What’s Next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?

(Last Updated On: June 5, 2019)

What's Next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?

Even if you’ve been actively trying to avoid them, you probably know how deep into mainstream culture Marvel movies have made it. We’ve never really seen a series of ensemble films done to this level of depth and magnitude, and attempts to copy this success haven’t exactly gone well. Still not sold on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? Well, just days after Avengers: Endgame came out, the film already had a Wikipedia page for all the records it broke.

With such a financially successful film franchise on their hands, it’s obvious that Marvel will want to keep the movies coming. But what do we know for sure at this point? What’s next for the MCU?

Warning: This post contains Avengers: Endgame spoilers.

What’s Next for Marvel?

If you’ve been keeping up with the movies, you know that Avengers: Endgame marked the end of the “Infinity Saga”, the first 22 MCU films that focus on the gathering of the Infinity Stones and the war against Thanos. Next up is Spider-Man: Far From Home, which will bring an end to “Phase Three”, or the third part of the MCU.

As it currently stands, we know of a few “Phase Four” MCU TV shows and movies that are in production and/or planned now. A handful of Marvel stories will come to Disney’s streaming service, Disney+. This list below takes us into 2021-2022.

  • Black Widow
  • Hawkeye (Disney+)
  • The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Disney+)
  • Black Panther 2
  • Shang-Chi
  • Doctor Strange 2
  • WandaVision (Disney+)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
  • Loki (Disney+)
  • The Eternals

This actually isn’t all we know, though. We also know that Disney bought Fox. Which means Disney now owns the X-Men and Fantastic Four in their march for film monopoly. If you saw Avengers: Age of Ultron, this is why they killed off Quicksilver (Disney didn’t own the character’s rights then). Will we see the X-Men join the MCU? It seems likely.

Disney’s Streaming Series: Disney+

There’s no denying that Avengers: Endgame was a nostalgia trip. But it also had many allusions to Marvel’s near-distant future, despite it closing many story arcs from the last 10 years of movies. With Disney set to launch Disney+ later this year, we know we’ll be getting a whole new docket of MCU shows. As such, many fans have begun to speculate about what we might see.

Endgame begins with Hawkeye and his daughter shooting in the backyard, which many have taken as a nod to Kate Bishop. Though the Russo brothers have de-confirmed this scene as an allusion to the character, many are expecting to see Bishop appear in the new Hawkeye show.

On the topic of shows, Vision was noticeably absent from Endgame, probably because the rock in his head was ripped out for use in Infinity War. His romance with Wanda came a little bit out of nowhere. Fans speculate that this might get addressed more in Disney+’s WandaVision.

And who can forget Loki flying off with the Tesseract in the middle of Endgame? Perhaps this will be the setup for his own Disney+ show.

Curious about the rock in Vision’s head mentioned? For further reading, check out What Are the Infinity Stones?

A Conspiracy Gauntlet

Endgame introduces a multiverse to the MCU. This means Marvel has opened the door to do pretty much whatever they want in future films and TV shows. Of course, fans are having a conspiracy theory field day with this.

It’s never addressed in the movies, but Tony Stark is actually adopted in the comics, and for a time joins the Guardians of the Galaxy on some space adventures. Yes, we know that Endgame is likely Downey Jr.’s departure from Marvel, but the Iron Man character makes a lot of money. Tony’s encounter with his father in Endgame could set up for a future adoption revelation, given Tony’s confusion when Howard tells him his wife is expecting.

There’s also Ironheart, who may appear in the MCU as Shuri taking the Iron Man mantle (opposed to the comic’s Riri Williams). Whether she will replace Iron Man or not, Endgame also throws Rescue (Pepper Potts) into the mix, and we’re likely going to be seeing more of her.

Furthermore, Thor’s establishing of New Asgard, on a rabbit hole of events, may let us see some interpretation of a Siege storyline (basically more Loki and Asgard shenanigans). Who knows, maybe we’ll see more of  “Fat Thor” and the Asgardians of the Galaxy too?

We also can’t ignore the $70 billion elephant in the room; Disney owning Fox. This means there’s a huge door open for the X-Men to appear in a movie alongside the Avengers. Or at least whatever new form the Avengers take in the wake of Endgame. Maybe Scarlet Witch will finally find out who her dad is? Or maybe we’ll see Deadpool in the same movie as the Avengers?

The Future of the MCU?

Regardless of what’s next for the MCU, Endgame concluded what many had been following since Iron Man in 2008. Wherever the films go, they’re going to keep coming out until they stop making money. With a multiverse and more pages of potential source material than we can count, the Marvel train probably isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

About the Author:

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Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.