Avengers: Endgame was the culmination of 11 years of a cinematic storyline, and the movie not only acted as a conclusion to the infinity saga but paved a way for the MCU going forward. Hence, it was both the beginning and the end for the MCU. Before you read this post, keep in mind that there are spoilers ahead. With that being said, here’s how the MCU is going to potentially move forward over the next couple phases.
Captain America’s Return
The great Chris Evans, who portrayed Steve Rodgers (Aka Captain America) up to this point in the MCU, has decided to retire from Marvel movies for the foreseeable future. However, that doesn’t mean that the character Captain America himself will no longer be a part of the MCU going forward.
At the end of Avengers: Endgame, once Steve Rodgers goes back in time to restore the infinity stones to the exact time point that they were taken, it’s noticed that Cap himself doesn’t return at the exact moment he was supposed to. Instead, as Hulk and Falcon argue about what could have possibly happened, Bucky notices a figure sitting by the lake. The camera pans around to show an older Captain America, overlooking the vast horizon.
As Bucky and Falcon walk towards him, it’s actually Falcon that speaks to him first. It during this scene that Captain America, not the same soldier that he used to be, hands the shield to Falcon. It not only signifies a true end for the Captain America portrayed by Chris Evans but also sets up Falcon to be the new Captain America going forward in the MCU.
It can be noticed that throughout the scene, the two main characters besides Steve Rodgers himself, was both Bucky and Falcon. In the comics, both these characters have taken on the mantle of Captain America, and perhaps that may be the case for the future of the MCU. Maybe Falcon is the new Captain America for now, but it could possibly be Bucky in the next few years.
A New Iron-Man
Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron-Man will always be remembered as one of the best Marvel characters to ever hit the big screen. And with the death of Iron-Man in Avengers: Endgame signalling the end of the first three phases of the MCU, the mantle has been left up in the air, especially regarding as to who the new Iron-Man would be going forward.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Marvel Studios will cast another actor to portray Iron-Man, but instead have another character already established within the MCU to take on the persona, ideals and responsibilities of an Iron-Man. Although this is more of a theory, it could still make sense if the MCU were to go this route.
What if Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, became the new Iron-Man of the MCU. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Tom Holland’s character, Peter Parker, will don the Iron-Man suit and literally become the new Iron-Man. Instead, within confines of the MCU, Peter Parker becomes the new leader and takes responsibility with the absence of Tony Stark.
It makes sense as Peter Parker’s character has been a protege of Tony Stark, learning about what it takes to be a leader and the values needed to be a true hero. With Peter Parker becoming somewhat of a new Iron-Man, it gives Marvel the opportunity to introduce a new Spider-Man, Miles Morales, who was hinted at during Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Avengers: Endgame may be the final movie for some actors, but it is the beginning for others. With many stars and original cast members, like Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and so forth, all having expiring contracts after Endgame, it can be stated that a large part of the MCU will be gone when the actors finally depart.
However, with original cast leaving, it opens up the door for many other MCU characters, like Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Spider-Man and so forth, to step forward and become the new face of the MCU. Kevin Feige, the executive producer at Marvel Studios, has stated that Captain Marvel will likely become the new main character within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With popular characters like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and many more, the future of the MCU looks set to keep moving forward, despite losing some of the core characters that laid the foundation for what the MCU is now.
Marvel Studios, now part of the Disney Corporation, has continued to grow, not only in terms of success but also in terms of characters and storylines. A clear example of this is the Spider-Man: Homecoming movie released in 2017.
After selling the rights to the Spider-Man character to Sony Pictures, it looked as if the character would never be part of the larger MCU. However, that didn’t turn out that way. Disney, the conglomerate that’s overtaking and monopolising the movie industry, continues to increase it’s inventory of movie studios, owning many large movie production companies such as Lucas Films, Marvel Studios and so forth.
As of recently, it’s been confirmed that Disney has bought 20th Century Fox. With this purchase by Disney, it would mean that they would own the movie rights of the majority of Marvel comics characters, ranging from the Avengers to the Fantastic Four, to the X-men, as well as a wider range of Villains and cosmic entities, including Galactus and many more.
As the infinity saga comes to a conclusion with Avengers: Endgame, a lot of characters within the universe have been given goodbyes. Evidently, this would be the perfect time to bring in a new host of characters. Instead of singular characters, like including Spider-Man or Doctor Strange, bringing in another franchise like the X-men could heavily boost the already character-driven Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Possible New Villains?
Avengers: Endgame not only said goodbye to heroes within the MCU but also to the main antagonist. The 20 movie build up to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame gave audience members one of the best superhero movie antagonists ever. With that being said, the true question is; who is going to be the next main villain within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, post-Thanos?
With the merger between Disney and 20th Century Fox, a range of new heroes and villains will join the MCU. Evidently, this leaves a lot open as to the direction Marvel will take, both in terms of future MCU movies and the potential next big antagonist that will oppose the Avengers – and perhaps the Fantastic Four and X-men?
Throughout the infinity saga, Thanos brought on a cosmic level threat, one that had consequences across the universe. However, with such high stakes already established, it wouldn’t make sense to have the next 20+ movies for the Marvel Cinematic Universe solely focus on villains that bring about a global level threat.
The next step for Marvel would be to increase the stakes and take it to a whole new level. With the increasing cast, and storylines now available to Marvel, introducing a multi-verse level threat could be extremely likely. For example, from one universe, they could introduce the X-men, and from another the Fantastic Four and so forth. All these heroes would then join forces to not only defend a singular universe, but existence as a whole.
It may have been overstated, but what Marvel has been able to accomplish throughout the MCU will evidently go down in cinematic history. The interlinking storylines of 20+ movies, culminating in a blockbuster showdown that’s been smashing box office records is something that has never been done before, and it’s clear to say that the MCU is far from over.
Although Avengers: Endgame might be the conclusion that Marvel said it would be, the MCU will keep moving forward. Endgame left a lot of doors open in terms of possible future directions for the MCU, and frankly, we can’t wait to see the route Marvel take over the next saga within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.