20 Shocking Predictions For Phase Four And Beyond Of The MCU

·18 min read

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has showcased many shocks and surprises over the past 13 years, but with Phase Four full steam ahead, there are plenty of possibilities for more unexpected debuts, developments, and deaths in the future.

Mild spoilers are ahead for those who aren't caught up with the MCU, so beware! Here is my list of 20 predictions for the MCU moving forward.

20.Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is assembling the Anti-Avengers

Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) in "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier"

So far, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gotten only two chances to meet Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, as played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The first time was on The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, where she seemingly recruited U.S. Agent into considering some legally dubious mercenary work. The second time was in Black Widow, where she approached Yelena Belova in hopes of hiring her to assassinate Clint Barton.

So far, it appears that the MCU’s version of de Fontaine seems to be an illicit version of Nick Fury, operating deviously in the shadows and seemingly bearing a grudge against (at least some of) the Avengers. With many, many new enhanced and gifted characters coming our way in Marvel’s film and television properties in the very near future, it would seem logical that de Fontaine may be putting together her own team, recruiting some of the newer villains, or at least morally compromised characters, that we will meet in the coming months. Outside of U.S. Agent (and possibly Belova), there are a host of characters of varying allegiances that could take up with de Fontaine, including Kit Harington’s Black Knight, Florian Munteanu’s Razor Fist, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Karl Mordo, Kathryn Newton’s Cassie Lang, and Jameela Jamil’s Titania.

Disney+

19.New blood will Rise, but old blood will spill

(L-R) Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in "Avengers: Endgame"

It was fairly obvious that Avengers: Endgame was the closing of a major chapter of the MCU’s grand plan, signaling the departure of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers and effectively killing off Natasha Romanoff from the present timeline. However, with the defeat of Thanos, not only was the majority of Marvel’s heroes restored in the universe but the path was paved for a new generation of heroes to join the MCU, including Shang Chi, Monica Rambeau, and the Eternals, with many more to come. But as the universe expands, as do its threats, and if there’s going to be tangible stakes in future Marvel projects, that means not all of the Avengers are going to have their own happy endings.

Of course, the MCU could always kill off some beloved side characters, ala the death of Phil Coulson (depending on your version of MCU canon) and the Warriors Three, but with the contracts of their top stars coming to an end, don’t be too shocked if the likes of Hawkeye, Thor, Scarlet Witch, Peter Quill, or The Winter Soldier meet an untimely demise. In fact, the only character in the MCU who I could assume would be safe is T’Challa, as Feige has reiterated his intention to not kill off or recast T’Challa in the wake of the tragic 2020 passing of Chadwick Boseman, with the mantle likely being passed on to Letitia Wright’s Shuri, Danai Gurira’s Okoye, or Winston Duke’s M’Baku. As for T’Challa, one would assume the character would be retired, whether he’s riding into the sunset or serving a greater, cosmic purpose in parts unknown.

Null / Walt Disney Co./courtesy Everett / Everett Collection

18.The Vision will return in Ironheart

Vision (Paul Bettany) in "Captain America: Civil War"

Among the numerous loose threads left hanging at the end of Wandavision, perhaps the most curious within the bigger picture of the MCU was The Vision, whose memories were restored shortly before flying off toward who-knows-where. Given the potential for the character going forward, The Vision’s next logical appearance looks to be in Ironheart, the Marvel TV series following the character of Riri Williams after her debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Williams, as to be portrayed by Dominique Thorne, is posited as another technological genius in the vein of Tony Stark, which would make a face-off with this iteration of The Vision all the more fitting, while The Vision would help give the upcoming series a boost of star power in the way of Paul Bettany.

Walt Disney Co. / Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

17.Daredevil will return in Echo

Daredevil (Charlie Cox) in "Daredevil"

Though it may be far from confirmed, longstanding rumors and a recent alleged leaked photo from the John Campea Show have led many to believe that Charlie Cox will be reinstated in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Though it is unlikely that we’ll see Daredevil don his cowl in No Way Home, the acknowledgment of Cox opens the door for the return of Matt Murdock.

However, the timing of Daredevil’s reappearance coincides with the debut of Maya Lopez / Echo, as played by Alaqua Cox in Hawkeye. Another superhero living with disabilities, Echo has historically been depicted as an ally or begrudging nemesis of Daredevil, which has many believing Cox will play a large part in helping further Echo’s story and reintroduce Daredevil into the main MCU canon.

Netflix

16.Expect Blade in Doctor Strange, Agatha: House of Harkness, and Marvel Zombies

"What If...?"

Though you may have heard his voice at the end of Eternals, Mahershala Ali’s Blade is due to formally introduce himself in the MCU sooner than later. Though his solo film isn’t due until sometime in Phase 5, there’s going to be a lot of groundwork needed to establish the half-vampire anti-hero in a world in which supernatural horrors are still in their nascent stages.

Yet we may not have to wait too long for Blade to show face in the MCU, as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness appears to be the perfect opportunity to introduce the character’s horrific origin and welcome the undead into Marvel’s central narrative. Factor in the references to the upcoming sequel as Marvel’s first horror film by director Sam Raimi and the project’s original director, Scott Derrickson, even a small supporting performance from Ali seems like a natural fit thematically. With his own film years away, it would also make sense that the Blade character could further establish himself in the MCU’s darker properties, such as Agatha: House of Harkness and even the animated Marvel Zombies.

Disney+

15.Marvel One-Shots Will Return on Disney+

"All Hail The King: A Marvel One-Shot"

With the release of Shang Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings, Disney+ uploaded Hail to the King: A Marvel One-Shot, the first of its kind to hit the streaming service. For Marvel die-hards, you may remember the One-Shots to have been short films within the MCU that were exclusive to the home releases of MCU films between Thor and Thor: The Dark World. For a while, these shorts were usually fun interstitials that provided slivers of information about the larger MCU, whether it was S.H.I.E.L.D.’s shadowy manipulation of events or the fall-out of the alien invasion of New York City in The Avengers. But as time went on, Marvel One-Shots began to take a life of their own.

Initially introducing characters who would later appear on MCU television projects such as Titus Welliver’s Felix Blake and Bradley Whitford’s John Flynn, the Agent Carter One-Shot essentially operated as a back-door pilot for the ABC series that followed. Additionally, the Hail to the King One-Shot bridged the gap between Iron Man 3 and Shang Chi and even brought back Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer for a brief appearance. Unfortunately, One-Shots would cease production as Marvel’s television division took off and physical media sales began to decline, but with Disney+ as a viable platform for short-form, non-serialized content, don’t be shocked if One-Shots made a roaring return for small stories revolving around new fan-favorite characters again, such as Randall Park’s Jimmy Woo, Sophia Di Martino’s Sylvie, Evan Peters’ Ralph Bohner, or Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo.

Disney+

14.The Fantastic Four will first appear in The Marvels

"The Marvels"

As one of the hottest properties acquired by Marvel Studios in Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, fans have waited with bated breath for any and all updates on Jon Watts’ Fantastic Four. Though the film appears to be the last film in Phase 4, barring any surprise updates or an Avengers film announcement, many eagle-eyed Marvel fans have picked up small hints to opportunities for the titular team to make their debut in the coming months.

While some believe they may appear in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania or Secret Invasion, the logical move would be introducing Reed Richards, Susan and Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm in The Marvels. Though the film will also include Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel, it seems that debuting these four beloved characters in the film would guarantee even the most vitriolic fanboy would give the film a fair chance while building on the characters' connection to the cosmic mysteries of the MCU.

Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

13.The Multiverse will help usher Deadpool and Miles Morales into the MCU

Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), Colossus (Stefan Kapičić) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand)

You don’t have to be deep in the weeds of Marvel Twitter to know that the Multiverse has been the topic of conversation regarding all things MCU lately. With the ability to loop in characters from other cinematic universes canonically in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the discussion about who else may crossover in the Multiverse has been rampant, including any of the myriad characters from Fox’s X-Men Universe to even the possibility of bringing back Nicolas Cage’s Ghost Rider or Chris Evans’ Johnny Storm for a cameo.

Given what we know about the Multiverse from the Marvel/Sony Spider-Man franchise, Doctor Strange and What If…?, the character whose appearance in the MCU makes the most sense as a result of the Multiverse is none other than Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson/Deadpool. As a meta character from an alternate universe who has discovered time travel and cheated death in his own world, Deadpool slipping through the cracks of a Multiverse rift seems like the perfect way of bringing him into the MCU. But that’s not all: the Multiverse could also be a great opportunity to bring Miles Morales into the MCU/Sonyverse, possibly as the logical replacement for Tom Holland’s Peter Parker after his eventual clash with Tom Hardy’s Venom.

20thcentfox / 20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

12.Eros/Starfox, Thena, Makkari, and Druig will appear in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3

Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) and Druig (Barry Keoghan) in "Eternals"

Though Eternals has its own laurels on which it can stand, the film’s most feverishly discussed moment is undoubtedly the appearance of Eros/Starfox, as played by Harry Styles in the film’s post-credit scene. The impossibly powerful character made a grand entrance, and many fans are wondering just how his presence will expand within the MCU, especially considering Styles’ busy schedule outside of the film business.

But if we’re talking about characters of equal power in Marvel’s canon, it’s hard not to think of Adam Warlock, who will be played by Will Poulter in Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 3. Though the Guardians films have always been about achieving anything through their family dynamic, Warlock is a heavy-hitter of a character and the core team could require the help of Eros and the Eternals, especially if Gamora is still the distrusting and hostile version of the character from her Endgame timeline.

Everett Collection

11.Prepare for the MCU… in the MCU!

"Hawkeye"

This may be a fairly softball prediction, but considering the MCU has posited the existence of documentaries, museum exhibits, and musicals based on The Avengers, it’s only a matter of time before we see Scott Lang, Sam Wilson, or Kamal Khan sitting in a theater, watching “The Bruce Banner Story” or something akin. Opening the door to a number of fun cameos, similar to those of the Thor: The Dark World play in Thor: Ragnarok, the inter-universe MCU would also be a great way of conveying the public perception of the heroes without relying on the tired trope of news pundits or outrageous newspaper headlines.

Disney+

10.Sam Wilson will fight a Drone State in Captain America 4

Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) in "Spider-Man: Far From Home"

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a few cliffhangers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that have been largely forgotten by the time Wandavision came to our screens in early 2021. Namely, Spider-Man: Far From Home goes out of its way to show that Quentin Beck’s advanced drone technology seemed to escape with William Ginter Riva, Peter Billingsley’s scientist with a grudge against Tony Stark.

Given the nature of Marvel’s Phase Four, it is not exactly surprising that this thread hasn’t been addressed thus far. But given the notes on which The Falcon and The Winter Soldier end, it wouldn’t be a shock if Sam Wilson is pitted against a post-Wandavision government that employs these drones for their own use in Captain America 4, which could be a fitting commentary on the use of drones in modern warfare by a modern Captain America.

Sony / Marvel Studios

9.Who else may return in Phase Four?

(L-R) Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour) and Yelena Bolova (Florence Pugh) in "Black Widow"

For those keeping a close eye on Marvel updates in recent months, press releases, announcements, and leaks have confirmed a number of returning faces from previous phases in upcoming MCU projects, including the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor, Nick Fury, Ant-Man, The Wasp, and Jane Foster, to name a few. But the MCU can be a pretty unpredictable place with fresh chances to include any number of their impressive hero roster in any project.

Beyond the usual suspects, Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe could absolutely showcase some of the more colorful characters in future projects. It seems that we will likely see David Harbour’s Red Guardian in a future project, whether it be Moon Knight or Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones seems to be a likely character to return in the upcoming NYC-set animated prequel, Spider-Man: Freshman Year. Hell, there are even more unlikely returns that seem more possible by the day, including Tim Blake Nelson’s Leader appearing in What If…? or Iron Man 3’s Harley Keener, as played by Ty Simpkins, showing up in Ironheart or Armor Wars.

Everett Collection

8....And who may not return anytime soon?

(L-R) Arnim Zola (Toby Jones) and Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) in "Captain America: The First Avenger"

Of course, there are also multiple MCU characters who may not return for Phase Four for one reason or another. Though he gained much acclaim for his performance, the Disney-owned MCU would seem unlikely to bring back Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle/Punisher, especially given the iconography of the Punisher skull with fringe groups as of late. Moreover, the MCU seems unlikely to bring in the Netflix iterations of Luke Cage and Danny Rand/Iron Fist or any non-Coulson member of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the near future thanks to rights issues, performer availability, and even just the lack of relevance with the current plan of the MCU. And unless they’ll appear in a limited appearance in What If… Season 2, Phase Four is likely the end of the road for the likes of Red Skull, The Collector, and Pepper Potts.

Paramount / Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

7.Morbius and Blade will team up… eventually

Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) in "Morbius"

There’s no denying that the established working relationship between Sony and Marvel has set a precedent that could be revisited in the future. While it’s unlikely we’ll see Venom tossing around Loki anytime soon, there seems to be a more probable crossover with two Marvel characters who were iconically pitted against one another: Morbius and Blade. Though we don’t exactly know how Blade will fit into the MCU at this moment or how Morbius will factor into the Sonyverse’s eventual collision between Venom and Spider-Man, Blade could be a superb bargaining chip for Marvel to trade should they be interested in bringing in Miles Morales.

Sony / Via youtube.com

6.Namor will get a Disney+ series

wakanda forver black panther

Among the more curious rumors regarding the MCU over the past year, the allegation that Tenoch Huerta’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever character will be Namor is incredibly intriguing. Marvel’s answer to Aquaman, Namor has been a notoriously difficult character to bring to life in the past and many MCU fans believed Namor would never make it to the screen or would be jokingly included in the vein of Howard the Duck. But should the rumors prove to be true, the idea of Namor being treated with gravitas could have large-scale effects on the MCU, many of which could be explored in further detail on Disney+.

Marvel Studios / Via youtube.com

5.Moon Knight will appear in Loki: Season 2

"Moon Knight"

Moon Knight’s stake in Marvel’s television properties seemed to jump in a big way following the release of the preview on Disney+ Day. Promising a more violent, scary, and psychologically complicated property than offered in prior Marvel titles, Moon Knight might seem out of the ordinary just popping up next to Ant-Man or Black Panther, but there is one figure whose psychological tricks would seem at home in the world of Moon Knight: Loki. With Loki’s next collision with the Time Variance Authority on the way and Doctor Strange seemingly busy with the repercussions of Wandavision and Spider-Man: No Way Home, Loki appears to be the most appropriate counterpart to explore the complicated mind of Marc Spencer/Moon Knight in the greater MCU, especially as Loki’s allies grow more sparse.

Disney+

4.Thor: Love and Thunder will deal with the fall-out of Eternals

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in "Avengers: Endgame"

Let’s face it: in the world of the MCU, the general public has seen some weird stuff. They’ve lived through the Blip (and its subsequent restoration), they’ve seen aliens attack New York City, witnessed Sokovia nearly destroyed by an evil robot, and even experienced cities flat-out appear and disappear at a moment’s notice.

Yet somehow, Eternals took the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a new level of mythological weirdness, with citizens not only witnessing a God rise out of the Earth and turn to stone, but another appears in the sky and summons people into space. Though there is a possibility that the unusual fall-out of Eternals will be covered in No Way Home or Doctor Strange 2, chances are that the bulk of Eternals’ storyline consequences will be addressed in Thor: Love and Thunder when Thor eventually returns to Jane Foster on Earth, especially given Jane’s profession and where we last saw Erik Selvig.

Null / ©Walt Disney Co./courtesy Everett / Everett Collection

3.Jeffrey Wright will play The Watcher in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

"What If...?"

The Multiverse was handled in a really interesting fashion in What If…?, which eventually resulted in The Watcher (as voiced by Jeffrey Wright) going beyond his responsibilities and recruiting an alternate version of Doctor Strange to help defeat the reality-bending Ultron. Knowing what we know now, it would make all the sense in the world if The Watcher makes his live-action debut in the upcoming sequel to Doctor Strange, likely with the darker, Lovecraftian version of Strange in tow to help restore order to the Multiverse and bring the central narrative of the MCU back on track.

Disney+

2.Galactus will be the Big Bad of Phases 4, 5, and 6

Disney XD

For Marvel superfans, there have been a few characters whose debut in the MCU has been long overdue, largely as a result of rights ownership. But since Disney absorbed 20th Century Fox, fans have been anticipating the arrival of such characters as Silver Surfer, the X-Men, Victor Von Doom and Galactus, the latter of which is often considered to be among the most powerful villains in Marvel canon.

Based on previous reports, Marvel Studios has eyed Galactus (as well as the Silver Surfer) since 2012, potentially as a villain for the Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. But now that Thanos is no longer a threat and Eternals has done the heavy lifting to establishing the Celestial threat to Earth, Galactus seems to be the next world-eater to strike against Earth’s mightiest heroes across Phases 4 through 6, especially with his primary combatants, the Fantastic Four, making their way into the MCU in the coming years.

1.Galactus will make a statement… at the expense of Eros

"Eternals" Actor Harry Styles

Although Phase Four of the MCU will have its share of dangerous villains to showcase, including Kang the Conqueror, Gorr the God-Butcher, and Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Galactus is a serious threat and one of Marvel’s more heartless antagonists. Following on the heels of Thanos, who killed off half of the MCU’s favorite characters with a literal snap of his fingers, Galactus will have to display an equal measure of aggression to be considered a legitimate threat to the Avengers, many of which survived Endgame.

Don’t be surprised if Galactus makes his first mark on the MCU at the expense of the newly introduced Eros/Starfox, as effortlessly dispatching the hero would not only exhibit the extent of Galactus’ power but offer a “holy crap” moment that fans wouldn’t soon forget. Outside of the storytelling aspect, a swift departure for Eros would also allow Harry Styles to return to his music career while having already placed his unique stamp on the MCU.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

How do you feel about my predictions? Let me know in the comments below!

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting