BySteve Johnson, writer at
cheffin up some mad fueg
Steve Johnson

DISCLAIMER: This is all PURELY speculation and none of this is set in stone. These are just my thoughts on what the future might hold for the MCU.

A little under a year, Marvel announced their slate of movies for the next few years, topping it off with Inhumans which

has been heavily teased and shown to an extend on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

So what's coming for the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Inhumans?

Marvel President, Kevin Feige says that they have a map drawn of the MCU.

"It’s like looking through the Hubble telescope. You go, ‘What’s happening back there? I can sort of see it’... They printed out a new one recently that went to 2028."

So it seems that we WILL be getting a Phase 4, but what could possibly be in store for the MCU then?

With 10 more movies coming in the next 4 years, it's safe to say that the MCU will be vastly different by the time the credits roll for Inhumans. There's a slew of different directions that the movies could take, leading us into Phase 4. Here are a few possibilities.

Harley Becomes Iron Man

You probably remember this guy from Iron Man 3. At the end of the movie we see him surprised with gifts from Tony, gifts to fuel his mind. Now, Robert Downey Jr. isn't exactly a spring chicken, and can't play Tony forever, so rumors have been going around of Harley replacing him in the role.

What this could mean for the MCU

This could mean we see an ENTIRELY new group of Avengers, a next-generation if you will, with Harley at the helm. This could also be when the MCU jumps the shark, as fans may not be pleased with the decision.


The Runaways are a group of teens who witness their parents partaking in a sacrificial murder, and decide to rebel. Alex Wilder, Gertrude Yorkes, Chase Stein, Karolina Dean, Molly Hayes and Nico Minoru. The teens gain a variety of powers and tools, including a genetically engineered dinosaur who is telepathically linked to Gertrude. You can read more about them here.

What this could mean for the MCU

The Runaways could be the next Guardians of the Galaxy in the sense that they could surprise audiences. Not even a year ago were people questioning the "talking tree and raccoon", but that all changed when the film was released. History is likely to repeat itself if we do see a Runaways movie. Coincidentally, Guardians director, James Gunn, expressed great interest in Marvel taking on the project. He says,

"I love the Runaways," said Gunn, "I was just talking with the Marvel folks the other day about how that movie should be made. Great work by Brian Vaughn in the original series."

A Canonical Reboot

Of course the Phase 3 Grand Finale will be Avengers: Infinity War, and there's a good chance that the plot will revolve around a little thing called the Infinity Gauntlet. The Gauntlet contains 6 gems, each harnessing a specific power. One of those gems (or stones in the film universe) is the reality gem, which we'll most likely see in a future film. Amongst other things, the gem is capable of allowing the wielder to create an alternate reality. The gem is also capable of making minor changes such as facts, but that only represents a small fraction of it's immense power.

What this could mean for the MCU

There's much speculation as to what object is the reality gem, but many are saying it's either the Tesseract or the Aether. That being said, the gem could be used to create a whole new reality in which a potential new MCU could take place, yet still be within the same continuity as films like The Avengers and Ant-Man. Like I said, these actors are aging and soon it could be hard for them to perform. While it'd be great to see the our favorite actors in the roles as long as possible, canonically rebooting the universe could be a viable solution.

Avengers vs. X-Men

While this is unlikely as Marvel / Disney do not own the rights to the X-Men, rumors have been circulating recently of Disney and Fox "burying the hatchet" and teaming up to bring us a film adaption of the 2012 comic in 2020, which is right when Phase 4 would start. This potential deal could work like the recent Spider-man deal, where Sony retains the rights to the character, but "share" him with Disney and Marvel.

What this could mean for the MCU

This could do wonders for the films, creating an even more cohesive universe. It would also be great for fans. I get that the movies don't have to (and haven't) follow the comics exactly, but seeing Wolverine and Captain America together on the same screen.

The Inhumans Replace The Avengers as the Flagship Franchise

There's a good chance that the Avengers franchise will end (to an extent) and Marvel will place the Inhumans at the forefront. It's obvious that Marvel is enthusiastic about bringing them into the Marvel universe, after all it's been teased since the beginning of Phase 2.

What this could mean for the MCU

This could mean a massive increase in popularity amongst the mainstream moviegoing audience, but could also mean failure for the studio. Like with any movie, it's gonna be a hit or miss. In the event of a miss, Marvel could put a kibosh on the franchise and that would be the end of them.


Marvel could decide to cap off the MCU and quit while they're ahead. Sadly, a film franchise can only go on for so long (with the exception of James Bond) and after 11 years, Marvel may feel that they may have overstayed their welcome.

Yes, yes I agree. It would be a terrible thing to see this wonderful franchise come to an end, but at the same time I'd hate to see it slowly crumble to the ground.

Congratulations, you've made it this far, YOU WIN A NO-PRIZE!

So, ending on that note...


What do you think is in store for Phase 4? (Heh, that rhymed)

While I have your attention,


Do you think we'll see a Phase 5?

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As always,


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