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Beyond Infinity: The Next 20 Films We’d Like to See in the MCU

Note: This article was originally published by Charles Murphy on MCU Exchange on December 1, 2017.

The recent Vanity Fair cover story about the past, present and future of Marvel Studios was loaded with wonderful information but one bit of text has spawned thought pieces just like this one all over the internet: Marvel Studios has 20 more films on their plate, taking them well into the 2020s (and Bob Iger added to the tease by saying they could have done more than that!). We really only know what two of these films are for sure, so we put together a list of those plus another 18 we’d like to see:

1.) July 5, 2019 – Marvel Studios Spider-Man 2

One of only two films we know are certainly happening, this could be one helluva roller coaster ride of emotions for Peter Parker. Marvel Studios sequel to its well-regarded Spider-Man: Homecoming is set to hit theaters July 5, 2019, making it the first film of a distinctly different post-Infinity War MCU.

We don’t know much about the premise other than it will feature Peter trying to return to a normal life (and school) following the universe-changing events of the Infinity War. Not too many people expect Tony Stark to come out of that war alive, so Peter’s going to be moving ahead with a heavy heart, but also with great responsibility. We assume the Mac Gargan/Scorpion set-up from the Homecoming post-credits will be explored, but there are plenty of other options to explore as well.

2.) May 1, 2020 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

This is the only other film that has officially been announced and director James Gunn has heavily hinted at the date, though it has not been confirmed. We know this is the final story for this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy (sad), but we also know that Gunn has been developing sequels and spin-offs that will use a mix of old and new characters (joy!).

We expect MOST of the original Guardians to be in the third film and we’ve heard some pretty crazy early rumors about where this is going and what it sets up, but it’s SO EARLY in the process that even if they were true, there’s no telling what will happen by the time production starts. We’d like to see Adam Warlock finally grace the big screen and for Gunn to continue the masterful job he’s done building Marvel’s Cosmic Universe, but with many of Marvel’s best Cosmic villains (and some heroes too) at Fox, we might be seeing Gunn do something brand new and we certainly don’t mind that idea!

3.) August 7, 2020 – Black Widow

Put this one in the mini-exclusive column. We know that Feige has talked about a Black Widow film. We know that Stan Lee said it was happening at a recent Con. We also know that Stan isn’t crazy. Our source (the same one that gave us Captain Marvel, Nomad, Ronin and more) has told us that a Black Widow movie IS in the works and they fully expect it to happen. Until things are officially announced (which would probably be sometime next summer), we can’t be sure and because of that we are going to hold on to the details of the plot we were given, but suffice to say it’s a film that will both shock and satisfy fans.

4.) November 6, 2020 – Doctor Strange 2

Scott Derrickson knocked it out of the park with 2016’s Doctor Strange. Derrickson created a fantastic world for Strange to inhabit and the guy gets horror (he’s also THE nicest guy and has always been responsive to communication with us!), so we are crossing our fingers that sometime soon he gets the sequel greenlit and gets to explore the idea he had for Nightmare and the Dream Dimension that he had originally intended to use in the first film. At this time, all signs point to him returning and we know he’s the guy!

5.) May 1, 2021 – Black Panther: Atlantis Attacks

Marvel Studios has been teasing Namor for a VERY long time. Wakanda is going to play a major role in Avengers: Infinity War and, from the looks of the trailer, there’s no way it can come out of the invasion in tip-top shape. Wouldn’t that be just the time for a prick like Namor to strike? Having Namor in a film provides Marvel Studios with a tough task (not that they’re not up to it) and it’s more than just showing Atlantis and following up Aquaman. The key to Namor is probably getting everyone to absolutely hate the guy, have him totally destroy Wakanda and T’Challa, but then still find a way to make you like him enough to bring him back and, eventually, make him a hero. We’ve been talking about this in our Slack chat for what seems like forever and we aren’t the only ones. Here’s to hoping Feige and company finally give Namor his time to shine.

6.) July 1, 2021 – Marvel Studios Spider-Man 3

If things go according to plan, this would be Peter’s senior year, right? It’s a long way off at this point and a whole lot of stuff will probably happen before this, but we are holding fast to the belief (hope?) that Spidey in the MCU is a long-term thing and that this film, and potentially many more, will get to happen. It would take some tinkering, but we’d love to see Spidey take on Mark Raxton, aka Molten Man, in this film. First appearing way back in Amazing Spider-Man #28 in an issue whose events nearly made Peter miss his high school graduation, Molten Man would be a fun villain and the kind of callback to classic comics that Feige and company have shown a knack for finding. Of course once he finishes high school, it’ll be time to move on to college where he can FINALLY meet Gwen and Harry and Harry’s dad…maybe Norman has moved up in the world and is building H.A.M.M.E.R. to replace the now defunct S.H.I.E.L.D. Eh, those are different movies.

 

7.) November 5, 2021 – Captain Marvel: Galactic Storm

Operation: Galactic Storm is a major Avengers crossover arc from the early ’90s that could make the Captain Marvel sequel the equivalent of Captain America: Civil War. A war between the Kree and Shi’ar (hurry up and make that deal already, Disney) spills over onto Earth and teams of Avengers head to space to negotiate peace. This arc involves all kinds of space shenanigans and could be a major event film if it’s something Marvel would like to explore. It could also be tweaked to be a companion piece to the next film on the list.

 

8.) New Avengers: Secret Invasion

Ever since the announcement that Skrull would appear in Captain Marvel, a film that is set in the ’90s, EVERYONE went on alert and the internet ran wild with fan theories about who has been a Skrull all along. Feige has calmed down some of the more intense theories, but in doing so he did NOT totally discount the possibility that there have been Skrulls on Earth. To some extent this film needs to take place at the right time: the new group of Avengers needs some time to come together; the public has to recover from the events of Infinity War and Avengers 4. We’re not really sure when that time is, but this is a film we fully expect to see at some point.

9.) Annihilators

We know from the Vanity Fair interview that there seems to be a priority placed on stories that take place in setting other than Earth and other than now. An Annihilators film seems like it could solve one or both of those problems. Maybe they’re not called the Annihilators; maybe the team isn’t the collection of individuals shown above (but man would that be cool); however, a new team of Cosmic champions assembled to carry on the work of the Guardians of the Galaxy (that’s the idea I always have when I hear Gunn describe what GotG 3 is going to be) would be a great idea and a way to make the fun, wacky spirit of the Guardians live on. Let’s get Cosmo some line, huh?

10.) Ravagers

Gunn has teased the possibility of a Ravagers film and we would LOVE to see it. We’d be open to it taking place in the past if for no other reason than to give us more time with Michael Rooker’s Yondu. Would flashbacks with Yondu take away from the importance of his death in Vol. 2? That’s going to be to Gunn, but we’re on board for a Ravagers film past, present or future. If Disney and Fox could close that deal, perhaps the Ravagers could take on the Badoon, just like the OG Guardians in the comics or perhaps they could somehow finally incorporate Vance Astro into the MCU! At this point, if Gunn’s hands are on it, we are all for it.

11.) Shuri Solo Film

Letitia Wright is a great example of the kind of casting Marvel Studios is becoming known for. She’s 24 and about to be an absolute star

It’s time for a new Iron Man and you know who we want it to be: Shuri. What?!?!?! Yes, we want this film and we don’t think it’s totally crazy. She’s openly being set up as the MCU’s new tech genius. She’s been designing the Wakandan tech which makes Stark’s stuff look like it was made in a cave with a box of scraps…The Hulkbuster is in Wakanda in Avengers: Infinity War which means she’ll have her hands on Stark’s baby and we won’t be surprised to find out that she somehow upgrades it. If Iron Man is going the legacy route it did in the comics, this is a way to make that happen with a character who already exists.

Of course, Shuri could always be the new Black Panther in a third solo film, especially if her brother is forced to leave the position following an Atlantean attack. Shuri had an absolutely fascinating turn as the monarch of Wakanda in the comics and we’d be up for an adaptation of that.

To be honest, we aren’t too picky here about how it happens, we just want Marvel to make it happen.

12.) Thuderbolts

Marvel Studios may have been assembling the pieces of this film right under our noses this whole time (not that many haven’t noticed). With Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo waiting in the wings, it won’t take much more pushing to get him a team. The Shocker lived to fight another day in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost would be another great addition. Starting with those pieces, you’re just a few characters away from having your very own squad of baddies out to do good and giving these underutilized actors time to shine.

13.)  Nova 

Another Cosmic film! We’ve heard time and again that there’s a heavy focus on developing Cosmic characters going forward and Nova may be the most iconic and unused character to whom Marvel Studios holds the rights. The destruction of Xandar that’s sure to come in Avengers: Infinity War would provide a great opening for the origin story of Richard Rider and could be done without much fuss. Sure it might be too late for the hero to help out in Infinity War or Avengers 4, but a young Rider could be tasked with rebuilding the Nova Corps in the wake of it’s central hub being wrecked by Thanos.

 

14.) Squadron Supreme

We’ve been championing this film for a long, long time and we aren’t backing down. With DC going forward with their own “Captain Marvel” in Shazam, we would love to see Marvel Studios go forward with their very own “Justice League” film. I’d love for this to be a major event film, seeing the comic book origins adapted as best as can be. The Grandmaster’s Squadron Supreme vs. (please let it be Kang’s) The Avengers! A group of heroes plucked from other dimensions and forced to fight Earth’s Mightiest! If Marvel Studios wants different, these characters provide a great opportunity. Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie up against Thundra would be just one reason to make it happen, so let’s get this bandwagon rolling!

15.) Captain America: Sam Wilson

We hear a lot of stuff and not all of it makes a lot of sense. One thing we’ve heard several times over the past year, however, that makes a lot of sense is that Marvel Studios is leaning heavily towards having Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson take over the mantle of Captain America instead of Sebastian Stan’s Bucky. This isn’t anything we’ve been told has been set in stone, though we have heard that the studio does NOT have major plans for Stan moving forward. Time will tell on all that, but we already know that Mackie has made a major impression on us and we would love to see his story go on.

16.) Power Pack

This one is based off of a recent rumor, but the more we think about it, the more we like the idea. Based on that rumor, if Power Pack is happening, it’s still in its infancy, but it’s something that Marvel has been developing on and off for almost 10 years. It’s a very kid-friendly choice, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have stakes. I still think the film with some of the steepest stakes I’ve seen recently was a kid’s movie: 2015’s Inside Out. No reason that a group of kids can’t get in on the action and, if Disney closes that deal with Fox, this could be the kind of property that would align nicely with the Richards’ children.

17.) Shang-Chi

This one is a little meta humor. Despite the fact that we have been coming through on scoop after scoop after scoop for you guys, everyone still digs at us for the Shang-Chi in Iron Fist business. I can tell you without a doubt that they auditioned for the role of Shang-Chi for that show and for some reason, he didn’t make the cut. Why? Well, Marvel Studios has a fantastic relationship with China and we imagine they’d like to build on that. The Russo brothers went to China in 2015 to do an exclusive interview about Captain America: Civil War and are even opening their own studio over there. How cool would it be to see some sort of effort made to make Shang-Chi into a loosely-connected James Bond-esque property? Crazy, we know, but it sounded good.

18.) Moon Knight

As much as we think this property could be Marvel TV’s Legion, we are coming around to the idea that having Marc Spector on screen might be more important and, we’re told, so do the folks at Marvel Studio. One reason for the delay in a vehicle for the cult favorite character is that the issue of where he’ll appear isn’t quite settled. The character and content seem a little dark compared to typical Marvel Studios fare, but it’s hard not to imagine a fully-realized Moon Knight on the big screen.

19.) Champions

Marvel had to spend some cash to get the trademark rights to the Champions title back and while it’s been a solid comic, it’s possible they also had the bigger picture in mind. Champions is an interesting twist on what it means to be a superhero and it has found the Champions taking on not only powerful villains like the High Evolutionary, but also “championing” significant causes. The film could be the right vehicle for three of Marvel’s most important characters of late: Amadeus Cho, Kamala Khan and Miles Morales. Miles already exists; Cho’s mother survived Avengers: Age of UltronCaptain Marvel could set up a potential Khan origin. Just a thought, but with Marvel always looking to the future, this is a title that could bring in a ready made crowd of young comic book readers.

20.) Young Avengers

One of Marvel’s great arcs from the mid-aughts, the Young Avengers is another film that should happen and that could already be in the works. With Cassie Lang the only character already in the MCU, some work needs to be done and recent rumors COULD indicate that it is. Speed and Wiccan could be on their way into the MCU and it wouldn’t take much for a Captain Marvel film to set up the events that would lead to Hulking joining the fray. Adding Bishop Publishing to a scene here or there won’t be too hard and then it’s a matter of deciding which other characters the studio wants to add. This was a story ahead of its time in 2005 and it’s time to bring it to the big screen.

We had a hard time stopping at twenty. We want more Thor and more Doctor Strange. We want Hercules. We really, really want to see Taika Waititi direct a Silver Surfer movie. In truth, there’s no end to the things we want and that’s great because it seems there’s no end in sight for Marvel Studios!

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