Kevin Feige made several earth-shaking announcements at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, outlining the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe through 2025. After presenting the release calendar for Phase 4 and 5, he went further with a jaw-dropping sneak peek at the not-so-distant Phase 6 as part of the announced Multiverse Saga.
The highly-anticipated Fantastic Four reboot film is set to kick off Phase 6 in 2024, all leading up to the two-part finale, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. However, there are eight mystery projects taking place between these events, leaving fans to wonder what the identities of these films might be.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Notably absent from any announcements at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 was news about the mutants. While Ms. Marvel hinted that mutants may begin showing up in the MCU in upcoming projects, there has yet to be an announcement regarding a solo or team-up project featuring the X-Men. Fans have spent years dedicating theories to guessing how the X-Men will be introduced in the MCU and are beginning to wonder how long they will have to wait for such a film.
By the time Phase 6 ends in 2025, Marvel Studios will have had the rights to the mutants for over six years, making it extremely unlikely that not a single project will have been dedicated to them in that time. Rumors have sprung up that Marvel has recently filed to trademark a film titled The Mutants, and while such claims are unconfirmed, leaks had predicted the names of Avengers 5 and 6 and Captain America: New World Order (via MovieWeb). Thereby, it may very well be the case that Marvel's first project featuring the mutants of the MCU may already be in development.
World War Hulk
While the Hulk has been a major part of the MCU's Infinity Saga, many fans have been disappointed by his recent character arc, claiming that he has been "nerfed" after becoming Professor Hulk. However, many other fans have theorized that a World War Hulk project could be in the works at Marvel Studios, adapting the 2007 comic book storyline of the same name by Greg Pak, in which the Hulk declares war on the Earth.
Despite no official confirmation of such a project, many viewers are convinced that a film or series following this beloved storyline could be released before the end of the Multiverse Saga. A ground-breaking event like World War Hulk could serve to divide the Avengers shortly before their return in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty in much the same way Captain America: Civil War did prior to Avengers: Infinity War.
Scarlet Witch Solo Film
Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch has proven herself to be one of the most powerful villains in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Incidentally, the character has also become a beloved piece of the franchise and, despite her apparent death at the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, many fans have demanded the character's return in her very own solo film.
Fans are certainly ready for the return of the Scarlet Witch, who has yet to fully redeem herself for her actions in Multiverse of Madness. A solo project could allow the character to do just that, embarking on a journey of self-discovery that can return her to her heroic roots just in time to rejoin the Avengers as they prepare to take on Kang the Conqueror.
Starfox And Pip/Eternals 2
The mid-credits scene of Eternals memorably introduced two vitally important characters to the MCU's future. Patton Oswalt's Pip the Troll and Harry Styles's Eros, a.k.a. Starfox, are clearly being set up to take on a major role in the franchise, and while Eternals 2 may not move forward at Marvel Studios, the mythological beings' story could continue in the form of a solo film following these two new characters.
Kevin Feige may keep his secrets regarding a potential Eternals sequel, but he has been quite candid about the notion that Pip and Eros will be a major part of the MCU's future. As arguably the most recognizable Eternal from the comics, Eros will inevitably headline his own franchise sooner or later, and with the power levels of the MCU rising to extreme lengths, the new superhero would fit in quite perfectly with the new lineup of the Avengers.
Ryan Reynolds's Deadpool has been the breakout star of the final years of Fox's X-Men franchise. As such, he is the only mutant that has been outright confirmed to be transitioned into the MCU after Disney's Fox acquisition. With Deadpool 3 already in preproduction, it seems likely that the film will find its premiere sometime during Phase 6.
While it is still unclear how Marvel will introduce the mutants to the MCU, the nature of Deadpool's character allows him to break whatever rules and expectations set for him by the larger franchise. As such, the Merc With A Mouth can easily find his way onto Earth-616 long before his mutant counterparts, paving the way for the rest of the X-Men to join him.
Xu Shang-Chi is one of the best Avengers introduced in Phase 4 so far, whose solo film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, is one of the most beloved installments of the MCU in the last few years. As such, Simu Liu has been confirmed to return in a sequel, with writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton returning as well.
Shang-Chi 2 will likely delve further into the mystery of the Ten Rings, which appear to have an origin that may prove vital to the future of the MCU and may even set up the events of the next Avengers crossover. Additionally, with the smash success of the first film, Marvel likely hopes to get a sequel in development before the end of the current saga.
Surprisingly absent from SDCC 2022 was anything regarding a Young Avengers team-up during the Multiverse Saga. Fans have theorized for some time that such a team could be in the works in the MCU, especially after the introduction of several heroes skewing on the younger side, including Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop, Xochitl Gomez's America Chavez, and Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan.
A Young Avengers team-up is inevitable at this stage of the MCU, it is merely a question of when the team will finally form. It is worth noting that, should Marvel push the team to Phase 7 or later, many of the proposed Young Avengers won't actually be young anymore. As such, Phase 6 seems like the perfect time to introduce the team, with the idea perhaps being teased in a post-credit scene for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which will feature Katheryn Newton's Cassie Lang, who becomes the superhero Stature in the comics.
Doctor Strange 3
After the thrilling introduction of Clea in the mid-credit scene of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Strange and his new companion set off to keep their world from undergoing a multiversal incursion. Audiences expect to return to their adventures in a future Doctor Strange film, though no such project has yet been confirmed by Marvel Studios.
Despite a lack of official confirmation, the reception to Sam Raimi's MCU directorial debut make its seem likely that he will return to the Doctor Strange franchise to cap off the trilogy that began in 2016. A story following Strange and Clea's attempt to stop the inevitable incursion of Earth-616 with another universe would be an ideal way to set up the looming threat the Avengers will face in Avengers: Secret Wars, which implies from its titles that the sorcerer pair will fail in this mission.
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Jordan Iacobucci is an avid reader and movie fan and has been since childhood. Jordan is known among his friends as the Marvel and Star Wars nerd, and even wrote a thirty-page college dissertation about Spider-Man! He obtained an English degree from Dominican University and lives outside Raleigh, North Carolina with his family. His other interests include working with children, reading, and music.More From Jordan Iacobucci