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What’s Next After Avengers: Endgame? - MCU Phase 4 Explained

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Now that the first trilogy of Marvel Cinematic Universe phases is complete, it's time for a look at phase 4 of the MCU! Everyone is wondering what's next for the MCU, so we're here to shed some light on the next phase for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Avengers Endgame behind us, where will these MCU characters go next? Join WatchMojo as we break down what the future holds for the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Endgame. Suggest a video here: https://WatchMojo.comsuggest/

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What’s Next After Avengers: Endgame? - MCU Phase 4 Explained

The Endgame has come and gone… so what happens now? Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be explaining everything we know about the MCU’s fourth phase. In case you’re not caught up on the past 22 films, beware of spoilers.

Although “Avengers: Endgame” wrapped up several character arcs in the Infinity Saga, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” will mark the official end of the MCU’s Phase Three. Many fans were caught off guard when they found out that “Endgame” wasn’t… well, the end. If you think about it, though, the MCU’s third phase almost exactly mirrors how the second phase ended. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” might’ve been the epic crossover audiences were waiting for, but it was only the penultimate event of Phase Two. “Ant-Man” served as the true finale, despite literally being smaller in scale. Coincidentally, Spider-Man and Ant-Man just so happen to be the two bug-based heroes in the MCU.

Although it may have seemed like an odd film to close out on, “Ant-Man” ended up being an integral chapter in this cinematic universe. Similarly, we suspect “Far From Home” will set up a few important plot points that’ll be expanded upon going forward. Since the film reportedly takes place right after “Endgame,” it’ll also explore the ramifications of reversing the snap. Now that half of all life in the universe has been brought back following a five-year sabbatical, we can expect a rocky transitional period for everyone. The Russo brothers confirmed in an interview that Peter Parker wasn’t the only student at his school who disappeared. Ned Leeds got snapped out of existence as well, hence why he and Peter are still in the same grade. We’d have to assume that this is also the case for some of Peter’s other classmates like Flash Thompson and Michelle “MJ” Jones, who both appear in the “Far from Home” trailer. So, at least Peter won’t have to adapt to this brave new world alone.

If “Spider-Man: Far From Home” isn’t the beginning of Phase Four as many of us suspected, what is? As of writing, Marvel Studios has several films set to come out between May 1, 2020, and July 29, 2022. They’ve yet to officially assign any movies to these release dates, however. Originally, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” was a top priority heading into Phase Four, but the sequel got delayed after James Gunn was fired due to controversial tweets from his past. Following some heated negotiations, it appeared there was no chance of Gunn’s return, especially once he signed up to direct a “Suicide Squad” reboot. To the surprise of everyone, though, Gunn was rehired in 2019 with filming set to commence in 2020.

Taking its shooting schedule into consideration, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” won’t be Phase Four’s first film. Marvel has confirmed several other films that could kick start this new phase, however. Since its predecessor was a billion-dollar hit and a Best Picture nominee, green-lighting “Black Panther 2” was a no-brainer. Both T'Chaka and Shuri vanished in the snap, so we’re interested to see how Wakanda was affected by their absence. Doctor Strange will also be getting a standalone sequel and given how long it’s been since his MCU debut, he could be making his return sooner than we think. The Sorcerer Supreme is sure to have his work cut out for him: Mordo is still out there and determined to be the last sorcerer standing.

Not every film in Phase Four will be a sequel. In late 2018, it was announced that Marvel was accelerating development on a “Shang-Chi” movie, introducing the MCU’s first hero of Asian descent. A Black Widow spinoff is expected to start shooting in June 2019. Considering Natasha Romanoff’s fate in “Endgame,” though, this’ll almost certainly be a prequel. An “Eternals” movie is in the works as well with Angelina Jolie slated to play Sersi.

“Eternals” is just one example of how the MCU will get a lot more cosmic going into Phase Four. While the trailers for “Spider-Man: Far From Home” have mainly played up Mysterio, the film will also introduce the Elementals. Judging from a post-credits scene in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” we’re inclined to see Adam Warlock sooner than later. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige stated in March 2019 that “Captain Marvel is about to take the lead and be at the forefront of the entire Cinematic Universe.” So, we’d be shocked if Carol Danvers didn’t receive a sequel too. We may even be getting a fourth “Thor” movie, according to Tessa Thompson. Of course, it’s still unclear if the God of Thunder plans on staying onboard with Star-Lord and company for the entirety of Vol. 3, or if he’ll only be around for a few scenes. We’re certainly hoping to see him stick around.

Coinciding with Phase Four, a handful of MCU shows are premiering on Disney+. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” will see the returns of Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes. Since Steve Rogers passed his shield on to Sam in “Endgame,” the limited series could see him make the transition from Falcon to the new Captain America. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany are reprising their roles as Wanda Maximoff and Vision, respectively, in a limited series appropriately titled “WandaVision.” Vision isn’t the only one making a comeback, as Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is getting a limited series too. According to Variety, the “Hawkeye” limited series will see Kate Barton inherit the mantle of Hawkeye from Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton, but there’s been no official word from Marvel or Disney on what the show’s focus will be.

Perhaps the biggest question mark is how the X-Men and Fantastic Four will factor into Phase Four. Disney officially acquired 21st Century Fox on March 20, 2019, opening the door for numerous fan favorites to finally join the MCU. Only a couple weeks later, however, Kevin Feige told io9 that we might not see the X-Men for “a very long time.” So, it’s possible we’ll have to wait until Phase Five to see the MCU’s versions of Wolverine or Professor X, but we certainly hope it will be sooner rather than later. There’s also the matter of how to handle Deadpool. Should he be integrated into the PG-13 MCU, remain the face of a separate R-rated series, or walk a tightrope between both? As for the Fantastic Four, it would certainly be fitting if they made their debut during Phase Four.

In addition to all that, Phase Four is inheriting a few plot threads that “Endgame” left unresolved. What happens now that the Infinity Stones have all been destroyed?
Where did the 2014 version of Gamora end up? Is Steve Rogers knocking at death’s door? Now that they’ve figured out how to do it, how will time travel be used in the future? Fortunately, this cinematic universe is showing no signs of slowing down, leaving plenty of time to answer our lingering questions, and create a whole bunch of new ones!

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