It’s been ages since I posted anything, and my apologies. Things got busy for a while. But my schedule has calmed down, and since I went to Avengers: Endgame last night, allow me to speculate on future Marvel developments.
Note: No spoilers here for Avengers: Endgame. However, I will refer to future Marvel movies that have been announced or described as in development.
So I liked Endgame a lot, but it got me thinking about what might come next. Obviously, there will be a lot more Marvel superhero movies, considering how much money they’ve been making since the first Iron Man. We already know about Spider-Man: Far From Home coming in July, and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 coming in 2022. We can also safely predict Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, and Doctor Strange 2. Marvel has also announced a Shang Chi movie, although I have no idea what they’ll do with it.
But the most interesting future movie is The Eternals, which stars Angelina Jolie (among other people) and is scheduled to start filming in August. The Eternals were invented by Jack Kirby, but they’ve never had a high profile in the Marvel universe. The only Eternal who ever got much play in the comic books was a guy named Thanos. Yes, that Thanos. But his fellow Eternals are almost never seen.
Who are the Eternals? They’re a godlike race created by an even more godlike race called the Celestials. The Eternals were created to look after Earth until the Celestials come back to judge the human race. At that point, the Celestials will decide whether to let humans live or to destroy them because they don’t measure up to the Celestial standards. The Celestials have done this to a lot of other planets, and so far they’ve destroyed them all.
So here’s my prediction: the Celestials will be the unifying threat for the next MCU plot arc, similar to what the Infinity Stones have been in past movies. Over a number of movies, we’ll find out about the Celestials. We’ll get hints that they’re coming to judge us, and eventually they’ll show up. They’ll give us a thumbs down and start destroying the planet. The final Avengers movie of the next arc will be dealing with the Celestials one way or another.
We’ve already seen tidbits of the Celestials. The Guardians of the Galaxy hang out in Knowhere, which happens to be a dead Celestial’s head. The Eternals movie will surely show us much more about them…and of course, if the movie is a success, there will be more Eternals movies to further the plot. Guardians 3 could sow more seeds by showing us a planet that was destroyed by the Celestials some time in the past. Also Black Panther 2 might link in with the Celestials—in the comics, there’s a connection between the Celestials and Wakanda’s vibranium deposits. There’s also a Celestial buried on Earth; it could be discovered in any forthcoming movie, either as a side plot or as a single Big Bad for some movie.
Other predictions: I want to avoid spoilers, but there are plenty of characters available at the end of Endgame to form a new version of the Avengers. You might also add Daredevil, Luke Cage, et al now that their TV series have been canceled. Further characters might be added. For example, Monica Rambeau will almost certainly be showing up sooner or later, since young Monica was introduced in Captain Marvel.
No doubt there will be several Avengers movies before the big one against the Celestials. There might also be a Young Avengers movie. We already have Cassie Lang at an appropriate age and Clint Barton’s daughter could easily become a young Hawkeye instead of the canonical Kate Bishop. Other young heroes would include Spider-Man (obviously), Shuri (obviously), Ms. Marvel (whom I’m sure they’d love to put on the big screen), and possibly America Chavez. They could also bring in one of the Novas. The Guardians have already met the Nova Corps, so it would take very little set-up for a Nova helmet to find its way to Earth.
Then there are the X-Men who are now within the Marvel fold. Marvel hasn’t yet announced what they’ll be doing with the X-Men, partly because they’ve been holding back on all announcements about most upcoming movies, and partly because they don’t want to undermine the forthcoming Dark Phoenix movie by talking about what comes after. But I’m willing to bet Dark Phoenix will be the last in the current X-Men continuity. Marvel will reboot the X-Men to get them into the MCU, and they’ll do the reboot sooner rather than later.
I have this fantasy about a post-credits scene in the July Spider-Man movie where a new student enrolls in Peter Parker’s high school. Kitty Pryde, anyone? Half the audience would explode. (Although it would also be fun for the new student to be Negasonic Teenage Warhead.)
To set up another fantasy, I’ll note that Hugh Jackman is finished playing Wolverine. Therefore the new Wolverine could be played by any actor. We might know in advance that Actor X plays an unspecified part in some movie (just as we knew Jude Law was in Captain Marvel, but we had no idea who he played). Actor X may seem like a mere background character until at a crucial point in the movie, SNIKT, and the claws come out. That would be an awesome moment; I’d love it if Marvel took us by surprise like that, and it could happen in any of the upcoming movies.
Speaking of Wolverine, I’d love if Dafne Keen returned as X-23. However, I don’t think it will happen. Logan is just too far out of continuity for Keen to make the jump. Of course, a different X-23 might well appear somewhere. We can hope.
So there are some predictions and fantasies. I have no idea if any of these speculations will come to pass, but it’s always nice to lay down a marker so that I have a chance of saying, “I told you so.”