Which superheroes will be part of the team in the inevitable Avengers 5? Marvel Studios announced their full Phase 4 slate at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, and fans immediately noticed that it doesn't have an Avengers film. According to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, that was a deliberate decision, simply because he sees Phase 4 as a new beginning for the MCU.
Marvel Studios may have announced the next two years' worth of films and Disney+ TV shows, but they're known to operate on a five-year plan. Avengers 5 seems to be part of that plan, because Feige has said that they already know what the new Avengers roster will look like. "It will be a very different team than we’ve seen before," he promised. "It will be a very different incarnation of the team with some people you’ve already met and some people you haven’t met yet." All indications are that the future of the MCU is heavily influenced by the All-New All-Different Marvel era in the comics, which launched in 2015 and introduced fresh faces with a stress on youth and diversity. That included a brand new version of the Avengers, and it wouldn't be too difficult for Marvel to adapt this concept for the MCU.
Given that's the case, here are our predictions for who will wind up part of the next Avengers team. They include a few familiar faces, but also - as Kevin Feige promised - a number of characters who look set to make their MCU debut over the next two years.
Sam Wilson's Captain America
Avengers: Endgame came to a close with Steve Rogers choosing his successor as the next Captain America. Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson is soon to suit up in the stars and stripes, a plot lifted straight from the comics. It won't be an easy transition for the winged Avenger, and the Disney+ Falcon and Winter Soldier TV series is expected to chart his journey to accepting the role. That should position SamCap to be a key member of the next incarnation of the Avengers, if not their leader, as he was in the comics. Anthony Mackie was originally contracted for 10 Marvel movies; he's unsure how his contract is affected by the TV show, which means he has between three and four films left. That's plenty of time to wield the shield in Avengers 5.
Jane Foster's Thor
Meanwhile, Thor: Love and Thunder features the unexpected return of Natalie Portman - as the female Thor. Current reports suggest that the Loki TV series will see the Trickster God bring Mjolnir from another reality, and that Jane Foster will pick up the hammer in Thor 4, proving herself worthy to wield all the power of the Odinson himself. Again, this plot is lifted from the All-New All-Different Marvel era, and Jane became a member of Sam Wilson's All-New All-Different Avengers team. It's possible Marvel only intend the female Thor to appear in the one film, but frankly that would be something of a waste. The Jason Aaron run in the comics proved that Jane Foster's Thor has the potential to be every bit as much a big-screen sensation as Chris Hemsworth's.
Yelena Belove's Black Widow
Black Widow will introduce Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Natasha Romanoff's successor in the Black Widow program. In the comics, Natasha ruthlessly manipulated Yelena in order to undermine her faith in her mentors. Although Natasha was successful, it didn't mean Yelena Belova became an instant superhero; instead, she became an assassin-for-hire. Yelena's story of redemption was completed when Natasha was believed killed. She decided to take up the mantle of Black Widow once again, determined to give Natasha a legacy. Marvel Studios could easily be setting up exactly the same character arc in the MCU, with Yelena Belova embodying Natasha Romanoff's legacy as Black Widow. That means she could ultimately sign up with the Avengers, whether in Avengers 5 or beyond.
Brie Larson's Captain Marvel is pretty much guaranteed to be part of the team as well. Captain Marvel revealed that Carol Danvers was Nick Fury's inspiration for the Avengers Initiative, and Kevin Feige has suggested Captain Marvel will be taking the lead in the MCU. That statement alone means it's impossible to envision the next Avengers movie without the Tesseract-powered superhero caught up in the action. Given the sheer scale of Captain Marvel's powers, the Avengers are probably going to be taking on threats far worse than the Chitauri, Ultron, or potentially even Thanos. Avengers 5 could be the Avengers' biggest adventure to date.
It's reasonable to assume that Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther will be part of the team. Marvel Studios has stressed that diversity will be their gold standard going forward, and Black Panther has pretty much become the symbol of diversity in the MCU. The character's solo film was an unprecedented success, grossing over $1 billion in the global box office, and the only surprise is that Marvel Studios hasn't already announced the release date of Black Panther 2. Even the comics have recognized King T'Challa's sudden new surge of popularity, literally making him the leader of the Avengers' current incarnation. He's probably not going to play that particular role in Avengers 5, but it's thrilling to imagine what the team can accomplish with Wakandan technology.
Marvel's unprecedented deal with Sony seems to be an incredible success, with Spider-Man: Far From Home becoming the highest-grossing Spider-Man movie of all time. Although Tom Holland was originally contracted for just six films, he's open to renegotiating his contract, and Marvel and Sony would be fools to let this deal end. The MCU's Spider-Man is being set up as Tony Stark's successor, giving Iron Man his own legacy in the shared universe. That surely means participating in Avengers 5, even if Peter Parker will naturally find himself stunned at the fresh opportunity to work with heavyweights like Captain Marvel and Sam Wilson.
This new iteration of the Avengers looks set to be global in scope, so it makes sense they'd have Marvel's first Asian hero as well as the King of Wakanda. Simu Liu will be introduced as the star of 2021's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, where he'll portray Marvel's premiere martial artist. It's generally believed the MCU will rewrite Shang-Chi's origin story a little, making him the son of the Mandarin. It will be interesting to see how a hand-to-hand combatant handles himself when working next to powerhouses like Captain Marvel and Thor, but Black Widow and Hawkeye have already demonstrated that a skillful warrior can hold their own.
Kate Bishop's Hawkeye
Speaking of Hawkeye, the Disney+ TV series is set to introduce Clint Barton's successor. The comic book version of Kate Bishop is a wealthy heiress who was inspired by Hawkeye's example, thrilled at the idea that an ordinary human being could stand next to gods and monsters. Assaulted in Central Park, she turned to combat training, archery, and self-defense as a way to heal her mind. It was only when Kate crossed paths with the Young Avengers that she decided to put her skills to good use as the next Hawkeye, and she soon built a firm friendship with the original. Marvel Studios has promised that their Disney+ TV shows will have a direct impact on the movies, meaning characters introduced here could make the cut into the Avengers as well.
It's also increasingly looking as though the Disney+ shows will introduce Viv Vision, who could easily become part of the team in Avengers 5 as well. There have been repeated rumors that the WandaVision TV show will draw inspiration from Tom King's iconic Vision run, in which the synthezoid created a family for himself. It wasn't exactly a Happily Ever After, though, when the androids began to struggle with both emotions and a computer virus. Only one character introduced in that story has stuck around, Viv Vision, another synthezoid who possesses all of her father's powers and not much of his impulse-control. She'd certainly work as part of the MCU's diversity push, too, given Viv ultimately decided she's a lesbian.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021