How Avengers: Endgame sets up the new Disney+ Marvel shows and the MCU’s Phase 4

Alistair Gray
Movies Streaming
Movies Streaming Marvel Disney MCU

The end credits of Avengers: Endgame have barely finished rolling and already audiences are champing at the bit for more from Marvel, desperate for just one more hit of MCU. Thankfully, Disney quite enjoys printing their own money, with a raft of already-announced shows, spin-offs and sequels for screens both big and small in the offing over the next few years. Now we have hindsight after finishing the Endgame (not to mention the resulting emotional scars), we can start to speculate about these new Marvel projects – what’s the next move for the MCU?

Oh, and if it wasn’t already abundantly clear, this post contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. Whopping great, Giant Man-sized spoilers. If you are one of the seven people around the globe who have still not yet seen Avengers: Endgame, get thee to a cinema and see it before reading on.

Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Falcon Bucky
Could Falcon assume the role of Captain America in his new series?

The Falcon/Winter Soldier spin-off series on Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, was confirmed pre-Endgame, but post-Infinity Saga conclusion, we’ve got a better idea of what to expect. With Old Man Cap hanging up his shield and passing it on to Sam Wilson, Falcon – actually, is he even called Falcon any more? — could end up adopting the Captain America mantle.

But what about Steve’s best mate, Bucky? He was standing, like, right there. Expect Cap’s choice of successor to generate lots of bickering and back-and-forth banter like the kind we enjoyed in The Winter Soldier and Civil War. Bucky finally seems cured of the HYDRA brainwashing — thanks to his recuperative break in Wakanda, revealed in Black Panther‘s post-credits scene — and will be determined to wipe more of the red from his ledger; and Falcon has some big red, white and blue shoes to fill.

Don’t be surprised if OAP Steve Rogers makes a cameo to dispense some worldly wisdom, a bit like old man Indy in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Expect it to hit Disney+ sometime in 2020.

Loki

Has the Time Heist created an even more mischievous time-travelling Loki?

He wouldn’t be called the God of Mischief if he behaved himself, would he? Theories that Loki’s Disney+ series would be a prequel seem inaccurate given he swiped the Tesseract in Endgame, peace-outed through a portal to worlds unknown and tore existence a new timeline that can’t be realigned by Cap on his Time Heist reunion tour.

An alternate universe is the perfect vehicle for Loki to wreak havoc in, unfettered by Avengers and MCU canon – who knows, maybe in this neatly contained ‘what if’ timeline, Loki gathers all the Infinity Stones for himself? That’d certainly explain the plot synopsis, which claims Loki “pops up throughout human history as an unlikely influencer on historical events.”

Rick & Morty writer Michael Waldron will serve as showrunner and Tom Hiddleston will return for more mischief in 2020.

WandaVision

WandaVision looks set to be a prequel set in the 1950s.

Time to put on our speculative super-suits, because there’s very little information available about the now-confirmed Scarlet Witch and Vision double-header, other than that it’ll be six hours long, it’ll be headed up by Captain Marvel writer Jac Schaeffer and it’s heading to Disney+.

Vision was absent from Avengers: Endgame on account of being quite dead, so we’d have to assume the series will be a prequel, or some sort of alternate reality. Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Wanda Maximoff and who is very much still alive post-Endgame, told reporters that the show takes place in the 1950s, and she’s previously mentioned a desire to adapt ‘House of M‘, a comic series in which Scarlet Witch creates a new reality – and a new family – for herself.

Either that, or there are more adventures in time to be had – remember how Hulk tells us he doesn’t want to lose Scott Lang “in the 1950s”. Coincidence?

Hawkeye

Clint Barton to become mentor and trainer?

This one hasn’t officially been confirmed by Disney yet, but all of the above projects leaked in advance and they were all confirmed, so there’s no reason to think this will be wide of the mark (Hawkeye is never wide of the mark).

If you remember, pre-Endgame release there was lots of buzz about 13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford being cast in Avengers: Endgame as Hawkeye’s protégé Kate Bishop, but she was nowhere to be seen in the movie. We did, however, see Clint adopt the role of archery trainer to his daughter, Lila, in Endgame, possibly foreshadowing his role in the spin-off series.

The smart money is now on Clint Barton training her up to play a starring role in the Disney+ mini-series, while he kicks back on the family farm and enjoys his retirement. Langford replied to an Instagram post querying her supposed role in the MCU, and the best reply she could summon was ‘…’ Damn you, three dots of doom. You go to hell.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

All eyes are on Spidey now, with Far From Home set to reveal more about the Snap.

We’re mere months away from Spidey’s second big-screen standalone outing (well, technically his seventh, but who’s counting?) but even with multiple trailers and the knowledge of the events of Endgame, we’re yet to fully understand how the effects of the Snap (and the re-Snap) will play out in Far From Home.

From the final scenes in Endgame, it’s safe to assume that Ned was dusted just like Peter, given that he hadn’t aged five years and bypassed puberty, but follow those rules through to their natural conclusion and you’d have to believe that, if Far From Home takes place after Endgame, then all of Peter’s school friends were dusted. Otherwise, high-schooler Peter Parker would be romancing a college-age MJ, and that’d just be weird. Let’s hope the Marvel writers actually told the Sony suits about the time-jump and they didn’t find out at the same time as us. Awkward.

Black Widow

The Black Widow movie looks highly likely to be a prequel.

No one ever really thought T’Challa or Spider-Man were going to stay dead, given the fact they’ve both recently proved very popular in their own franchises (and, it’s no coincidence, very profitable) but the death of Natasha Romanoff in Avengers: Endgame was one we didn’t see coming — particularly because there’s a Black Widow movie heading to cinemas next year.

Given how many times the remaining Avengers told us her demise “can’t be undone” we’re inclined to believe them, which would make the Widow movie a prequel and an eagerly anticipated one at that. We’ll finally get to see the events that made her into a killer back home in Mother Russia, and maybe ‘Budapest’ can stop being a mildly irritating in-joke. Aussie indie director Cate Shortland will call the shots, while Scarlett Johansson’s co-stars are set to include Rachel Weisz, David Harbour and Florence Pugh. Expect it to be a bit like that Jennifer Lawrence spy movie Red Sparrow, but good.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Thor will probably join the Guardians for Vol. 3.

“The Asgardians of the Galaxy, back together!” laughs Thor during the Endgame climax, as he officially changes his allegiance from Avenger to Guardian and takes to the skies with Peter “Quail” and company.

After briefly being dropped from the movie due to high nonsense, franchise director James Gunn will return to direct the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie, presumably with the God of Thunder in tow. For his part, Star-Lord is up one chubby Asgardian but minus one lady love – expect Gamora’s fate to be determined by Volume 3. Was she dusted in the Stark snap? Did she flee? Will Drax block the toilet of the Milano with his famously huge turds? We’re a little light on specifics right now: the GOTG gang probably won’t be star-trekking until around 2022. Please bring Korg.

Doctor Strange 2

How will Doctor Strange fare without the Time Stone?

Doctor Strange 2: Strange Harder (title writer’s own) is officially on the slate and director Scott Derrickson and writer Robert C Cargill are slated to return along with everyone’s favourite beardy wizard, Benedict Cumberbatch.

The comic-book villain Nightmare will be the focus – he’s ruler of the Dream Dimension, don’t you know – and Chiwetel Ejiofor’s sorcerer-turned-heel Baron Mordo will finally live up to his comically villainous name. Stephen Strange will have to use every trick up his cloak, but there’s one ancient weapon he won’t be able to use. Hint: it’s green, it glows and it hangs around his neck. Literal plot device the Time Stone no longer exists in this MCU reality, so let’s hope Doctor Strange doesn’t miss any of his favourite TV shows.

Captain Marvel 2

Outer space beckons for Captain Marvel.

She unlocked her powers, defeated Thanos, saved the universe and even found time for a haircut. Is there anything Captain Marvel can’t do? We’ll have to wait a while to find out, because Captain Marvel 2 hasn’t been officially announced yet – though only an oaf would bet against a billion-dollar blockbuster getting a sequel.

One thing we know is that Carol Danvers is ridiculously over-powered – so much so that the Russos had her sit out almost the entirety of Endgame – so don’t expect to see her new adventures take place on Earth. Space is her playground. Expect Lady Cap to mediate yet more intergalactic scuffles, and don’t think we’ve seen the last of the Skrulls or the Kree.

Black Panther 2

Could Killmonger return for Black Panther 2?

Resolutely un-dusted, King T’Challa returns to Wakanda’s throne for the Black Panther sequel, due in cinemas sometime in 2021. Director Ryan Coogler is back in the hot-seat and all principal cast members will be back – even Michael B Jordan’s Killmonger, if you believe everything you read on the internet (which you should, obviously). Could Endgame‘s tinkerings with time have a part to play here?

Endgame doesn’t give much away – T’Challa’s contribution was mostly limited to nodding solemnly — but it’s high time we see what the rest of the world made of Wakanda, given that their prosperousness is no longer a secret. As long as Shuri and Okoye return in force, we’ll be happy. “She’s got help”. Seriously, don’t start us off again.

The Newbies

There are two more Marvel movies incoming, both original franchises based on comic-book properties: The Eternals is a larger-than-life intergalactic saga that’s due in 2020/2021, while Shang-Chi will see Marvel’s first Asian hero take centre stage (think more Bruce Lee than Iron Fist).

Both have yet to begin filming and casting is still at the speculative stage, but Angelina Jolie has been linked to the lead role in The Eternals, and Brie Larson’s Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton will look to cast an Asian actor as Shang-Chi’s lead. It’s impossible to say at this point if the events of Endgame will have any effect on either of these new movies – only Doctor Strange, seer of 14,000,605 possible futures, knows for sure.

Alistair Gray
Blogger, writer, general word-make-gooder. I will proofread your article even if you don't want me to.