Who Will Be the Next Avengers To Leave the MCU In Phase 4?

In Avengers: Endgame, we lost three of the Original Avengers: Natasha Romanoff and Tony Stark died, and Steve Rogers went back in time and lived out his life. The latter two are, effectively, out of the MCU. So who’s next to depart in the upcoming fourth phase? Here are the contenders.

‘Black Widow’ will conclude the character’s run

Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner
(L-R) Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner | Kevin Mazur/MTV1415/WireImage

Scarlett Johansson has portrayed Black Widow since she first appeared in 2010’s Iron Man 2. The length of her initial contract is unknown, but we can assume it only guaranteed she’d be around through Endgame. Now, she’s kicking off Phase 4 with Black Widow, which arrives in May 2020.

So will that be it for Natasha? In all likelihood, yes. Johansson’s career outside of the MCU has only picked up pace over the years. What’s more, since the character is deceased, it’s only possible to include her in shows and films that are also prequels. We think the MCU is looking to move forward, so it’s almost definite that this is Johansson’s farewell to the character.

Hawkeye will likely exit in his series

Like Johansson, Jeremy Renner was the only one of the OG Avengers to not get any of his own movies. What’s more, he’s had an even smaller role than her throughout. Hawkeye “retired” and then returned in Endgame, and is now getting his own series, Hawkeye, on Disney+.

The caveat here is that the plot will see Renner pass the torch to a new Hawkeye (possibly played by Hailee Steinfeld). This series isn’t due out until Fall 2021 and they haven’t even started filming. But given the recent press surrounding Renner, we have a feeling they’re looking to write him out swiftly, so expect Clint Barton to actually retire this time.

Is ‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ the end for those heroes?

The first Disney+ Marvel series to begin production is Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprising their roles as Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. Both have been in several Marvel films as side characters, but now Sam is the new Captain America, they’re thrust into the forefront.

Thus far, we know nothing about the longevity of these Disney+ shows, though many expect them to be limited series. If that’s the case, are Mackie and Stan out of the MCU? We have a feeling that though they likely won’t be getting their own films anytime soon, they may be appearing in other planned big-screen projects.

‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ could be the last we see of Thor

Given that he’s a god (er, demi-god), Thor has longevity that many of the other characters don’t. Like Cap and Iron Man, he got three movies, and it sort of seemed like his arc was done. In fact, he passed his own torch as King of Asgard onto Valkyrie. So what’s left to be done?

The problem is that fans loved Thor: Ragnarok so much that they had to bring in director Taika Waititi to do another. This film will see Natalie Portman’s Jane taking on the Thor mantle. It looks like Hemsworth’s hero will be present, but we can’t imagine there’ll be too much for him to do. It’s kind of a strange exit for the character, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Where is Bruce Banner?

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The last of the OG Avengers is Bruce Banner, who also sometimes goes by the moniker “Hulk.” Mark Ruffalo‘s character had a strange trajectory: He appeared in one solo film (when he was played by Edward Norton), and then joined the team-up flicks (with a special appearance in Thor: Ragnarok).

In Endgame, the man and the beast become one, often referred to as Professor Hulk. The character appears to be in a good place at the end, but we really have no idea what’s next for him. Will he appear in the upcoming She-Hulk Disney+ series? It sort of seems like Ruffalo’s left the building.