What's Next For The MCU?
by: Ella Lifset
(Spoiler Alert for Avengers: Endgame!)
As the credits (and tears!) rolled after Endgame following Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter’s slow dance together, fans immediately wondered what exactly Kevin Feige had in store for the subsequent MCU movies. Although there is no “definitive” list of movies for Phase 4, here are several movies that have been confirmed and/or are rumored to be released in the coming years.
Spider-Man: Far From Home – Two official trailers have been released for this movie, so it’s pretty much safe to say that audiences will see Spider-Man swing back into theaters on the projected date of July 2, 2019. As for content, we can surmise that Peter Parker will be mourning the death of his mentor Tony Stark after the events of Endgame, as well as “collaborating” with Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio on a field trip to Europe (as every comic book fan knows, Mysterio is part of the villainous team The Sinister Six, and one of the more deadly names in Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery, so Parker’s team-up with Mysterio should be taken with a grain of salt). It should also be noted that the trailer brings up the idea of a shared Multi-Verse, which is also immensely important in the comics and could also lead to the potential introduction of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.
Black Widow – The much-anticipated movie starring Scarlett Johansson as everyone’s favorite Russian-spy-turned-Avenger has not yet been announced by Marvel Studios. However, reports have indicated that production may begin this summer, with release around May 2020. It has also been rumored that high-profile actors like Florence Pugh, Alec Baldwin, and Rachel Weisz have been added to cast lists, but as of May 2019, there has been no official confirmation. Of course, following Black Widow’s devastating sacrifice on Vormir, the movie would have to be precede the events of Endgame, perhaps as a prequel to the Avengers with Romanoff as a SHIELD agent, or before her SHIELD days altogether.
Doctor Strange 2: Not much is known about the Sorcerer Supreme’s upcoming sequel, although after Endgame it was shown that both Dr. Strange and his associate, Wong, survived the battle. November 2020, or sometime during late fall, was recently reported as the release date of the movie. The movie will hopefully elaborate upon Baron Mordo’s actions at the end of Dr. Strange, where he was set up as the next potential adversary for the doctor. In the comics, Baron Mordo is one of Strange’s more dangerous foes, so audiences may soon witness a fight between two of the most powerful magicians in the MCU.
The Eternals: Despite being a lesser-known part of Marvel history, The Eternals has been reported to be released in early 2021. In the comics, the Eternals are a race of humanoid individuals that protect the Earth from another race called the Deviants, in a constant war similar to the Kree-Skrull one depicted in Captain Marvel. Although little is known about the storyline and how it may fit in with the MCU, it could tie in with the Multi-Verse that Feige seems to be setting up.
Black Panther 2/Captain Marvel 2: With each sequel slated for release in 2021 and 2022 respectively, both of these movies will serve as a continuation of the storylines of their titular protagonists. These movies will follow the immense success of their preceding films (the widespread acclaim that culminated in an astounding 6 Academy Award nominations for Black Panther, and over $1 billion in worldwide earnings for Captain Marvel) as well as the marking of important social milestones in the movie industry. Once again, almost nothing is known about the plots of either of the movies, but it would be safe to say that the movies will most likely not disappoint.
Shang Chi: Speaking of diversity, the Marvel hero Shang Chi will soon reach the big screen with a reportedly all-Asian cast, something practically unheard of in the comic cinematic world. Once again, there is almost nothing known about the plot, except for the comic books from which Shang Chi, the martial arts prodigy and son of international crime lord, is based. The possible release date for this movie is late fall of 2021.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: Following the controversy with director James Gunn and his firing and rehiring by Disney, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will not hit theaters until after his current project, a remake of DC’s Suicide Squad (yes, there is going to be another one), in early 2022. After the events of Endgame and the subsequent creation of the As-Guardians of the Galaxy, which now includes the mighty (and paunchy) Asgardian Thor, audiences will once again be graced with smart-aleck comebacks, ridiculous action sequences, and many declarations of “I Am Groot.” Additionally, Vol. 3 may deal with the disappearance of Gamora from a separate dimension, as she and Star-Lord briefly met during Endgame.
Disney+: Disney has recently announced their competitor in the streaming-service industry set to launch on November 12, 2019. Along with film content, Marvel will further expand into television, with MCU shows like WandaVision, Loki, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and a currently untitled Hawkeye project. In a Reddit AMA, Feige divulged information regarding these top secret shows, describing them as weaving into the movies “totally and completely,” something that has not yet been truly accomplished, as Marvel’s The Defenders and Agents of SHIELD remain largely in their own timelines. However, it is still a mystery as to how some of these shows will fit into the cinematic universe, for example Vision has remained destroyed since the events of Avengers: Infinity War, leaving many confused as to how he will be reintegrated into the MCU.