The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn't done with the Avengers, but that doesn't mean that fans should expect more of the same.
Speaking with MTV News at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, studio boss Kevin Feige revealed that Mighty Marvel indeed has plans for its flagship superhero team moving forward, but that said team will look quite a bit different from what we're used to.
This shouldn't come as too big of a shock, because in terms of brand recognition, the Avengers name is without equal in the world of mainstream film.
Each of the four films that have been released so far with that word in the title have grossed over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office.
The Infinity Saga-culminating Avengers: Endgame even became the all-time box office champion, surpassing the decade-old record previously held by James Cameron's Avatar.
According to Feige, a new iteration of the Avengers is on the horizon, but it's not likely to feature many, if any, revamped versions of heroes we're familiar with.
The King Geek was asked point-blank by MTV News if he and the rest of the Marvel Studios brain trust know what the next Avengers team will look like, and he replied, "Yes."
After a lengthy pause, Feige continued, "It will be a very different team than what we've seen before, that's what Endgame was all about.“
"It will be a very different incarnation of the team, with some people you've already met, and some people you haven't met yet."
Whatever form this team eventually takes, it seems safe to say that we won't see another proper Avengers film for quite some time, considering that the entirety of Marvel's Phase 4 slate was announced during the studio's rapturously received Comic-Con panel.
And there was nary a giant team-up flick to be found.
There may be a few clues, however, hidden in the details we know so far about Phase 4 and beyond.
First, it's been revealed that two prominent characters will be getting their introductions by way of standalone solo flicks in the coming years.
One during Phase 4, and one during Phase 5.
February 12th, 2021, will see the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which will introduce audiences worldwide to the legendary Master of Kung Fu, along with… drumroll please… the actual Mandarin!
"You want something?"
"Although, the guns are all fake because the- wouldn't trust me with the real ones."
We said the actual Mandarin!
Get outta here, Trevor!
Marvel hopes that the flick with its mostly Asian cast and behind-the-camera talent will be the kind of paradigm-shifting event that 2018's Black Panther proved to be.
And if this works like we all know it probably will, the character would be a fine inclusion in team-up films in the future.
In the comics, Shang-Chi, although he has no superpowers for most of his heroic career, is among the finest unarmed combatants in existence, more than capable of going toe-to-toe with superpowered opponents.
Phase 5 will bring us the solo vehicle for that deadly, smack-talking half human-half vampire Blade, who was portrayed by Wesley Snipes in the successful film trilogy of the late '90s and early 2000s.
In the MCU, the "daywalker" will be played by two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, and it seems unlikely that Marvel would cast an actor of that caliber without having some pretty big plans for the future.
Save for those two additions to some potential super squad… well, who knows?
Feige suggested to MTV News that, though there may never be another culmination of a decade-long arc like Endgame, that doesn't mean that the future of the MCU won't play host to some thrilling events.
He elaborated: "That's what I love about the Marvel comic method of storytelling."
"I love things that build up, they build to a crescendo, they all get together, they separate, they change."
"And now that we get to do that, not just in movies but on these mega-event series on Disney+, it's just invigorated all of us at Marvel Studios to keep going."
Feige and company certainly haven't steered us wrong so far, and like you, we can't wait to see what they have in store for us in the years ahead.
It'll be interesting to see whether Marvel can make household names out of some relatively lesser-known characters yet again, which is almost certainly the plan, and we wouldn't bet against them.
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