More than a decade after embarking on its audacious plan to forge an interconnected cinematic universe — resulting in 22 films and $18.8 billion in worldwide box office — Marvel is finally putting a cap on one of the most historic runs in cinematic history.
But this can’t actually be the endgame…
While “Avengers: Endgame” marks a fervent end to Marvel’s self-fulling prophecy, the superhero studio ain’t done yet. Here’s what we know about what’s next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe post “Avengers: Endgame.”
“Spider-Man: Far From Home”
Next up is Tom Holland’s solo follow-up, “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Marvel fans have speculated for the better part of a year — since some of the franchise’s new favorites were dusted — who would explicitly die in “Avengers: Endgame.”
We’ve already seen Spider-Man swinging through Europe in the trailer for “Far From Home,” so it’s clear that he has a role to play in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
That sequel — which also stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Samuel L. Jackson and Marissa Tomei — sees Peter Parker join his best friends Ned (Batalon), MJ (Zendaya), and the rest of the gang on an overseas trip. However, his plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury (Jackson) uncover the mystery of several elemental creatures whose attacks are causing havoc across the continent.
“Spider-Man: Far From Home,” which Sony Pictures will distribute on July 5, is the last sure-thing Marvel film on the slate, but there is plenty else in the works and others that are all but certain. Marvel head Kevin Feige recently stated that “Far From Home” marks the end of the third phase of Marvel movies, not “Endgame.”
“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.
“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. Earlier this month 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.
Production on the solo Black Widow film is set to begin in June, with Cate Shortland (“Berlin Syndrome”) 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 blacklist screenwriters Matthew and Ryan Firpo. The story will focus on the female Eternal known as Sersi.
The project has ramped up casting in the last couple of months. It was revealed in March that Angelina Jolie was in talks to join the MCU with “The Eternals,” and earlier this month it was reported that Kumail Nanjiani was also in talks to star in the film. TheWrap exclusively reported last week that South Korean actor Ma Dong-seok, also known as Don Lee, is set to make his American film debut in “The Eternals.”
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.