Thoughts on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

SPOILERS AHEAD! ONLY READ IF YOU ARE CAUGHT UP ON LOKI. O.k. now with that out of the way, Loki has finished its six episode series and it had huge ramifications for phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and now nothing is canon, everything is fluid. We saw the emergence of a version of Kang the Conqueror, named He Who Remains, as he told Loki and Sylvie the possibly consequences if they were to kill him and the rewards if they were just to take over.

Of course, Sylvie full of anger and revenge, plunged her sword into the heart of He Who Remains and we immediately saw the Sacred Timeline start branching into many different timelines. So what does this mean? Well this would explain how certain villains are going to be able to make an appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home, such as the confirmed Doctor Octopus and Electro, with Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx both returning to the roles. While both characters died in the Sony Spider-Man movies, both are able to return because they are part of a different, different timelines. Certain toys that have been released confirm that Doctor Strange is also appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home, with a special new suit for Spider-Man featuring new magical features. Which will lead us to Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and whatever he needs to take on with or against Wanda Maximoff, who we last saw become a fully fledged Scarlet Witch, one of the most powerful beings in the universe. We knew Kang the Conqueror was going to be a villain in the MCU, with Jonathan Majors being cast in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantunmania, but after Loki, he is set up now as the new big bad for the foreseeable future.

So with all these new timelines, again, what does this all really mean? Well for starters, again, nothing is canon, anything we knew as truth can be changed. As we saw in Loki, there are many versions of all characters, with at least 6 different versions of Loki appearing in the show, Frog Thor making a tiny (pun intended) cameo, and the appearance of Thanos’s helicopter, among other things. Which means Marvel and Disney could recast any character that we have been introduced to so far in the MCU. This could also be the way they introduce the X-Men into the MCU, who currently do not exist on Earth-199999, but we were teased in WandaVision with X-Men actor Evan Peters appearing as “Pietro Maximoff”, Wanda’s dead brother, after having played a version of the character in the Fox movies. Could we see Hugh Jackman return as Wolverine and he takes on Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk? Or he takes on Edward Norton’s version of The Hulk? Is this how we get the Fantastic Four, who’s logo was teased in a promo welcoming fans back to the movie theaters? The door has been left wide open for so many new stories, new characters, the recasting of characters. Imagine if Terrence Howard returned to the MCU as James Rhodes, finally donning the War Machine suit he teased in Iron Man in 2008. Earlier this week we got a video of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool reviewing his new movie, Free Guy, with Taika Watiti’s Korg from Thor: Ragnarok, thus officially putting Deadpool in the MCU.

I could go and on with what ifs for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, all the stories at their disposal. We now know there is a Multiverse, and any number of actors could play the same character across each ‘verse. We are getting a taste of possibilities with Marvels “What It” series on Disney+, but after the multiverse event in Loki, all those stories are canon, just not to Earth-199999. Kevin Feige has made sure he is not constrained by the stories told so far, the door being wide open to every old and newly created stories for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kevin Feige has truly been burdened with glorious purpose, and how glorious has he help make Marvel. The future is bright and unpredictable now, for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If the last thirteen years of Marvel Movies has taught is anything, its these two things: Trust in Kevin Feige, and expected the unexpected and the unexpected from that.

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