Avengers: Endgame had the biggest opening weekend in history with $1.2 billion in ticket sales. To put into perspective how insane that is, even with ticket prices as high as $25 for IMAX, that means 100 million people went to see Endgame in the first four days of its release. That's more people than the population of 219 countries. Actually, only fourteen countries have larger populations than 100 million, so if all of the opening weekend audience members decided to move to their own country where they could speak without fear of spoiling the movie for latecomers, it would be the fifteenth most populous country in the world. That's insane.
As Marvel Studios prepares for its next phase, we're looking forward to twenty awesome superhero movies set to be released in the next few years. It's shaping up to be an era with more opportunities for women and people of color in the super-universe for Marvel and DC alike than there has been in the entirety of the past eleven years, so you could say we're excited. Obvi, if we're talking about future Marvel movies, there are going to be some Endgame spoilers ahead. You've been warned.
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Game of Thrones may be finished, but its cast isn't going away any time soon. Sophie Turner has been starring in these X-Men prequels in her spare time for a hot minute, and Jean Grey will finally get her long-awaited comics story in the final chapter of this era of X-Men. Hans Zimmer has composed the score despite his official retirement from superhero films in March 2016, the X-Men are finally going to space, and Jessica Chastain is bringing even more redheaded energy to the stage as the mysterious villain.
Marvel's Phase 4 doesn't ~officially~ end with Endgame. Like Phase 3 ended with Ant Man and The Wasp, Phase 4's final bow will be in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the sequel to the latest Spider-Man reboot starring Tom Holland. Rumor has it that we'll be seeing a lot more of Zendaya as Mary Jane in this installment, thank God, Samuel L. Jackson is co-starring as Nick Fury, and Jake Gyllenhall will play a heroic version of comics villian Mysterio. Peter and his friends will find their European summer vacation interrupted by villainous Elementals.
Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner are a package deal, okay? The famed Thrones BFFs will both star in X-Men universe films this year, assuming The New Mutants doesn't get pushed back for a *fourth* time before its slated August 2019 release. The New Mutants follows a group of young teen mutants trapped in a mysterious facility, and the numerous reshoots have reportedly been trying to turn this horror-inspired YA film into a fully fledged horror film. It's being directed by The Fault In Our Stars's Josh Boone, and James McAvoy might be coming back for a final turn as Professor X.
So Loki isn't ~technically~ a movie. This long-awaited spin-off starring Tom Hiddleston is set to be released in the first year of the new Disney+ streaming service, which debuts in November 2019. The official plot of the Loki series hasn't been released, but seeing as Loki stayed dead post-Infinity War, we know it won't be in the modern-day MCU. We could see a past version of the near-immortal Loki as he exists in human history and space, or we could see the alternate universe Loki that was created in Endgame who steals the Tesseract in 2012.
Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn was the only good thing to come out of DC's disastrous Suicide Squad attempt. Margot, being the Queen that she is, insisted that her standalone Harley Quinn movie be fast-tracked by Warner Bros. as a female-centric team film based on Birds of Prey. We'll see heroines Black Canary, Huntress, The Question, and hopefully Batgirl, leaving DC the option to give any new fan favorites their own solo films and opening up a whole new world of female superheroes. The first teaser was released in January 2019, and the project has a February 2020 release date.
Channing Tatum has always had the body of a superhero, and now we'll finally get to see it in action... we think. If you think The New Mutants has been through scheduling hell, you should take a look at the long history of Channing's Gambit film, which was supposed to start production all the way back in Fall 2015. Three directors and one Disney-Fox merger later, and it looks like Gambit might finally begin production if rumors that Channing himself is interested in directing prove to be true. We just want to see Magic Mike in tights.
Another Disney+ series to get excited about isn't going to be canon in the MCU. The deeply entertaining What If comic series is getting a turn on the screen, as this anthology follows storylines like "What If Steve Rogers Never Became Captain America" (hint: Peggy Carter will become Cap) and "What If Loki Had Found The Hammer Of Thor?" The animated series will hopefully feature the voices of our favorite main actors from the MCU, with the commitment to a one-off voice acting gig being much more flexible than attempting a live-action appearance. The What If comics are equal parts ridiculous and compelling, and seeing them brought to the small screen is a bright spot in Marvel's already triumphant streaming plans.
We're not so much excited ~for~ WandaVision as we are excited to see how, exactly, Disney+ manages to pull this off in canon after the events of Infinity War. Mind you, we'd be much more enthusiastic about the actual series if they'd given it a less stupid name. Even if Vision could be brought back from his pre-snap death, his consciousness was completely reliant on the Mind Stone, which no longer exists. The Disney+ launch showed a photo of Wanda and Vision in the 1950s, but since neither of these characters are Asgardians and they weren't frozen in ice for the better part of a century, the only explanation is time travel. Do they explore the Quantum Realm? Has Vision low-key been hiding in there all along? We really have no idea how they're going to make this work, and we're stoked about it.
This, above all else, is the upcoming movie we're most excited for, and we think a lot of MCU fans would agree with us. The standalone Black Widow movie is something audiences have been clamoring for since before the first Avengers team up in 2012, and a little thing like Natasha Romanoff's untimely death isn't going to stop Marvel from finally giving us the film they've been hinting at for years. There have been rumors of the Black Widow film being a prequel following Nat's life before S.H.I.E.L.D., and possibly finally explaining to us what happened in Budapest. Unless Marvel Studios does us dirty and makes the film about Hawkeye trying to save her from wherever the Soul Stone keeps its victims, they decide to explore Natasha during the five years we didn't see in Endgame, or the return of the Soul Stone means she can be yeeted back into existence, a prequel seems like the most likely option.
Four female-led superhero films in one year? Spectacular. It took over a decade for Marvel to bite the bullet and give us a female-fronted film, but the combined successes of DC's first Wonder Woman film and the record-breaking Captain Marvel seem to have turned the tides in our favor. The next Wonder Woman standalone, Wonder Woman 1984 won't be a sequel to her 2017 debut. According to director Patty Jenkins, the film will show Wonder Woman in her "next iteration" and tell a completely different story. Don't worry, though, Chris Pine will still be there, and reportedly he knows how to rock an '80s-era fanny pack.
Jared Leto is jumping ship from DC to Marvel in the upcoming Morbius film, where he will portray the titular vampire. Morbius is historically a Spider-Man villain, and this universe of films is meant to connect to Tom Holland's spidey-verse. Michael Morbius is a scientist who attempts to cure his rare blood disease but accidentally curses himself with a form of living vampirism. Matt Smith also stars as another man suffering from the same disease. Twilight, this is not.
Doctor Strange wasn't the most beloved Marvel film in the past few years, even putting aside the controversy surrounding Tilda Swinton's casting in a role meant for a person of color. The interesting hook for Stephen Strange's second outing, however, will be the drastic change in his characterization post-Endgame. Instead of being a recluse, he's become one of Earth's Mightiest Heros and is one of the main connecting forces of the heroes spread throughout Earth and the universe. How he balances this with his duties as the Sorcerer Supreme and the protector of the Time Stone will be the biggest draw for Doctor Strange's sequel.
In a complete 180 from Doctor Strange, Black Panther was universally beloved and aside from Shuri taking her rightful place as the Avengers' new go-to tech wiz, the events of Endgame mostly left the Wakandan's world unaffected. This leaves Ryan Coogler free reign to play within the universe he created during the first film. Wherever it goes, Black Panther 2 will likely have to wait until 2021 or later, but we expect the film to be fast-tracked after directorial drama pushed back Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's release.
Speaking of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, after director James Gunn was fired and rehired by Disney, the film's 2020 release was pushed back until who knows when. There have been reports that Guardians will begin filming in 2020 despite James's attachment to the next Suicide Squad film for Warner Bros. during his sabbatical. Guardians is one of the franchises that may have changed the most post-Endgame with the possible addition of Thor to the team. Chris Hemsworth is ready to stick around the MCU for a while and has the contract to prove it, so hopefully Guardians 3 will have Thor on board.
Another Disney+ entry on our list, a Hawkeye series hasn't been officially confirmed by the fledgling streaming service, but there has been speculation that Jeremy Renner's connection to Disney+ will be for a Hawkeye limited series. While no one asked for a Hawkeye standalone, rumors that Clint Barton will be training his daughter Lila to take over the mantle and become the MCU's answer to Kate Bishop would be another big W for women in the multiverse. The Endgame opener shows that archery definitely runs in the family, so we're keeping our eyes peeled for an official announcement any day now.
Just because Thor might be off running around with the Guardians of the Galaxy doesn't mean there isn't a Thor 4 in our future — it just might not star our favorite Australian goofball. Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie became the new ruler of Asgard during the finale of Endgame, and Tessa herself spoke to the Los Angeles Times about plans for a new Thor installment with director Taika Waititi in the works. While no official plans for a fourth Thor sequel have been announced, having Valkyrie continue the story is only fitting if Thor is otherwise occupied.
In what has accurately been described as "catering to fans," Sebastian Stan is getting his own spin-off alongside Anthony Mackie. While some rumors painted The Falcon And The Winter Soldier as a prequel series showing how the former enemies became the best of friends, Steve Rogers's final Endgame moments open up this limited series to an exploration of how, exactly, the not-so-superhuman Sam Wilson will be able to take on the Captain America mantle. Both Sebastian and Anthony are attached to star, but Disney has yet to give us an official release date.
There's going to be a Captain Marvel 2. It hasn't been announced, there's no official plan, but the only MCU solo film that didn't get a sequel was The Incredible Hulk and that was just due to legal issues with Universal. Before Endgame, Captain Marvel briefly held the record for the biggest opening weekend in movie history, so it's a sure thing that we'll see Brie Larson return in Marvel's Phase 4. At this rate, it won't be hitting theatres until 2022 at the earliest, but we already can't wait.
Filing the void left by Tony Stark and Steve Rogers won't be easy. TBH, it's probably impossible. While the Infinity Saga has finished, MCU has been quietly laying the foundation for a new collection of heroes, the Eternals. Star-Lord's father, Ego, was one of them, as was our least favorite purple giant Thanos. The Wrap reported that the first Eternals film, which has been a long time coming, will focus on a female eternal named Sersi. The movie will likely take Marvel's November 2020 release slot, and there have been rumors that Angelina Jolie is in talks to star as Sersi. The film may also feature the MCU's first openly gay hero as Sersi's companion, Ikaris.
Shang-Chi will be the first Asian lead of a Marvel franchise, assuming there isn't some type of major f*ck up that leads to another Tilda Swinton situation. The Chinese kung fu master doesn't have any superpowers, but that hasn't stopped contemporaries Black Widow and the Falcon from kicking alien butt. The character will likely be a vital part of the next MCU phase, and the screenplay is being written by Dave Callaham, a Chinese-American superhero movie veteran who has worked on Wonder Woman 1984 and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2.