Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a huge fan of the Marvel movies. While yes, they aren't the best-made films on the planet, I think that the continuity that these films share is an astounding accomplishment. After recently finding out that Ant-Man, the next Marvel movie I'm looking the most forward to, is going to be a part of Marvel's "Phase 2," it has me thinking about what just may or may not happen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
To refresh us, and to inform those who aren't aware, "Phase One" of the MCU consisted of:
- Iron Man
- The Incredible Hulk
- Iron Man 2
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- The Avengers
After The Avengers was released, it was stated that that was only the first piece of the MCU, and will continue with Phase Two. Phase Two will consist of:
- Iron Man 3
- Thor: The Dark World
- Captain America: Winter Soldier
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Avengers 2 (not official title)
- Ant-Man (which is now confirmed by Entertainment Weekly)
Previously, fans have speculated that Ant-Man would kick off Phase Three, but now after I think about it, ending Phase Two with it makes sense, but I'll get to that in a second. First, let's talk about Avengers 2 by recapping what we already know:
- Thanos will be the main villain of Avengers 2.
- Each team member will be attacked personally. Joss Whedon has said multiple times that this is the premise of Avengers 2. This leads me to believe that Thanos will do this all by himself, or he will be pulling the strings on a make-shift Masters of Evil.
- New potential Avengers members will be introduced within Phase 2. So far, Falcon and Ant-Man are officially confirmed. Wasp, Dr. Strange, and Ms. Marvel have been heavily speculated to be introduced in Iron Man 3 , Thor: The Dark World, and Guardians of the Galaxy, respectively. This means that some members of the original movie may not make it in Avengers 2 to make room for the rookies. My money's on replacing Hawkeye and Black Widow to make room on the roster for Falcon, Ant-Man, and Wasp.
So, knowing what we know now, here are my own predictions I'll make of Phase Three and beyond:
- Ultron, who will be introduced in Ant-Man, will be the main villain in Avengers 3. Alternatively, Civil War (a topic that has been consistently brought up since The Avengers) will be the premise for the entirety of Phase 3, only to have them reunite and fight Ultron or the Skrulls (another thing that people have been speculating) or both. Either way, Ultron will be heavily involved in Phase 3.
- If the trend continues, Phase 3 will consist of six films. My guesses will be The Incredible Hulk 2, Captain America 3, Thor 3, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, and Avengers 3.
- The Incredible Hulk 2. Hulk's sequel has been pretty much demanded by fans after The Avengers. Kevin Feige said that if there's going to be another Hulk movie, it'll have to be after 2015. This movie would also introduce the Leader (if we're sticking to the events of TheIncredible Hulk), who would be a great character alongside Ultron. Also, maybe a She-Hulk cameo/reveal?
- Cap and Thor are going to warrant sequels, no doubt. Cap will be closely tied to SHIELD and characters such as Falcon, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury, and other potential new faces such as Spider-Woman, Mockingbird, etc. Thor will be more "spacified" and will tie closer to the Guardians of the Galaxy (which I'm unsure will get a sequel, but we'll see). Other characters like Mar-Vell, Beta Ray Bill, and other characters of that vein, as well as the magic characters like Dr. Strange may also tie into the Thor sequel.
- That brings me to Dr. Strange's movie. It'll happen in Phase Three, and if my fanboy dreams come true, will sort of introduce the concept of The Defenders. If that's true, we'll see characters like Namor, Valkyrie, and She-Hulk as well as other members of that team. In either Phase 3 or even 4, though.
- To link the space stuff and the SHIELD stuff, I predict that in either the SHIELD TV series (which is confirmed to be set in the MCU) or Guardians of the Galaxy, SWORD will be introduced. There's where we'll get Ms. Marvel and Abigail Brand.
- Black Panther's movie has to happen by Phase Three. It has to, right? This is a character whose fans are pretty adamant about getting this movie. If this happens, we'll no doubt have an Avengers 3 recruit, or even a Marvel Knight... Yeah, my next point.
- What about the street heroes, aka the Marvel Knights? Marvel recently re-obtained the film rights to Daredevil and Elektra, and Marvel Studios has access to a bunch of characters in that same vein, such as Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Moon Knight. Will we get a Heroes for Hire movie? Maybe in Phase 4...
- Lastly, and this one's a big maybe, is the idea of introducing Spider-Man to the MCU. Apparently, Sony and Disney made some sort of agreement to stick the Oscorp tower into a scene in The Avengers, but that didn't happen because the film was already done editing before this deal was done. Supposedly. But Sony would be dumb to not want in on the Avengers franchise, so maybe that's for real. That leads me to believe that in the next year or so, we'll be seeing news confirming or putting the idea to rest that the events in The Amazing Spider-Man took place in the same world as Iron Man, and will be the latest Avengers recruit. Let's also not forget Sony's other Marvel property: Ghost Rider. If Marvel gets to use Spider-Man, would they get access to Ghost Rider too? If so, a Blade/Ghost Rider/Dr. Strange movie would be entirely badass.
And that's what I think of the MCU's future. Also, if they ever need to retcon and reboot the whole thing altogether, they have an easy getaway excuse in Kang and time travel (which I hope they'll never try to pull because that'd be the biggest cop-out ever). I don't necessarily think this will happen, because Fiege has expressed interest that when Robert Downey Jr. doesn't want to be Tony Stark anymore, the part will be re-casted and the show will go on. It already happened to both Hulk and War Machine, so I don't think he'd lie about that.
That's all, folks. What are your future MCU predictions? Do you agree with anything I said, or do you think I'm being an old man and a fool? Thanks for reading!