Marvel’s fourth phase of movies and TV series is about to kick off, with Black Widow being the first superhero film of MCU Phase 4 to hit theaters. Unfortunately for fans of the Avengers, Phase 4 definitely doesn’t include an Avengers sequel, which might’ve seemed like a surprising move from Marvel last July when it unveiled the new roster of MCU films and TV shows. Tere’s no place for Avengers 5 in Phase 4 because the entire MCU needs a soft reset. Some of our favorite heroes are dead or retired, and Thanos is gone. Not to mention that Marvel just got its hands on a slew of exciting new characters thanks to Disney’s acquisition of Fox, characters who wouldn’t have been used in the MCU otherwise.
The Avengers team needs to be reconstructed, and we have to develop bonds with those new heroes as much as we did with Iron Man, Cap, and Natasha before jumping into new Avengers films. Marvel also needs to introduce new villains and set the stage for the next huge threat that would convince all these super-powered beings to join forces for the greater good. So, by the time the Avengers assemble again, we’re going to witness a few profound changes that we didn’t necessarily see coming even a few short years ago.
One of the main problems with the MCU so far has been the lack of diversity when it comes to leads. Black Panther only came in 2018, nearly a decade after the MCU burst onto the scene. And the first film to star a female superhero didn’t even arrive until a year later — that’s Captain Marvel of course, although the Wasp got prime placement a few months before that in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
We’ve seen a series of rumors so far that suggest Marvel is considering more ample changes to the Avengers team going forward, and it’ll take a few years for those changes to materialize. Like I said before, Iron Man, Cap, and Nat all need replacements. On top of that, Thor is also expected to retire soon, and the same goes for Hawkeye.
Love where the MCU is headed diversity wise. We had an all white 6 Avengers at first but down the line we'll get a black Captain America (Sam), Spider-Man (Miles) and Captain Marvel (Monica). Asian with Shang-Chi and Sersi and Muslim with Ms. Marvel and Blade.
— Daniel Richtman #BlackLivesMatter (@DanielRPK) February 1, 2020
Seasoned Marvel insider Daniel Richtman posted an update on Twitter earlier this month that hinted at the upcoming changes in the Avengers lineup:
Love where the MCU is headed diversity wise. We had an all-white 6 Avengers at first, but down the line, we’ll get a black Captain America (Sam), Spider-Man (Miles), and Captain Marvel (Monica). Asian with Shang-Chi and Sersi and Muslim with Ms. Marvel and Blade.
Richtman’s remark wasn’t a leak, but rather speculation that’s likely based on what he knows about Marvel’s plans going forward. He knows his stuff though, so we can probably consider this to be pretty accurate. That said, you shouldn’t expect an instantaneous change for the Avengers team since we’ll probably witness different combinations of heroes before they all join forces.
It’s also interesting to remark that only Sam and Shang-Chi were confirmed leads for the future of the Avengers when that tweet was posted. Sam will be the new Captain America, and Shang-Chi will appear in an origin story that will be connected to other MCU films. Since Richtman posted that update on Twitter, we also learned that Sersi will be one of the leads of The Eternals, and therefore a candidate for a future Avengers crossover film.
As for the other rumored characters, it’ll be a while until Miles can replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in the MCU, and that’s assuming Disney and Sony ink a new deal. Similarly, we expect Brie Larson to play Captain Marvel in a few movies before passing the mantle to Monica Rambeau, who will show up soon in the WandaVision TV series on Disney+. As for Ms. Marvel and Blade, they’re both expected to appear in the MCU down the line. We’ll first see Ms. Marvel hit Disney+ next year, while Blade will launch in Phase 5 or later.
That said, it’s still unclear whether we’ll have an Avengers 5 in Phase 5, or whether we’ll have to wait even longer. Some reports say that the rumored Fantastic Four reboot is a reason why Marvel is delaying the next Avengers sequel. Others expect the formation of separate new Avengers teams going forward, with the Young Avengers being a possibility. Whatever the case, the Avengers franchise is Marvel’s greatest and most popular creation, and the studio will likely want to release more Avengers adventures down the road, leading up to an epic finale just like Endgame. But once that happens, the new team will look nothing like the Avengers who battled Thanos and saved half of all known life in the universe.