We’ve just waved goodbye to a good chunk of our favourite Marvel team. But in a post-Avengers world, the studio appears to be digging up some cosmic characters from their comic book vault. Plus, they might even give us one stand-alone origin story fans have been clamouring for for years.
We already know that Spiderman: Far From Home is due for release on 2nd July. But even though it’s coming out months after Avengers:Endgame, it doesn’t seem to quite be marking the step into phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, according to a comment from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, Far From Home is actually being classed as “the end of the third phase” rather than the start of a new one.
When phase four does start in earnest, it’s fairly likely we’ll get sequels for several characters that haven’t had their story arcs wrapped up tightly: Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Captain Marvel, as well as Guardians of the Galaxy. But this isn’t everyone we expect to see.
Imbued with superhuman strength, the power of flight and other fantastic abilities given to him by the power of the Nova Force, Nova could have easily slipped into Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s the powerful alter-ego of Richard Rider, a member of Guardians intergalactic police force the Nova Corp.
But this cool character appears to have piqued the interest of several people at Marvel, and a solo film is rumoured to be in development. While this hasn’t been confirmed by the studio, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely revealed that Nova could have even popped up as early as Avengers: Infinity War.
“I remember going through several scenarios of Nova,” Christopher Marcus noted in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where the duo discussed some of their very initial ideas for how the final two Avengers movies might play out. “Thanos could come and kill all the Nova Corps, except one guy. Richard Rider, who then becomes … I think in that scenario he became the herald, kind of like the Hulk was [in Infinity War when he crashed into the Sanctum Santorum]. Someone who could come out and tell people.”
While this idea never materialised, Kevin Feige has also described the character as one with “more immediate potential”. Keep your eyes peeled!
The Eternals are an entire race of cosmically incredible beings that look like mortal men, but are actually blessed with long life, incredible strength and healing – plus the potential to develop other powers individually like super speed or telepathy. Where did they come from? Us, technically. The Celestials (the Marvel Universe’s oldest beings) came to earth and modified the genes of some early humans a millennia ago. Since then The Eternals have been locked in a war with their equally powerful cousins, the ugly and corrupted Deviants.
Good old Kevin Feige first teased the potential for a film in April last year, and now the Marvel wheels seem to be turning. Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani and Richard Madden are rumoured to be in casting talks, with Ma Dong-seok already involved. The Rider’s Chloe Zhao will direct from a script by brothers Matthew and Ryan Firpo.
Marvel is also moving forward with its first movie featuring an Asian lead. While he doesn’t have any superpowers, years of training have turned Shang-Chi into an unmatched martial arts expert with strong kicks, impeccable reflexes and even the ability to dodge bullets. It’s no wonder, then, that in the comics we’ve seen him as a member of Avengers, Marvel Knights, and Heroes for Hire.
While few details have been released so far, we do know that David Callaham was hired late last year to write the script, with Destin Daniel Cretton coming on board more recently to direct.
We’re already big fans of Captain Marvel, and so is Kamala Khan. We first meet Kamala in the comics as a New Jersey teenager obsessed with The Avengers. Soon enough she gets to play her role in the fight for good after an encounter with some Terrigen Mist activates her superhuman abilities to metamorphically stretch, enlarge or shrink her overall size or parts of her body (her fists are a particular favourite).
Last year Feige announced vague plans to bring Kamala out of the comics and onto the big screen in a BBC interview:
''Ms. Marvel, which is another character in the comic books, the Muslim hero who is inspired by Captain Marvel, is definitely, sort of, in the works. We have plans for that once we've introduced Captain Marvel to the world.''
Brie Larson has since expressed a wish to have Captain Marvel and Ms Marvel fight alongside each other in a Captain Marvel sequel.
But Feige’s plans to keep Ms Marvel as a contemporary character – making her a teenager today, rather than in the 90s when Captain Marvel sequels could still be set – might mean we have to wait a bit longer to see her. But let’s hope that actually translates into a standalone movie for a young, Muslim, female superhero.
Last but in no means least, the long-awaited origin story for super spy and Avengers stalwart Black Widow. Natasha sacrificed herself for the greater good and her best friend Hawkeye in Endgame, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn more about her fascinating past. Why did the Red Skull know her father’s name when she didn't?
The project has been on the back burner for some time now, but hopefully the increasing presence of female superheroes in the franchise may finally help kick the project into life. Last year Cate Shortland won out over around 60 female directors to helm the film, while rising star of screenwriting Jac Schaeffer is also involved.