Fourteen movies in, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting closer to the end of the story that began with the first Iron Man flick. Thanos will soon have his Infinity Gauntlet, and nobody will be able to stop him. It’s like watching a TV show, a story told over the course of nine long years, with all of the main characters fully developed - I guess I understand now why the MCU's villains are so poorly sketched.
But there are still eight movies to go until the third phase of the MCU ends with the fourth Avengers movie. Black Panther, Spider-Man, Thor, Captain Marvel, Ant-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy are all coming our way. And, given the quality of the MCU movies that have been released so far, you can bet that everybody is extremely excited about what these superheroes will do next.
And how is this excitement expressed? Via the almost-daily rumors that are popping up on the web. If you want to check out the hottest and most believable rumors, keep on reading - but be careful! There may be major spoilers here!
It's called Homecoming for a reason"¦
After Sony's disastrous Amazing Spider-Man franchise, the web-crawler finally returned home to Marvel, debuting in Captain America: Civil War. Sure, it was something like an extended cameo - but it was a cameo that had comic book movie fans cheering. This year, he’s starring in his own solo movie (with Iron Man/Tony Stark, who is still the face of the MCU).
And, obviously, the movie is called Spider-Man: Homecoming - since, well, Peter Parker has returned and is finally a part of the Avengers. However, the rumor says that this title also hints at the appearance of another supervillain, one who was very poorly handled in the original Spider-Man trilogy: Venom.
And that’s because the Homecoming comic also introduced the symbiote suit - which bonded later with Eddie Brock to become Venom. Of course, as the rumor says, the fan-favorite villain won't appear in the MCU this year (why rush things?). Instead, Spider-Man: Homecoming will drop the first hints of his existence, and Venom will appear in the sequel.
What do you think? That Disney hasn't planned the sequel just yet?
Peter Dinklage as Pip the Troll?
Peter Dinklage appeared as Bolivar Trask in the X-Men franchise’s Days of Future Past, but he was severely underused. So when it was rumored that the Game of Thrones star was in talks to have a consistent role in the MCU, the internet exploded.
Fans said that he'd make a great MODOK or Pip the Troll. Pics have surfaced on the web that showed the actor having his hair dyed fiery red. So it became pretty clear that he would be playing Pip the Troll, who has an important role in the Infinity War aftermath.
Other fans sparked the rumor that he will be Pip the Troll, but with a twist. His role in the Avengers movies will be greatly enhanced, since his character will also create the Infinity Gauntlet eventually worn by Thanos (yes, there are two of them). So, Peter Dinklage will play a combination of Pip the Troll and Eitri the King of Dwarves.
And since we are talking about Pip"¦
This is a character who needs to appear in the Infinity War!
James Gunn said that there were no Adam Warlock Easter-Eggs in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but fans are pretty certain that the Collector had Warlock's cocoon in his collection. This rumor has been out there since before Guardians of the Galaxy was released. While Civil War was still shooting, multiple reports said that Magus was being cast in the Infinity War - and since Magus is the evil expelled from Adam Warlock"¦
Here’s something else: Ayesha will be the main antagonist in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2. And since she is Adam Warlock’s clone-sister"¦
As said, this is just speculation. However, I wouldn't mention it if there were no possibility that these rumors might be true. As far as I’m concerned, it wouldn’t be surprising if Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 dropped the first real and palpable hint that Adam Warlock exists.
I won't be surprised - but I will be very, very happy!
And speaking of female villains"¦
Hela is Death
Do you remember the last time the MCU gave us an awesome and compelling female antagonist? Right"¦Based on this alone, it would be a wasted opportunity to have Cate Blanchett end up being just another forgettable villain. So maybe Marvel and Disney have bigger plans for her, plans that can be expanded into more than just a movie.
Furthermore, we still don't know Thanos' reasons for going after the Infinity Stones. In the comics, he wants to destroy the universe to impress Death, with whom he is infatuated. Could this also be the reason in the MCU? It may be - in his first MCU appearance, Thanos smirks when the Other tells him that challenging the Avengers would mean courting Death"¦
Since it’s too late in the story for abstract entities to be introduced, the rumor says that Hela will also be Death in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From a certain point of view, this would explain the Mad Titan's obsession with her.
Plus, it would make Hela even more powerful - and don’t we all want Thor: Ragnarok to feature a real villain for a change?
Black Panther and the beginning of the War
Black Panther is the final MCU movie before the Infinity War, and fans are asking themselves why Kevin Feige said that the movie would mark the beginning of Thanos' war. Of course, Wakanda is one of the most advanced countries in the MCU, and it’s also the richest in Vibranium (the metal that’s also the source of its technological advances). So it would make sense for the Mad Titan to strike here first.
But there is another possibility. In total, we know the locations of five Infinity Stones - the Tesseract, or Space Stone (guarded in Asgard); the Aether, or Reality Stone (in the Collector's possession); the Orb, or Power Stone (guarded by the Nova Corps on Xandar); the Mind Stone (etched on Vision's forehead); and the Eye of Agamotto, or the Time Stone (used by Doctor Strange). And there is still the Soul Stone. So could Thanos have two reasons for attacking Wakanda first?
Among all of the rumors on this list, this is the thinnest - but it should be taken into consideration.
Of course, the Soul Stone could appear in another movie"¦
Everybody wants Ragnarok to bring the destruction of Asgard as we know it. This means that Earth will be all alone (well, not exactly, since the Guardians of the Galaxy will arrive) when the Mad Titan arrives.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Everybody knows that Hela is the movie’s main antagonist, even though other villains will also appear (for example, Karl Urban's Skurge). And Hela is a powerful Asgardian, the Goddess of Death, ruler of Hel. And Hel is populated with the spirits of the dead.
Basically, Hela commands the legions who have died, except for the heroic Asgardians and humans. So it isn't hard to believe that she possesses a powerful artifact with which she can control all of these spirits. In other words, the rumor says that the last Infinity Stone, the Soul Stone, will appear in Thor: Ragnarok. And it makes sense, even if Hela is the MCU's Death.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2's Thor
James Gunn has said plenty of times that no Avenger will cameo in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. With Vol. 2 waiting to be released in just a couple of months, this may be true. However, the director did post an interesting pic on his Instagram account in the summer of 2016. In it, he’s holding Mjolnir - as we already know, Thor won't have his weapon for the better part of Thor: Ragnarok.
So what does this mean? Could we see the God of Thunder cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2? This is a strong possibility. But, at the same time, maybe it won't happen. After all, the first Guardians of the Galaxy dropped quite a few Easter-Eggs - including one about the existence of the Korbinites"¦
Come to think of it, this rumor makes sense, after all. Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 is about four months away from release - we'll find out then.
This is one of the freshest rumors - Quicksilver will return in the MCU. And this will happen as soon as the Infinity War arrives. There are plenty of ways the character could cameo, but the most credible one is via visions.
The rumor says that Scarlet Witch will be given a taste of her own medicine once Thanos reaches Earth. As one of the most powerful Avengers, and one of the most unstable, the Mad Titan will want to take her out as soon as possible. And since she can’t control her emotions, what better way to incapacitate her than by messing with her mind?
As she did with the Avengers in Age of Ultron. I can see this happening, with Scarlet Witch losing her mind in the end (and revealing another great possibility).
The fourth Avengers movie, scheduled for 2019, is also Phase 3’s last movie. Can we expect to see the same team in Phase 4, as well?
No. We cannot.
The change is happening as we speak, even as some of the older superheroes (such as Iron Man and Black Widow) are popping up all over the place in the MCU. The actors, unlike the characters they portray, do get older. Sometimes they want to do something other than playing the same hero again and again.
RDJ has renegotiated his contract multiple times since 2008 - but I guess he won't do that any longer. Other actors are nearing the end of theirs. And we’ve already seen those who will replace them - with Benedict Cumberbatch already being called the new face of the MCU.
So this is not a rumor, but a certainty.
Thanos' Black Order
While I've had it with the disposable armies in the comic book movie shared universes, this one might be different. This rumor has appeared since an Infinity War became the logical conclusion of the first three Marvel Cinematic Universe phases. And now it has become hotter, with the most recent cast list leaked online.
Sure, like anything on this list, it should be taken with a grain of salt - but Thanos' Black Order is supposed to appear in the MCU. Black Dwarf, Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight, and Supergiant are expected to target the individual Avengers and bring the Mad Titan closer to his ultimate victory.
We can expect an announcement to be made any day now"¦any day now.