This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. Duh.
Avengers: Endgame marks the end of the MCU’s ‘Infinity Saga’, acting as a colossal conclusion to this 22-film epic narrative. The film’s greatest success is just how satisfying a conclusion it is, ending character arcs a decade in the making and finally assembling all of the franchise’s heroes. But it’s a season finale rather than a series finale, and there’s no denying that the film also sets up a fascinating new chapter of the MCU. A chapter we’ll be seeing the start of very soon with Spider-Man: Far From Home. The events of Infinity War and Endgame have changed this universe forever, so let’s take a look at just how these changes will affect the Marvel Cinematic Universe, both in general and specific projects we know are in the works.
‘The Snap’ has changed the world of the MCU drastically. I’m delighted that, with all the time travelling going on in Endgame, Thanos’ decimation of half the universe couldn’t be undone. The Avengers didn’t stop it from happening, but rather brought everybody back into the same world they left five years earlier. This means the consequences of the events of Infinity War and Endgame will continue on throughout the future films and television shows of the MCU. As Natasha says in Endgame, governments are collapsing and the world is teetering on the brink of chaos. This will still be happening after Endgame, and the return of ‘The Vanished’ is no quick fix to the world’s – or rather the universe’s – problems. The returned will find themselves five years in the future; a future that has developed without them and their family and friends have lived their lives and grown older in their absence. Not everyone will have been unable to move on like our heroes. The returned will find that their jobs no longer exist, technology has changed and are kids just expected to go back to school like nothing ever happened? People will have found new love, remarried and then suddenly their dusted husband or wife returns. Let’s just say, The Jeremy Kyle Show is going to get a whole lot better post-snap.
A character’s fate left ambiguous in Endgame is Loki. The past can’t be changed so Loki is definitely dead in the ‘prime’ MCU timeline, but he’s seemingly alive in a newly-created divergent timeline. The Ancient One says that the stones have to be put back where they were taken from to ‘delete’ negative alternate timelines created by their disappearance, but would the timeline where Loki manages to get hold of The Tesseract and slip away be deleted? I’d argue not because we see Cap take Mjolnir back to Thor: The Dark World-era Asgard at the end as well as the stones to ‘delete’ that timeline, but there’s nothing they can return to end the new Loki timeline. So, Loki is loose in some alternate timeline with an Infinity Stone. We know a Loki series is coming to Disney+ so could this be the start of it? Is it set in an alternate timeline? Or could he use the Space Stone to travel into the prime timeline? I think either are possible, or neither. Everything we’ve heard about the Loki show suggests it’s a prequel that explores how he has interacted with humans throughout different periods of Earth’s history, but that could just be misdirection.
At the end of Endgame, Thor sets out on a new life with the now revived Guardians, leaving behind the person he was always told he should be, and instead searching for of who he truly is. And no doubt he’s on a quest to lose a few pounds too. So, where will we see this “Asgardians of the Galaxy” adventure? In Thor 4 (which I hope is titled “Thor Four”) or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3? I think we’ll eventually see both and that the two sub-franchises will be connected from this point on, but it looks like Guardians 3 will be released first. James Gunn is back and from what we know the script is already written. Thor’s interaction with the Guardians was a highlight of Infinity War but I hope he’s not a major focus of the next Guardians film. It should be about them tracking down this new version of Gamora (or old version I guess). I also don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that Guardians 3 is a prequel to Infinity War. Just 6 months took place between Guardians 1 and 2 while there is a four-year gap between Guardians 2 and Infinity War. That’s plenty of time for a movie or two. And as for Thor, after Ragnarok – which I loved – I’m desperate for another film in a similar style and to see the characters of Korg and Valkyrie again, especially now the latter is the Queen of New Asgard.
I couldn’t have cared less about the rumoured Hawkeye series before I saw Endgame, but now I can’t wait for it. The latest film finally made him a fascinating character, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can simply put the past five years of grief and vicious murder behind him to live once again with the family who from their point of view were only gone for a few seconds. Does any part of his brutal vigilante persona of Ronin remain? And will he train his daughter Lila or maybe even Kate Bishop to be the next Hawkeye?
I think it’s fair to say that the Black Widow movie, that’s starting production later this year, is a prequel. The film has always seemed like it should have been released much earlier, probably in early Phase 2, and I would have liked it if Endgame was her final appearance instead of now cutting back to the start of her journey. It’ll be bittersweet to see her join SHIELD and her new family after seeing her sacrifice herself for them in Endgame. It would be cool if the film was actually set in the five-year time jump we see in Endgame because that’s a fascinating period to explore. It’d be a Bourne-style spy thriller set against the backdrop of The Leftovers, and that sounds like the coolest thing ever. If we are to see that period of time though, I think it’s more likely to be the setting of the upcoming season of Agents of SHIELD, but that show has always felt like B-canon MCU. Although considering Endgame gave us our first big screen appearance of a character originating in a TV show in Jarvis from Agent Carter that might change in the future.
We know a Black Panther 2 is on the horizon and in my mind the events of Endgame make that film all the more intriguing. King T’Challa was gone for 5 years because of ‘The Snap’, so who ruled in his stead? Will that person be willing to give up the throne now that the rightful heir has returned? And did Wakanda keep its promise of sharing its wealth and technology with the rest of the world when everything erupted into chaos after Thanos snapped his fingers? Endgame gave us universe-changing events and I’m fascinated what the fallout will be in every subsequent movie. Captain Marvel is the same. Now that she’s fully connected to our other characters in the ‘present day’/2023, will she hang around Earth or will she stay out among the stars helping others affected by Thanos’ crusade? I don’t mind her checking in with Earth every now and again now that she’s an Avenger, but I want her sequel to be a more space-faring adventure. And what’s happened to Talos?! We need to know!
Another announced Disney+ show is “Falcon and Winter Soldier”, and now that we’ve seen Endgame that seems a little disingenuous. Sam Wilson is no longer Falcon but the new Captain America. Or is he? I hope he does fully become the new Cap and gets his own movie over the coming years, but I like the idea of him wrestling with taking on the mantle of this iconic hero. He and Bucky could tackle a threat while Sam decides to embrace the shield passed down by old Steve Rogers, eventually leading into a movie or two. Or the announcement of the show could have cheekily left out certain details and it’s actually a ‘Captain America and Winter Soldier” series.
Let’s end with the film we’re only mere months from seeing: Spider-Man: Far From Home. Details have rightfully been kept under wraps but I think it’s a fair assumption to say the film will be set in 2023 after the events of Endgame, and that Peter will find himself back in school five years after he fatefully leapt from the school bus in Infinity War. Despite his reunion with Ned in Endgame making it seem like Ned wasn’t turned to dust and has lived the past five years without his friend, surely the opposite has to be true or Ned would be five years older and not going to school anymore. That’s the same with all of Peter’s classmates from Homecoming if they appear again in Far From Home. I think that Mysterio will be trying to make himself look like a superhero – but risking lives in the process – because he wants to fill the role that was lost with the many deaths in the last two Avengers movies, and to combat the depression caused by ‘The Snap’. Nick Fury, after seeing the threat the universe is truly in, will once again return to the Avengers Initiative and keep a closer eye on Peter, helping to shape him into a prominent member of The New Avengers, ready for a movie in a few years’ time. Just as Endgame was the end of one saga of the MCU, Far From Home will be the beginning of the next.
There are some of my thoughts on where the franchise might go now that Endgame has drastically altered the status quo. What did you think of Endgame, and what do you predict will be the fallout of the film’s events? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about TV, movies and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.