MCU Phase Next: What We Know

So we already know what's coming for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, post-Endgame, at least in the short term (that being a couple years, but still), but this is more or less a combination of wish list and prediction covering those announcements. Next week, I'll try to cover what lies beyond. And YES, spoilers for Endgame.
There's the TV stuff, of course, mini-series on Disney's upcoming streaming service that seem to show the MCU pivoting away as much as possible from the Avengers we've come to know during the Infinity Saga. Loki, Hawkeye, Falcon, Bucky, Vision and the Scarlet Witch, are getting TV projects so their stories will have closure, and so it seems less than likely we'll see them in another movie. Some thoughts...
Falcon/Winter Soldier: Will this be about struggling to take up the mantle of Captain America? I want to see some Captain America concepts they never got to use in the films. MODOK may be too much to ask, but how about some Madbombs?
Vision and the Scarlett Witch: Some sources omit Vision from the title, but Paul Bettany is definitely in it. Could this tell the story of their relationship between Civil War and Infinity War?
Loki: Tom Hiddleston stars, which either means Loki survived Thanos somehow (wouldn't be the first death he faked) or they'll pull a Kid Loki (or a logistically more probable Teen Loki heartthrob) and have Hiddleston be the devil on the shoulder of a reincarnated God of Mischief who otherwise gets a fresh start and uses his manipulative powers to help rather than harm.
Hawkeye: Clint mentors a new, female Hawkeye. We all thought Kate Bishop, but it could well be his daughter from Endgame, whom he calls "Hawkeye" and is training with the bow.
What If?: An animated series based on one of my favorite Marvel series, obviously taking its turning points from the MCU rather than the comics. Fun stuff.
Now, it's entirely possible these series aren't conclusions, but SET-UPS for what comes next in the movies. The new Hawkeye joining the Avengers, Vision returning, or the other characters getting more background so they are better able to sustain interest in their version of the team on film. But in the short term at least, there's no Avengers film that WOULD feature them slated. Instead we'd get...
Black Widow: Likely an origin story/pre-Avengers story, perhaps including the mysterious events of her defecting in Budapest (scoring Hawkeye an extra appearance). Rumored villain: Taskmaster? Yes, please, though I'd have expected some kind of Red Guardian figure.
Eternals: Like, what? Is the MCU trying to scoop the DCEU before it comes out with its New Gods film? Now, despite the Eternals being a Kirby creation, no one cares about them. I'd rather have seen Devil Dinosaur or Machine Man from that same era. But if Guardians worked against all odds, why can't these guys no one's heard of? I guess it'll delve into the whole Celestials thing, and probably have Deviants as antagonists. Sersi is apparently the lead, though I've heard rumors of Hercules being in it (a possible replacement for Thor in later Avenger combos?). Starfox maybe? For all I know, it takes place when Thanos was younger and it's all about the Titanian Eternals and how they unsuccessfully deal with him.
Doctor Strange 2: The last two Avengers really raised his profile and coolness factor so I am well primed for this. Rumors fly that Nightmare might be the villain, but then the first film teased Baron Mordo, so they kind of have to go with that, right? I guess they can always team up.
Black Panther 2: Ryan Coogler returns, and I know a lot of people want Michael B. Jordan to come back as well, but at this point, it's gotta be Klaw, right? Dying in Wakanda, on a vein of vibranium resurrects him as a solid sound entity, right? Why else get a motion-capture expert to play him in the first place?
Shang-Chi: Some would ask "why go so small?" after the epic happenings of the past few films. Well exactly. We need t explore new territory, and the street level stuff has been pretty much stuck in TV land for the past few years. New territory means new genres on which to put a super-heroic spin, and if they go full wuxia on this, and show a real knowledge and appreciation of the golden age of kung fu films (Shaw Bros. and Golden Harvest), then it could be one of those movies that was made with me specifically in mind.
Guardians of the Galaxy vol.3: Before Endgame, I thought the plot was pretty obvious. Adam Warlock was teased, so he's the antagonist until he turns good, and because of his relationship to the soul stone in the comics, I thought the story would involve Quill's quest to rescue Gamora's soul. Well, the stones are no more, and Gamora's back (after a fashion), and Thor might be a Guardian (unless they drop him off somewhere), so who knows anymore? Warlock is just about the only certain thing, and some kind of cool soundtrack.

Obviously, there will be more after this crop of movies, some easy to imagine, some less so (who would have predicted Eternals or Shang-Chi?), but if you come back next Monday, I'll rattle off some ideas.


Green Luthor said...

I'm rather assuming the Loki series will take advantage of the obvious dangling plot thread from Endgame. (They had to do it that way intentionally, right? And not just to add the 1970 stuff? Even with that extra trip, Loki remains a huge unresolved part of Endgame, and that would certainly be the easiest way to set up his series.) (Unless that's just what they want us to think. That *would* be an appropriately Loki-esque misdirection...)

Siskoid said...

Is he, though? A dangling plot thread? It's all in an alternate timeline where he escapes, but not the Earth we're watching.

De said...

Of all the projects announced, I'm most interested in Shang-Chi and the second Black Panther outing. Kevin Feige specifically mentioned wanting to steer clear of ethnic stereotypes, so I'm not counting on the Fu Manchu origin story. And that's fine by me. I enjoyed the Master of Kung Fu stories back in the day, but they are rife with problematic content now.

Fred Melanson said...

The Far From Home trailer confirms the MCU Multiverse is interconnected, so it's definitely not a stretch to assume Tesseract Loki can be up to anything in any one of the connected universes.


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