EDITORIAL: My Predictions For The Future Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Hit the jump to check out my timeline for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including plot, characters and more!
So, recently I've been really curious as to what Marvel actually has in mind for their future slate. We heard from Kevin Fiege himself today that something big is going down in 2015, and we heard about two years ago that Marvel are building towards something else huge in 2017. What could they be? The logical answer would be Avengers sequels, but I say nay! Kinda.
You're probably wondering, where the hell is this promised timeline? So I shall give you that, but not before a few ramblings about the 2015 "event". To start off, I have to say this otherwise the whole plot won't work: Nick Fury will soon be killed off. Samuel L. Jackson signed on for 9 Marvel movies. Let's count them off below, shall we?
1. Iron Man
2. Iron Man 2
4. Captain America: The First Avenger
5. The Avengers
And that's only so far. Nick will undoubtedly appear in Iron Man 3, so that's his sixth appearance crossed off. I don't think he'll be in Thor 2 as that movie will be focused on Thor travelling the Nine Realms and NOT being on Earth. Judging from Fiege's comments earlier today, SHIELD will have a prominent role in Captain America 2, so he'll most likely be in that. That's his seventh appearance. That will probably be one of the 2014 movies, with the other being Doctor Strange. I don't believe Fury will appear in that, as from what we know the movie will focus on Strange's training into becoming the Sorcerer Supreme and that mainly takes place in the mountains, so I doubt SHIELD will feature in that much (except for maybe Agent Coulson).
And then there's his penultimate appearance, Ant-Man. I strongly believe that Avengers 2 and Ant-Man will be the 2015 movies. That movie is more science-based, and as it is not a familiar property I think that Marvel will put something in there that is familiar, i.e SHIELD (and Pym is basically a SHIELD scientist anyway). So, that leaves us with his final appearance: Avengers 2. But, this won't actually be an Avengers movie.
Kevin Fiege said that they are building and plotting towards an event in 2015. The logical explanation would be to shout out epic stories from the comics like Infinity Gauntlet or Civil War, but I believe it will be an adaptation of another storyline that isn't AS epic as the other two, but still epic in it's own right: Secret War. Here's the synopsis from Wikipedia:
In 2003, Nick Fury, Director of the international security force S.H.I.E.L.D., uncovers a secret plot by Latverian Prime Minister Lucia von Bardas to fund a group of B-List supervillains with advanced technology, presumably that of previous Latverian dictator Doctor Doom (who was trapped in Hell at the time), as a means of wreaking terror on American soil. Fury immediately takes his findings to the President of the United States but is denied the authorization requested to overthrow the post-Doom Latverian government due to its sponsorship by the U.S. Government. Fury is enraged at what he sees as the same pre-9/11 security complacency inviting disaster yet again.
Fury recruits Captain America, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Black Widow, Luke Cage, Wolverine, and superhuman S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Daisy Johnson in a private attempt to covertly overthrow Latveria.
A year later, a mass reprisal is unleashed across New York City, leaving Luke Cage in a coma as Fury and a cadre of NYC heroes face off against a cyborg Von Bardas and her hi-tech army. The reprisal is revealed to be a trap for New York's superheroes when Von Bardas arms a high-tech bomb linked to the technology provided to her supervillain army.
The cyborg Von Bardas is destroyed by Daisy Johnson, the bomb is disarmed, and the supervillain army is defeated and arrested. Captain America immediately demands answers from Nick Fury about what happened. They are soon joined by the X-Men and Wolverine, who attacks Fury until Johnson informs him that the man before him is a Life Model Decoy, and that the real Fury already departed. Through the L.M.D., Fury reveals the invasion of Latveria and the fact that the heroes (with the exceptions of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Black Widow and Daisy Johnson) were brainwashed afterward. Nick Fury then informs the heroes that this is the last time they will see him and that he hopes those involved in his plot will understand that what he did was necessary.
His replacement as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Maria Hill, discovers the particulars of the story through her interrogation of Agent Johnson in the present-day framing device of the story.
Notice what I put in bold? Avengers 2 will be called 'The Avengers: Secret War' and will be exactly that plot. Kinda. Obviously the majority of the heroes featured in that story would have to be replaced or cut out as they have either not been introduced yet or the rights to the character(s) is owned by a different studio. Here's the list of characters, again courtesy of Wiki:
Nick Fury L.M.D.
Lucia von Bardas
Crimson Dynamo IX
Mister Fear IV
Out of all of those, roughly five can be used. So here is my proposition for the story.
Due to The Avengers being dissassembled and abandoning SHIELD, Nick Fury has to look at other options for any other world-threatening disaesters. He asks SHIELD scientist Hank Pym to look at his old idea of an indestructable robot that is nearly impossible to kill, Ultron. With today's technology, the machine could prove a more powerful being than any superhero. Pym quickly starts work on the Ultron Project, abandoning his ideas to improve his Ant-Man formula (his improvement ideas are to create Goliath) and gets it up and running as quickly as possible. That was a mistake.
Ultron has been developed so well, that he begins to create feelings of his own and question his master's opinion. Pym gets his first chance to try out the Goliath formula when Ultron challenges him to a battle on the SHIELD helicarrier. When Ultron wins, he leaves to begin gathering his own form of Avengers. Ultron retrieves the Destroyer and Abomination from SHIELD captivity, and Red Skull along with his HYDRA forces. Fury desperately tries to get the World Security Council's approval to build an army to fight Ultron, but they deny him his request as the details on the attack are scarce and the supervillains whereabouts are unknown (Ultron has disabled SHIELD's ability to track them), so Fury starts to build his own army. He assembles the original Avengers, along with Dr. Pym (now both Goliath and Ant-Man), Wasp and Doctor Strange. They don't have vast numbers, but their combined power is unmatched.
The first act of the movie is Ultron's introduction and concludes with the battle between Goliath and Ultron. The second act consists of the assembling of the Avengers. The third is the final battle (s). Iron Man manages to find a HYDRA base which is housing Ultron's team and each Avenger takes on his enemy (e.g Hulk vs Abomination, Thor vs Destroyer, Cap vs Red Skull) whilst the others battle HYDRA soldiers.
Back at home, Ultron hacks into SHIELD's database and shows a live feed of the battle on the Helicarrier, much to the shock of the rest of the organisation and the World Security Council. Maria Hill orders an attack squad to head to the base immediately and pull Fury and the Avengers out of the fight. When they arrive the base is in pieces. Once Hill realises the scale of the fight, she calls in for back-up. Pym confronts Ultron, threatening to shut him down if he does not stop the madness. Ultron refuses, saying that he has far too much control over his system for anybody to stop him now. Pym says he leaves him no choice, and transforms into Goliath.
He and the other Avengers completely trash the place. Due to the large amount of destruction, the base starts crumbling away (as it is based on top of a mountain away from civillisation) and begins to explode (explosions!). The Avengers and SHIELD get away, but Hulk stays and says he is willing to risk his life in order to ensure the safety of the others. As the Quinjet departs, a single roar and the words 'HULK SMASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' are heard before the place goes up in flames.
The ending of the film is at the World Security Council. Fury is reprimanded for his foolishness, and fired as Director of SHIELD, whilst, Maria Hill is appointed the job. As a result of the heroes going along with Fury's 'Secret War', it is made an official law that superheroes or anybody with a superhuman ability shall be considered a public enemy, and should be reported to the police. They are, however, given a chance to save themselves. They can either join SHIELD, or go on the run. Cap, Pym and Iron Man join SHIELD, whilst the others are shocked by their actions and decide to become outlaw's. Thor heads back to Asgard, Doctor Strange returns to the mountains and both Widow and Hawkeye go their seperate ways. Fury ends the film with a speech and a montage of the outlaw's being hunted, saying that he is sorry for what he did and how that he will always believe in heroes. The closing shot of the movie is SHIELD agents closing in on an abandoned warehouse where Hawkeye and Black Widow are located, with Captain America leading them. When he sees his old friends, he hesitates but proceeds to attack. Credits roll.
Wow, that was long. Don't worry, there will be an after-credits scene. It's nothing earth-shattering, but it is a shot of Hulk rising out of the rubble and roaring at the screen. Now, you might be thinking 'Woah, that's too much for one film' but this has to be EPIC! Joss Whedon said himself that the sequel needs to be "smaller, and more personal" and that can be enabled with the Secret War story. What's more personal than superheroes and old friends going against each other, and a character we have learned to love over the past seven years being fired and having to go into hiding? The 2016 movies would have to be Thor 3 and an original movie, e.g Black Panther. As superheroes are now public enemies, the stories cannot really focus on Earth, which is why stories about Namor, Thor and Black Panther are ideal. Cap 3 would be in 2017 with Namor being the other movie (if you're wondering, Cap 3 would introduce Winter Soldier). The 2018 movies would be Blade and Planet Hulk. I know what you're thinking: "Planet Hulk!?!" Well, yes. SHIELD discover Hulk is still alive, and considering superpowered beings are now outlaws and Hulk is one of the most powerful, he needs to be sent to a secure location e.g another planet. I know next to nothing about the Planet Hulk story, but I think it'd be great to explore in a movie.
You're probably wondering where Avengers 3 fits into all of this. A considerable amount of time needs to be left between Avengers 2 and Avengers 3, in order for more heroes to be introduced for the threequel. The 2019 movies would be Ghost Rider and Iron Fist, and guess what comes in 2020? The Avengers: Civil War. The Superhero Registration Act is introduced, splitting heroes even further. Even the TV show characters will come together for this movie (Luke Cage, Jessica Jones). Also, I firmly believe that The Amazing Spider-Man is set in the MCU, or at least in a different universe. A potential way for MS to not have to reboot Spidey once they get the rights back would be to set Spidey in another universe, and have something like the Cosmic Cube bring him to ours. That could also be the answer for when Marvel get the rights back to other characters, like Daredevil, the FF and X-Men (hopefully they'll be back once Civil War comes around).
But there's something I haven't told you. Civil War is an absolutely MASSIVELY HUGE storyline, and to do it justice in one film would take about 6 hours. Which is why I propose setting it out like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Avengers: Civil War Part 1 in 2020, Part 2 in 2021 and Part 3 in 2023. And after that, if the public want more an Infinity Gauntlet movie could happen. Maybe.
All in all, that's my timeline. Share your thoughts in the comments, and I'm open to criticism as this could use a lot of work. If my plan became a reality, bo 2023 the MCU would reach it's conclusion and the public would have been subject to 15 years of MCU movies. What do you think? Sound off below!
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