To Marvel fanatics, 2019 marks the end of a cinematic era. To be more specific, the end of the third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Marvel released a string of movies this year that defined the brand’s future.
In recent events, Disney, the owner of Marvel, came to a disagreement with its partner, Sony, creating uncertainty in the MCU through their Spider-Man series. All of these factors determine a new world for Marvel, different from the one that exists today. The premiere of Disney Plus will also play a big role in the structure of the MCU, since the brand is built on its movies.
The “Avengers: Endgame” finale grossed nearly three billion dollars in the box office, surpassing the previous highest-grossing movie, Avatar. To catch up on what happened in the movie, read through the “Avengers: Endgame Movie Review”. The movie’s action-packed three hours delivered quite a lot, to say the least. The Marvel Cinematics Universe structures itself around phases, each one with a plot built around several movies, with each phase linking to the last. What happened in phases one through three of the series puts viewers at where Endgame left us off (linked above). Phase Three’s final bid to get rid of Thanos leaves fans in confusion: what’s in store in phase four for our beloved characters?
With the death of legends comes room for new heroes to shine. As mentioned earlier, each MCU movie builds on to the big-scale plot of multiple phases, which means “Avengers: Endgame” may be the end of Phase 3, but isn’t really the end; there’s a long and continued road ahead for our heroes in the next phase. Sequels to standalone movies such as Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel and Black Widow should arrive between 2020 and 2021. New movies and series such as “The Eternals” in 2020 and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings” in 2021 will emerge as completely new additions to the Marvel Universe, the second of which includes the first Asian superhero in Phase Four. In 2021, an update to a classic hero, Thor, will see a revolutionary female Thor in the new movie “Thor: Love and Thunder.” These new additions hold an exciting and promising path that sets viewers up for what to expect in the next phase of Avengers.
A recent setback could drastically affect the Spider-Man series’ direction. Originally, Sony owned the Spider-Man franchise but later partnered up with Disney to introduce Spidey to the MCU. In 2016, Spider-Man made his first debut in the MCU in the movie “Captain America: Civil War.” Since then, Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, has appeared in multiple Avengers movies. Spider-Man played a great role towards the end of Phase Three. The stand-alone Spider-Man movies like “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” feature Marvel characters as well.
With Spidey’s role in The Avengers, it’s hard to imagine a fallout in the collaboration. However, Entertainment Weekly confirmed Disney and Sony’s disbandment of the Spider-Man franchise collaboration. Reportedly caused by “financial disagreements,” Sony and Disney-owned Marvel remain at a standoff with the direction of the series.
What does this mean? For starters, Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige refuses to create any more solo Spider-Man movies. That would mean Tom Holland can no longer appear in any MCU movies, and no Avenger could appear in any Spider-Man movie. Updates on negotiations or fixes to this issue haven’t yet been established, predicting a bleak future for much of the Disney and Sony audience alike. Time will tell where this beloved character will go.
A major factor that will shape MCU’s future is Disney Plus. The newly announced streaming service set to release in December contains all types of contents from Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and Disney’s own studio. This releases all-new shows, programs, and movies that will routinely move at a much quicker pace than the typical MCU structure of releasing movies by the years.
The D23 expo for Disney fans announced six new and original series, including a Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi series and three live-action Marvel shows based on the characters Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk. Disney Plus’ additions to the MCU remains highly anticipated, and could definitely hold big plans for the MCU’s future.
The next few years could hold a completely different outlook for Marvel. Fans will ride the ups and downs that might come their way, but one thing is for sure: change is approaching.