The fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe included box office blockbusters like the billion-dollar Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($942 million worldwide and counting), as well as the first foray into the MCU with hits like “WandaVision” and “Loki” on television. But what Phase Four has been missing for the majority of MCU fans is a sense of narrative drive and cohesion. As diversity‘s Adam B. Vary wrote last month, “Instead of the gradual escalation of the Infinity saga, there’s still no idea where Phase Four is headed — if indeed it’s headed in a single direction.”
As of now, the MCU has a handful of dangling cliffhangers that seem unconnected to one another and that don’t seem to be building towards a franchise-unifying endgame: there’s Doctor Strange, who teams up with Clea to fix a break-in into the multiverse, there’s Arishem from Eternals bringing the planet to justice, there’s a drop of Venom’s alien symbiote slime in the same universe as Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and so on.
According to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, there will be clarity over the direction of the MCU in the “coming months.” The MCU chief told Total Film magazine that while clues about the future of the MCU have been burned into the existing Phase Four titles, the larger game plan for the franchise will take more direct shape with the remaining Phase Four titles.
“As we near the end of Phase Four, I think people are starting to see where this next saga is going,” Feige promised. “I think there have already been a lot of clues that are obvious to me, at least, as to where this whole saga is going. But we’re going to be tackling that a little more directly in the coming months to put a plan in place so that viewers who want to see the bigger picture can see a tiny, tiny, tiny bit more of the roadmap.”
Upcoming Phase 4 movies include Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and The Wonders . On the television side, the MCU is currently airing “Ms. Marvel” and has “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” and “Secret Invasion” on the way, among others. With “Mrs. Marvel” lead actor Iman Vellani, who will star in the second “Captain Marvel” movie (“The Marvels”), and Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror, who will debut in the next “Ant-Man” (the character is a variant of the ” Loki” villain He Who Remains ), MCU fans have been looking forward to more connective tissue under the rates.
There is also the Fantastic Four reboot in development. Spider-Man: No Way Home boss Jon Watts was originally announced as the film’s director, but recently dropped the project. John Krasinski made his MCU debut as Fantastic Four leader Reed Richards in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, though Marvel has yet to confirm if he will continue in the role. With the introduction of the Fantastic Four, some MCU fans are wondering if the next saga will be an adaptation of the Secret Wars comic book storyline.
diversity‘s Adam B. Vary offered another connecting thread that could bring Phase Four together: “MCU watchers have noticed that several teenage superheroes — or characters who become superheroes in the Marvel Comics — have been introduced over the past year and a half including America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) in Multiverse of Madness, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) in Hawkeye, Kid Loki (Jack Veal) in Loki, Eli Bradley (Elijah Richardson) in Falcon and Winter Soldier ‘, Billy Maximoff (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy Maximoff (Jett Klyne) in WandaVision, and next year Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) in Quantumania. Together these characters make up the Young Avengers in the comics. One of their enemies – and strangely members – is Kang the Conqueror.”
Should Feige want to further pull back the curtain on his plans for the future of the MCU, it will most likely happen during San Diego Comic-Con in July or D23 Expo in September.