The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will continue to diversify, and the ending of Avengers: Endgame may help establish this. As successful as Marvel Studios has been over the last eleven years, one of the main criticisms to fall upon the shoulders of the studio and the MCU was the lack of diversity, especially in leading roles. It hasn't been until recently that women and people of color have been put in lead roles, through Captain Marvel and Black Panther respectively - and both earned over $1 billion at the box office.
These are just a few projects that will hopefully lead to a more diverse future for the MCU, and it's starting to show how Marvel Studios is hoping to achieve this. A sequel is in the works for Black Panther with director Ryan Coogler returning, but the studio is also gearing up for their first Asian-led movie in Shang-Chi. Meanwhile, Scarlett Johansson is set to star in the long-awaited Black Widow solo film, and The Eternals is reportedly looking for a diverse cast of its own and the MCU's first openly gay character.
Screen Rant recently had the opportunity to speak to Avengers: Endgame producer Trinh Tran and asked her about the diverse plans for the future of the MCU after Phase 3 concludes. She couldn't be too specific about what their plans are though, as all of the aforementioned projects and deals are currently unconfirmed by Marvel. Tran did, however, tease that fans may have a better understanding of what opportunities the MCU will have for diversity based on how Avengers: Endgame wraps up.
...I think after you watch Avengers: Endgame, you’ll know sort of. You’ll get a sense of where that ends in a way, and what opportunities we have down the line. All I can say is we have a ton of characters we haven’t explored, and I’d love to do them all. Especially given that with Captain Marvel’s success and the diversity that she brings with the female representation, and with Black Panther and that diversity, it would be great to get more of that out there. Because we have a lot of diverse characters in Marvel.
With Marvel's plans to diversify their slate moving forward clear, Tran's tease that Avengers: Endgame could show signs of this possibility based on its ending is potentially telling. In one way or another, many are expecting that this will be the final appearances by some major MCU characters, which would leave major mantles open and ready for the taking. We've previously explored how legacy versions of these heroes could be part of the MCU's future too, such as Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson becoming the new Captain America. This could add diversity to the lineup, give some actors (like Mackie) bigger roles moving forward, and retain the name recognition that comes with Cap, Thor, or Iron Man.
In fact, some recent news may highlight that this is the plan even more. It was recently revealed that Jeremy Renner will star in a Hawkeye series for Disney's streaming service that will be about him passing the mantle on to Kate Bishop. With Mackie and Sebastian Stan set for a team up series of their own, this too could be where the decision is made to make Falcon the new Captain America. Even beyond the possibility of legacy characters though, there's plenty of exciting and fan-favorite characters who could be brought into the MCU after Avengers: Endgame who would also help diversify the franchise. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to see them.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019