What will the MCU’s future be? Now that fans know a little more about Avengers: Endgame, fans are even more curious to know what will happen next. Part of the puzzle has been solved; a combination of casting rumors and announced movies has shown fans part of the cinematic future for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. But, given how https://www.cbr.com/wp-admin/edit.phpmuch mystery remains, fans continue to speculate what Marvel has planned. Fans can count on the certainty that Avengers: Endgame will drastically alter the landscape of the big screen Marvel world we’ve come to know and love. Several main actors are likely to leave, which will leave some significant holes in the Avengers’ roster. For example, Steve Rogers, Tony Stark and Thor could all leave sometime quite soon. These three heroes have been pillars of the MCU.
Then, consider that Thanos has been the main villain of the MCU for most of its duration. How will Marvel’s line of movies continue when the heroes’ biggest threat has been defeated? Additionally, Marvel will likely want to change things up beyond the introduction of new heroes. Fans might see time travel or the exploration of the multiverse because Marvel will want to open new storytelling possibilities. As a result, some fan theories have tried to answer the question, “how will Marvel cope with all this change?” As with most fan theories, this speculation ranges from likely and feasible to far-fetched, if not improbable. With that being said, we’ve decided to list some of the top theories about the MCU’s future. Ten of these ideas could happen while ten of them would be practically impossible to bring to fruition.
20 COULD HAPPEN: NEW LEADERS
No matter what happens in Avengers: Endgame, one thing is clear: the Avengers will look drastically different afterwards. Steve Rogers will probably be gone. Tony Stark could also leave the team, either willingly or as a casualty in the war against Thanos. The absence of either leader would cause a serious power vacuum and someone will need to step in to fill it.
The two likeliest candidates are Black Panther and Captain Marvel. Assuming T’Challa returns in Avengers: Endgame, he’d be a fitting leader of the team. Similarly, Danvers will likely be the X factor in the battle against Thanos, which would rapidly build her resume. Other heroes could lead the team but T’Challa and Danvers are the most likely candidates.
19 IMPOSSIBLE: BLADE REBOOT
Rebooting the Blade franchise makes some sense. The character just joined the Avengers in Avengers #700 and, in the comics, it seems like Marvel is embracing the horror genre. But, on the big screen, a new Blade movie doesn’t make sense. Some fans think Marvel will make an R-Rated movie featuring the vampire hunter, which feels even more far-fetched.
If not for Sony’s Morbius movie, it’d be easier to accept a Blade movie in the MCU. But two movies about vampires, in a short time span, would be overkill. Fans could still see Marvel give Blade more attention but it’ll likely come in the form of his own show rather than a new movie.
18 COULD HAPPEN: NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA
Of all the main characters in the MCU, Steve Rogers looks like the most likely hero that won’t make it past Avengers: Endgame. For a while, fans have known that Chris Evans’ time as Captain America is drawing to a close. We don’t know how his story will end but, regardless, the First Avenger will likely maintain an important role in the MCU.
Many fans believe Bucky Barnes will fill Steve’s shoes and take over as the new Captain America. Others think Sam Wilson will carry on Rogers’ legacy. Either way, if these theories are true, Marvel would be staying true to the comics.
17 IMPOSSIBLE: VENOM JOINS THE MCU
Since Venom was announced, if not before, fans have been wondering if the famous Spider-Man villain will join the MCU. Due to the financial success of the movie, Sony will likely continue their planned cinematic universe, which includes multiple Venom movies. As a result, Eddie Brock and/or his symbiote probably won’t be coming to the MCU anytime soon.
If the character’s solo film had tanked at the box office, fans might have seen Brock in an MCU movie at some point. Now, though, Venom will likely remain separated from his contemporaries. Unlike the X-Men and the Disney-Fox deal, Venom’s rights are still owned by Sony, which complicates the character’s place in the MCU.
16 COULD HAPPEN: TIME TRAVEL
It’s a little surprising that we haven’t seen more time travel, and manipulation of the timestream, in the MCU. Doctor Strange used it in his solo film and Thanos maximized the Time Stone’s powers to ensure his victory in Infinity War. Now, with the odds stacked against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, they’ll likely turn to time travel to level the playing field against the Mad Titan.
The Quantum Realm, briefly explored in Ant-Man and the Wasp, could be the key to this strategy against Thanos. The Avengers: Endgame trailer hints at Ant-Man's significance; Scott Lang shows up on the Avengers' doorstep and Rogers' expression clearly suggests he knows Lang can make a difference. The trailer also hints at time travel when it shows Rogers in his Winter Soldier outfit.
15 IMPOSSIBLE: S.H.I.E.L.D. RETURNS TO BIG SCREEN
Under Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D. was one of the building blocks of the MCU. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the organization crumbled and, since then, it’s been confined to the small screen with its own TV show. With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seemingly nearing the end in season five, some fans hoped Marvel would bring Phil Coulson and his coworkers to the big screen.
But, with the show’s renewal for seasons six and seven, it seems that Marvel’s primary spy organization won’t be returning to the movies anytime soon. Coulson will be in Captain Marvel but it’s unlikely he, or other agents, will appear in Avengers: Endgame or other movies in the near future.
14 COULD HAPPEN: EXPLORATION OF MULTIVERSE
The exploration of the multiverse can be one of the best parts of the comic book medium as a whole. Before Infinity War, including the discussion of alternate realities in an MCU movie would have felt jarring. But, after Doctor Strange viewed fourteen million possibilities of the heroes’ fight with Thanos, it seems possible, if not likely, we’ll see the Avengers explore the multiverse in their quest to take down the Mad Titan.
To make this theory a reality, the Quantum Realm comes to mind again, and the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes could also use the Infinity Stones to explore alternate universes. As a result, Marvel would open the door for the countless more stories, that take place out of the main continuity, down the road.
13 IMPOSSIBLE: DEFENDERS IN THE MOVIES
Like Daisy Johnson, Phil Coulson and other characters in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, fans have been hoping to see Daredevil and the Defenders make the jump to the big screen. After the cancellation of most of Marvel’s Netflix shows, some fans think these heroes could be coming to a big screen near you. But, for the most part, the same problems persist.
The tones of the Netflix shows are starkly different from those of the movies. Plus, bringing in these NYC-based heroes would raise a tough question: where were they during Infinity War? With Marvel’s plans for these characters unclear, fans shouldn’t get their hopes up.
12 COULD HAPPEN: SECRET WARS
There may be more popular methods of incorporating the X-Men and the Fantastic Four into the MCU but adapting Secret Wars could be an amazing introduction to these famous teams. The event may not necessarily match the MCU’s current formula of building a story over several years but there’d be something fun and fresh about throwing all of these heroes (and villains) into one movie.
Secret Wars could effectively introduce the X-Men and the Fantastic Four in a way that would surely captivate the audience, given that it would allow viewers to see these teams meet the MCU’s current heroes right away.
11 IMPOSSIBLE: RETURN OF FALLEN VILLAINS
Most Marvel villains have been one-offs. They arrive, they torment the hero, or the team, and they’re defeated. Usually, these defeats are hard to come back from. Many of the MCU villains have been lackluster but one fallen antagonist, Killmonger, is an exception to that rule (Thanos is another but he’s still alive and well).
With the resounding success of Black Panther, Marvel might be looking to bring Killmonger back. Time travel could help meet this goal. We’ve discussed that the MCU could feature time travel in the future. By doing so, Killmonger could come back and wreak havoc once again. Otherwise, Marvel will probably leave past villains alone.
10 COULD HAPPEN: AVENGERS VS. X-MEN
Instead of Secret Wars, Marvel may choose to adapt Avengers vs. X-Men to introduce Charles Xavier’s students to the MCU. On paper, this story pits two of Marvel’s most famous teams against each other. While fans may not want to see an immediate conflict as the first interaction between these heroes, seeing Wolverine square off with Captain America would be a fun introduction to one of the most popular X-Men.
An accurate adaptation of the event may not be the best choice; several members of the X-Men get possessed by the Phoenix Force, which further complicates matters (unless Marvel ties Dark Phoenix into the MCU, which could connect the two cinematic universes).
9 IMPOSSIBLE: FURY/RED SKULL RIVALRY
For a long time, Nick Fury has been a building block of the MCU. Next to Tony Stark, Fury is one of the characters who has helped tied the movies together. The former top cop at S.H.I.E.L.D. has seen a reduced role in recent years; he wasn’t in Civil War and he was left out of Infinity War (he did appear in a post-credits scene, though).
Given Fury’s absence and the possibility of the Red Skull’s return, some fans want to see this rivalry on the big screen. When the Captain America villain showed up in Infinity War, Marvel somewhat closed the door on this possibility, given that the Red Skull seems to have learned from his treacherous ways.
8 COULD HAPPEN: MORE THANOS
Josh Brolin’s MCU contract is shrouded in mystery but the man behind Thanos is here to stay. The Mad Titan, unlike most other MCU villains, will likely stick around his defeat, which will probably come in Avengers: Endgame.
As a (mutated) Eternal, Thanos could easily be a main character in the upcoming movie about this extraterrestrial race. By doing so, the Mad Titan would act as a bridge between the greater MCU and the Eternals, who would be a mostly new entry into this mythos. Fans might finally get an in-depth look at Thanos’ backstory, which had been rumored to be a part of Infinity War.
7 IMPOSSIBLE: EVIL SCARLET WITCH
If Scarlet Witch does return in Avengers: Endgame, or shortly thereafter, it’s unlikely that Marvel will turn Wanda Maximoff into a villain in the near future. The MCU will need both old and new heroes to step up after some of the Avengers’ current members leave for good. For this reason, turning Scarlet Witch evil would be a misstep; she could become one of the most important heroes in the MCU.
On the big screen, Marvel has still barely scraped the surface of Maximoff’s power level. She could be the difference maker in any battle, which is why Maximoff should remain a hero. However, the character’s future in her Disney Plus show remains unclear, which leaves some room for the exploration of her dark side.
6 COULD HAPPEN: FANTASTIC FOUR
Marvel’s First Family is home. Thanks to the Disney-Fox deal, Marvel owns the rights to the Fantastic Four, which means their return to the big screen is on the way. Some fans wanted to see the team appear in Infinity War. Others hope Reed Richards and his family will debut in Avengers: Endgame. Marvel might opt to save the team’s first appearance for the MCU’s next chapter.
This approach might be better for the legendary group. Throwing them into the assuredly cluttered landscape of Avengers: Endgame wouldn’t give them the focus they deserve. Regardless, the Fantastic Four will likely be an important part of future MCU movies.
5 IMPOSSIBLE: RAVAGERS SPIN-OFF
After Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, James Gunn’s plan was fairly clear. The director likely would have focused on the Ravagers, who played an important role in the second Guardians film, in the franchise’s third installment. Some fans speculated Marvel might even make a spin-off about Yondu’s old crew.
A lot has happened since the release of Guardians Vol. 2. Marvel fired James Gunn, and DC hired him to helm the sequel to Suicide Squad. The stars of the Guardians movies were unhappy with Gunn’s dismissal and now the franchise’s future is in flux. It’s safe to say we won’t be getting a Ravagers spin-off anytime soon because the Guardians themselves are in an odd position.
4 COULD HAPPEN: RETURN OF THE AVENGERS
Throughout the MCU, the bond between the members of the Avengers has frayed significantly. The events depicted Age of Ultron, Winter Soldier, and Civil War strained the trust between the teammates. Tensions became so untenable that the team broke apart. While Stark’s allies and Rogers’ friends banded together in Infinity War but this teamwork didn’t feel like the genuine return of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
As teased in the Avengers: Endgame trailer, it looks like the group is back. The heroes will be under the same roof again; the trailer showed several interactions based in the team’s headquarters. It’s only a matter of time before the Avengers truly assemble again.
3 IMPOSSIBLE: NO CHANGES TO GUARDIANS
On that note, the Guardians of the Galaxy will probably look different if/when they return to the big screen. Dave Bautista, who plays Drax, was clearly upset with Gunn’s dismissal. Plus, the third installment in the Guardians franchise has been delayed. When you factor in the team’s current condition after Infinity War, things look bleak for Peter Quill’s motley crew.
Rocket Raccoon is the only member of the team who survives the movie. Marvel could easily leave the other members behind and replace them when the time is right. Of course, many fans want to see the return of the original team but change feels inevitable.
2 COULD HAPPEN: SECRET INVASION
For several years, fans have wondered how Marvel will top the threat of Thanos after the Avengers defeat him. The adaptation of Secret Invasion, one of the most famous Marvel events in recent memory, could be just what the doctor ordered.
After Captain America: Civil War, the Avengers, as a team, were in ruins; two factions, led by Stark and Rogers, essentially broke the team up. With the trust between teammates shattered, Secret Invasion seems like a perfect way to maximize this discord. The heroes had to put aside their differences in Infinity War but the revelation of a Skrull infiltration would be devastating after the Avengers’ triumph in Avengers: Endgame.
1 IMPOSSIBLE: LOKI JOINS THE GUARDIANS
Many fans loved the interactions between Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy throughout Infinity War. Subsequently, some viewers wondered how another popular Asgardian would fit with the team. These fans speculated that Thor’s brother, Loki, could join the Guardians during, or after, Avengers: Endgame. Given the current circumstances, this theory seems quite unlikely to come true.
The Guardians of the Galaxy are in disarray and they’re no lock to return anytime soon. The Russo Brothers recently confirmed that Loki is actually gone. The combination of these factors makes it impossible for the Trickster God to join the Guardians in the near future, if at all.