We're already asking the question that's going to be on everyone's mind once the credits roll on Avengers: Endgame: what's next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Only time will tell, but like Doctor Strange, we've looked through 14 million possible futures for the MCU and have a few ideas on what we might see in Phase Four.
Those of you who are slightly less obsessive about the MCU might be wondering what exactly we mean by "Phase Four."
Basically, while each film walks a delicate balance between being a standalone feature and a part of a much larger saga, the MCU movies are conceptually divided into "phases." The idea is that while they might not necessarily be direct sequels, they each tie into each other thematically and build to a climax that unifies everything that came before.
Phase One, which began with Iron Man in 2008 and moved through movies like Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, and the often overlooked Incredible Hulk, was all about introducing each of the superheroes on their own before bringing them together in The Avengers.
Phase Two was about building a much larger universe around them, and reframing what a superhero was by introducing cosmic heroes with vast adventures like the Guardians of the Galaxy and micro heroes with much smaller scale adventures, like Ant-Man. Thematically, the climax of Phase Two was Avengers: Age of Ultron, which also added heroes like Vision and the Scarlet Witch to the team.
And then there's Phase 3, which has been about loss and about the dire consequences that can come from noble intentions. It began with the heroes fighting each other in Captain America: Civil War and then moved through several films about heroes discovering lies and secrets in their past, such as in Thor: Ragnarok... and in Black Panther... and in Captain Marvel. Now, it's set to reach its endgame in… well, Endgame.
The future is shrouded in mystery, but one thing you can bank on is that the next few years of the MCU are going to be focused on a very different set of characters than the last few. Part of that, of course, is the inevitable product of the march of time; Chris Evans has mentioned that he'd like to be done with blockbusters and focus on smaller projects, at least for a while, and Robert Downey Jr. has expressed some similar desires to move on from Tony Stark.
That makes sense, too, because he's been at this for a while. Even if you don't count cameos like the one in Incredible Hulk, and only focus on the Iron Man movies and starring roles like the Avengers films and Spider-Man: Homecoming, Downey has played Tony Stark in nine films over the course of 11 years. Iron Man might be a character built for a medium that's meant to go on forever, but at some point, you can't blame a guy for wanting to take a break. Keep watching the video to see what to expect for Marvel Phase 4!
#MCU #Phase4 #AdamWarlock #DoctorDoom
Wait, what's Phase Four? | 0:18
Say goodbye to your faves | 1:39
The New Class | 2:30
The next generation | 3:09
Familiar faces, new costumes | 4:13
The end of Infinity | 5:03
Marvel MacGuffins | 5:49
The new Big Bad | 6:52
Four of a kind | 7:28
Mutant misadventures | 8:29