The Future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Part 1: After The Avengers

It’s just a week before Avengers Assemble hits UK cinemas, and eight days until it hits US cinemas. Two of UTF’s writers have seen a screening, and it looks like it’s shaping up to be one of the best blockbusters of 2012. Avengers Assemble unites four superheroes (if  you don’t know who they are, go watch all the trailers, clips and TV spots, then write ‘I should know who’s in The Avengers‘ fifty times on a sheet of paper) plus the agents of SHIELD, from the previous five movies in Marvel’s shared universe, the MCU. So, after the superhero team-up, what’s next in the MCU? This three-part feature, over three weeks, is going to (or at least try to) take you from the third solo outing of Tony Stark, via Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Incredible Hulk 2 and Nick Fury (and of course, more), to the Avengers disassembling, in a slightly factual, completely theoretical, and hopefully humorous look a the future of the MCU. Part one, ‘ After The Avengers’, takes a good look at the next solo outings of Iron Man, Thor and Captain America!



WHEN’S IT OUT? May 3, 2013.

WHO’S DIRECTING? Shane Black, a newbie to Iron Man.

WHO’S STARRING? Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson are returning. Sir Ben Kingsley is rumoured to be a villain (maybe the Mandarin.) Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson are possibles for small cameos – Chris Hemsworth is very unlikely, since Thor is back in Asgard come the end of The Avengers. Bummer.  Samuel L Jackson is an almost definite for a role of some sort, but perhaps not quite as large as his role in Iron Man 2.  Aside from that, we haven’t heard anything else about the casting.

WHO’S THE BAD GUY? We don’t know yet, although the villain has been rumored, fora really long time, to be the Mandarin. The Mandarin is Tony Stark’s arch-enemy in the comics –  so it’s no surpise that fans have been wanting the Mandarin to turn up in Iron Man 3 for ages now, including Jon Favreau, director of the first two movies. Yet rumors of the appearance of the Mandarin in IM3 has been , with Shane Black calling the villain a ”racist caricature”. But he hasn’t actually denied Mandarin either, which basically means that Mandarin is in the film. Probably.

ANYTHING ELSE? Robert Downey Jr. has promised that Iron Man 3 will be the ”best of the three, and maybe one of the best comic book movies ”, and seems to be really quite excited about the script. Kevin Feige has also said that the movie won’t be what we’re expecting: so no suit-on-suits battles for the finale. Which is a relief. The film starts shooting in May.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE POST-CREDITS SCENE? Well, Iron Man 3 will most likely be setting up a new arc plot, eventually setting up The Avengers 2, so perhaps an appearance by the villain of The Avengers 2 will be the post-credits scene. Or it could be a tease for one of the movies in ‘phase two’ to feature a new hero…


WHEN’S IT OUT? November 15, 2013 – Marvel Studios’ first ever movie to be released outside of summer. Slightly baffling release date, considering that from its second week of release onwards, it’ll be up against The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Whoops.

WHO’S DIRECTING? Alan Taylor, who’s directed episodes of Game of Thrones. The director was originally Patty Jenkins, but she was fired for ”not being decisive enough” last year.

WHO’S STARRING? Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Jaimie Alexander and Idris Elba are all returning as Thor, Loki, Jane Foster, Sif, and Heimdall respectively. Samuel L Jackson is a possible to cameo as Nick Fury, but aside from that, we’ve heard nothing on casting. We’re probably going to get some news on the casting fairly soon, because the movie starts shooting this summer. There’s also a possibility that Chris Evans could cameo as Captain America, as he’s said that he wants to cameo in a Thor movie recently.

WHO’S THE BAD GUY? We don’t know yet. Villains the Executioner and the Enchantress are the most likely candidates for the role of the Big Bad. Loki is returning for Thor 2, so he might be the villain again – or maybe just one of the villains. Since he’s been the Big Bad in Thor and The Avengers now, it’s pretty unlikely that he’ll be the main villain for a third time in Thor 2. But then again, you never know…

ANYTHING ELSE? The movie is set to visit more of the nine realms (we saw three in the first movie – Asgard, Earth, and Jotunheim), so there will be a lot of hopping from realm to realm via the Bifrost. This equals more Heimdall, which means more Idris Elba. Winning. It’s also set to develop Thor and Jane Foster’s relationship more (well, it was rushed, wasn’t it? As soon as the romance properly began, Thor got his hammer back and flew off to Asgard. Damn Norse gods.), so expect a shed-load of screentime for Natalie Portman.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE POST-CREDITS SCENE? Most likely, Loki allying with the BIG BAD (so bad he’s in capitals. I’d reveal the identity of said BIG BAD, but I don’t want to spoil it. One quick internet search will reveal it for you, but I don’t want to spoil it. I’ve experience the wrath of spoilerphobes too many times. You’ll find out when The Avengers hits cinemas. Anyway, I’m rambling. Back to the article) and therefore setting up The Avengers 2.


Cap 2

WHEN’S IT OUT? April 4, 2014. A weirdly early release date, and one that could backfire.

WHO’S DIRECTING? Either Joe and Anthony Russo, (who’ve directed episodes of US show Community), or George Nolfi (director of The Adjustment Bureau). We don’t actually know which director yet, though.

WHO’S STARRING? Chris Evans is the only definite, although the press release mentioned a heavy SHIELD involvement, so Samuel L Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson and Cobie Smulders are looking pretty likely to star as Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Maria Hill respectively. Robert Downey Jr and Mark Ruffalo. might cameo, and Chris Hemsworth wants to cameo in a Captain America movie (yes, and vice versa), so an appearance from Thor is possible, depending on where Thor is come the end of Thor 2. If the Winter Soldier is an antagonist, than Sebastian Stan is certain to make a comeback. We might also see Hayley Atwell in flashbacks.

WHO’S THE BAD GUY? It could be anyone, but the most likely, the most talked about and the most wanted villain (at least in the UTF offices) is the Winter Soldier, aka a resurrected and brainwashed Bucky Barnes, Captain America’s best friend, who fell from a train in The First Avenger. And face it, a showdown between Captain America and his former friend would be epic, and possibly heartbreaking, to watch. If the scene is written right, and if Chris Evans and Sebastian Stabnnail it, then this could be one of the best superhero confrontations in a movie, EVER. I’m not even exaggerating.

ANYTHING ELSE? The movie will be set in modern day, so if there are flashbacks, they’ll only take up a small part of the movie. Unsurprisingly, one of the plots for Captain America 2 will be Steve Rogers’ struggle to integrate himself into the modern world. ”What is an i-…Pad?”. The movie starts filming later this year, right after Thor 2 finishes shooting. And we don’t actually have a title for it yet – since the first movie carried a subtitle, it’s really likely that the second movie will too. But there’s only one title it should be called, and that’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Boom.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE POST-CREDITS SCENE? Since that Marvel’s next movie after Cap 2 will almost definitely feature a new character, we might see a tease for that new character. (Or characters, if Inhumans or Guardians of the Galaxy get released in the summer 2014 slot.) The most likely candidate for said new character would be Ant-Man, so why not show Hank Pym for the first time? Even better, end with the reveal of his name.

COMING UP IN PART 2: Part 2, ”The New Heroes”, is where it gets really crazy. I’ll be exploring the possibilities for the summer 2014/2015 slots. Ant-Man, The Incredible Hulk 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Doctor Strange and S.H.I.E.L.D will all come under my virtual microscope. Not to mention The Avengers 2. Sound off about what movies you’d like to see in 2014 and 2015 in the comments, and they’ll be included in part 2. ”The New Heroes” will be uploaded on Friday April 27.