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Rumored Avengers 5 directors refuse to comment on their return

Published May 30th, 2022 4:16PM EDT
Doctor Strange in Multiverse of Madness trailer
Image: Marvel Studios

Avengers 5 is suddenly a hot topic, which shouldn’t surprise any MCU fan who saw Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. We expected this movie to significantly influence the rest of the MCU Phase 4 and possibly lead to bigger crossovers. Unsurprisingly, one such crossover might be Avengers 5, which might be a take on the Secret Wars comics run.

But Marvel isn’t ready to announce the next installment in the Avengers franchise quite yet. And the purported directors aren’t ready to talk about it either. Anthony and Joe Russo, the directors responsible for the massive Infinity War and Endgame successes that ended the Infinity Saga, might be returning for Avengers 5. Beware, some spoilers might follow below.

Why Secret Wars for Avengers 5?

We already explained that Doctor Strange 2 introduces the concept of incursions. This dangerous multiversal event can lead to the destruction of at least one of two universes that might be on a collision course. Put differently, the Secret Wars storyline from the comics feels like a natural evolution of the events in Multiverse of Madness.

After all, the film’s credits introduced a brand new superhero Clea (Charlize Theron). She came to recruit Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) so that they could stop an incursion that he had started. The implication here is that we’ll soon see how one goes about preventing incursions. You can read all about incursions at this link.

Marvel never announced an Avengers 5 sequel, and it never confirmed plans to adapt the Secret Wars storyline. Yet a trusted source discussed one of his pre-pandemic scoops recently. He said a few years ago that Secret Wars had a May 2024 release date in Marvel’s Phase 4 calendar. But that was well before the pandemic, which brought significant delays to the MCU.

As a reminder, we did not have any MCU movie or TV show releases in 2020. And then Marvel kept delaying certain projects. Even if that rumor was accurate, that Secret Wars release timeframe can’t possibly still be correct.

Strange and Wanda talking about Avengers and the multiverse
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) talking about Avengers and the multiverse. Image source: Marvel Studios

How do the Russo brothers fit in these Avengers 5 rumors?

What’s also interesting about Secret Wars is that the Russo brothers said all the way back in 2019 that they would be interested in adapting this project for the MCU.

But even without this particular comment, the Russos would still be on the shortlist for any sort of massive Avengers 5 crossover that could rival Endgame. Mind you, the next Avengers story could always be a soft reboot tackling more minor stakes. But if Avengers 5 turns out to be the first Secret Wars episode, then it’ll absolutely rival Infinity War and Endgame.

Fast-forward to early September 2021, and a report said that the Russos were already in negotiations with Marvel. Or better said, they had interrupted those talks following the Scarlett Johansson vs. Disney fight. The studio eventually settled the Black Widow case, but not before handling it very poorly.

With all that in mind, Den of Geek asked Joe Russo about the Johansson case and the rumors that the brothers were negotiating with Marvel.

The director declined to comment on whether that report is accurate. And we’ll point out that the Russos know better than to confirm ongoing talks about a project that Marvel hasn’t confirmed. But there’s still a silver lining in this quest for more details about Avengers 5 and Secret Wars.

Black-Widow
Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh in Black Widow. Image source: Marvel Studios

The Russos won’t comment on their MCU return

There appears to have been an accurate detail in that 2021 story. The Russos did not like how Disney handled the Johansson matter.

“We’re certainly concerned with the trend in the market that’s moving away from artists,” Joe Russo told Den of Geek. “There’s been a lot of value in tech companies getting involved in making content, but there’s also some downsides to that. And those downsides include tech companies like Netflix and Apple and Amazon having much deeper pockets than studios do, and they can pay more and that’s starting to scare the studios.”

“So the studios are having a conservative reaction, and they’re trying to downplay their need for stars,” he continued. “They’re trying to force IP to be their star, and in accordance with that they’re also then trying to underpay and diminish the need for stars on their projects.”

“That was really not an appropriate way for them to handle that situation. It was disturbing to us as artists. Scarlett is a good friend of ours, and we were disheartened by how it was handled. We’re glad it’s resolved.”

Will the Russos direct Avengers 5? Or Secret Wars, if Avengers 5 turns out to be something else? Again, it’s too early for answers. The end of 2022 will get us closer to the moment when Marvel will have to announce more plans for the future. That’s because we’re going to see two movies, two TV shows, and two specials from Phase 4 before the end of the year.


More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.