Avengers: Endgame hit theaters this past weekend and while the film is very much an ending for the Infinity Saga, it also does the job of setting up the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Both in some big and some small ways. WARNING: There are not minor spoilers ahead. These are major ones. Proceed at your own risk. Seriously, spoilers all over the place. Got it? Okay. Now that we’ve got the spoiler warning out of the way, let’s proceed to take a look at what the future of the MCU is going to be like in a post-Avengers: Endgame world. You read that warning, right?
At the end of Avengers: Endgame, it somewhat feels like there isn’t an active Avengers squad anymore. With Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff dead, Steve Rogers passing on the shield and Thor taking off to space, the only original members who are really left are Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, and Bruce Banner, a.k.a. The Hulk. But with the former about to have his own Disney+ series and the confusing rights situation when it comes to the latter, I wouldn’t exactly expect Marvel Studios to put the team back together anytime soon.
While there’s plenty of new members to join the roster, from Ant-Man to Captain Marvel, it feels like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to take a step back and focus on smaller-scale stories. It’s more likely that we see films based around individual characters, such as sequels to Doctor Strange and Black Panther, for some time before a new threat emerges and an all-new Avengers team must assemble. And I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t start to learn what the next “big picture” event for the MCU is until the end of Phase 4 at the earliest.
Asgardians Of The Galaxy
Will Thor become a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the upcoming James Gunn-directed Vol. 3? It sure appears that is the direction they’re going and a smart one if I say so. If Ragnarok and Infinity War proved anything, it’s that Thor kind of works best when he has other characters to bounce off of. Some of the best scenes in Infinity War are his back and forth with Peter Quill. So, having him leave with the Guardians of the Galaxy at the end of Endgame? This opens a lot of fun and exciting possibilities for these characters that will add a fresh dynamic to the sequel.
As for where that film is going? Well, it appears that the Guardians will be in search of Gamora but not present Gamora because she’s dead. It’s the past Gamora who traveled to the future with Thanos and hasn’t actually been a part of the Guardians, something that will present another interesting dynamic into it all. It’s going to likely get weird. All of the above actually has me even more excited for Vol. 3 than I was initially and I’m incredibly glad they brought back James Gunn for what could end being the wackiest installment of the trilogy.
Captain Marvel, The Eternals, And More Cosmic Goodness
Speaking of going out to space, we’ve got the inevitable Captain Marvel sequel on the horizon. A big question at the moment is will this film take place before Endgame (with Carol Danvers going after the Kree), during Endgame (whatever she is doing when delivering reports to Black Widow) or post-Endgame? And will she return to Earth during the movie or will it be set primarily in space? I’m leaning towards the latter there as it seems the most obvious answer given the character’s storyline in Avengers: Endgame and what she’s up to during the movie.
But the above-mentioned films aren’t the only trips we’re going to be taking out to the cosmos in the MCU. Later this year, The Eternals starts filming and will explore another side of the cosmic universe. Not much is really known about this one at the moment but it might be safe to assume that this is the film where Marvel Studios begins setting up the next “big picture” for Phase 5 and beyond. Then there’s chatter about Marvel Studios being interested in doing a Nova film and I wouldn’t be too shocked about the Silver Surfer being the first character that they decide to use now that the 20th Century Fox deal is done.
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man
While not the first thing we discuss in this article, the next piece of the MCU is only a short while away with Spider-Man: Far From Home. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, we see Peter Parker return to high school which leaves me with a couple of questions. Seeing as it’s been five years since he’s been gone, does he return to the grade he left off at with a class of fellow “we got dusted” teens and just normal teens of that age? Or should we expect a confusing time setting like that of Homecoming? Hoping for the former, to be honest. And if that is the case, will we see how the world adjusts to people returning back at the age which they disappeared at? We won’t have to wait too long to find out these answers though as the film hits theaters in a couple of months.
Battle For The Shield
The conclusion of Steve Rogers’ arc sees him handing off the shield and seemingly the mantle of Captain America to Sam Wilson, something that was also done recently in the comics. However, despite Bucky Barnes seeming fine with Sam Wilson taking on the mantle of Captain America, there’s a chance it might not exactly being a smooth path. Could the title for the upcoming Disney+ series Falcon & Winter Soldier hint at the series being centered on Sam Wilson’s path to taking up the Captain America mantle after receiving the shield from Steve Rogers? And could there be some sort of conflict between the two characters or will it be more of a team-up story as many assume?
While initially I had speculated that Bucky would be the next Captain America, it makes more sense for them to give Sam the shield given Bucky’s conflicted nature and somewhat reluctance to be a hero. I’m very curious to see if a future film will adapt Nick Spencer’s Sam Wilson Captain America series from a few years back which was an excellent run that I highly recommend checking out if you’re on the fence with this choice.
Black Widow, The Vision, And…The Past?
While there’s a Black Widow film set to begin production later this year and a Scarlet Witch and Vision series coming to Disney+, the fate of two of these three characters leaves us with some questions. The currently untitled Black Widow film is reportedly a prequel, set before the events of the first Avengers film. However, there are also rumors floating around that the upcoming solo film will bounce between two time periods. While many had assumed that meant post-Avengers: Endgame and the past, it appears that we could dive even further into the character’s past than expected with this one.
As for WandaVision? We recently learned about when the series is set and that raises a bunch of new questions. With them taking the characters back to the 50s, will it be set in reality or will it possibly be a figment of Wanda’s imagination? Could we see a mini-House Of M type situation here with Wanda tweaking reality in order to bring back The Vision? And if that’s the case, how will it affect the larger MCU moving forward? Hopefully we find out more about this series soon because it’s the more mysterious one out of all the Disney+ projects.
Speaking of the past, there’s also the Loki series coming to Disney+. The upcoming series will reportedly feature the God of Mischief as he “pops up throughout human history as an unlikely influencer on historical events.” While many were curious if this was going to be a prequel or if perhaps he faked his death in Avengers: Infinity War, the 2012 bit of Avengers: Endgame may have actually set this series up subtly.
While the Tesseract travels through space and not time, it’s very likely that his disappearance with it could be what leads to the events in the Disney+ series. How? Well, that remains to be seen. Marvel is clearly playing around with time loosely in the same manner which they do in the comics, so there are kinda endless possibilities here. This could also serve as a way to bring the character back to the MCU in the future without totally retconning his death at the hands of Thanos. It wouldn’t exactly be the first time he’s “come back from the dead” in either the comics or on screen.
Shang-Chi & More New Characters
This one feels like the biggest mystery of them all. We know that Destin Daniel Cretton is directing the film. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige all but confirmed that it’s happening. Beyond that though? There’s really not much to discuss in regards to this one for the time being. While the character is obviously going to be an important piece of the MCU, it’s highly likely that Shang-Chi will be very much a standalone film and people shouldn’t hold their breath on seeing him play in the bigger sandbox for a while. I could be wrong though. Maybe we will find out more at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con? And I’m fairly certain that Shang-Chi won’t be the only new character getting their own solo film…
What are you hoping to see in the future of the MCU? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments section below.
Here’s Everything We Learned At Star Wars Celebration Chicago
Star Wars Celebration Chicago was a blast and now that it's come and gone we've got the lowdown on the most important things from the convention.
Star Wars Celebration Chicago has come to a close and we were lucky enough to attend and see all of the amazingly cool things the Galaxy Far, Far Away has in store for us. The convention was pretty eventful as a ton of announcements were made and we got the scoop for you right here if you missed any of it. While at Stars Celebration, we attended a bunch of different panels, including Star Wars: Episode IX, Galaxy's Edge, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and The Mandalorian.
You can hit "Next" to find out everything about Star Wars Celebration Chicago.
Star Wars: Episode IX
The biggest thing to come out of the convention is the Star Wars: Episode IX teaser trailer. The panel for the final installment of the Skywalker saga gave us our first look at the film and the film's official title. Star Wars: Episode IX will be titled Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and it looks pretty damn dope. The first trailer revealed new looks at Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver in the film. It also revealed that Ian McDiarmid will return as Emperor Palpatine. The look and feel of the film screams J.J. Abrams and I think fans of the franchise will be extremely excited for the future of Star Wars.
You can check out the first official trailer for The Rise of Skywalker here.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
On the second day of Star Wars Celebration Chicago, Disney revealed a cool new look at their Star Wars park and their new First initiative that focuses on advances in technology. During the panel, some of the rides were previewed, including The Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance. Smugglers Run will let attendees control the Falcon and you'll be able to see the full ship in all its glory at the spaceport. Meanwhile, Rise of the Resistance will put you face to face with Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo Ren and BB-8. You'll also be able to go toe-to-toe with the First Order. Galaxy's Edge will be a fully immersive park and there will even be an app that allows you to unlock hidden features called Play. You can buy costumes and create your own lightsaber at the park for a fully immersive experience. As far as food and beverages go, there will be blue and green milk as well as an assortment of foods made especially for the park, including cool new bottles for Coca-Cola products. There will also be a few familiar voices and sounds as Frank Oz will reprise his Yoda role, Star Tours DJ Rex will be on the 1s and 2s at the Cantina and John Williams will compose new music for the park. Everything we saw of the park looked stunning and I believe we're in a time where this park could hit Westworld levels.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
After the Galaxy's Edge panel was finished, we got to check out the panel for the next big video game in the Star Wars saga. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order should be a breath of fresh air to fans as it's a single-player story focused on one character. That character is named Cal and he's a former Padawan that survived Order 66. The story trailer revealed the Inquisitors and the new Purge Troopers. Shameless and Gotham Star Cameron Monaghan is bringing Cal to life and he even came out on stage and surprised all the fans in attendance. What was shown from the game looks pretty good and we were told it will hit stores November 2019.
You can check out the first official trailer for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order here.
Nothing during Celebration shocked the crowd more than the panel for The Mandalorian. Kathleen Kennedy, Dave Filoni and creator Jon Favreau hit the stage and we weren't ready for what was about to happen. Favreau brought a cool behind-the-scenes featurette and the first official footage from the series focusing on Pedro Pascal's main character, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers and many more. What they revealed was beautiful and the series features some of the best cinematography I've seen in the Star Wars universe. The cast hit the stage and revealed key details about their characters, including concept art, official stills and their names. Gina Carano will be playing a former Rebel Shocktrooper named Cara Dune and she's a force to be reckoned with. Carl Weathers is on board as Greef Carga, a character who runs a guild of bounty hunters. He's looking for someone to go after a product and he finds Pascal's The Mandalorian. Before the panel ended, Jon Favreau revealed a 5-minute scene and a brief sizzle reel that featured a brutal, gory and scummy first look at the series.
The Future of Star Wars
Episode IX marks the end of the Skywalker Saga and that means fans are officially looking ahead at the future of Star Wars. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are working in their own corner of the galaxy and fans are even speculating that their films will take place during the time of The Knights of the Old Republic. In a recent interview, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy stated that Weiss and Benioff will work in tandem with Rian Johnson on their new series of films. As you all know, Rian Johnson is working on a new trilogy of films that will be separate from the Benioff and Weiss projects, so it makes sense that they'd work together to flesh out the universe. After The Rise of Skywalker, be on the lookout for a minor hiatus for Star Wars films as Lucasfilm begins development on two new series of films.