Brie Larson's Captain Marvel has a bright future in the MCU, as her two appearances in 2019 were only the beginning. While the cosmic-powered superhero isn't guaranteed to appear in Phase 4 in any capacity, she is sure to play a role in future Marvel movies, and may be one of the many faces of the MCU for the next several years.
Carol Danvers, who has been described by Marvel as its most powerful character to date, has so far appeared in two movies, both of which were just a few months apart. Larson starred as the titular hero in Captain Marvel, a film which introduced a much younger version of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and took viewers to the 1990s to explore Captain Marvel's encounters with the Skrulls and the Kree. Over the course of the movie, Danvers discovers her origins, finds out that the Skrulls aren't what they seem, and meets S.H.I.E.L.D. At the end of the film, Danvers flies off to help the Skrulls find a new home. Her return is setup in Avengers: Infinity War when she is contacted by Fury. Danvers comes back for a much smaller role in Avengers: Endgame where she helped Earth's Mightiest Heroes defeat Thanos on two separate occasions.
Now that two of the Infinity Saga's three main protagonists, Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), have stepped aside, new heroes will need to step up to the plate and take the reins of the MCU. Among them will be Captain Marvel, who Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has already said will be the central figure of the MCU going forward. Such an important role makes sense for Captain Marvel, considering that she, like Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), brought in over $1 billion at the worldwide box office with her first solo outing. Here's what Marvel may have in the pipeline for Carol Danvers.
At Disney's D23 Expo, Marvel Studios confirmed the development of three more shows for its Disney+ lineup: Moon Knight, She-Hulk, and Ms. Marvel. Ms. Marvel is follows Kamala Khan, a teenage superhero and Inhuman who was Marvel's first Muslim character to lead their own comic book series. Her origin is tied to Captain Marvel, with whom she shares a similar name. This is no coincidence. In the comic books, Carol Danvers didn't take on the mantle of "Captain Marvel" until 2012. Through most of her comic book history, she was known by the moniker, "Ms. Marvel". Kamala Khan, upon discovering her Inhuman powers, decided to take Carol's original superhero name in order to honor someone she had always admired.
It remains to be seen if Marvel has any attention to explore this connection, but it certainly seems like this is where they may go with it eventually. It's been confirmed that Ms. Marvel's place in the MCU isn't limited to Disney+. Ms. Marvel will appear in the movies as well. Marvel may use the new series to set up a role for Kamala Khan in Captain Marvel 2. Since several movie characters are in the Disney+ shows, it's possible that Carol Danvers will guest star in Ms. Marvel. But even if that isn't the case, Kamala Khan may fit into the world of Captain Marvel, similar to how The Falcon and the Winter Soldier feels like an extension of the Captain America trilogy.
Captain Marvel 2
The success of Captain Marvel makes a sequel seem inevitable, so it wasn't a shock when Captain Marvel 2 was confirmed to be in development at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. It's not expected to be part of Phase 4, and may fit into Phase 5 instead. No date has been officially announced, and the cast (aside from Brie Larson) is a mystery. Even Larson herself isn't sure when Captain Marvel 2 will go into production. The earliest it can hit theaters is 2022, as Marvel still has three movies coming out that year. One is Black Panther 2, which is set for a May release; two unrevealed movies are scheduled for February and July. Other than Captain Marvel 2, candidates for these slots are Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Blade, and Fantastic Four.
What will the story of Captain Marvel entail? The last movie took place in the 1990s, and unless Captain Marvel 2 fills in the gaps between her first movie and Avengers: Endgame, the sequel will center on present-day Carol Danvers. A 30-year time jump means that a much different setting - and perhaps a mostly new supporting cast - is in store for Captain Marvel 2. She could reunite with Nick Fury and meet the adult version of Maria's daughter, Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), who will appear in WandaVision. Captain Marvel 2 can address the Skrull plotline that was introduced in the first movie and expanded on in Spider-Man: Far From Home. It could be that Captain Marvel 2 will adapt some version of "Secret Invasion", a story which saw the Skrulls infiltrate all levels of human society, including the superhero community.
Marvel's plans for more large-scale superhero ensembles are unclear, but the unprecedented success of the Avengers movies, and particularly Endgame, could lead to Marvel putting together a fifth Avengers movie, even if it won't be for several more years. The makeup of the Avengers was shaken up by Endgame, which means Avengers 5 would have to introduce a new roster.
Half of the original Avengers team consisted of heroes who led their own franchises and had to come together for an epic team-up. So Avengers 5 could move in a similar direction by centering on heroes who represent the current state of the MCU, like Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Black Panther, Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Shang-Chi (Simu Liu), Black Knight (Kit Harington), and maybe even an Eternal or two. Old favorites who have been around since Phase 1 could be on the team as well, such as Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Considering everything that's been said about Carol Danvers' importance to the MCU's future, she may also be a contender to become the new leader of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
- 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
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022