- The first major spoiler for the upcoming set of Marvel movies comes from an interview.
- Disney has delayed MCU Phase 4 because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, including the films and TV series that should have premiered this year.
- The spoiler isn’t much of a surprise for comics fans, but does offer a crucial detail about the upcoming MCU adventures, set to start on November 6th with Black Widow.
Marvel’s MCU Phase 4 should have started on May 1st with the belated Black Widow premiere that both Scarlett Johansson and the heroine deserved. But the novel coronavirus hit, and Disney postponed the premiere. If we’re lucky enough and the world can contain the infection by November 6th, we might see in theaters. Otherwise, Black Widow could be delayed even further — so far, Disney is reluctant to launch it on Disney+.
Phase 4 isn’t just about the next stage of movies that could build up to an Endgame-like conclusion. It’s a massive bet on streaming, as well. No less than eight TV shows based on the MCU will be intertwined with the six films of Phase 4. And three of these limited TV series should have been released this year, with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier initially slated to debut in August. But, again, COVID-19 had other plans. Social distancing measures meant that productions had to be interrupted, including all the shows that were supposed to launch this year.
As states have started reopening, COVID-19 has seen huge surges that could lead to more delays. But we’ve also seen an increase in Marvel rumors and reports. The most interesting one comes at an unexpected time considering the delays, giving us the first confirmed MCU Phase 4 spoiler. What follows below comes directly from people involved in Marvel’s projects, so you should avoid it if you want to be surprised.
Phase 4 doesn’t have a standalone Avengers film as the team has to be reorganized following the untimely deaths of Black Widow, Iron Man, and Captain America. Let’s not forget that Far From Home celebrates them all as fallen heroes, so the world probably has no idea that Steve Rogers is still alive. Marvel will introduce several new members in Phase 4, including replacements for the dead heroes. Also, Marvel will build up a new series of villains to replace Thanos, including Dr. Doom, who is already heralded as the MCU’s best upcoming villain.
Aside from that, there are also the new teams of heroes that are available to Marvel now, including the Fantastic Four and X-Men, which will have to be introduced into the MCU at some point in the relatively near future. In other words, we might have to wait a while for the Avengers 5 film we all want.
With Natasha having died in Endgame, we already know that Black Widow will be an origin story-like prequel. It’s not a true origin story, as the movie is set in the years between Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War, but the film will show us a different side of Nat, and her previous family, seen in the background in the following image. We’ve already seen several trailers and teasers for the movie, as well as at least one plot leak.
Fans have already theorized that the purpose of Black Widow is to introduce the new Black Widow to the team. Nat’s “sister,” Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh, seen above Nat’s left shoulder in the poster) is expected to take over the Black Widow mantle in the MCU, just like in the comics. And Marvel has seemingly confirmed this detail.
“[Kevin Feige] realized that the audience would expect an origin story so, of course, we went in the opposite direction,” director Cate Shortland tells Empire. “And we didn’t know how great Florence Pugh would be. We knew she would be great, but we didn’t know how great. Scarlett is so gracious, like, ‘Oh, I’m handing her the baton.’ So it’s going to propel another female storyline.”
While not exactly surprising, this is still a huge revelation. Going into the movie, we’ll know that whatever happens to Yelena, she will be set up to take Black Widow’s place. It’s not exactly a Black Widow resurrection, and that’s actually great news. Nat’s heroic actions in Endgame would be ruined if she was brought back like that. Instead, Marvel will just give us a different flavor of Black Widow, similar to what’s happening with Captain America.
The director also offered another detail about the movie, teasing that Black Widow will deal with the uncelebrated sacrifice of Nat. “In Endgame, the fans were upset that Natasha did not have a funeral. Whereas Scarlett, when I spoke to her about it, said Natasha wouldn’t have wanted a funeral,” Shortland explained. “She’s too private, and anyway, people don’t really know who she is. So what we did in this film was allow the ending to be the grief the individuals felt, rather than a big public outpouring. I think that’s a fitting ending for her.”
The magazine goes on sale on July 8th and could include more mild Black Widow spoilers. The film is still on track to launch on November 6th in the US, and October 28th in the UK for now.