The Future is Now1 of 12What's more fun than speculating about Marvel's vast slate of upcoming films? Wildly speculating about Marvel’s vast slate of upcoming films, of course! Since way back in that fateful post-credits sequence of the first Iron Man film, Marvel has relished dropping hints and clues about the bigger picture, leading fans to frantically try to put the puzzle together, piece by piece.
With Robert Downey, Jr. – that’s right, the guy who started the trend – teasing a “big announcement” about the MCU to be made in just a few days, the speculation mill has once again gone into overdrive. While some fan speculation amounts to little more than "wouldn't it be cool" wishful thinking, we've put together ten big guesses about the future of the MCU that have some clues and logical thinking backing them up.
Howard Stark and Henry Pym Go Way, Way Back2 of 12
As we've talked about on Newsarama before, there's a lot of evidence that Hank Pym may have more to do with Ultron's MCU origins than previously revealed. Active since the '60's, Pym will debut in Ant-Man as an elder statesman of the MCU, part of the nebulous era that hasn't been addressed between WWII and the modern day.
It seems likely that the MCU's previous generation of super-scientists would have some crossover, and that includes Pym and Howard Stark. If these two were collaborators in the '60's, back when Howard (looking a lot like John Slattery) was working with his secret element, could Pym have larger, deeper connections to the present day Avengers than we realize?
Captain Marvel Will See the Kree Attack Earth3 of 12
With the announcement of Captain Marvel's long-awaited solo film, along with confirmation that the title character will indeed be Carol Danvers, also came some small story seeds, such as her story spanning Earth as well as the stars. Given the involvement of the Kree in Guardians of the Galaxy, and Carol's connection to both the Kree and the Guardians, it seems likely that the Kree may be her primary adversaries on film. Not only that, but Carol's Kree-centric origins share some similarities with those of the Inhumans, early humans altered by Kree experimentation. Could Captain Marvel see some kind of Terrigen Bomb threatening Earth, in a slight callback to Operation: Galactic Storm? Furthermore, could that bomb detonate, setting off a chain of events that awakens latent Inhumans around the globe?
Black Panther Will Cameo In Age of Ultron4 of 12
Given the timing of the announcement of Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, it seems likely that T'Challa will have a cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron, possibly in the film's stinger. Even if the man himself doesn't appear onscreen, the seeds for his appearance in Captain America: Civil War as well as his own solo film will certainly be planted. Rumors are already swirling that the mysterious figure portrayed by Andy Serkis in AoU's trailer is none other than Ulysses Klaw, T'Challa's nemesis, and we all know about Ultron's penchant for Vibranium.
The Inhumans Will Look/Feel A Lot Like Mutants5 of 12
Way back when Marvel revealed that an Inhumans film was in early development, rumors and hearsay immediately started swirling that Inhumans would be the MCU's answer to mutants, since Fox controls every aspect of the X-Men, including the very concept and word "mutant" in relation to Marvel characters. Meanwhile, Marvel was simultaneously giving the concept a print boost through its Infinity and subsequent Inhumanity events, which ended in thousands of latent Inhumans being activated around the world when the Earth was flooded with Terrigen Mist.
Bearing all that in mind, and the role into which Inhumanity has placed the Inhuman royal family, as shepherds of the new Inhumans, it seems very likely that the film will star one or two key players - likely Black Bolt and Medusa - and a cast of young, newly awakened Inhumans. We at Newsarama have done a lot of speculating on just exactly how Inhumans fit in the MCU at large, even addressing Kevin Feige's seeming brush-off that Inhumans will be the Mutants of the MCU, and we feel that it's all still building to this idea.
T'Challa Will Be the MCU's Reed Richards6 of 12
The MCU has its fair share of brilliant minds, but what it doesn't have is the Fantastic Four. T'Challa, the Black Panther, first appeared in FF way back in the sixties, so his ties to that corner of the Marvel Universe run deep. While it's wholly implausible that T'Challa will wind up with a whole family of heroes in his employ, he could still fill the role occupied by Reed Richards, as a true pioneer of science, an explorer and a visionary even beyond Tony Stark. With his already strong connections to the FF mythos, Black Panther could be the key to bringing in whatever elements of Fantastic Four that Marvel Studios still controls. This would also be the perfect explanation of his role in Civil War, as a counterpoint somewhere between Cap and Tony's viewpoints, and as a source of expanded tech for Tony.
The Case For Miles Morales7 of 12There’s a future for Miles Morales in the MCU – whether it’s as a Spider-Man, or even the Spider-Man. With Marvel working to diversify its film world, it seems impossible to think that they’ll leave Miles on the table.
Of course, Peter is the prime candidate for inclusion in the MCU – but what if the Spider-Man we finally see is something of a mash-up of the two? Just like the Sony deal, once Miles is on the table, you can’t unring that bell.
There’s also the simple matter of Spider-Man as a franchise character. Sony has long had designs on expanding the wall-crawler’s film universe – even if this new deal means some of their previous plans are likely to be scrapped. Having Miles as a back-up for a second Spider-Man film series is totally in the realm of possibility.
Spider-Man: Civil War8 of 12
But how does the Marvel Universe introduce Spider-Man? Common speculation holds that Spidey will turn up in Captain America: Civil War, an adaptation of a comic story in which Peter Parker played a central role – and which had deep consequences for him as a character.
It seems unlikely that Spider-Man would undergo the exact same arc as in the comics, but the idea that he, as a young, wet-behind-the-ears hero switches sides between Captain America and Iron Man’s opposing stances on superhero registration makes perfect sense.
Unless of course, they introduce him sooner. Don’t forget that the first Avengers film saw reshoots for a stinger scene very quickly before its release. Could Spider-Man have been the subject of those recent Avengers: Age of Ultron reshoots?
Tony Stark: Agent of H.A.M.M.E.R.?9 of 12
OK, maybe not H.A.M.M.E.R. per se, but it's pretty clear with the plot of Age of Ultron that Stark's got an eye on offering protection for the whole world. And Stark's ego may be just the right size to fill the S.H.I.E.L.D. sized hole left after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Stark's got the funding, the ego, and the will to rebuild a global peacekeeping agency, but with Captain America having just taken down S.H.I.E.L.D. from the inside, it's easy to see how he might be opposed to the notion. We know Civil War is on the horizon, and we know it likely won't have the same root cause as the comic from which it borrows its title. Given the themes Marvel has explored in the Captain America films, as well as the Iron Man films, and the upcoming Age of Ultron, it seems likely that this could be the conflict that sends Cap and Iron Man over the edge.
Kamala Khan Will Star In Inhumans10 of 12
Marvel's always got an eye on the next big thing. With their cinematic slate finally working towards diversifying its leads, and given Ms. Marvel's popularity, it's a no-brainer to find a way to bring her into their movie world. Though she may not appear as Ms. Marvel - at least not right away - Kamala's youth, her Inhuman origin, and her connection to the larger Marvel Universe make her the logical POV character for an Inhumans film that focuses more on young, burgeoning Inhumans than on the royal family. Plus, if Captain Marvel does involve the Kree, and does lead to the awakening of latent Inhumans, Kamala could appear as Ms. Marvel after all.
Starring Vin Diesel As Black Bolt11 of 12
Now hear us out on this one. We know the MCU has that rule that, once you've had a role, you can't play someone else. But Kevin Feige himself said, when asked about Diesel, "I think there are any number of places he could fit in a live-action way," confessing that voicing Groot would not preclude Diesel from appearing on camera in a physical role.
And what more fitting character for Diesel to take on than Black Bolt? If Diesel's voice has already played a role in the MCU, then what better way to bring him onscreen than to give him a role that's wholly physical? There's also that time back in August when Diesel tweeted a cryptic message, saying "Vin and Marvel! You all made it happen. I get the strange feeling Marvel thinks I'm Inhuman... Haha."
More rumormongering, like when he posted that picture of himself with a comic featuring Vision? Or does it all add up to Diesel wearing that little tuning fork thing on his head?
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