More than a decade after embarking on its audacious plan to forge an interconnected cinematic universe — resulting in 23 films and $21.5 billion in worldwide box office — Marvel reached the peak (of sorts) to one of the most historic runs in cinematic history with the record-breaking success of “Avengers: Endgame.”
But it wasn’t actually the endgame…
“Spider-Man: Far From Home,” starring Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal and Zendaya, hit theaters this week and has already pulled in $110.8 million at the box office overseas. The film, which Sony Pictures is distributing, is the last sure-thing film Marvel has dated and titled on its slate, and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has said it marks the official end to phase three.
And if the weirdness in the “Far From Home” post credits scenes are any guide, it’s just the beginning for whatever comes next. (You can read all about that here).
Aside from speculating on what the Easter Eggs in “Far From Home” could mean going forward (which we’ll still do of course) there are plenty of other films in the works, so here’s what we know about what’s next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe post “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”
“Guardians of the Galaxy 3”
Disney reinstated director James Gunn after firing him last July, so Gunn will write the script for and direct the third installment in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise. Of course, he’s also working with Warner Bros. on DC’s “Suicide Squad” sequel. He’s expected to finish that film first, with production to start in September, before returning to “Guardians 3.”
There hasn’t been any news regarding the cast — some said they wouldn’t do the film if Gunn wasn’t brought back — but it’s probably safe to assume that most if not all of the cast of characters return in some capacity for the third film.
Also, last time we saw the Guardians, sans Gamora, they were traversing through space as usual, but with Thor. Many — here at TheWrap as well — have speculated that the MCU might explore The Asgardians of the Galaxy in the next film.
“Black Panther 2”
It was reported in October last year that Ryan Coogler had signed on to write and direct the sequel to his Oscar-nominated blockbuster “Black Panther,” which grossed $1.3 billion at the box office worldwide.
Production on the sequel is expected to start either later this year or early in 2020. Coogler has been working on the drama “Wrong Answer,” which stars “Black Panther” villain and frequent Coogler collaborator Michael B. Jordan. There have not been any plot details for “Black Panther 2” nor has there been movement on the casting front.
There’s actually been a lot of movement recently on this project. In April the studio added “Stranger Things” actor David Harbour to the cast, after casting “Fighting With My Family” star Florence Pugh in March.
Their roles, as well as the plot of the movie, have been kept under wraps. The film, however, is expected to be a prequel to the “Avengers” days of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow character.
Some leaked photos from the set leaked in June, when production on the solo Black Widow film was set to begin. Cate Shortland (“Berlin Syndrome”) is directing from Ned Benson’s rewrite of Jac Schaeffer’s previous script draft.
The Eternals — created by comic book legend Jack Kirby in 1976 — are a race of ancient human beings created by the cosmic entities known as the Celestials, which the MCU introduced in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” Without getting too nerdy, the Celestials accelerated the evolution of a handful of subjects and gave them the genetic potential to mentally manipulate limited quantities of cosmic energy, as well as other superhuman traits.
Last September, Marvel brought “The Rider” director Chloe Zhao on board to helm the project, which will have a script from Black List screenwriters Matthew and Ryan Firpo. The story will focus on the female Eternal known as Sersi.
The project has ramped up casting in recent months. It was reported in April that Kumail Nanjiani was in talks to star in the film. That same month, TheWrap exclusively reported that South Korean actor Ma Dong-seok, also known as Don Lee, will make his American film debut in “The Eternals.” And more recently, TheWrap also exclusively reported in June that Selma Hayek is under consideration to star.
Back in mid-March, it was announced that Marvel had hired “Short Term 12” director Destin Daniel Cretton to direct the film based on the Marvel Comics popular ’70s Asian-American hero.
Shang-Chi, created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin in 1973, is one of the Marvel Universe’s greatest fighters, often referred to in the comics as the master of kung fu. He was trained to be the ultimate assassin by his father, an immortal crime lord and sorcerer named Fu Manchu. The half-Chinese, half-American superhero first appeared in Special Marvel Edition #15.
Marvel is hoping to tap into a similar cultural touchstone that rocketed “Black Panther” to critical, cultural and box office success. Dave Callaham (“Wonder Woman 1984”) is writing the script that will ultimately modernize the Shang-Chi story and character arc.
“Doctor Strange 2”
In December it was announced the Scott Derrickson would return to direct the sequel to the 2016 origin story. Marvel hasn’t settled on a screenwriter for the film yet, and there are no plot details, but the studio is eyeing a spring 2020 production start.
Benedict Cumberbatch will return as the Sorcerer Supreme for the sequel, with Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams expected to return.
“Captain Marvel 2”
Marvel hasn’t officially announced a “Captain Marvel” sequel, but there have been lots of conversations about the role she is expected to play in the future of the MCU.
Not to mention the film and character seems to have struck a chord with audiences; “Captain Marvel” has grossed $1.1 billion worldwide at the box office since hitting theaters March 8.