UPDATE: The sources from the original article on The Independent may not have been accurately represented. This article has been changed accordingly. Here's the new story on this "leak," debunking the original information.
Avengers: Endgame is now a thing of the past, and Spider-Man: Far From Home is set to wrap up Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With that in mind, the entire franchise is now looking ahead to Phase 4 and beyond, telling an all-new series of stories in the years to come. As always, Marvel Studios is keeping all information about the future as close to the vest as possible, but that has never stopped leaks from getting out.
That's exactly what has happened this week, as reported insider Roger Wardell revealed a ton of information about the future of the MCU, according to Independent. If you've paid close attention to these leaks and rumors over the past year or so, you'll recognize the anonymous Wardell account as a fairly trusted source. The account correctly leaked very specific information about Avengers: Endgame long before the film was released.
You should obviously take all of this information with a massive grain of salt, but it does bode well that Wardell has been correct with just about everything so far. However, not all of this information might have come from Wardell, as it seems to have appeared first on this forum and was misinterpreted to have been leaked by Wardell.
So what's to come in the next phase of the MCU?
It shouldn't surprise anyone to see that Black Widow is the first name on this list, seeing as how the movie is already in early stages of production. Marvel has yet to confirm its existence, but with several names already added to the cast, Black Widow is a very real thing.
The source claims that Florence Pugh's character in the film will be Yelena Belova, the woman who takes the mantle of Black Widow in the comics. This iteration of the character on the big screen will do the same, essentially replacing Natasha Romanoff going forward.
Black Widow also reportedly stars Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, and O-T Fagbenle. It's being directed by Cate Shortland.
Along with Black Widow, The Eternals is the other Marvel Studios film entering the production stage in the very near future, with casting already well underway. There's a good chance that it will be one of the two MCU movies hitting theaters in 2020, along with Black Widow.
Chloe Zhao's Marvel debut is already compiling an all-star cast, with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, and Kumail Nanjiani set for major roles. Jolie is playing the role of Sersei while Madden is reportedly portraying Ikaris.
Recent rumors suggest that Marvel is eying Keanu Reeves for a role in the film. Whether or not there is any truth there remains to be seen.
Of course Black Panther is getting a sequel, as it was one of the biggest success stories of Marvel Studios' already ultra-successful history. Fortunately for everyone, Ryan Coogler is returning to direct and co-write the sequel.
There's a good chance Black Panther 2 arrives in early 2021, three years after the original film launched.
According to the source, the sequel will be politically charged and feature the arrival of the Queen Divine Justice, a princess who was secretly raised in America. Wardell also noted that Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger will return in Wakanda's Ancestral Plane.
Marvel's first film to feature an Asian lead will be the debut of the Kung-fu hero Shang-Chi.
Not a ton is know about Shang-Chi yet, though Dave Callaham is writing the script and Destin Daniel Cretton is set to direct. The studio is currently working on casting the film's lead, who will likely appear in Marvel team-ups outside of his own independent franchise.
Production on Shang-Chi could start as early as this year.
After appearing in his own movie, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, Doctor Strange is ready to take on a second solo outing. This much has been reported already.
Scott Derrickson is returning to direct the sequel, co-writing the screenplay with his longtime writing partner C. Robert Cargill. There's no telling who could appear in this next movie alongside Strange, but Benedict Cumberbatch will return to star as the titular sorcerer.
Nova has been talked about for quite some time as a character Marvel could potentially bring on in the future, helping to anchor the cosmic universe going forward.
His appearance has already been set up in the films, as the entire Nova Corps has already been destroyed. Nova is known in the comics as the final living member of the Corps, taking on the responsibilities of his fallen comrades. He's often associated with the Guardians of the Galaxy, so it makes sense for him to come into the fold around the same time as the Guardians series is coming to a close.
Speaking of which...
Nearly a year after being fired from Marvel for decade-old tweets, James Gunn was reinstated as the Guardians of the Galaxy director last month. That means the finale of the popular space franchise can finally move forward as planned, though it is coming later than planned.
Guardians Vol. 3 is still happening, just not quite as soon as initially planned, delayed by the firing of Gunn. Now, it's likely that the film will arrive in 2021 or 2022.
Fans will be wondering if Thor is going to play a role in the new Guardians film, as he took off with them at the end of Avengers: Endgame.
Along with the films that the source could confidently say are in Marvel's near-future plans, there was also mention of a few other sequels potentially in development.
The insider mentions Thor, Ant-Man, and Captain Marvel as characters in line for new movies in the future. Two of these three shouldn't be surprising, but Thor's inclusion is particularly exciting.
Thor was one of the characters likely to be finished with the MCU after Avengers: Endgame, but the franchise found new life with Thor: Ragnarok and Chris Hemsworth is now hoping for more outings with the character.
Finally, while Avengers: Endgame brought finality to the current iteration of the team, it looks like some new assemblies of the squad could be on the way in the future.
The source notes that three different teams have been talked about behind the scenes at Marvel. Films based around the New Avengers, Young Avengers, and/or Dark Avengers could all be on the way in the future.
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