Marvel fans were already highly anticipating Avengers 2 Age of Ultron, but now that it has been announced that Robert Downey Jr *will* be doing another Marvel movie and that it will be Captain America 3, rather than Iron Man 4, there is, if it is possible, even more reason to be excited about Avengers 2.
Avengers 2 Age of Ultron: The LAST Time The Avengers Assemble?
Undoubtedly, fans will be pouring over Age of Ultron for any hidden clues or Easter Eggs that nod towards the Civil War, the plot which sees Iron Man and Captain America go head to head.
However, there could be another reason to excited about [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035), which is also linked to Marvel's decision to adapt the Civil War for the big screen!
Avengers Civil War SPOILERS
The Civil War is one of the biggest catastrophes to hit the Marvel Universe. It spells the end for many of our best-loved heroes. By the stories end, Captain America is shot as he walks down a courthouse's steps, and Iron Man has come to his senses, realizing that the loss of his friend was not worth the fight he had caused.
Given that Thor 3 is also expected to feature a world-ending story-line, Ragnarok, which sees Thor sever time, and rip Loki's head from his body, it seems as if Marvel are planning to draw their current roster of actors contracts to an end in spectacular fashion.
So, if we can expect Iron Man, Captain America and Thor all to depart the MCU, who will take their place? What will the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe look like?
[Black Panther](movie:9047) is widely rumored to appear in Avengers 2 Age of Ultron, perhaps even having a pivotal part to play in Ultron's defeat. He is also, potentially, he man to take Iron Man's position at the head to the Avengers team.
King of Wakanda, the only country in the Marvel world to have access to the precious (and strong) metal that it Vibranium, Black Panther is *even* richer than Tony Stark. Could King T'CHalla be the man to take Tony Stark's place in [The Avengers](movie:9040)?
Doctor Stange has a movie out in 2016, and there have already been a number of high profile candidates linked with him. The current favorite is Ethan Hawke (although Keanu Reeves is also apparently in the running).
[Doctor Strange](movie:559685) begins life as a neurosurgeon, but gains magical powers after he goes to the Himalayas, looking in desperation for some way to restore his health after a debilitating car accident. His magical powers, and general other-worldliness, make him a candidate for the next generation of the Avengers' Thor.
Ant-Man will be the Marvel hero we will meet the soonest, with his movie coming out next year, where he will be played by Paul Rudd. There is a chance that Ant-Man will be around to have some part to play in the Marvel Civil War itself (Hank Pym, the character who will be played by Michael Douglas in the upcoming movie, plays a key role in the Marvel Civil War in the comics).
Exactly what role Ant-Man would play as part of a future Avengers team is unclear. And so, suitably enough, we'll put him down as a Hawkeye.
This is a bit of a wild card. Sony currently own the rights to Spider-Man, but there is much talk of a potential deal, and, anyway, by the time Marvel get around to [Captain America 3](movie:994409)'s Civil War, Sony could well decide to allow the rights to elapse. But Spider-Man joining up with the rest of the Marvel universe is definitely something fans are keen to see.
And so, even though it is breaking the rules a bit, we will say that Spider-Man's role, is no one else's but Spider-Man's.
There are plenty of other options for the future of marvel's team post [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035). Will the MCU follow the comics lead and have a female Thor, or give Captain America's mantle over to Anthony Mackie's Falcon?
What do you think the future of Marvel will look like? Will Avenegrs 2: Age of Ultron be the last time we see the team as a (semi-) functioning unit?
Write in with your own thoughts and speculation below the line!