George Chrysostomou on Marvel and its Phase Four plans…
With the third Phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe quickly approaching its ‘endgame’, Marvel will hopefully soon announce a solid slate of post Avengers 4 plans for their faithful audience to digest. A few years ago, Marvel skipped San Diego Comic-Con in favour of holding its own press conference, which announced a whole new range of projects, including films such as Captain America: Civil War. Heading into Phase Four, I feel that it’s time for Marvel Studios to do the same again in order to get ahead of the increasing rumours and half announcements that has surrounded the MCU recently. Whether this should happen after Captain Marvel or perhaps – for fear of spoilers – even after Endgame has hit cinema screens, before July’s Comic-Con the House of Ideas should, in my opinion, host their own press conference again to set the stage for the future of the MCU.
Marvel’s film and TV output has felt quite separated for some time now, partially due to the different executives in control of each division. However, the recently-announced Disney+ shows should help to bridge that gap, with Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios in charge rather than Marvel Television. There is a lot to talk about in regards to these new shows coming up. So far we’ve had news of Vision and the Scarlet Witch and Loki announced for the streaming service, with rumours of Falcon and Winter Soldier, Rocket Raccoon and Groot, and Hawkeye shows. This already presents a wide array of stories to tell and ones which we know very little about. There has been speculation around each of these projects and what they could entail but, much like how Disney has dealt with The Mandalorian, they need to reveal a little more about these series in order to sell the service even better and get fans excited for the latest additions to the MCU. The press conference could at the very least reveal the casts and creatives behind each show, or maybe they can even tease a little of the story surrounding these – i.e. is Vision and Scarlet Witch really the rom-com that’s been joked about for some time?
A press conference would also be a good place to officially address the cancellation of Netflix’s beloved Marvel series. Now there may be no future for some of these incarnations (only Daredevil has been mentioned as having “more adventures”), but it makes much more sense for Marvel to capitalise on these versions and tell new stories rather than starting from scratch once again. Perhaps adding them to other shows or maybe even inserting some of the characters into the films (Daredevil into a Spider-Man movie, for example). Either way, addressing these shows rather than insulting the fans who have followed them by ignoring their existence would be a great way to continue the goodwill whilst setting the slate for the future.
Speaking of the future, this would also be a perfect opportunity for Marvel to set the official movie slate moving forward, including all of the new heroes that will be joining the MCU over the next few years. Again, there have been many rumours and reports surrounding all sorts of projects, most notably The Eternals to Shang-Chi. Of course, there’s no shortage of material for Marvel to choose from, and there’s even the prospect of exploring different eras as well (I for one would love a classic Marvel western film, with the Two Gun Kid or other old heroes). Or perhaps, following Avengers: Endgame, the Young Avengers are finally going to be represented on the big screen. No matter what the plans are, a Marvel press conference would be a great place to reveal the full slate moving forward. Everyone remembers the iconic moment at Comic-Con where the MCU cast and crew were brought onto stage and we could have this moment once again with a whole new crop of talent included.
Whilst it is exciting to see what’s new, it will also be great to get confirmation on a few returning favourites. Some MCU heroes will be finished by the time the credits roll on Endgame. Others seemingly have their sequels and solo films lined up for the future, such as Spider-Man, the Guardians, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Black Widow. A press conference would also be a great time to let us know what direction some of these sequels are going in, especially for the much anticipated Black Widow film. Finally, we could also get some clues as to the next big crossover event. ‘Dark Reign’ and ‘Secret Invasion’ have been mentioned for while now and with both being heavily connected to the other, don’t be too surprised if this is to happen soon.
With Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame fast approaching and Phase Three soon drawing to a close, Marvel really should host a new press conference to detail the future of the MCU and get fans excited for what’s in store. We’re in a period of lots of speculation and rumours at present and that needs to come to an end soon, setting the stage for a brand new era of the MCU that everyone can get excited about.
A version of this article was originally posted in January 2019.