Marvel fans that have seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be the same – seriously. This list is packed with spoilers concerning the final moments of the film, so if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s best to look away and get to a movie theater ASAP.
The latest installment in the epic Marvel movie-verse unleashes more twists, turns, surprises and changes than any film that has preceded it. And with every member of Captain America’s inner circle left in a completely new place than where they started, this one movie has the most sequel and spin-off potential we’ve ever before. Here are the five follow-up adventures we have to see in order to tie up The Winter Soldier‘s loose ends.
Nick Fury: HYDRA Hunter
After dismantling S.H.I.E.L.D. to eradicate HYDRA’s influence, Nick Fury exits the cast’s grave site rendezvous with a mission – ridding the world of the beast’s remaining heads for good. Samuel L. Jackson’s nearing the end of his initial nine-picture deal with Marvel Studios, and he deserves to go out with a big screen bang. While it looks like Marvel’s focusing on new properties like Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and the yet-to-be-announced Doctor Strange, they might be able to squeeze in a film starring the MCU vet should they switch to a three movies a year game plan.
Black Widow: Solo
Fans have been clamoring for a Black Widow movie ever since she used her super spy smarts to trick Loki, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier provides the perfect springboard for a solo Natasha adventure. With her entire checkered past trending on Twitter and her place of employment left in rubble, Black Widow has no choice but to rebuild her life – all while fighting off the enemies that will emerge now that her whereabouts have been made public.
Captain America and Falcon
Steve Rogers traded one dear friend for another in The Winter Soldier, as Falcon swooped in to save him from Bucky, his best buddy gone bad. In the last seconds of the movie, Falcon realizes that Cap’s going to track down the deadly Winter Soldier and immediately signs up for the mission. “When do we start?” asks Falcon, just before the credits triumphantly begin. If that doesn’t scream SEQUEL, we don’t know what does. Odds are this will be the basis for Captain America 3, rumored to be hitting theaters in 2016. Considering the fantastic chemistry between Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie in this film, it would make sense to push that to the forefront.
Marvel One-Shot: Agent 13
Sharon Carter got less screen time than the rest of her co-stars – heck, they didn’t even reveal her last name! – but that only leaves us wanting more. When last we see Agent 13, she’s hitting a bull’s-eye in a CIA shooting range as she transitions out of her S.H.I.E.L.D. career. Marvel should produce a sequel to last year’s Agent Carter short film, placing Peggy’s niece Sharon in a similarly frustrating professional situation as she struggles to adjust to the surely slower paced life of a CIA agent. Having Emily VanCamp star in Agent Carter II would also be a great way to connect the character to Hayley Atwell’s, especially since their relationship was never touched upon in Winter Soldier.
Maria Hill: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Okay, so the future of ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. remains up in the air, both because it has yet to be renewed and because Winter Soldier completely pulled the show’s entire premise – and title – out from under it. But this could be the shot in the arm the show needs, and whatever new status quo the show decides on would benefit greatly from pulling Maria Hill out of a cubicle in Stark Industries’ human resources department. Now that How I Met Your Mother is over, Cobie Smulders has plenty of time in her schedule – and we bet she’s ready to do more in a Marvel project than bark orders at a computer screen.