(Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, so if you haven’t watched it, read on at your own risk.)
(No, really, there are A LOT of spoilers in this article. MAJOR ones. Are you sure you want to read on? You could go read our review instead. There are no spoilers there, we promise.)
(Last chance to turn back. Article begins after the picture. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
Still here? Ok.
Then welcome to the realm of the post-Endgame Marvel Cinematic Universe, one with no Thanos, no Iron Man, no Black Widow, a new Captain America, a new (old) Gamora, a smart Hulk, a fat Thor, a new queen of Asgard, a retired Hawkeye, and an endless world of possibilities.
With pretty much all the original six Avengers either dead or having their status quo drastically altered, the baton has been passed to a new era of heroes, one that will undoubtedly be led by Black Panther and Captain Marvel, two of the highest profile superheroes remaining in the MCU (sorry, Ant-Man).
So, what is there to look forward to when it comes to the MCU? Plenty, it seems.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Due this July and billed as the final film in Phase Three of the MCU, Spider-Man: Far From Home will take Peter Parker away from home… no, not to space, but to Europe, where Nick Fury ‘kidnaps’ him for a mission and he has to face a strange villain named Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).
The tragic fate of Tony Stark in Endgame is bound to have repercussions for Peter Parker, who viewed Tony as a father figure and a mentor. How he handles that grief and how he moves forward from that loss may give us the first hint of what a post-Endgame MCU might look like. Which brings us to…
Despite Thanos’ best efforts, the only notable losses in Endgame were Iron Man and Black Widow, which means many of the MCU’s heroes are still alive and kicking.
Even two of the characters killed by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War were somehow brought back to life – Gamora was conveniently plucked from the past to rejoin the Guardians Of The Galaxy (albeit for the first time), while Loki absconded with the Tesseract/Space Stone during Ant-Man and Tony Stark’s botched ‘time heist’, so there is a high chance he is still alive. Vision is still dead though, poor guy.
While Marvel Studios has not released any details about the upcoming post-Endgame MCU movies, we already know that several movies are already in the pipeline, including Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (with James Gunn back in the director’s chair) and Captain Marvel 2.
A Black Widow movie is also being prepped, though since the character died in Endgame, we’re guessing it will be about Natasha’s pre-Avengers days.
A movie based on Shang-Chi, Master Of Kungfu has also been announced, which will make it the first MCU movie to be headlined by an Asian character.
Integrating the X-Men and Fantastic Four into the MCU
With Walt Disney Company’s purchase of 20th Century Fox, the film rights for Marvel properties like the X-Men (which includes Wolverine, of course) and Fantastic Four are now under the Marvel Studios banner.
This for me, is the most exciting part of the post-Endgame MCU. The prospect of Marvel Studios making X-Men and Fantastic Four movies (or even TV shows) is a fanboy’s wish come true, and there are a whole host of Avengers/X-Men stories they can draw upon as well once they figure out how to introduce these characters into the main MCU continuity.
Oh, and imagine Wolverine joining the Avengers, like he does in the comics. Now if only Hugh Jackman would change his mind about retiring from the role…
The curious case of Deadpool
Never mind the X-Men, what about Deadpool? Fox has done a decent job with its R-Rated superhero movies, which include two from the Merc With A Mouth. and also Logan, Jackman’s final movei as Wolverine.
In a recent interview with Variety, Marvel Seudios head honcho Kevin Feige said that Disney plans to continue releasing R-rated Deadpool movies in the future.
“When we were purchased, (Disney president) Bob (Iger) said to us, ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. There’s no question that Deadpool is working, so why would we change it?” he said in the interview.
However, whether or not the Regenerating Degenerate will be part of the main MCU continuity remains to be seen.
Rebuilding its TV lineup
With the cancellation of all its Netflix shows (Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, The Defenders and The Punisher) as well as the underrated Agent Carter and the frankly terrible The Inhumans , the only shows set in the MCU left are Runaways, Cloak And Dagger and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
With the upcoming launch of Disney’s streaming service Disney+, however, there is an opportunity for Marvel Studios to go full throttle on making Marvel TV series and maybe tying them all together into the MCU.
With TV shows planned for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Wanda and Vision, Loki, and Hawkeye, all of which will be streaming on Disney+, this is also a great chance for them to introduce characters that otherwise would not be considered for a full-fledged feature film. Howard The Duck, the TV series, anyone?