With Avengers: Endgame set to bring the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it to a close, we’ve all been wondering what the fates of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will be heading into Phase 4. We already know that Iron Man and Captain America won’t be returning (at least that’s what they’re telling us), but that’s not the case for the entire roster.
At the recent Disney Investor Day presentation, Kevin Feige discussed plans for some of the remaining characters. In short: a few of them are heading to Disney+ in the near future. And if that’s not enough to sell you on the streaming service, Feige also revealed that story developments in their Marvel shows will be intertwined with events in MCU theatrical releases.
“These will be both new and continuing stories and one of the things we’re most excited about is that these will be major storylines set in the MCU with ramifications that will be felt both in the Disney+ shows we’re producing and our features on the big screen.”
Feige’s words suggest that Disney+ is going to be an essential purchase for Marvel fans. Clearly, the small-screen adventures will have a significant impact in the grand scheme of things. That said, I doubt a big corporation like Disney will risk alienating moviegoers who don’t pick up a subscription, so don’t be surprised if these shows are still quite independent from their cinematic counterparts.
As for the future of the MCU on the big screen, it’s already common knowledge that a few Avengers have continued adventures in development as well. With this in mind, here’s a list of the announced projects that will feature the superheroes.
The cinematic fate of the wisecracking web-slinger has been known for a while now. Last summer, Tom Holland revealed that Spider-Man: Far from Home will be Spidey’s second standalone movie in the MCU. The sequel will be released this July. While I’m not complaining about getting to see a new Spider-Man movie this summer, I do wish its existence was kept top secret and sprung on us after Endgame. The film’s announcement more or less confirmed that Spidey’s “death” in Avengers: Infinity War was temporary.
Not much is known about the movie yet, but Jake Gyllenhaal will make his Marvel debut as Mysterio, which is genius casting. While the character has mostly served as an adversary to Spidey in the comics, the first trailer suggests that there might be more to him this time around. We shall see.
Spider-Man: Far From Home opens a few months after Endgame on July 5, 2019.
This one is hella exciting. Fans have been clamoring for the MCU’s master spy to receive her own movie for years, and now it’s finally happening courtesy of screenwriter Jac Schaeffer and director Cate Shortland.
The cast is also shaping up to be top notch. In addition to Scarlett Johansson as the eponymous ass-kicker, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour will also appear. Marvel has yet to confirm which characters this impressive ensemble will bring to life; however, our very own Sheryl Oh has some fantastic ideas as to whom they could play.
Black Widow has no release date yet, but it begins production this summer, and word on the street is it’s due in November 2020.
The Guardians of the Galaxy
Another guaranteed sequel we can expect in the post-Endgame world is the third installment of the space opera saga Guardians of the Galaxy. Furthermore, James Gunn will return to helm proceedings for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following his unexpected and controversial firing from Disney last year.
We’ll have to wait a while for this one, though. Before Gunn returns for another adventure with these spacefaring heroes, he’ll be focused on the upcoming Suicide Squad reboot for DC. That said, it’s just good to know that this movie is actually happening and it’s being helmed by the filmmaker who made the franchise so beloved in the first place.
Given that the first movie was a huge success, a cultural phenomenon, the best movie of 2018, and an Oscar-winner, a sequel was always going to happen. This is another one that should have been kept under wraps until after Endgame, but knowing that we’ll see more of Wakanda down the line nonetheless gives us something to look forward to.
At this time, we know for sure that Ryan Coogler has signed on to write and direct the film. Elsewhere, Letitia Wright will reprise her role as Shuri, a badass who also deserves her own movie. Of course, the story is being kept close to the chest for now, but Coogler has previously stated that he wants to explore T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) evolving as a king in future films. His reign has really only just started in the MCU after all.
Additionally, there’s also been rumblings of a solo Killmonger movie. The popularity of Michael B. Jordan’s character likely means that we haven’t seen the last of him, so don’t be surprised if he returns for the sequel in some capacity as well.
Black Panther 2 is most likely to return with another February release date, probably in 2021.
After Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) strong outing in Infinity War, the Master of the Mystic Arts has established himself as one of the most intriguing characters in the MCU. It would be a shame if we didn’t get to spend more time with the doctor-turned-magician. Fortunately, a sequel is in the works and Scott Derrickson is back on board to direct it.
Right now, the movie is still in the early development stages, so we don’t know much about it. However, since Phase 4 is expected to focus on the cosmic side of Marvel mythology, Strange will no doubt play a key part in shaping the MCU’s future.
Doctor Strange 2 is expected to arrive in the Fall of 2021.
One of the earliest announcements to entice fans to subscribe to Disney’s upcoming streaming service was the news that Tom Hiddleston will reprise his role as Loki in a limited series about Asgard’s mischevious son.
Like most of the planned Disney+ Marvel shows, details about this one are scarce beyond its existence. Given that the character was subject to an unfortunate demise in Infinity War, it remains to be seen how he’ll be brought back into the fold. Some people think he’s alive, though, and it’s not as if being resurrected in Marvel’s world is impossible.
Loki is due on Disney+ within the second year of the service, so either late 2020 or early 2021.
Variety recently broke the news that Jeremy Renner will return to spearhead a Hawkeye limited series for Disney’s streaming service. According to the report, the project will be an adventure series in which the titular archery master will pass the torch to his protégé, Kate Bishop.
In the comics, Bishop adopted the Hawkeye mantle after Cliff Barton. She is also a member of the Young Avengers, so perhaps this series will pave the way for onscreen outings involving her heroic comrades in the near future. Disney has not confirmed the Hawkeye series and so it’s unknown when it will premiere.
Vision and Scarlet Witch
After months of rumors, Disney finally confirmed that Vision (Paul Bettany) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) will receive their own streaming series. The show has also been given the much snappier title of WandaVision, which is much better than Vision and Scarlet Witch.
Jac Schaeffer will write and produce the six-episode series, though there’s been no information about what the story entails or when it will take place within the MCU timeline.
Of course, since these spinoff shows will focus on adding more depth to various MCU characters, we assume that WandaVision will explore the romantic relationship between the pair and how it came to be. There’s certainly no shortage of source material in the comics to mine from either.
WandaVision is due on Disney+ within the second year of the service, so either late 2020 or early 2021.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
One of the most exciting shows to be making its way to the Disney+ small-screen lineup is Falcon and Winter Soldier, which will see Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return to play their respective roles as the titular heroes. Once again, we know basically nothing about this show apart from the fact it’s happening with the two actors on board. A few months ago, however, Variety revealed that Empire’s Malcolm Hellman had been tapped to write it.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier debuts on Disney+ within the streaming service’s first year, so either 2019 or 2020.
Chris Hemsworth is contractually done with Marvel after Endgame, which leaves the future of the character he’s played for seven movies up in the air. Despite his Marvel tenure seemingly coming to an end, the actor remains open to more Thor movies if a good idea presents itself. Should another sequel happen, it will be the first time that an Avenger has been given four solo movies.
Still, should he survive Endgame, perhaps he’ll show up in the Loki series? He has to, surely! Until then, he has Endgame to get through, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up being a casualty of the final battles.
There’s been no word of a second Ant-Man sequel yet, but Marvel’s tendency to turn their individual franchises into trilogies bodes well for the future. According to director Peyton Reed, there is another story to tell, and he remains hopeful that they’ll bring it to life someday.
The Incredible Hulk
Sadly, the angry green giant is destined to remain a supporting player for the foreseeable future. Mark Ruffalo stated that another standalone Hulk movie is out of the question because Universal owns the rights to solo Hulk outings and won’t make a deal.
Hopefully, the character continues to play a part in the MCU post-Endgame. As Thor: Ragnarok proved, the monster is an entertaining companion. I doubt he’ll die in Endgame since the movie will probably focus on Bruce Banner rediscovering his inner beast. Marvel isn’t sick enough to kill him off after all he’s been through.
It’s only a matter of time until we see Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers in solo action once again. Captain Marvel ended with her having some unfinished business with Ronan the Accuser and the Kree’s Super Intelligence. Those missions demand at least one sequel.
Additionally, the character’s history with the X-Men makes her a perfect catalyst for introducing them to the MCU. We all know that’s going to happen eventually.
While the established characters are great and all, the MCU also needs some fresh blood to keep things unpredictable and exciting. The good news is that we can expect some to arrive in the near future.
Up first is the Chloe Zhao-directed The Eternals, which follows a group of superpowered, immortal beings created by cosmic gods known as the Celestials. Angelina Jolie is in talks to star in this one, along with Kumail Nanjiani, and filming is scheduled to commence later this year.
Another deep dive Marvel hero who’s receiving a future solo movie is Shang-Chi, and Destin Daniel Cretton has been tasked with transforming the Bruce Lee clone into a relevant box office sensation. The movie will also introduce some epic martial arts action to the MCU, which is an exciting notion for sure. It’s about time Hollywood gave us an authentic Asian blockbuster, and this will make waves for representation as Marvel seeks to tell even more diverse stories. A Shang-Chi release date hasn’t been announced yet.