It’s the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it…and we feel fine.
The epic conclusion of Avengers: Endgame fundamentally changes the status quo of the world we know and love, and quite literally nothing will ever be the same again.
Here’s what the ending of Endgame means for the future of the MCU.
First, every Marvel movie going forward will take place several years in the future. Endgame moves the timeline to 2023, five years after the events of Infinity War.
That means that everyone who survived Thanos’s snapture is five years older, including Scott Lang’s daughter, Cassie, and Harley, the kid from Iron Man 3, who’s now 20.
But all of the returning heroes are the ages they were when they turned to dust. That’s why Peter Parker is still in high school in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Steve Rogers experiences the biggest age jump: after returning the six Infinity Stones to their proper times, he decides to remain in the past with Peggy Carter, finally sharing that dance he promised her at the end of The First Avenger. He lives a full life in the ensuing decades, and, as an old soldier, passes his shield to Sam Wilson.
But there are two Avengers who will never grow old: Tony Stark and Black Widow.
Robert Downey Jr. was there for the beginning of the MCU, and his heroic sacrifice in the final battle against Thanos ensures it will continue long after the death of this Iron Man. It’s only appropriate that Pepper Potts is the last face he sees.
Gwyneth Paltrow has made it pretty clear that Endgame is Pepper’s last hurrah. However, they now have a daughter, Morgan, who's already very interested in the Iron Man suit. [Give her a few years and she may be carrying on the family tradition.]
Natasha Romanoff took over the Avengers after half the world was dusted, and she steps up for her friends one last time when she sacrifices herself to save Hawkeye and obtain the soul stone. It’s the hero’s death that Natasha deserves - and it also means the Black Widow solo film will definitely take place in the past.
Thor has left New Asgard in the hands of Valkyrie and has joined the Guardians of the Galaxy. They're presumably searching for Gamora, who traveled forward in time from 2014 with Thanos, and therefore has missed out on the past 9 years of her relationship with Peter Quill and company. (Remember: present-day Gamora died when Thanos got the soul stone, and she's not coming back.)
Bruce Banner is now a permanent hybrid of himself and the Hulk. We’re not sure where Professor Hulk is headed from here, but after surviving two Avenger-pocalypses, he deserves a vacation.
Endgame also gives us a good idea what we can expect from the upcoming slate of Disney +
With Captain America now retired, the upcoming The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series will feature a brand-new version of Captain America and Bucky.
Thanks in part to elevator weight limits and a massive amount of stairs, Loki stole the Tesseract once again in 2012. This might mean the upcoming Loki series will feature him bouncing around the new timeline, infinity stone in hand.
(Also if Loki escaped in 2012, does that mean Thor: The Dark World and Ragnorak didn’t happen, but also they did?)
Clint Barton is also getting his own TV series; since he adopted the name Ronin following the Snapture, his daughter may be the new Hawkeye. He certainly seems to be training her in the family business.
Captain Marvel has taken off at the end, probably to save some of the thousand other planets where she’s apparently the only superhero. Maybe she took Monica Rambeau along, since she’s not in this movie.
Vision is one of the few Avengers who notably doesn’t return, since Thanos killed him at the end of Infinity War. This means that the Vision and Scarlet Witch series will probably feature Wanda finding a way to bring her android lover back to life.
Thanos is gone at the end of the film, but those pesky Infinity Stones live on, potentially tempting the next despot-in-training. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has called this portion of the MCU the “Infinity Saga,” which means they probably won’t reappear anytime soon
Needless to say Endgame was truly the end of an era, and what’s coming next will certainly be Marvelous.