Is ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ the End of MCU Phase 3?

The phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe almost seem lopsided of late considering Phase 3 obviously overflowed in popularity compared to the previous two. While many MCU fans will argue this isn’t necessarily the case, it’s arguably going to be impossible to top the influence Phase 3 had on pop culture and awards season.

It turns out the Spider-Man franchise has become the anchor or bridge on where the next phase goes. Some MCU fans think upcoming Far From Home should be a fitting finale to the third phase.

From all indications, it definitely will be considered part of the third. This give us some clues whether the eventual new phase will be equal in value through the early 2020s.

Tom Holland
Tom Holland | Mat Hayward/Getty Images

Is ‘Far From Home’ really a finale to the third phase?

From a Marvel fan’s perspective, this July’s Far From Home would be a perfect postscript to Avengers: Endgame. Considering it takes place immediately after the events of Endgame, there may be consideration of it being an honorary part of the third phase.

Marvel fully intends to consider it third phase canon. You can see why when it’s considered a new (and tragic) start for Peter Parker. Now that we know his mentor, Tony Stark, is dead, Parker trying to find his way in a new superhero universe is already haunting.

There really isn’t a better way to start off a new phase because it sends the message things have rebooted, yet opening a new door to younger superheroes not yet thoroughly explored.

One constant to keep these young superheroes in line is Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who now becomes Parker’s new senior mentor…reluctantly.

What kicks off Phase Four then?

No official announcements have been made on when Phase Four officially starts. The only thing most of us know is a Black Widow movie with Scarlett Johansson is already in production.

Would that be an auspicious start to Phase Four, or just a slow buildup? When you look back to the previous MCU phases, almost all of them started off modestly. The first two phases kicked off with Iron Man and Iron Man 3, respectively. Phase Three had Captain America: Civil War first, then escalated to unparalleled heights during the summer and fall last year.

Fortunately, Spider-Man: Homecoming became a middle buffer between the tidal wave of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Black Panther. It’s more than possible this will happen again if there’s another SpiderMan movie for Phase Four amid an onslaught of sequels.

Let’s hope Phase Four isn’t entirely a sequel retread

Chances are good the majority of the films for Phase Four will either be entirely or mostly sequels from movies we saw in the last two phases. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is currently in pre-production, plus Black Panther 2. Whether we’ll see more Ant-Man movies is still up in the air, and most think the rest of the movies will be introducing newer/younger superheroes.

Setting up a new phase like this won’t be an easy task, even if Phase Three gave a lot of good guideposts on how to go about organizing the films so they make sense on a narrative level.

More than a few MCU fans appreciate finally seeing a woman in the lead for one of the MCU films. Since Endgame also created an alternate universe, we could even see reverse gender superhero realities eventually, like Spider-Woman.

In the meantime, it looks more than likely Tom Holland will slowly fill the shoes of the late Tony Stark and try to live up to his greatness. He may be the one who becomes the new “father figure” of future phases if Holland stays with the role into middle-age.