- Marvel Studios
- Warning: This post contains major spoilers for “Avengers: Endgame.”
- “Endgame” has a significant impact on some Marvel movies and TV shows that are currently in the works.
- They include Black Widow’s solo movie and the Loki TV series coming to the Disney Plus streaming service.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
Warning: This post contains major spoilers for “Avengers: Endgame.”
“Avengers: Endgame” shatters whatever expectations audiences had about Marvel’s future movies and TV shows.
While Marvel Studios won’t make any official announcements until after July’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is released, we know of at least six movies currently in the works, and there are eight release dates on Disney’s theatrical-release schedule for yet-to-be-titled Marvel movies.
The movies include “Black Panther” and “Doctor Strange” sequels, a third “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a Black Widow solo movie, “The Eternals,” and “Shang-Chi,” starring the MCU’s first Asian superhero.
But the Marvel Cinematic Universe will soon expand beyond the theater. Disney is developing Marvel TV shows for its upcoming streaming platform, Disney Plus, that will spin out of the MCU. Disney has confirmed three of the shows: “Loki,” starring Tom Hiddleston back in the role as the God of Mischief; “WandaVision,” with Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprising their roles of Scarlet Witch and Vision, respectively; and “The Falcon and Winter Soldier,” starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan.
“Endgame” raises huge questions about some of these movies and TV shows. Below are five that could be significantly affected:
“Black Widow” (Movie)
- Marvel Studios
A Black Widow solo movie is long overdue. Scarlett Johansson first appeared as the character in 2010’s “Iron Man 2,” and has been a core Avenger since. Well, until she got killed off in “Endgame” in order to retrieve the soul stone on Vormir.
It’s poor timing, because a Black Widow, a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff, solo movie is currently in the works with director Cate Shortland. So what will this movie even be about?
Black Widow’s tragic history has been heavily teased throughout the MCU movies. We know she was trained as a Russian assassin, and turned toward the light when Hawkeye, sent on a mission by S.H.I.E.L.D. to kill her, spared her life. We know she’s had a run-in with the Winter Soldier, and has a scar to prove it.
In the more recent past, there is a five-year time jump in “Endgame,” in which she basically takes on the role of Nick Fury, coordinating missions for the remaining Avengers. All signs point to the past for the Black Widow movie.
“Guardians of the Galaxy 3” (Movie)
“Guardians of the Galaxy 3” has had a dramatic journey, and it’s not even close to being in theaters.
James Gunn, who directed the first two installments, was fired by Disney in July after offensive tweets from years ago resurfaced, resulting in “Guardians 3,” which was originally scheduled to be released next year, being postponed.
Then Warner Bros. hired Gunn to write and direct a “Suicide Squad” sequel in October. Last month, Disney rehired Gunn for “Guardians 3,” but he’ll finish “The Suicide Squad” first, meaning it will be a few years before we see the Guardians return (“The Suicide Squad” comes to theaters in 2021).
After “Endgame,” we know a little bit more about what “Guardians 3” could be about, and it’s quite unexpected. Thor relinquishes leadership of the Earth-based “New Asgard” to Valkyrie (the original Asgard was destroyed in “Thor: Ragnarok”), and joins up with the Guardians at the end of the movie, implying Thor actor Chris Hemsworth is not only sticking around the MCU, but could even star in “Guardians 3.”
He’s one of the original Avengers to come out of “Endgame” unscarred, while other veteran franchise actors like Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man) and Chris Evans (Captain America) are phased out.
During this scene, Star-Lord is looking at a screen with Gamora’s face on it and the word “searching.” Gamora died in “Avengers: Infinity War,” but a Gamora from the past is brought into the present due to some time-travel wizardry. There’s a good chance “Guardians 3” will be about this search for Gamora.
“The Falcon and Winter Soldier” (Disney Plus series)
- Disney/Marvel Studios
Disney announced a “Falcon and Winter Soldier” TV series at its Disney Plus event this month, starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. But the last moments of “Endgame” raise serious questions about the show’s title and contents.
At the end of “Endgame,” Steve Rogers is tasked with bringing the stolen Infinity Stones back in time to where they belong, in order to correct the timestream. But he goes further back than anyone expected to live a full life with his lost love Peggy Carter. Back in the present, now an old man, Rogers hands over the Captain America shield to Sam Wilson/Falcon (Mackie).
Heading into “Endgame,” fans suspected that either him or Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Stan) would take on the role of a new Captain America, as both have done so in the comics at various points. But now that we know Rogers bestowed the honor on Wilson, is the show’s title a misdirection? Or will Falcon slowly transition into his Captain America role by the end of the series? Will it even take place after “Avengers: Endgame”?
“Loki” (Disney Plus series)
When Thanos killed Loki in “Infinity War,” he said “no resurrections this time.” He’s a man of his word.
Loki is still dead by the end of “Endgame,” ruining a popular fan theory that Loki faked his death in “Infinity War.” But the God of Mischief, played by Tom Hiddleston, isn’t finished yet. He’ll star in a Disney Plus TV series next.
Like Black Widow, Loki’s backstory – in which he was born a frost giant and taken in as Odin’s adopted son (and Thor’s adopted brother) – is touched on but never fully explored. With Loki still dead, this backstory could be the basis for his TV show.
And yet, there might be a loophole. When the Avengers time travel to the Attack on New York from 2012’s “Avengers,” that Loki uses the space stone to teleport out of the team’s clutches. Could this past Loki come back?
Maybe, but then again, Captain America goes back in time at the end of the movie to place the stolen Infinity Stones back where they belong to repair the timestream, so this could have also undone Loki’s escape.
“WandaVision” (Disney Plus series)
- Marvel Studios
Vision also died at the hands of Thanos during “Infinity War,” and like Loki, doesn’t make a return in “Endgame.” So what’s the deal with this Disney Plus “WandaVision” series? Paul Bettany will reprise his role as Vision, and Elizabeth Olsen will return as Scarlet Witch.
Like the other movies and shows mentioned, the series could take place in the past, but these characters don’t have a rich history together. They both first appeared in 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” It could perhaps take place between “Captain America: Civil War” and “Infinity War,” but would that be interesting enough to carry a TV series?
Olsen recently told Variety that “WandaVision” could be set in the 1950s, but we’ll have to wait for more details to know how that’s possible. More time travel? An alternate reality?
Whatever the setting, Scarlet Witch’s origins could potentially introduce the X-Men now that Disney owns Fox and the film rights to those characters. In the comics, Scarlet Witch is a mutant and the daughter of X-Men villain Magneto. That history has never been a part of the MCU because it wasn’t allowed to be. It could be now, if that’s the direction Marvel Studios chooses to go in.