2:30 pm EDT, May 7, 2018

After ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ what’s next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

With Marvel Cinematic Universe fans still reeling from the ending of Infinity War, it begs the question: What comes next?

Warning: There will be some spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War.

Infinity War shook the core of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it — and it has been through several shakeups by this point. With multiple heroes disappeared from existence by Thanos’ Snap, and two more movies slated to premiere ahead of the Avengers 4 follow-up, we’re looking at what you can expect to see before Thanos returns.

‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’

First things first: Ant-Man and The Wasp will not take place immediately following Infinity War. The synopsis, as released by Marvel Studios, dates the movie closer to the events of Civil War.

“In the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside the Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past.”

Setting it closer to the end of Civil War makes sense, especially considering we learned during Infinity War that Scott Lang cut a deal in order to return home to his family. Though, as in the trailer above, that’s not without its consequences. Namely, a tracking anklet and living under house arrest.

Expect the movie to focus more on Scott Lang attempting to balance his home life around his superhero escapades, all while appearing as though he’s obeying his house arrest. Oh, and take particular note on his daughter, Cassie Lang’s, desire to become a hero, just like her dad. That will be important a little later.

We’d expect the end of Ant-Man and The Wasp to tie directly into Avengers 4, with either with several members of the cast turning to dust before the end credits roll, or in a post-credits scene.

‘Captain Marvel’

We already know that Captain Marvel will be set during the ’90s, long before the events of Infinity War take place.

A few staple appearances are slated in the form of Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and beloved S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson. The fate of both Fury and Hill in Infinity War is already known, so it will be good to see them return, albeit briefly.

Captain Marvel will largely be set around the Kree-Skrull war, as announced by Kevin Feige at SDCC 2017. We have already met the Kree, in Thor: The Dark World — and both Ronan the Acusser and Korath will reappear here — but the movie will mark the first time that the Skrulls will show their faces in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Prior to Captain Marvel, Fox and Marvel co-owned the rights to the Skrulls as a whole, however, with Disney’s acquisition of Fox, all variations of the Skrulls now fall under their purview.

(That could become another universe altering future reveal in the MCU, but that is speculation for another time.)

At the end of Infinity War, Nick Fury sent off a distress signal to Captain Marvel. Her solo outing will likely set the scene of where in the universe Carol Danvers currently is, but — much like with Ant-Man and The Wasp — we’d expect to see her receive the call by either the movie’s end or a post-credits scene.

‘Avengers 4

There’s very little we know, definitively, about Avengers 4. However, there are a few hints and suggestions that have been dropped during Marvel press tours that could guide our speculation on the Infinity War follow up.

  1. The movie was originally titled Infinity War: Part II. It is still the second part of the Infinity War storyline — as you might expect, considering what they need to deal with — but remains untitled as of writing.
  2. We should expect some jumping around in time. With Emma Fuhrmann reportedly being cast as an older Cassie Lang, there could be new heroes stepping up, should Avengers 4 take place several years after Infinity War. (Cassie Lang, after all, does take on the moniker of Stature in the Young Avengers comics, as well as state her desire to become a hero like her dad in the Ant-Man and The Wasp trailer.)
  3. Some photographs from the set of Avengers 4 surfaced early on into production. They featured Tony Stark with blonde hair, as well as the heroes returning to the Battle of New York, this time sporting unusual devices. It sparked some theories that a time-travel device could be developed by Tony Stark in the interim period between movies.
  4. Hawkeye will return in Avengers 4. We had some theories about why he might be absent from Infinity War, but the answer was far simpler than anything we suggested: He cut a deal with the government to go home. The Russo Brothers have said on the Happy Sad Confused Podcast that they “have a really interesting story cooked up for both of those characters, and part of that story required that they be under house arrest.” Don’t be shocked to see Hawkeye spurred back into his superhero life after his family are disappeared from existence.

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