After the epic, universe-ending stakes of the Infinity Saga, Marvel Studios knew it would have to go in a very different direction. After all, once half the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been destroyed and then resurrected, where could Phase 4 go? As it turns out, one answer is the introduction of multiple superpowered teams. And Disney+ series Ms. Marvel takes steps in that direction.
‘Ms. Marvel’ reportedly sets up the 2023 film ‘The Marvels’
The new series — which debuted on Disney+ in June 2022 — stars newcomer Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, an Avengers fangirl with dreams of being a superhero herself. Naturally, she soon develops superpowers of her own. And as MCU fans know by now, Vellani will reprise her role in 2023’s The Marvels, the long-awaited sequel to 2019’s $1 billion hit Captain Marvel.
Directed by Nia DaCosta, The Marvels will center on the titular superhero team. Oscar winner Brie Larson will return as Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, alongside Vellani’s Ms. Marvel and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, who developed powers of her own in WandaVision. Although Ms. Marvel keys up this future partnership, the MCU has grander plans at play.
The MCU’s Phase 4 introduces several possible team-ups
Early on in Phase 4, Marvel head Kevin Feige confirmed the MCU’s plans to create closer ties between its Disney+ shows and its films. So if fans have been closely following which characters have been introduced, it’s clear a number of options are in the cards. Most notably, a Young Avengers lineup is starting to take shape, with Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) among those leveling up.
But there’s also the possibility for Midnight Sons, a supernatural team, to emerge. The introduction of characters like Moon Knight (Oscar Isaac) and Blade (Mahershala Ali) means Marvel could be cooking something a lot darker. Even the Illuminati now (kind of) exist within the MCU. Then, there are the Eternals, who headlined their own film in 2021. But as Ms. Marvel paves a direct route to one team, the rest of the Disney+ shows are laying track for something else.
‘Thunderbolts’ is reportedly in the works as a Phase 4 movie
For a while, fans have been speculating that the MCU could introduce the Thunderbolts into the mix. For those unfamiliar, the team is comprised of various supervillains who emerge in the absence of an active Avengers lineup. Given the state of the MCU right now, the franchise seems primed and ready for such a project. Ms. Marvel even highlights the lack of a current Avengers team. Now, as Deadline reported, a Thunderbolts movies is officially in the works.
Most likely, this is the team for which Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is out there recruiting folks like John Walker, aka U.S. Agent (Wyatt Russell). The potential lineup could also include established characters like Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl), the Abomination (Tim Roth), Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), and Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), all of whom are members at one point in the comics.