At this moment in time, we know very little about Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – other than the fact that it will deal with the aftermath of the Avengers: Infinity War movies; Inhumans will have been introduced properly into the MCU (via their own TV show); and a third Guardians of the Galaxy movie will be included in it.
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has confirmed that they have a plan for the MCU up until 2028, and there are movies in place for Phase Four in May, July, and November of 2020 – but what those movies are isn’t yet clear.
Of course, when a franchise is as popular as the MCU (it’s literally the highest-grossing movie franchise EVER), people talk about it. Rumors are rife about what might happen in Phase Four – some of which sound fantastic. That’s what this article is about. Here are seventeen MCU Phase Four rumors that we hope are true (obviously they can’t all be, but if any of these rumors were true we’d be happy!).
Iron Man 4 (with Robert Downey, Jr.)
The first rule of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that nobody can get enough of Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, and that means that rumors of a fourth installment of his solo adventures during the franchise’s Phase Four would be most welcome (we really don’t want anyone else taking over the role!).
Don’t get us wrong, we know Robert Downey, Jr. is no spring chicken, and he won’t last forever. But, if he’s going to retire from his role as the flagship character of the MCU, fans of the franchise would undoubtedly love one last hurrah from the star – and if he withdrew from the role before that happened, it would be extremely anticlimactic.
Perhaps a fourth movie would finally give the world the Mandarin it deserves – especially now that the Marvel One-Shot movie All Hail the King revealed that he does exist in the MCU.
Now let’s move on to another founding Avengers member.
A Second Hulk Solo Movie
Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, has already had his first solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that was way back in 2008 – and with Edward Norton in the titular role, not Mark Ruffalo. Every single other individual who has had a solo movie to date – Iron Man, Thor and Captain America – have been granted sequels. It’s about time Hulk was given the same treatment.
Rumors of a Hulk sequel have been going the rounds for ages, and fans would love to see this happen in Phase Four. The Hulk is set to appear in Thor: Ragnarok (which will also adapt the Planet Hulk storyline) and the Avengers: Infinity War movies – in highly significant roles – so, hopefully, Marvel Studios will react to the inevitably positive fan response to those appearances and let Hulk fly solo again.
Apparently there are still rights issues between Marvel Studios and Universal, but the Spider-Man scenario has proven that these can be overcome. And while Hulk’s rogues gallery is hardly the most stellar, there are plenty of great Hulk stories to pick from for a sequel. So, maybe, after Planet Hulk the studio should consider a World War Hulk storyline?
Let’s keep this going with another potential solo movie, this one for an Avenger, although this one has yet to have a first solo movie.
A Black Widow Solo Movie
Scarlett Johansson‘s Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, has become one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having first appeared in 2010’s Iron Man 2, she has gone on to appear in both of the Avengers movies and in 2 Captain America ones.
However, the sexy former assassin and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent has been denied a solo movie to date – and that’s a crying shame. She’s an interesting character with a huge fan-base from both the comic books and the movies.
It might be too late for an origin story, but those origins could certainly be explored further in a solo movie. A movie in which the current Natasha delves into her past in the modern day would be something every MCU fan would surely enjoy.
Let’s keep the female theme going with this next entry in this list of rumors.
Captain Marvel 2
The first Captain Marvel movie hasn’t even been released yet and we’re already championing a rumor about a Phase Four sequel? Why? Well because that would mean the first movie had been a success and the idea of more movies based around female superheroes is awesome.
Captain Marvel, in this case, is Carol Danvers – an officer in the United States Air Force who gained spectacular superpowers when a Kree device exploded near her – and her first movie debuts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2019.
A sequel in Phase Four – potentially alongside a Black Widow solo movie – would give the fourth chapter in the MCU a real girl-power feel. It’s about time that happened in the world of superhero movies.
Now it’s time for a rumor about a supernatural character who has already had a solo franchise, but not in the MCU.
A Blade Reboot
Who can forget the excellent trilogy of Blade movies released between 1998 and 2004? 1998’s Blade, 2002’s Blade II and 2004’s Blade: Trinity saw the vampire hunter portrayed brilliantly by Wesley Snipes – and it would be great to see him back on the big screen (sure, we're talking about Blade in here and note about Snipes).
Since the movies, there has also been a television series – 2006’s Blade: The Series starring Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones – that was supposed to be taking place in the same continuity as the movie trilogy, but it really wasn’t that great. Therefore, rumors suggesting that another series might be in the works aren’t particularly welcome.
But Marvel Studios reportedly have a script for another movie – and now that Doctor Strange has taken the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the supernatural/mystical realm, it would be cool to see Blade join the franchise. Sure, maybe the rather violent anti-hero would find a better place for him in a Netflix show. But, then again, Marvel could do wonders with Blade on the big screens as well.
After Blade, here’s a rumor about another supernatural character potentially appearing in the MCU.
A Ghost Rider Reboot
Ghost Rider is another character who, like Blade, has already been given more than one big screen opportunity. Ghost Rider and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, both starring Nicolas Cage in the title role, were released in 2007 and 2011 respectively. Unlike the Blade movies before them, they were terrible.
That’s a damn shame, because Ghost Rider is an awesome character with a lot of great live action potential – and if anyone can get it right in movie form, it’s Marvel Studios.
Rumors of a Ghost Rider reboot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have done the rounds and fans would love it to happen. With Doctor Strange having already opened the gates of the MCU towards supernatural realms, more supernatural characters will follow and we’d love Ghost Rider to be one of them.
Just like Blade, maybe Ghost Rider would be more suited for a Netflix show (especially since he has already appeared in Agents of Shield). However….
And here comes a rumor about a potential super-team acquisition by Marvel Studios.
Marvel Studios Acquire the Fantastic Four
FOR GOODNESS SAKE MARVEL STUDIOS, SAVE THE FANTASTIC FOUR FROM THEIR FOX MOVIE HELL!
Sorry about that, but the fact is that the Fantastic Four need to come home. Marvel’s first family have had a terrible time with their Fox-distributed productions – the 2005 and 2007 movies were bad, but the 2015 reboot was utter garbage – and they deserve to be done justice by the far more capable Marvel Studios.
Ever since their horrendous 2015 movie, rumors have been flying about Marvel Studios’ acquisition of the rights to the Fantastic Four. Wouldn’t it be great to see them introduced in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Characters in the MCU use tech, have acquired powers through laboratory accidents, scientific procedures, experiments with Infinity Stones and radioactive spider bites (finally!), but none through cosmic radiation. So the Fantastic Four would be a unique addition to the franchise – and if they were to bring Doctor Doom with them, he could be awesome as a cross-franchise villain.
And now we move on to some existing MCU characters who are yet to appear on the big screen.
TV Stars Making the Step Up to the Movies
Marvel Cinematic Universe television shows are proving to be extremely popular. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Daredevil and Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage have all been received very well, with The Defenders and The Inhumans and Punisher also set to debut any time now.
By 2019, Marvel’s Netflix shows – Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron First and The Defenders – will have come to an end. It would be awesome if, as rumored, those characters could make the step up to the big screen after that.
In fact, rumors have even suggested they could initially make that leap in the Avengers: Infinity War movies at the end of Phase Three, but a movie dedicated to them in Phase Four would be fantastic.
Now it’s time to move onto a rumor about a new concept that will actually start in Phase Three of the MCU.
More “Buddy Movies”
Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will see the first “buddy movies” of the franchise - 2017's Thor Ragnarok and 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp – and a rumor about Phase Four would suggest that there could be more to come. That would be awesome.
With Spider-Man potentially getting close to Iron Man, Bucky Barnes being kept close to Black Panther, Scarlet Witch and Vision‘s relationship blossoming and various other friendships blooming, there’s every chance more movies with two names in the title could be made in Phase Four.
Daredevil and Spider-Man anyone? War Machine (yeah, we know he's had that accident, but does that even matter?) and Falcon (yeah, we know he can be blamed for War Machine's accident, but does that really matter?)? Black Widow and Hawkeye? Don’t try and tell me you wouldn’t love there to be more movies like that in the MCU’s future!
Time to move on again. This time to a character who has never appeared in a movie.
A Namor Movie
Ever since 2010’s Iron Man 2, when a S.H.I.E.L.D. map had markings indicating important locations around the world was seen on screen, Namor has been rumored to be coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
One of those locations appeared to be in the middle of the ocean, where Namor‘s home of Atlantis is situated, but there’s been absolutely no hint of his arrival since then (which is a shame, as he’d make a great MCU Avenger and could form part of a live action Illuminati).
However, rumors that Phase Four will finally bring him to the MCU have done the rounds in recent times and that would be awesome. He’s a legendary, classic Marvel character that staunch fans of the comic books would welcome to the big screen with open arms. His rights are currently in the air, but Marvel Studios have proven themselves capable of getting around such issues.
Let’s head on to the next page where a rumor about another team potentially getting a movie will discussed.
A Thunderbolts Movie
Prior to the release of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie, director James Gunn spoke about wanting to make a Thunderbolts movie. In relation to that, he said that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige had told him that, if Guardians of the Galaxy performed well, he’d be given free reins to do whatever he wanted.
Guardians of the Galaxy did do well, and this has sparked rumors of a Thunderbolts movie actually happening and, given that one isn’t planned in Phase Three, Phase Four seems like a good potential place for it.
The Thunderbolts come in different forms – all of which would be awesome on the big screen. Sometimes, they’re villains posing as heroes with ulterior motives in mind, sometimes, they’re just dark heroes operating as a black ops unit. The likes of Helmut Zemo and General Ross have put them together in the comic books – and both of those characters exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and with potential team members likes Red Hulk, the Punisher, Venom, the Green Goblin, Man-Thing, Ragnarok and Ghost Rider, they’d be a welcome addition to the franchise.
And now for a rumor about a potentially even more exciting team, consisting of villains only.
The Masters of Evil as Villains
The Avengers could really do with having an outright evil counterpart in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and there are no better examples of that than that Masters of Evil.
Rumors of them appearing in the MCU have been doing the rounds for a while and now, with so many villains loitering in the background, there are rumors that Phase Four could be the time for them to unite to take down the superheroes of the franchise.
Loki, the real Mandarin and the Red Skull (yeah, he’s not dead) are all currently out there, while the likes of the Abomination, the Leader and Helmut Zemo are all incarcerated. These guys, plus a few more, would make for an awesome team to face the Avengers and we’d simply love to see them appear in the fourth phase of the MCU.
Next up, sticking with the team theme, here comes a rumor about a very unorthodox potential movie in the MCU.
Spider-Man 2: Venom
Sure, there are quite a few character that will receive a sequel in Marvel's Phase Four (movies such as Black Panther and Doctor Strange). However, the most interesting prospect comes from Spider-Man, whose Homecoming will be celebrated this year (finally!)
And, as you know, Homecoming is also the comic book issue in which the Symbiote suite makes its first appearance. Now we do know that the Spider-Man: Homecoming producers have said that the MCU won't feature any previously used Spider-Man villains. But Venom isn't exactely a villain, right?
And, of course, the fact that Sony is moving forward with a Venom movie might make you think twice about this rumor.
But Feige should really consider this as an opportunity and give Spider-Man fans what they really want - a Venom appearance in the MCU, followed by a clash with Carnage. That would be bonkers!
A Ka-Zar Movie
Like the Runaways, who are getting their own TV show, Ka-Zar isn't exactly on Marvel’s Hero A-List, but his popularity is such that a movie about him has been suggested in the past – and rumors of one happening during Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe persist to this day.
He's very different from anything seen in the MCU before, which is great, and a movie about him would undoubtedly be interesting. Born Kevin Reginald, Lord Plunder, in Castle Plunder, Kentish Town, London, England, he was orphaned when his mother and father were killed in the Savage Land, which was a hidden tropical region surrounded by volcanoes that was actually deep in…Antarctica. The Savage Land was created by aliens 200 million years ago, and was the home of some weird and wonderful creatures. The boy was found and raised by the sabretooth tiger Zabu (who possessed near-human intelligence thanks to a mutation caused by radioactive mists).
He’s an expert hunter, trapper, and fisherman, who lives off the wild land, and he has encountered many more orthodox Marvel characters on numerous occasions (the X-Men, Magneto, Thanos, Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus, and Daredevil, for example). Introducing Ka-Zar – and indeed the Savage Land – to MCU audiences would be pretty damn spectacular.
The rumored possibility of an elite group of superheroes assembling in Phase Four will now be discussed.
The Illuminati will Appear
The Illuminati are an elite group of Marvel’s finest superheroes, who come together to work behind the scenes to eliminate major threats to Earth before they actually happen.
They have been rumored to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for some time, but a number of factors make it look like an appearance in Phase Four could be a possibility – and that would be really cool.
The first reason it looks possible is that characters who have been in the Illuminati in the comic books are growing in number in the MCU. Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain America, Bruce Banner and Hank Pym already exist in the franchise, while the likes of Doctor Strange and Black Bolt are on their way (the latter in a TV show, but that doesn't really mean anything on the long run). The second reason is that the imminent attack by Thanos will make the MCU’s heroes more wary of cosmic threats, and they may form the Illuminati in the wake of the Avengers: Infinity War movies to prevent such things happening again.
And now we look at the rumor of the possibility of a move based on a huge comic book event.
A Secret Invasion Movie
Secret Invasion was a 2008 comic book event that saw the Skrulls, having captured and studied members of Earth’s aforementioned Illuminati, invading the Earth disguised as deceased/captured superheroes (using their shape-shifting powers) and attempting to take over in the wake of their home planet’s destruction.
It would make an awesome event in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as certain heroes in the franchise could act progressive sketchy through Phase Four, until the impostors finally revealed themselves in time for a final battle between Skrulls and heroes.
It is rumored as one possible story for Phase Four, but the rights issues with Skrulls could be a problem. However, as Marvel Studios have proven with Spider-Man, anything is possible, so don’t rule it out – it would be awesome, after all!
And finally we move on to a villain who would be awesome to see as Phase Four’s big-bad.
Kang the Conqueror as a Villain
When a franchise has built-up its big-bad over the course of three different phases that span eleven years (2008-2019) and more than twenty movies, that big-bad is going to be a hard act to follow. When Thanos is finally defeated after the second Avengers: Infinity War movie (we know it isn't called like that, but it is essentially the second part of the Infinity War), only a handful of villains are worthy of taking his place.
Step forward, Kang the Conqueror.
Kang the Conqueror is Nathaniel Richards – a genius who is a distant relation of both Reed Richards and Doctor Doom, born in the 30th century. He becomes a time-travelling supervillain with a suit of armor that is absolutely teeming with extremely high-tech gadgets that make technology in the “current” Marvel timeline look categorically antique. All of this adds up to an incredible live action villain. He’d be different from any villain the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen before – far more intelligent and possessing much more advanced tech. He would present a new kind of threat to the likes of the Avengers and their allies.
The problems with introducing Kang are twofold, however. First, he is currently not owned by Marvel Studios (although that isn’t impossible to overcome, as we know) and, second, movies with plots featuring time-travel risk not being allowed in China if they’re too elaborate – and China is a big part of any comic book movie’s global market. He’s too interesting to ignore, though, and rumors of his introduction as a potential big-bad in Phase Four persist to this day. Do it, Marvel Studios! Just do it!
And that’s all, folks! We hope you enjoyed our list!
What do you think? Would you like to see these things happen in MCU Phase Four? What else would you like to see? Have your say below!