With Avengers: Infinity War and its still untitled sequel on the horizon to serve as a culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's seems as though a passing of the torch may be on the horizon among the cast.
For more than 10 years, Robert Downey Jr. will have been Iron Man when Avengers 4 arrives. Chris Evans will have played Captain America in eight different movies. Chris Hemsworth will have wielded Thor's hammer across seven films. The core Avengers cast will have earned their paychecks as their final efforts are made to thwart Thanos and his armies' plans to destroy the world.
Should faces like Downey Jr.'s, Hemsworth's, Evans', or Scarlet Johannsen's be on the way out, there are worthy contenders to carry the MCU's torch beyond the first generation of the Avengers saga.
Tom Holland's Spider-Man swung into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War for a brief role in the film. He was quickly associated with each of the core Avengers (except the Hulk and Thor) characters as their internal feud played out.
Then came Spider-Man: Homecoming. The first standalone film with Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures working together allowed Holland's character to emerge as a major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Homecoming's praise from critics and fans proved Holland's wallcrawler has what it takes to carry standalone stories in New York City while the rest of the key players are out on world-saving adventures.
As for how he fits in to Avengers films, fans will have to wait and see his performance in Avengers: Infinity War when he is forced to fight one of the most powerful beings in the universe.prevnext
With Black Panther on the horizon, the hype train for Chadwick Boseman's super hero is moving at all-time high speeds.
Taking the Marvel Cinematic Universe to Wakanda, a location which will prove hugely important in Avengers: Infinity War, Boseman's ranking among the MCU heroes will jump towards the top. As previous actors begin to phase out of their roles, Boseman will use the same chops he put on display in titles like 42 and Marshall to create a character who can lead the Avengers going forward.
Black Panther hasn't had a standalone movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and he is already one of the franchise's most popular character, which gives him something in common with the next character and actress...prevnext
Brie Larson's Captain Marvel has been captivating fans since being announced.
With Larson's debut as the super heroine set for early 2019 (Joe Russo debunked her appearance rumors in Avengers 3 while talking to ComicBook.com), the anticipation for her arrival builds every day. Fan photos of the actress in costume, concept art from San Diego Comic Con, and Larson's recent trip to an air force base have all started uproars of positive anticipation for the character.
Like Boseman's Black Panther, Larson has not appeared in a standalone film (or any film, for that matter) but maintains the ability to be a leader among Avengers characters, ticket sales, and future films.prevnext
As the lines begin to blur between Earth-based heroes and cosmic heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange has the opportunity to help bridge the gap. Having appeared in a standalone debut film in 2016 followed by a cameo appearance in Thor: Ragnarok, Benedict Cumberbatch's character brings unique abilities and tremendous performance to Marvel Studios films.
Cumberbatch's character could even be setting the stage for the Marvel Cinematic Universe's next major villain as Dormammu appeared in the Doctor Strange movie briefly. Post-Thanos, Dormammu could pose the next biggest threat to every bring living in the franchise.prevnext
Should Chris Evans bow out of the Captain America role, which he inevitably will at some point, Sebastian Stan should be next in line to fill his shoes.
In Marvel Comics, Bucky Barnes has been Captain America on several occasions. With Bucky's role continuing to grow within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems likely Sebastian Stan's character could eventually sport the spangley outfit and vibranium shield. In fact, the idea of a movie titled, "Bucky Barnes: Captain America," doesn't seem like a strange idea.
Stan's role will continue to grow with Avengers: Infinity War as Captain America emerges from the shadows to rise up against Thanos. His good friend Bucky will be nearby in the war on Thanos. Should Avengers 3 or 4 be the end of the line for Evans in the part, Stan would be a worthy successor.prevnext
Although there is only one more Guardians of the Galaxy film coming from James Gunn based on the title's current roster, Chris Pratt could become a staple in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years.
Speaking solely on Phase 4, Pratt's Star-Lord will likely be a pivotal character as Earth-based heroes join the cosmic ranks. Pratt's co-stars also deserve a nod, though. Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista are both playing characters who have earned the right to grow beyond their supporting character roles. Saldana's Gamora and Pratt's Peter Quill will both be dealing with the aftermath of horrific familial encounters while Bautista's Drax may finally have some closure for his own family.prevnext
Paul Rudd & Evangeline Lilly
Like the Guardians of the Galaxy cast, Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly should be earning expanded roles beyond the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase 3.
Debuting together in Ant-Man, Rudd has popped up in one more film than Lilly so far. Together, they will help bridge the gap between Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel. In doing so, both actors will expand their characters depth and relationships. Lilly's Hope van Dyne, however, might see the most growth as she becomes a super heroine for the first time and uncovers mysteries about her mother played by Michelle Pfeiffer.
All things considered, the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems guaranteed to have an epic, talented, and worthy cast for its Phase 4, before any inevitable additions come along.prev