Disney CEO Bob Iger points out that Marvel owns the rights to 7,000 characters, and there are plans to use them.
“There will be two distinct periods. Everything before Avengers 4 and everything after.” – Kevin Fiege
The two-part Infinity War endeavor featuring the Avengers members and then some will wrap up in 2019. With Avengers: Infinity War part one set to debut on May 4th 2018 and part two on May 3rd 2019. Once Phase 4 finally wraps with just over 20 films under their belt, the MCU is set to change forever with a major shift following the epic ensemble adventures of all current MCU heroes and the outcome of Infinity War. As to what those details are, Fiege and Marvel are being tight-lipped, but we do know that a Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel set for 2019 and a third Guardians of the Galaxy in 2020 will kick off whatever comes next in this new phase and future for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
Considering the inclusion of Doctor Strange and the multiverse, and the many rumors circling the possibility of Marvel and FOX working on crossover potential, there really are endless opportunities from a business perspective and a future there looks bright with heroes from the likes of the X-Men and Fantastic Four for as far as the eye can see.
On top of all of this, actors like Chris Evans and Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr, and Scarlett Johansson have contracts that are set to expire after the end of Infinity War and Phase 4. RDJ and Evans have both gone on record in recent years stating they would continue their characters for as long as Marvel and Disney wanted them, but at this point its unknown if this has changed in any capacity.
Robert Downey Jr had discussed the possibility of Iron Man 4 for some time over the last three years but a script was never confirmed, and Iron Man had major involvement in both Civil War, Captain America’s third theatrical title, and Spider-Man’s reboot in Homecoming. With all things considered, while anything could happen, a fourth installment in Iron Man’s solo franchise may not come to.
Mark Ruffalo had revealed that after the events of Ragnarok, Hulk may finally get his own solo films with plans allegedly being discussed. This would mark the first time Ruffalo would be seen as Bruce Banner/Hulk in his own franchise, and the first time Hulk would get his own installment in the MCU since Edward Norton’s brief role as Banner in 2008’s Incredible Hulk.
Miles Morales is revealed to exist within the MCU as well, after having been mentioned by Donald Glover’s character Aaron Davis, Miles’ uncle, in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Fans recognize Miles as becoming the new Spider-Man after Peter’s tragic death in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics storyline. In the comics, Miles is bitten shortly after Peter by another Spider that stumbles into Aaron Davis’ bag during a heist at Oscorp, where genetic testing is being done on various arachnids. Miles remains in hiding, afraid of what it means to be a hero until Peter is killed by the Green Goblin, and ultimately steps up to take his place as a young Avenger.
All of these characters and more have a special place in the MCU, but it’s up to Marvel Studios to decide to what extent they are used. Personally, I would not mind seeing a Miles Morales and Peter Parker team-up, or even a Deadpool and Spider-Man team-up.
There is a lot happening in the world of heroes right now, both on the screen and in the comic books. One thing is for sure, there doesn’t seem to be any slowing down from Marvel especially with 7,000 characters at their disposal. Below outlines the list of movies that take place within the MCU.
- Black Panther: February 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War: May 4, 2018
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: July 6, 2018
- Captain Marvel: March 8, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War Part 2: May 3 2019
- Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel: July 5, 2019
- Guardians of the Galaxy 3: 2020
It should be noted that there are multiple SONY spinoffs featuring some of Spider-Man’s more notable acquaintances such as Venom, Black Cat, and Silver Sable all set to get their own films or ensemble team-ups. These films, while techincally in the same universe as Spider-Man, have no direct relation or involvement within Marvel Studios’ films, but still by extension do take place in the MCU.
Whether it be more studios crossovers, deaths of heroes, re-births of villains, or some whacky zany obscure character that no one recognizes to appear on screen and steal our hearts, one thing we do know for sure is that there is a lot to look forward to in the near and immediate future with so many great projects on the horizon. It’ll be sad when it comes to an end, as all good things must, but paving the way for a brand new cinematic adventure that dares to be bigger, bolder, and brighter than before is unbelievably exciting.