After Avengers Endgame, here’s everything we know about the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s future
By the time you read this, Avengers: Endgame would be well on its way to breaking all-time box office records. Billed as the ‘epic conclusion’ to the 22-film-long Infinity Saga, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will now open its doors to new characters that will take the franchise forward.
As of now, the only film on Marvel’s slate is July’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, a direct follow-up to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, although it is unclear if the film will be set after the events of Endgame. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has said that they aren’t ‘going to announce anything post Avengers: Endgame or Spider-Man: Far From Home until post Endgame and Spider-Man’.
Feige said during a recent Marvel event, “We’re not going to talk specifically about the story of any of those films, the plot of any of those films, what happens to any of the characters in any of those films. In fact, even to talk about any of those characters – who will be involved in those movies – will be a bit of a spoiler as to what may or may not happen to them in earlier movies.”
But Marvel has three mystery films slated for release in 2020, 2021 and 2022, each. It’s possible that the studio will simply announce the titles of these films once the excitement around Endgame has died down, because they must all be in various stages of development. In fact, we can safely predict several of these films, based on previous reports.
Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame follow.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Director Jon Watts returns to helm this sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, which stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker, and features a cast that includes newcomer Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays the ‘villain’, Mysterio. A trailer has already been released, although it doesn’t quite make it clear whether or not the story is set in a post-Endgame world. The film has complicated matters for Marvel a little bit, considering Spider-Man ‘dies’ at the end of Infinity War. Contrary to popular belief, Far From Home is the final chapter in Phase III of the MCU, and not Endgame. This has been confirmed by Feige.
The only future Marvel film on the cusp of beginning production is Black Widow, the long-awaited solo film starring Scarlett Johansson’s character, and starring Florence Pugh in a supporting role. Cate Shortland has been handpicked by Marvel and Johansson to direct, and filming is expected to begin in June and will last till September. Jac Schaeffer, Nicole Perlman and Ned Benson have worked on the script. SPOILER ALERT: Since Black Widow perished in Endgame, the film will likely be a prequel.
Indie filmmaker Chloe Zhao has been hired to direct, and the most recent reports have suggested that Angelina Jolie might be in talks to star as Sersi. This would make The Eternals the third MCU film to have been directed by a woman, and to feature a female character in the lead role. Feige intends for the characters to lead their own franchise within the MCU, similar to the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Doctor Strange 2
Director Scott Derrickson will return to helm the sequel to his well-received Doctor Strange, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong reprising their roles as Stephen Strange and Wong, respectively. The deals were struck ‘quietly’ so as to not draw attention to the characters’ fates in the MCU. Derrickson has said that he would like to take a Dark Knight approach to the sequel, and ‘bring in a villain where you really got to go deep [and have] a more visceral experience’.
Black Panther 2
Similar to how news of Doctor Strange 2 was largely kept under wraps, Ryan Coogler has been convinced to return to write and direct Black Panther 2. Marvel has made no official announcements, but the Hollywood Reporter says that Coogler is expected to write the film in the next few months, with a start-date tentatively set around the end of 2019 or early 2020.
Keeping with Feige’s statement that the future of the MCU will be more diverse, Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton (who has worked with Brie Larson, incidentally) will helm the first MCU film to feature an Asian character in the lead. Wonder Woman 1984 writer David Callaham is penning the script.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
After months of back-and-forth, director James Gunn was rehired to helm the third Guardians film, based on his script. Gunn was fired after old offensive tweets of his resurfaced, which prompted Disney to cut ties with the filmmaker despite an apology. The central cast had sided with Gunn, and urged Disney to reconsider. In the following weeks, it was reported that Guardians 3 had been indefinitely postponed as the studio searched for a replacement director. It was confirmed, however, that Gunn’s original script would still be used. The drama came to an end just weeks ago, when it was quietly reported - not by Marvel, mind you - that Gunn had been brought back. SPOILER ALERT - Endgame implies that Thor will join the Guardians in future adventures.
Besides the theatrical productions, Marvel recently announced a host of new shows that’ll debut on Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney+. These include WandaVision, a show that’ll star Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Vision, respectively. The show will perhaps be a prequel, since Vision dies at the end of Infinity War.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier, starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan could also be set before the events of Endgame, since - SPOILER ALERT - Sam Wilson is promoted to Captain America at the end of the film.
Fan favourite Loki will once again be brought back to the MCU, in a stand-alone series starring Tom Hiddleston, also perhaps a prequel, since Loki died in Infinity War. Hawkeye, starring Jeremy Renner, will perhaps tell focus on his and Kate Bishop’s relationship.
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