ByNicholas Leach, writer at Creators.co

What is Next?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most favored, and profitable cinematic storylines ever created in our time. From the first film Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr., to the highly anticipated (and amazing introduction of Spider-Man) Captain America: Civil War, we are only just a skip, hop, and a jog away till the epic conclusion, Avengers: Infinity War! But what will happen afterwards? There are rumors to speculations just running around of what would happen. Well, here is my theory of the Future of the MCU.

What do we Know?

What we know is this:

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Three
Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Three

The next upcoming films that Marvel has slated in their Phase 3. Captain America: Civil War has already happened, and with the release of Doctor Strange coming out this November. Each film consecutively leading up to the big confrontation with Thanos in Infinity War. After Doctor Strange we have Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and so on and so forth.

What we also know is that their are 6 Infinity Stones that give Thanos the ability to bend time and space, and possibly recreate the uniniverse. What happens next? Well, we can start by looking at each of these films individually.

Doctor Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange

The story of Doctor Strange is that the world famous surgeon, Dr. Stephen Strange, is unfortunately involved in a devastating car accident which hinders his ability to operate. He then goes on a search to find a healer which could allow him to work again. And in his journeys, he comes across the Ancient One. This old celestial monk then teaches him the Mystic Arts, and Doctor Strange then becomes a defender of the realm in which Earth exists.

This film centers around the origin story of Doctor Strange. And by adding Strange into the MCU, with the aspect of the mystical realm, this could add a whole lot more. Like the dark lord Dormammu, or even the reality bender, The Beyonder! It is also speculated that the Eye of Agamotto could be one of the Infinity Stones.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

"We've got the gang back together" - Chris Pratt
"We've got the gang back together" - Chris Pratt

In the sequel to 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, and Dave Bautista, we get the next chapter in the adventures of these space crooks. From what we know from the casting confirmation of this film, Kurt Russell will be playing the character Ego the Living Planet, and Nathan Fillion will be playing Simon Williams (aka Wonder Man, a villain turned good guy). From this casting confirmation, there can only be speculations as to what the film is about. Maybe there is a dark truth that Ego is really evil, or Ego's life is threatened. Plus it's kinda hard not to make a theoretical assumption about Ego the Living Planet, because he's like a planet. What ever the reason, this film will probably add a whole variable to the Guardians one way, or another.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Welcome back Web-Head!
Welcome back Web-Head!

Yes! The MCU's first Spider-Man film. Yet again, more assumptions on the casting, with some Comic Con details. The cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming is Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, and Robert Downey Jr. Spider-Man, now with some upgrades, is dealing with a high school life, and a vigilante life. I feel the film is named "Homecoming" for two reasons. One: Spidey is back with marvel, and Two: Peter Parker probably has a high school related problem. Vulture is also confirmed as the big bad of the Spidey movie. We know this, but Kevin Feige also knows the future of Spider-Man. With an interview with Collider at the SDCC, Feige says that Spider-Man will take a more Harry Potter evolution like progression throughout the Marvel films. This video from Machinima's ETC Show can explain just a bit more:

Skipping the Rocketeer news at 2:00, basically what Feige says is that if this Spider-Man film goes great, the sequels will progress with the same style as Harry Potter. Growing up and all. This could Also be a great way to introduce more villains in the future, like a true Venom (NOT Topher Grace!), or Doc Ock, and maybe even Sony's little dream of making their Sinister Six movie.

Thor: Ragnarok

The end of Norse Mythology.
The end of Norse Mythology.

First of all, what is Ragnarok? In Norse Mythology it is the end of Asgard. In the comics Ragnarok is a character, but in mythology its like an event started by Loki. And after some story and details, Thor then battles the giant serpent which devours Earth! Crazy right! And after Thor the Dark World, we can safely assume Loki is gonna do some messed up stuff. We also know that the Hulk is going to appear in this film to fight along side Thor, possibly opening up the ability for Marvel to make a Planet Hulk film. It all seems crazy, yet exciting at the same time, but some characters are supposed to die off. Who knows. All I know is that the events of this film could contribute the continuation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Black Panther

This Guy looks awesome!
This Guy looks awesome!

In 2017's upcoming film Black Panther starring Chadwick Bosman, Michael B. Jordan, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, and Danai Gurira we will be introduced to the land of Wakanda! It was also rumored that Sebastian Stan will be in this film as the Winter Soldier. Not much is known about this film at the moment, but some pretty interesting ideas for the future of the MCU could come from this film. What is known is that Michael B. Jordan will play Erik Killmonger, Serkis will play Klaw, and Danai Gurira will play the leader of Wakanda's trained guards (sorry for not knowing then name).

Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1&2

The epic conclusion!
The epic conclusion!

The epic two part conclusion! Or is it one? From reports there seems to be a change. In an interview with the Russo Brothers with Variety, the Infinity War movies will be in two parts yet be named differently. It's probably a chronology thing, but just take a look at the cast,

Holy moly!
Holy moly!

Yeah! This is so huge! From the Guardians, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D., and the Netflix heroes we've got a lot to talk about! What makes me happy is that we could finally see a Spider-Man & Daredevil team-up! I would love to see this since my favorite rendition of Spider-Man came straight from the 90's cartoon where that exactly happened. And with these characters, we could see them effected in such a way it could potentially change their future actions forever!

Ant-Man & Wasp

A match made in a laboratory!
A match made in a laboratory!

The sequel to one of my new founded favorite heroes, Ant-Man. This movie (and Captain Marvel) have barely any casting news and really any news at all. If anything, the future of the Ant-Man is a reliable team player, and Captain Marvel is to give us more Marvel space lore. Besides that, I have no doubt in my mind that this film will be a thrill!

(Quick Note: I'm not going to talk about Captain Marvel that much simply because all we know about right now is that Brie Larson will be playing Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel)

And now, the Theory!

What will happen after Avengers: Infinity War and the Untitled Infinity War "sequel"? This is when speculation comes into play. First, we have to assume that the original Avengers would either die off or play supporting roles to the New Avengers (Notice how I Italicized "New Avengers"). Like, Cap most likely would die off. Iron Man could be a Nick Fury to the next Generation. Thor has a very odd spot. I think that Thor would become the new king of Asgard. Hulk could be separated into Planet Hulk. Vision and Scarlett Witch are to stay,Hawkeye and Black Widow could train future Avengers, and finally Winter Soldier, Black Panther, Falcon, and Spider-Man would now become full time Avengers with Ant-Man and Wasp. (Doctor Strange can join if he wants to).

Now on that New Avengers thing I pointed out. In the comics during and after the Civil War, Norman Osborn (Green Goblin) became the Iron Patriot and lead the Dark Avengers, which are Marvel villains dressed as heroes.

That's not Spidey! That's actually Scorpion!
That's not Spidey! That's actually Scorpion!

And the New Avengers are basically the old Avengers, but with new additions like Wolverine and Luke Cage.And besides, the Russo Brothers explained that the Civil War started in Captain America: Civil War continues throughout the films at this point, until Infinity War. Could the possibility of a "New Avengers v. Dark Avengers" happen. Sure, but you need Norman Osborn. But then there is always Zemo Helmut. What is the next Avengers threat? The group known as The Masters of Evil! Zemo could redeem himself as a villain (not that he was bad or anything), round up some other villains like Abomination, The Mandarin, and maybe Klaw from Black Panther, with many more. This would be the Anti-Avengers almost. Even though this sounds great, Marvel might want to still introduce new characters for this fabled "Phase 4" or "The Second Saga of the MCU". What better way than to add the X-Men and the Fantastic 4!

Why these groups? Well first off let's take a look at Fox's release of Daredevil starring Ben Affleck. It was TERRIBLE! And so, Fox didn't see the need for the character, and gave the rights back to Marvel. And the Netflix show made the character go from mediocre to awesome! Marvel lately has been taking some risks with certain characters (i.e. Ant-Man & The Guardians of the Galaxy), and yet pulls through on the bank and the hearts of fans! Also we have the examples of the Hulk and Spider-Man. Hulk is owned by Universal Studios, and Spider-Man is owned by Sony. By sharing the rights, Marvel made an outstanding Hulk solo film, and Spider-Man's revival was absolutely, SPECTACULAR! If Fox would allow Marvel to have creative control over these ensembles, and Fox makes bank off of it, then the MCU would be a step away from being perfect. But I'm more interested in the villains that Fox owns.

Fox owns the rights to the Fantastic Four, including their villains. Which means, GALACTUS, THE SKRULLS, and every galactic apocalypse ever conceived by Marvel! I personally believe that the FF have contributed more to the Comics in story telling than any other character in Marvel's creation! And that's saying a lot. I would like to see one of these forces of catastrophic evilness be like what Infinity War is to us, the big ending to the next chapter of the MCU, and the beginning of a new one!

Next we have the character who which I think could replace Iron Man as the face of the MCU, Spider-Man! In the Civil War, we obviously saw Peter Parker's appeal to who Tony Stark is, not Iron Man. How Peter is scientifically inclined, and how he's made as the underdog in many situations. Plus Spidey is the face of Marvel. And with his "Harry Potter Growth" he could have a number of sequels, maybe even more than the longest running Spider-Man movie series by Sam Raimi. All I know, is that Spider-Man is here to stay!

Now the Netflix series can contribute a whole bunch as well. The new Punisher series that was announced, and a possible Blade and Moon Knight series with the continuation of the already rooted series such as Daredevil and Jessica Jones. These characters could be integrated as supporting characters in the movies, and their own separate protagonists in their TV shows. Personally, I would love to see Kingpin go up against Spider-Man in the future. After all, Kingpin's first appearance was through the Amazing Spider-Man comics (as well as the Punisher). Just knowing that these characters exist in the same universe just invites either cameos or team-ups galore.

But don't forget the Captain America predicament. After all, Steve Rogers pretty much gave up on being Cap, dropping his shield n' all. So will Steve be Cap again, or will the torch be passed down? My guesses are of the passing of the torch. In the first after credits scene of Captain America: Civil War, Bucky is placed in a cryo-chamber so that the Wakandan people can cure his "brainwashyness". But in highly acclaimed rumors, the Winter Soldier is said to appear in Black Panther. And this is the country of which vibranium comes from. If Marvel wanted to, they could easily make T'Challa make a new shield for Bucky. And if not Bucky, The Falcon aka Sam Wilson. This passing of title however would be dictated by the original Cap. So in a possibly predicted death, Steve would either ask Bucky or Sam in his dying moments to carry on the title as Captain America. Whoever becomes the next Cap, it's all up to Marvel from their.

And now, from what minimal information we know about the upcoming films, and what has been said by the Russo's and Feige, is that we can predict this:

  • Cooperation with Fox could expand super hero roster, and super powerful villains
  • Spider-Man having a more pivotal role, essentially replacing Iron Man
  • Bucky Barnes or Sam Wilson becoming Captain America
  • Masters of Evil being a problem for the New Avengers
  • The riddance, or set-aside, of older characters
  • Netflix series getting more involved

And these are only key plots for the future. Who knows what might really happen, all I know is that I'll be with you all for the big Theme Park that is the MCU. Each movie is a ride, with its own dips and spins, and the phases are like segments like Tomorrow Land in Disneyland. Then each "Chapter" is like how Disneyland is to Disney World. What ever happens, we'll all be there, and we'll all be expecting the excellent continuation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

If you have your own ideas or theories, become a creator today! If you have some questions or comments about this theory, leave your thought bellow. Thank you for reading, and have a fantastic day True Believers!