that we will probably be saying goodbye to Loki in the films in order to make way for the future MCU characters.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3
Marvel believes in threes. Cap, Tony and Thor all maxed out at their part third film releases; it may be safe to say the guardians will as well. For this final endeavor, however, it seems the new Guardians team will include overweight Thor. The team of Star-Lord, Rocket, Teenage Groot, Drax, Mantis and Nebula are all back for some more action. The last time we see Star-Lord in Endgame, he is searching for past Gamora who has no memory of the Guardians seeing as she never met with them in her timeline. It can be assumed the film will have a plotline dedicated to finding her while Thor and Quill bicker about who will be the boss. I suppose down the line you could spin-off into a Rocket & Groot movie or something, but I just don’t see a Vol. 4 being in Kevin Feige’s plans. In any case, Disney rehired James Gunn to helm the project and will most likely include Kraglin and the post-credit teased Adam Warlock. I think this will be the final chapter for Thor as the franchise moves on to new heroes.
Another Disney+ show that was recently announced was the Scarlet Witch and Vision show that, obviously, would have to be somewhere between Civil War and Infinity War in the MCU timeline. Wanda is back as of Endgame’s ending and I suppose they could redesign Vision somehow. If they did, though, I’m not sure how exactly they would go about bringing him to life. The Ultron and Jarvis codes are gone and they do not have access to the Mind Stone anymore. If the show is ongoing, there’s a good chance this becomes the permanent home for these heroes. We can expect to see them exclusively on Disney+.
Doctor Strange 2
With the MCU going more cosmic for a while, they’ve made comment that a sequel to Doctor Strange is in the works. The film will no doubt return to the story of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Baron Mordo taking back the magic because there are “too many sorcerers.” It can also be assumed that Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams will reprise their roles for another majestic masterpiece under the direction of Scott Derrickson. It will be interesting to see how Strange will reflect on the events of Endgame and maybe we will get to see his rise to becoming the new Sorcerer Supreme.
Talks of a Black Widow film have been floating around for years. Despite losing Natasha in Avengers: Endgame, these talks have not ceased. Could this mean a spy-based prequel is in the works? Possibly. I honestly think a Disney+ original movie or short series based around her and Hawkeye’s time in Budapest would be the perfect medium. I think, while awesome, a randomly placed prequel will throw off the MCU’s momentum in building the new Avengers franchise lineup.
There were also some rumors about a Hawkeye show for the streaming platform. As stated above, I’m onboard and they might as well loop it in with Widow. It’d be a fitting tribute to their friendship.
Black Panther 2
Both Ryan Coogler and Chadwick Boseman are reportedly returning for a Black Panther sequel. The first film was a pop culture smash when it premiered, taking the world by storm for its innovative technology, interesting story and cultural impact for the African American community. It is only fitting that they follow up with another journey for the King of Wakanda. It is a safe bet we will also see the return of Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright and Winston Duke as the fateful Wakandan warriors who helped defeat Thanos. I personally would love to see Martin Freeman and Daniel Kaluuya return, though I think they are less of a lock. W’Kabi could really shine as the villain or at least a supporting villain in a sequel. Maybe he will be in jail for turning on the King. They could do some powerful stuff with him and Okoye in that instance.
With Phase 4 going cosmic, the tentpoles seem to be Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange and the Guardians. However, Kevin Feige himself has announced that an Eternals film is very much in the works and may even begin production late 2019. If so, this maybe taking the place of the postponed Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 slot and filling in those cosmic gaps. I can honestly say the Eternals is a corner of Marvel lore that I do not know much about. As a result, I don’t have much speculation aside from maybe some Adam Warlock tie-ins and possibly some stuff with a young deviant Thanos. Feige has hinted the project to be a prequel, which would make sense for world building purposes. The film could start to plant seeds of the villain Annihilus.
Captain Marvel 2
Carol Danvers will most likely be one of the more prominent figures of the next 3 phases in the MCU. Sporting her new haircut, she has traveled the cosmos as support to planets in need after The Snap. There was mention of some weird natural occurrences due to the energy released by the stones I believe. Since 5 years have passed, little Monica from the 90’s should be all grown up and ready to get her Spectrum on. There is also the possibility of a Kamala Khan inclusion, though I think they would hold that one in the tuck for quite a while. The film can dive a bit more into the Kree and Skrull war while teasing the issue of the Supreme Intelligence for the third a final film of the series.
Everyone wants a good Fantastic 4 film after the bleek and weak iteration by Josh Trank. Marvel & Disney recently acquired the FOX properties and now have control of the cosmic based team. Ain’t that a coincidence, right when the MCU goes full on cosmic. The five year gap left by Endgame leaves the perfect spot for the origin story of the scientific squad. In the wake of The Snap, maybe they were put on a project to learn more about cosmic entities, aliens or the power of artifacts like the stones. Maybe the energy given off by the stones those two times Thanos used them affected their bodies. Maybe they were in space during The Snap; they could have been on a mission and half the crew dusted. All I know is that this is the perfect time to bring these guys into the fold.
The New Avengers
There are so many possibilities with the next run of Avengers movies to come. I honestly think anyone with a Disney+ show is off of the MCU film table. So that would only leave a handful of new Avengers. Actually, that’s what I would call it. The New Avengers. I think the big three replacement will be Doctor Strange (as our new Tony), Black Panther (as our new Cap) and Captain Marvel (as our new Thor). The team would also include Spider-Man, Ant Man and The Wasp. Maybe Rocket and Groot could swing by, but I think the Guardians stuff will be separate again as will the Eternals stuff for at least a phase and a half. The Eternals can jump in around the 6th Avengers film. If I had it my way, we build up Victor Von Doom as the new Loki conduit like in the first Avengers. Dr. Doom would be the perfect, cool and empathetic villain to follow up Thanos. This would, of course, make Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben a part of the team as well. I say make Hulk their wise veteran guy. He can’t do much with that damaged arm, but he’s got the brains. Imagine him in a similar role to Kelsey Grammer’s Hank McCoy in the old X-Men franchise. The film’s conclusion can have the Four heading on a deep space mission to repair the damage that has been done in the cosmos.
Ant Man 3
The third Ant Man & The Wasp film should center around something relating to Nick Fury and Agent Hill. We can keep the plot a bit more Earthly and spaced out from the cosmic stuff. Fury and Pym are butting heads about some-off-the-books SHIELD operation that Fury wants to revive. Hank was there for its inception and thinks it needs to stay buried. Hope and Scott are caught between a rock and a hard place because Scott agrees that it can prevent another cataclysmic event like The Snap. Hope, on the other hand, feels like it is too dangerous. Much like Captain America: Civil War, it shouldn’t have a main bad guy, just a bad conflict. The film should also very prominently feature Spider-Man and Professor Hulk in it’s supporting cast.
We’ve seen the Nova Corp in Guardians of the Galaxy and got a pretty good idea about how they fit into the MCU. I think the potential there can be greatly expanded upon. I like the idea of a Nova movie about Sam Alexander. He is Marvel’s young hispanic hero who has taken up the mantle from the original Nova, Richard Rider. I think you can still have Rider be in the film or you can say he went down defending the Power Stone from Thanos and his army on Xandar. We can bring back John C. Reilly and Glenn Close in the aftermath of the planet’s demise. It is only referenced in Infinity War and would be a great way to expand on a cosmic scale like Marvel hopes to do. It would also mean Marvel’s first Hispanic Superhero. I would hope Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 deals with Nova Corp and Xandar a bit, but who knows. We can have him link up with the Fantastic Four at some point while they are on their space mission.
Doctor Strange 3
We could then get the final Stephen Strange solo film in the form of a one on one struggle with The Hood, a crook turned sorcerer who is after the title of Sorcerer Supreme. I think it can be an interesting, yet much smaller scale, struggle as opposed to the previous two films. It can lend to a larger plot in the future for another Avengers film. We get more Wong, of course, and maybe an imprisoned Mordo is released by Strange to help fight The Hood. That is just me hoping they don’t kill Ejiofor in Doctor Strange 2. This film can introduce the threat of the future in the form of Mephisto and Black Heart. Strange made the mistake of giving Mordo a second chance; while free, Mordo conjures a gateway for Mephisto.
With Vulture and Mysterio taken down by this point, I would assume this is the film where Spidey would battle the Sinister Six. We have already seen the Tinkerer, Shocker, Vulture, Scorpion and Mysterio. Maybe they are all brought together by some evil mastermind, who knows? All we know is that Scorpion is putting pressure on Vulture in the slammer. This may be too much for Pete to handle. If only he had a “guy in the chair” with comic book ties to a techy bomb slinger. Miles should be about Peter’s age after the second Snap, right? Slide him in there and bring back Donald Glover as the Prowler!
Black Panther 3
This movie can pull a bit from Black Panther: The Client, a storyline in the comics where T’Challa is investigating an issue with his charity organization. He leaves Wakanda during some political turmoil to find out about a woman who was killed from the organization and has a crazy encounter with Mephisto. The comic introduces an evil Reverend as the villain who lured T’Challa out of Wakanda so he could take over. He can be the movie focus, but T’Challa can be heavily affected by Mephisto’s appearance as well. This would lead to some after credits scene where T’Challa confronts Stephen Strange about Mephisto.
New Avengers 2
The next Avengers movie could be something along the lines of Mephisto and Black Heart breaking through to the real world. Decisions Strange has made have caused some serious trouble for the Avengers. The brunt of this should take place in another realm or dimension. Our Earth has suffered enough. Shuri decodes a message from space sent by one of the Eternals. It is a warning about a coming threat. The team assumes it is in reference to Mephisto. Spidey, Hulk, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Ant Man and the Wasp all take on forces in other realms. They are stepping into Stephen’s fortay and are mostly out of their element. We can get T’Challa blaming Strange for trusting Mordo. We can also lose Hulk in this film to heighten the severity.
Captain Marvel 3
Captain Marvel 3 should be about Carol finally coming back for the Supreme Intelligence. It should resemble a Superman vs. Brainiac style fight. A superpowered being is fighting off robotic armies, tech and crazy amounts of shady betrayals due to indoctrination.
Fantastic Four 2
After some exploration in space, the Four come across a completely destroyed planet with energy signatures from very recent explosion on the surface. The film can be a slow burn of them exploring the planet, coming across a few survivors and dealing with The Mole Man. A man who survived the attack by creating underground shelters for himself. Isolation drove him made and he aims to control and rule what is left of the planet. We can see in a post-credit scene that Annihilus was responsible for that planet’s destruction.
For our second Eternals film we finally see the other side of the message from the previous Avengers film. However, it was actually in reference to Annihilus and not Mephisto. This film can chronicle their journey to slow down the path of a mad destroyer, once they realize they cannot stop him. The film can be full of crazy fights and a mission to simply warn anyone in the galaxy about Annihilus. The film can end with an Eternal sending the message and being killed. This would indicate that the events of this film take place simultaneously with New Avengers 2 The last surviving eternal can go on a quest to assist the next planet’s forces.
Kevin Feige recently let some info out about the MCU looking for a “director of Asian descent” to bring the Marvel hero Shang-Chi to the big screen. There is always the chance that this is a bit of damage control for Marvel’s Iron Fist Netflix show. This is either a genuine look towards inclusion and representation or just a way to capitalize on PC culture and overseas markets. Regardless, I am excited. I want Donnie Yen for the movie. He was in Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and is in the new live action Mulan film. Disney already has a close relationship with him, so there’s always a shot. They may want to go young because that seems to be their aim for the new MCU, but I think an older and wiser Avenger would be pretty cool. Despite his awesome sword fight with Hawkeye in Avengers: Endgame, I would’ve liked to see Hiroyuki Sanada in a prominent MCU role. Maybe in another lifetime. I’d like to see Jackie Chan also. Imagine him fully dedicated to a villain role. I think that would be a genius integration of him into the MCU. It can be a self-contained story with an end credits scene of the Fantastic Four’s ship being boarded by that last living Eternal.
The second Nova film can come out, giving us another look at Sam. He is currently on a mission to arrest a Kree extremist who is committing so-called religious murders in the name of “Annihilation.” Further investigation leads to Sam learning stories of a creature known as Annihilus. The film can end with Nova getting a call from Reed Richards.
New Avengers: Annihilation
Nova, the Fantastic Four and the Eternal come down to prepare Earth’s mightiest heroes for the fight of their lives. Strange and Marvel decide to take the war elsewhere, due to the collateral that a battle of this magnitude can have. The Fantastic Four select a location from their travels and the heroes gear up to duel Annihilus off-world. Captain Marvel, Spectrum, the Fantastic Four, Nova and the Eternal take to the skies. T’Challa, Spidey, Ant Man and the Wasp decide that someone needs to stay behind to avoid an ambush. They will be joined by Shang-Chi later in the film and hold off any surface attacks. The film could bring the end of Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange, while T’Challa passes the Panther mantle to his sister Shuri.
Other Cool Movie Ideas
Another thing that can probably be explained by infinity stone energy affecting people bodies is the formation of Mutants. I can dream can’t I? Sure, it’ll be difficult to work the X-Men into the current MCU due to the very Civil Rights basis of the property. How can the world discriminate against a race that they don’t even know exists? Marvel spent years building up Inhumans as the mutated individuals of their world, so switching that on a dime now will be tricky. Maybe just do a Wolverine and Gambit movie or something. I don’t know.
A team can be led by the 30 something year old Peter, at this point, with Harley Keener using all his Stark tech to be the new Iron Lad. Spectrum can be on the team as well, with maybe a young Amadeus Cho picking up Banner’s old research. A young team that Peter has to rangle would be great. We can even bring Valkyrie in as the wise parental guide in her new role as Queen of New Asgard. I’d love to add Silk in the mix as well, we can swing that somehow I’m sure. We would also have Shuri as the new Panther.
Anyway, none of this will probably happen. I wasn’t about to stifle my imagination and not book the next 3 phases of the MCU, though. Marvel, hire me! Feige, what up?
What Marvel character do you hope to see in Phases 4 through 6?