Marvel After Avengers 4: Everything We Know About MCU Phase 4

Avengers 4 will bring an end to a story that's been told over the last decade. But what do we know about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

What do we know about the MCU after next year's Avengers 4? 2019 will be a year of endings for Marvel, with Avengers 4 bringing a close to a single ongoing narrative that's been building for over a decade. When the dust settles, viewers will be welcomed to a shared cinematic universe that has changed shape quite radically. But the exact nature of the MCU's future is deliberately being kept a closely-guarded secret. "We’re going to keep it very close to the vest," Marvel visionary Kevin Feige explained, "because this is really about focusing on the unprecedented conclusion to a 22-movie overarching narrative."

In 2014, Marvel wowed the world when they took the unprecedented step of announcing their entire Phase 3 slate. Feige has since implied this announcement actually backfired. He feels viewers became distracted by the promise of Avengers: Infinity War, and thus failed to focus on Avengers: Age of Ultron. That comment from Feige suggests it's unlikely viewers will get a comparable announcement for Phase 4. Rather than a single big event that reveals everything that's coming over a four-or-five-year period, Marvel will probably settle for giving audiences a sort of drip-feed of information.

Related: MCU Phase 4: Predicting Marvel's 2020, 2021, & 2022 Films

That doesn't mean some information hasn't been divulged. Here we're going to collect everything we know of the MCU post-Avengers 4. It's fair to say the first ten years were just the beginning.

Phase 4 Is The Beginning of Something New For Marvel

In Feige's mind, the first three phases of the MCU have essentially been one interconnected saga - a tale that's building to a head in next year's Avengers 4. What follows afterward is really a relaunch of some kind:

"I think you look at comics as a guide. I think there will be a finality to moments of Phase Three, as well as new beginnings that will mark a different, a very different, a distinctively different chapter in what will someday be a complete first saga made up of three phases."

Marvel Studios is borrowing a trick from the comics, where there's an annual cycle of so-called "Summer Events" that become the basis for the next relaunch. The event comics essentially create a new status quo, an ideal jumping-on point for new readers. Feige views Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 as the equivalent of the "Summer Event," setting up what he's called "the next incarnation of the MCU."

Related: Does Marvel Have A Super-Team Good Enough To Replace The Avengers?

Although there have been rumblings Marvel may abandon the traditional phased approach entirely, these have probably been overstated. Speaking to i09, Feige pointed out that the pattern of the different phases is lifted straight from the comics; "Everyone had their individual stories. They meet up for a mega event and they go back to their individual stories changed from that event." While he wouldn't actually commit to maintaining that pattern, Feige did insist that he thinks it's still "a good model."

The Future of the MCU Will Be A Lot More Diverse

The success of superhero films like Wonder Woman and Black Panther clearly hasn't gone unnoticed by Marvel. Feige has indicated that the future of the MCU will be far more diverse than anything we've seen before. He's promised that Marvel will be abandoning the much-criticized "gay erasure," and that there will be two out LGBTQ characters in the MCU. One of these is a character who already exists - likely a nod to Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, suggesting the future's bright for the Asgardian warrior. Meanwhile, Feige has also said he foresees a time when the MCU's male-female ratio will be very different. As he explained in an interview:

"I think we're getting to the point soon where we have so many great female characters that those are just our heroes as opposed to when are they all female, all male. It's just the Marvel heroes, more than half of which will be women."

The stars are pressuring Feige to produce an A-Force movie, an all-female team-up film. Although Feige appears to be receptive to this, there's as yet no indication it's in the works.

Page 2 of 2: The MCU Line-Up Is Going To Change

Key Release Dates
  • Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
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