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MCU Phase 4 (+ Phase 5 teases)
Posted: Posted July 26th by white lancer
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Anyone catch these announcements at San Diego Comic Con? Because man, they were a doozy. I didn't really expect to be surprised by much in the schedule going forward, given how many rumors were floating around, but I was definitely wrong. The full Phase 4 slate that's been announced, with what minor details we know about each project (minor SPOILERS for coming films--mainly confirmed villains and the like--as well as maybe for released films like Endgame:

May 1, 2020 - Black Widow

As expected, this one's the farthest one along and is the next one on the slate. I thought originally it was going to be an origin story detailing the Red Room, or perhaps the whole Budapest mission, but it sounds like it might be post-Civil War instead. Sounds like it'll feature multiple other Black Widows, as well as Taskmaster. I still think this one feels either irrelevant or misplaced--while Natasha definitely deserved a solo film, it feels like it should have happened much earlier or not at all--and it seems like a strange choice to kick off the next phase with a prequel. Obviously still going to watch it, though, and if it is set in the not-too-distant past at least we should get some characters that could be relevant moving forward. No word yet on if Hawkeye or any other Avengers are going to be making appearances.

Fall 2020 - The Falcon and the Winter Soldier TV series

This is one of the ones that I'm most excited to see. Sam Wilson is more than worthy to have his own series, especially given how he ended Endgame, and Bucky's barely been developed as a character thus far in the MCU. They also had an entertaining dynamic in Civil War that I'm interested in seeing continue. Will be interesting to see how they hook Bucky back into the hero business, given that he had supposedly had enough of war, but I imagine it might involve the return of the man who framed him, Helmut Zemo, as the main antagonist. Sam in particular is a good candidate to head up the Earth-side of the MCU alongside Spider-Man, and if the Avengers still exist as an organization he's bound to be heavily involved. Would be cool to see Rhodey or Banner or others turn up here for an episode or so, too, so we know what the hell they're up to during this Phase.

November 6, 2020 - The Eternals

Also as expected, this is the second film in 2020. Again, it seems like a strange choice to help lead the next phase, given how little it's connected to the established MCU. My personal theory is that this release date would have been the third Guardians film if it weren't for the controversy, but I imagine they wanted to have a film representing the cosmic MCU come out in 2020 and this one was the farthest along. I'm not all that interested in this one, but I wasn't all that interested in Guardians and it won me over, so we'll definitely see. You definitely can't quibble with the cast, which includes Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, and Richard Madden.

February 12, 2021 - Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

This is the new hero that I'm probably most excited about, given my bias towards less "overpowered" heroes--I can see myself really digging an MCU martial arts flick. Maybe they can make up for Iron Fist...and for those who were disappointed by Iron Man 3's twist, it'll redeem that as well by bringing in the real Mandarin. I think it's really cool that they're still digging in to some of the lore established way back in their first two Phases--it really makes it feel like they care about the material they have.

Spring 2021 - WandaVision and Loki TV series

I'm not in love with the idea of bringing Vision back, because (Snap aside) I kinda prefer that dead characters stay dead to maintain the impact of death. That said, at least there's the whole android thing that means it's reasonable for Vision to be reformed, and this is a good opportunity to explore the bare-bones Wanda and Vision relationship. Much cooler is the news that Monica Rambeau will feature in this series as an adult (and presumably as a hero in her own right).

The Loki series will focus on the 2012 Loki that escaped with the Tesseract, as expected. Like Black Widow, it seems a little unnecessary in that it feels unlikely to have much of a wider impact, but the character's still fun and I expect this'll be an entertaining ride at least.

May 21, 2021 - Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

What a wild title. I love it. Doctor Strange himself has never been my favorite leading hero in the MCU, but I do think his first film was underrated and it sounds like they're ready to get really weird with this one. It's being billed as the MCU's first horror film, but presumably more Lovecraft than Saw. And my favorite part: Wanda Maximoff is going to be involved. She and Strange are a, well, strange mix personality-wise, but their powers seem like a cool fit. This is also the clearest opportunity for Marvel to make good on its Disney+ shows having a direct impact on the films. I've always loved these two- or three-hero team-up films, so this is one of the ones I'm most looking forward to.

Summer 2021 - What If...?

A look at alternate realities/multiverses about what might have happened had certain things been different, such as if Peggy Carter had gotten the Super Soldier serum instead of Steve. Seems like another lightweight, fun series without many wider implications, much like Loki. It'll be animated and should feature the original actors doing voiceovers (including ones that are done with live-action projects like Chris Evans).

Fall 2021 - Hawkeye

2021's gonna be pretty packed with these Disney+ shows, I guess. This one should be pretty cool, a good way to give Clint a sendoff maybe? I had wondered if perhaps they would have the next Hawkeye be Clint's oldest daughter, but given that she wasn't aged up in Endgame it makes sense that they're going with him training Kate Bishop as his replacement instead.

November 5, 2021 - Thor: Love and Thunder

I'm pretty surprised this one's coming before the next Guardians, given that it seems like only a month ago we had no idea that Thor was even going to get a forth film. Some really interesting things about this one: Valkyrie will be returning (which seemed like it might not happen given that Thor's in space and she's on earth), as will Jane Foster. I don't know that anyone was really clamoring for Jane's return, but maybe Waititi will be able to reform the character...particularly since it seems like she's going to develop some Asgardian powers herself, much like the comics. The Waititi/Hemsworth combo was a winning one in Ragnarok, so I'm definitely looking forward to this one. No word yet as to whether the Guardians will be involved in any capacity.

That might be the entirety of Phase 4--it's apparently going to consist of just two years. Feige mentioned that there were 11 movies/Disney+ shows in Phase 4, though, which means we may be missing one. Odds are good that that's the third Spider-Man film (Homesick? Homeless? Home Alone?), which would be marketed by Sony and thus wouldn't be mentioned in the Marvel panel, or maaaaaaybe an Avengers film or other large team-up since there haven't been any of those announced for Phase 4 just far...not sure where they would fit that into the schedule, though.

Additionally, Feige basically confirmed the following are in the works, presumably for Phase 5: Black Panther 2, Guardians 3, Captain Marvel 2, Fantastic Four, and Blade. The first three were basically confirmed already, and the only surprise is that they're skipping Phase 4, but those last two are pretty huge announcements. I haven't seen any of the Fantastic Four flicks, and the reviews haven't encouraged me to do so, but I'd be pretty stoked to see how the MCU handled them (and, while Feige mentioned mutants, it sounds like they're likely coming before any of the X-Men...aside maaaaaybe from Deadpool). And from the looks of it, Blade wasn't originally in Feige & Co's plans at all...until Mahershala Ali contacted them about the possibility. Ali is fantastic and I'm stoked for any film he leads (side note: I wonder if he's a comic book fan? Between this and Luke Cage and Into the Spider-Verse...).

Besides X-Men, there are some other possibilities for Phase 5. There's no word yet on another Avengers-style big team-up, but I think we can assume one will come given that they basically print money (congrats to Endgame for finally surpassing Avatar's total, btw). If the third Spider-Man doesn't turn up in Phase 4, it'll show up in 5 (with possibilities for a fourth MCU Spidey film if Sony continues to play nice--they've pumped those out pretty quickly since they made that deal, plus there's going to be at least some incentive to get Miles Morales in the mix). There's gotta be some chance of a third Ant-Man and the Wasp storyline, especially since it would be a shame to develop Hope and Janet as heroes in one film and then just never follow up on it again (plus, the possibility of Cassie as Stature). And the Disney+ shows going forward could be virtually anything, while characters like Kate Bishop and Vision will have to make their impact on the films eventually.

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Black Widow:

I think part of this might turn into a "passing of the torch" story, given that it sounds like there are other Black Widows (or basically, other people trained in the same way and could take on the role). Black Widow really got done wrong in Endgame, and kinda by Marvel Studios generally. Sneakily one of the most important characters, she never ever really got the focus she deserved, culminating in a wholly unsatisfying ending complete with a total snub from the entire crew of characters *in universe*! I imagine they might examine the Red Room or Budapest. I think they could utilize some flashbacks, maybe. Taskmaster is an interesting choice for a villain.

The Falcon & Winter Soldier:

Sadly, anything that is on Disney+ is not gonna be something I will watch, so if anyone plans on getting Disney+, let me know how it is. I'm interested because Bucky is maybe the character who got shafted the most in the adaptation process. (Seriously, he's so much more plot device than character.) I kinda hope they tackle the difficulties of stepping into the Captain America role. I might even appreciate if they tease the possibility of Bucky someday taking the mantle. Though I do like Captain Falcon more and makes more sense in the film/television universe (Bucky was a better Cap in the comics, but he was prominently featured and developed there.)

The Eternals:

I'm a little tired of hearing takes that involve "risky" properties they are exploring. Without doubt, the Eternals is going to be the least heard of comic they'll adapt. It'll be interesting to see what they do with it. Especially since they've teased their backstory in Guardians. The cast is amazing. And they tapped Chloe Zhao to direct, which is kind of amazing, and also a bit depressing. (Starting to get a little...fatigued...with the way Disney is hoarding properties and creative talent to make Hollywood blockbusters. I'd much rather see what Zhao would make on her own, especially after The Rider, than see her adapt a superhero comic book movie. Hopefully she gets a good deal to make whatever she wants after this. I *hope* that's how it will work with Disney edging closer and closer to a total monopoly on American cinema.)

I suspect you're right about Guardians 3 probably having been slotted there. But I do think they had been thinking the Eternals for some time. They could have gone with any number of cosmic-based series (like they definitely could have done Nova, which is way more recognized and already has its roots in the MCU), but they chose Eternals. Regardless, I think I'll probably evolve to be much more interested in the cosmic movies than the earth-based ones. I kinda took that arc with the comics too (although lately I only read Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, and Batman as far as superhero comics go).

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

I tend to be more into the C-tier of Marvel heroes, to be honest. So this is right up my ally. Anything based more on martial arts lends itself to greater potential for action in my opinion. That said, I am a little nervous because I don't think Marvel really frames action very well. I would *love* for them to make this like a Hong Kong action flick. Shoot it like Jackie Chan would shoot his films: set the camera up, keep it steady, show us the fights. No rapid inter-cutting. No shaky cam. Don't lean so heavily on CGI. I don't really trust Marvel to do that, though. But here's hoping! It's a little disappointing to me that they're only just starting to get back to the Iron Man story they retconned in a one-shot special feature. This, to me, is the movie that definitely proves they're mostly just making it up as they go, and that there's nothing wrong with that!

WandaVision & Loki

Again, Disney+ means I won't be able to see it. See, we're talking superheroes so I totally am fine with dead characters coming back (it's literally been a trope for decades - superheroes are soap operas for kids, at their core, and I'm all for leaning into that). And especially given how pitifully used Vision was in the Avengers films, I would like to see him actually be a character or get some exploration. I really don't like the name, but I suspect that there will be elements of House of M mixed with elements of Tom King's run on Vision. I have a sneaking feeling that the big gist of the show will involve, to some degree, how much of it is "real."

As for Loki, I just kinda don't care. I'm not entirely sure what the point is. We're following a different Loki than the one everyone loved post-Avengers. So either they're going to literally repeat the same arc, or they're going to just spend the whole time retconning the arc people enjoyed and replacing it with an almost certainly less-great one. Feels like a waste of time. Will be glad to skip this one, as much as I love Tom Hiddleston.

Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

I've heard that they're going to lean in more with some of the more horror-based elements of the comics. That would be great! That said, I really, really, really, really HATE the idea of having Disney+ shows impact the movies. I think it's a reeeeal shitty idea to put quality cinema behind an added paywall. I hope they don't do it in a way where you need to watch the show to really get the movie, or a particular character thing. These types of crossovers were almost single-handedly what got me out of superhero comics. I get the inclination to do that here, too, but it just feels like such a fucking scam, and the death of cinema to me. This idea that we have to pay Disney a monthly subscription fee and then pay them the ticket fee for the movie just to get one somewhat complete arc...just feels skeazy. Which wouldn't be such a problem if Disney wasn't also buying up all these other movie studios! It'll be a bummer when I have to stop going to see Marvel movies because I didn't watch the prior television show. But it'll be a bigger bummer because there won't be as many movies coming out because Disney is gonna only be making those Marvel movies! (Or their live action remakes.)


What If...?

Eh. I've never been into the What If comics. It's impressive they're at a point where they can make that a movie or series or whatever, though.


Hawkeye

Again, no Disney+, so can't watch. But if it takes anything from the Matt Fraction run, I would recommend it! Seriously, that remains one of my all-time favorite runs on any superhero title ever. Can't recommend reading it enough!


Thor: Love and Thunder

Well, the fanboys are gonna make life miserable, so looking forward to that! That said, I inherently trust Waititi and am totally into it. I will be very interested to see what he does for Jane Foster. I agree that no one was really clamoring for her return, but I think Waititi is someone that I think can definitely breathe new life into her, just as he did with Thor. I imagine that this will basically pull from the Jason Aaron run wherein Jane Foster gets cancer and then obtains the powers of Thor. I think that would actually make a possibly interesting and emotional movie. (Mix in Waititi's comedy, and it could be great!) It does sound like future plans for Thor involve him being part of the Guardians of the Galaxy, so I suspect this one will ultimately be about Jane Foster taking on the role. It'll be interesting to see if Chris Hemsworth stays involved in the MCU beyond this. I also appreciate that Valkyrie will have a sizeable role, it sounds like. Seems important. And who knows? Maybe we'll get a real conclusion to Thor/Jane. I know no one was super into them, but she was such an important character for the development of Thor, and they literally just...drop it...totally off-screen and only make a single passing reference or two here or there. I didn't necessarily love Natalie Portman (though I don't necessarily think it was her fault - I blame the writing and directing a bit more). But I would appreciate a conclusion there.



The other stuff is pretty fascinating. I'm a little surprised they haven't been rushing for a Black Panther 2. Thing broke records, and they're dragging their feet on a sequel. Which I suppose is better than moving too quickly and rushing production. But it could wind up, what, 5 years between films?

Blade is a funny release. Arguably the true start of the modern superhero genre, we've now come full circle!

I didn't love where Far From Home ended, but there are clearly things that need to be addressed in the next one, Spider-Man: Homefront. I heard something that says that Spider-Man films have to make a certain amount of money or Marvel loses the rights again. Not sure how true that is, but I somehow forgot that Sony is still involved (probably because the last two Spider-Man movies were actually pretty good! [I'm referring to Spider-Verse]). I do wonder if they might try to work in Venom. They were supposed to be working on a sequel to that. I wonder if they would try.

I kinda don't care much about X-Men or Fantastic Four. I kinda hope they make FF more kid-oriented. We don't really have any true superhero movies for children, and that seems kind of a shame given that these are literally properties that were created and designed for literal children. (Yes, yes, I get that they have "matured" and all, but there are plenty of superhero comics today written specifically for children and not teenagers/adults. Would be nice to diversify the target audience.)

Posted July 26th by Jet Presto
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Growing up with Phases 1 through 3 and watching the climax of Infinity War and End Game was a mind blowing treat.

Moving forward I wont be as invested with the MCU. The next movie I am pumped for is SpiderMan 3: Home Alone. And that wont come out for a number of years.

With that being said Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness and the Falcon and Bucky show do peak my interest.

I will do my best to catch the formers on the big screen but I dont think I will get Disney +



Posted July 27th by S.O.H.
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S.O.H.
 

I'm wondering if my sister and brother-in-law might wind up with Disney+, and if so, I might get access to it. It sounds like these are gonna be mini-series, fewer episodes than the Netflix shows, which I think is the best way to go.

I'd like to see them get more into genre-variances going forward. I know they'll use Disney+ to fill in story they don't put in the movies, and I have mixed feelings about that, but I'd like to see them vary up the genres with the movies at least. Would love a more typical martial arts film with Shang-Chi and more of a horror film with Dr. Strange.

Posted July 28th by Jet Presto
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Agreed that Natasha never really got the attention she deserved, which is a shame. It's one of the reasons I liked Winter Soldier so much, since that's the film in which she gets to shine the most (to the point where it almost could have been called Captain America and Black Widow or something similar). That said, this film feels too late in the game--Black Widow should have gotten a solo film, but it would have worked better in Phase 1 or 2. I actually think that this next year of films is the riskiest thing the MCU has done in a while--it's the first time in a long time that they haven't announced anything that they're building up to, and I don't think it's unreasonable to conclude that at least some part of the draw to these films has been the sense that the films are connected (even Phase 1 was ultimately building up to Avengers). Kicking off the next phase with a movie starring a character whose storyline has been pretty well wrapped up and another one with entirely new characters that will likely be largely disconnected seems like an odd way to capitalize on the MCU's momentum, and I could definitely see a lot of people feeling like SOH does and not feeling all that invested in the newest phase. That said, "risk" is relative in this case, and I suspect the films will still be successful based on the MCU's pedigree and the all-star casts--I'd just be surprised if they were as big of behemoths as the last few years of MCU films have been (with 5/6ths of the films in the last two years reaching $1 billion at least). Superhero fatigue has obviously not hurt Far From Home, since it's officially the most successful Spidey film, but one of the most popular superheroes ever is a far cry from what Marvel is attempting next.

It's a little disappointing to me that they're only just starting to get back to the Iron Man story they retconned in a one-shot special feature. This, to me, is the movie that definitely proves they're mostly just making it up as they go, and that there's nothing wrong with that!


We definitely saw this differently haha. To me, it would have been easy for them to sweep the whole Mandarin thing under the rug and never touch on it again, especially since the only mention of there being a real Mandarin out there came in a one-shot that a lot of fans probably missed (I know I did until I did my MCU rewatch earlier this year). I'm much more encouraged that they didn't ignore it than disappointed that it took them so long. And yeah, I think it's been obvious for a while that they're mostly making things up as they go along, but I do think they've been seeding things in earlier films with the intent of going back to them, just not with any specifics about when and what they're going to do with them.

Again, Disney+ means I won't be able to see it. See, we're talking superheroes so I totally am fine with dead characters coming back (it's literally been a trope for decades - superheroes are soap operas for kids, at their core, and I'm all for leaning into that). And especially given how pitifully used Vision was in the Avengers films, I would like to see him actually be a character or get some exploration. I really don't like the name, but I suspect that there will be elements of House of M mixed with elements of Tom King's run on Vision. I have a sneaking feeling that the big gist of the show will involve, to some degree, how much of it is "real."


Fair re: superhero deaths. I dislike resurrection tropes in general, and the genre doesn't really change that for me, but I definitely shouldn't be surprised that it's going to happen in a superhero franchise. And like I said, it makes way more sense for an android like Vision to be resurrected, even if it makes his IW death less impactful for me--I'll be more annoyed if they start resurrecting characters like Yondu or the Ancient One. Your last comment there definitely sounds intriguing, and I could see it being a cool concept for a miniseries.

That said, I really, really, really, really HATE the idea of having Disney+ shows impact the movies. I think it's a reeeeal shitty idea to put quality cinema behind an added paywall. I hope they don't do it in a way where you need to watch the show to really get the movie, or a particular character thing. These types of crossovers were almost single-handedly what got me out of superhero comics. I get the inclination to do that here, too, but it just feels like such a fucking scam, and the death of cinema to me. This idea that we have to pay Disney a monthly subscription fee and then pay them the ticket fee for the movie just to get one somewhat complete arc...just feels skeazy. Which wouldn't be such a problem if Disney wasn't also buying up all these other movie studios! It'll be a bummer when I have to stop going to see Marvel movies because I didn't watch the prior television show. But it'll be a bigger bummer because there won't be as many movies coming out because Disney is gonna only be making those Marvel movies! (Or their live action remakes.)


Can't say I really understand this argument, really, though I think part of our disagreement on this has to do with differing assumptions on what these series are actually going to entail. My guess has always been that, much like most of the MCU's standalone films, the shows will enhance and be enhanced by what's going on in the MCU around them, but that they won't be required to actually enjoy/understand the rest of the MCU. Like, I hadn't seen Ant-Man before I watched Civil War, and I still had no issue understanding who he was and why he mattered--I suspect it'll be similar when it comes to characters in these Disney+ shows, like Wanda in Doctor Strange. And even if the shows are more involved than I'm thinking, I'm guessing that reading a simple synopsis will get movie-goers who don't have Disney+ whatever they need.

Plus, like, it's not like you're making a bit commitment if you subscribe to Disney+. I don't know the specifics of its model yet, but it strikes me as unlikely that there's going to be anything preventing me from, say, paying the $7 it costs for a month's subscription, watching the Falcon series over the course of that single month, and then canceling/suspending my subscription. More cost-effective than paying $10 for a movie ticket itself, at any rate, and it'd get me access to anything else I wanted to watch on Disney+ for that month in addition (as well as giving me the option of an instant rewatch at no additional charge if I so choose). That's very likely what I will wind up doing, and I suspect I'm not alone in that.

I like the addition of the Disney+ shows because the MCU has so many characters now that a lot of them would have to wait years without appearing in anything. They seem like a good way to keep characters like Falcon and Bucky around (and give them a bigger spotlight than they'd ever get otherwise) without forcing massive crossover events every couple of years or shoehorning them into films in which their presence is really not necessary. However, that's also why I'm a little disappointed that two of the series they've announced seem like they won't really matter much at all (although I suspect that both Loki and What If will be aimed more at kids anyway).

I'm glad they're not rushing Black Panther 2, although I'm certainly looking forward to it. Coogler strikes me as the sort of director who wants to take whatever time he needs to get it right. That said, Phase 4 is just two years long, so it's conceivable we could see it as soon as 2022.

If there was some sort of part of the Sony deal that was contingent on the MCU Spidey flicks making a certain amount of money, I think it's safe to say that they've made it. Can't imagine they would have required a bigger return than $1 billion. I had heard that the deal involved the MCU having Spidey for six films, which they'll reach when Spider-Man: Homeward Bound rolls around in a couple of years or so, but there's always a chance the contract gets renewed or renegotiated afterward. It sounds like Feige is wanting to have Peter as a centerpiece of the MCU moving forward, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Sony-MCU relationship is pretty solid as far as this is concerned (I've seen speculation that Holland's Parker could move across both universes, appearing in films like the next Venom in addition to continuing with the MCU). Also, I don't know what the contract situation with Miles Morales is, but I could see the MCU wanting to pay off that Aaron Davis appearance in Homecoming at some point.

Agreed that I don't really think the MCU needs the X-Men, but they're too popular of characters not to show up eventually. They just seem like such an enormous thing to introduce into a universe that's already overstuffed with characters--at least the Fantastic Four can be much more easily be confined into a single movie (and their absence up until this point can be more easily explained). Apparently Ryan Reynolds dropped a major hint that the third Deadpool is coming in Phase 5, though. Maybe that's the extent of mutants in the MCU in Phase 5--it would make sense that he would predate the rest of the Fox characters, given that the groundwork is already there.

Not sure the MCU sees a need to market more towards kids than they already are, tbh. I mean, most of the films are pretty kid-friendly anyway (some, like the Ant-Man and Spider-Man films, more than others)--this isn't exactly the Batman Begins trilogy--and I think they do alright with that demographic considering the amount of kids that have been at the showings I've been to.

Posted July 30th by white lancer
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I really hope they dont have Dead pool in the current MCU. Its hard to keep things "grounded" (As grounded as they can be when you have talking trees, wizards, purple titans, and space gods running around) only to have a character show up that breaks the 4th wall all the time.


I am curious to see how they will work in the X men. We saw the birth of in humans in the current mcu in the Agents of Shield which is still technically cannon. I wonder if they will do something similiar. ergo the infinity gauntlet being snapped 3 times on earth caused so much gamma radiation that it mutated/ triggered the x gene.

actually that is crazy enough to work and believable. I want my money Disney.

Posted July 30th by S.O.H.
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S.O.H.
 

I agree that Deadpool seems like an odd fit for the MCU, but it's looking like there's a decent chance at this point. There have been rumors about it for a while now, and the Reynolds post is even more fuel for the fire. Suppose it could work fine if they treat his films like a different genre, like Jet indicated, though it'll be weird if an when he crosses over with other characters. I thought the speculation that he could show up in a Spider-Man film seemed particularly odd, given that the Spidey films are among the most kid-friendly ones in the MCU whereas Deadpool is...not that. Not sure how they're planning to address the first two Deadpool films, if at all--are they going graft them into the MCU, despite all of the mutant infrastructure present? Do a soft reboot of the character, while keeping Reynolds as the lead actor? Allude to at least some of the events as Deadpool's background, while handwaving away the rest? I dunno.

As far as mutants go, there are a number of ways they could handle it. They could pretend that mutants have existed the whole time and just haven't caused any problems, or have some sort of event like the Snaps that caused mutant genes to activate, or do some multiverse or Wanda reality-bending shenanigans (in which case, that Strange film could be really important). It's tough to say. Speaking of Wanda, I suppose it's too late (and probably unnecessary) to retcon her and Pietro as having been mutants this whole time, though I wonder if they'll do anything with them and Magneto.

Posted July 30th by white lancer
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(even Phase 1 was ultimately building up to Avengers)


I mean, in as much as they would all eventually end up in a film together. Other than post-credits scene and sometimes blink-and-you-miss-it references that got shoe-horned in here and there, nothing about the Phase I movies actually builds to the plot of The Avengers. (Actually, that's kind of always the case. Arguably the only film that has anything to do with anything in an Avengers film is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. But there's no real build up to Age of Ultron. And narratively, there's no build up to The Avengers either. It just builds the world.) As such, there's no reason to think they can't do the same thing here. I kinda hope they don't do the same thing, in which they shoe-horn in unnecessarily sequences just to "build" to a crossover event. They've already connected the world, so the next Avengers film can just go, ya know?

That said, they could totally still build to something. I think the rumor is that with some emphasis on cosmic stuff, perhaps they could build for Annihilation. But my money is more on the Secret Invasion.


I'm much more encouraged that they didn't ignore it than disappointed that it took them so long.


I'm glad they're bringing Mandarin in and hope they get more into the mystical, magical stuff. Dr. Strange definitely broke ground on that. I'm mostly disappointing that they decided to start that *after* they ended the Tony Stark character. Mandarin is fine as a villain, but he's been a great foil for Iron Man. It's a bit strange to bring him in and never have him deal with Iron Man at all. That'd be like bringing in the Joker only after you killed off Bruce Wayne, and put him in a movie about, like, Karate Kid.

Can't say I really understand this argument, really, though I think part of our disagreement on this has to do with differing assumptions on what these series are actually going to entail.


Fair. If it just enhances it, that's one thing (although I still don't really love the idea of being sold an inherently incomplete film in theaters). But I worry about this model being adopted widely by movie studios. The idea that they can sell you a $15 ticket to a movie, focus primarily on the action and not bother fleshing out the other characters that they deliberately put in it, then turn around and charge you $10 a month more to get more understanding of a character.

Like the thing about Ant-Man in Civil War is that he didn't actually matter to the plot of Civil War. He was effectively just a cameo, like everyone else; just there for one action sequence and that was it. But if you start doing things like, say, adding Wanda to a Dr. Strange movie and having her be more than just a cameo for action, then you should be doing characterization in that movie.

Part of this is admittedly growing concern over the fact that everything is moving to a subscription service, where we are no longer being allowed to buy things. These subscriptions are sucking us of every penny we have, and I kind of hate it. It feels greedy. And I also worry about what this will do to the state of cinema, especially as Disney buys more and more studios and fewer and fewer films will be produced each year. I don't mind the idea of shows being made about the characters in the movies. But I really hope they don't make it so that your experience is fundamentally weakened watching a movie without having seen the show. It's kinda like...it feels like Day One DLC for a video game. I kind of hate the idea of Hollywood studios taking an approach that they can just sell us incomplete or intentionally less complete films so they can sell us a subscription service later to get more insight into the characters in the movies. It just kinda feels like the death of the Hollywood blockbuster to me.

Or like, imagine reading most of Moby Dick, and then being sold a separate book if you really want to get any characterization of Queequeg. Ya know?

Not sure the MCU sees a need to market more towards kids than they already are, tbh. I mean, most of the films are pretty kid-friendly anyway


Maybe I think about this more since I've started seeing a woman with children on the younger side, but there hasn't been a Marvel movie yet that I would feel totally comfortable bringing a child under 10 to. These aren't always super serious films (though they often do take themselves seriously), but outside the action scenes, I can't imagine a child having all that much interest for the duration of a Marvel film. I think it would be nice every once in a while to make, like, a Fantastic Four film that aims for a younger audience than the PG-13 crowd they generally do target, while also making, say, R-rated Deadpool or X-Men movies for older crowds. To be honest, the movies have always felt geared more towards the 15-40 year old range to me.

Posted July 31st by Jet Presto
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These aren't always super serious films (though they often do take themselves seriously), but outside the action scenes, I can't imagine a child having all that much interest for the duration of a Marvel film.


For Endgame that was certainly my experience as the younger children in the cinema were clearly getting restless during the parts where there was no action.

Overall though I can't say I think the MCU has an issue with younger chidren viewing it, kids in cinemas generally seem happy enough watching them. A few of my friends have children aged under 10 and they've been taking them to watch MCU films for many years now.

I can see your point that they're definitely not made for that age group, but I would also kinda hate to see a movie (say a Fantastic Four movie) lose my interest because it was targetting young kids.

These subscriptions are sucking us of every penny we have, and I kind of hate it.


I feel this is a bigger issue in the US where there are vastly more subscrition services for entertainment than here in the UK (most of the streaming exclusive stuff America produces ends up beign distributed over here on Netflix with the ocassional thing going to Amazon Prime).

I'm somewhat thankful that it hasn't become a big thing over here (I guess the cost of getting it all setup and running in the UK isn't worth what they think they'd get out of it?). Suspect we won't be able to avoid Disney's though, I get the feeling that one will be worldwide.

Posted July 31st by Moonray
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Part of this is admittedly growing concern over the fact that everything is moving to a subscription service, where we are no longer being allowed to buy things

what? how is this any different than cable? And what do you mean we are no longer allowed to buy things? Last I checked you can buy physical copies of almost every new movie and show on dvd/ blue ray.

These subscriptions are sucking us of every penny we have, and I kind of hate it.


Smells like broke in here.

I dont think they are sucking us out of every "penny" we have. The hours of entertainment that you get for $12 a month for netflix alone is a far more affordable option/ better bang for your buck than going to the movies each week or even buying a new video game each month.

My only issue with subscription services is that there is never anything on there worth watching that interests me. I alternate between them every few months. It is not that hard to stop your subscription for a couple of months and start it up again. Right now is the first time in a long time that I have 4 subscriptions going on at once. And even then that is less than 40 dollars per month.

Really not bad for the amount of entertainment I am getting. I have netflix, spotify and hulu and amazon prime.

Realistically speaking I use spotify and hulu almost daily. And hulu was an added on perk for spotify. I use amazon prime mostly for the 2 day shipping so its an added perk to have their video services as well.

I am paying for netflix to watch my favorite spanish show (casa de papel or known now as money heist) I really have no use for it now as I finished the 3rd season of said show. (really recommend it!)

Posted July 31st by S.O.H.
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S.O.H.
 

but I would also kinda hate to see a movie (say a Fantastic Four movie) lose my interest because it was targetting young kids.


But why would that be bad? Why does every movie have to appeal to adults? We've had R-rated superhero movies, and a heck of a lot of PG-13 superhero movies. Why would it be a problem or annoying or disappointing if once in a while, they make a movie specifically aimed at young kids? That's *literally* who these comics were designed for when they came out. Yes, yes, I get that as their audience aged, so too did the content. But even today, they still make sure to have some superhero comics specifically for young kids. Why do all of the movies have to appeal to grown men?


what? how is this any different than cable?


It probably isn't that different right now, but everyone is moving towards a subscription service. When you need Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, ESPN Plus, CBS All Access, the Criterion Channel, NBCUniversal, NBATV, NFL Gamezone, MLBTV, and more just to have access to everything you'd get with cable, it'll both be more inconvenient and more expensive. The concern here is what happens when everyone tries to make their own streaming service to compete with Disney? When you're paying $10 a month for FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, ESPN, et cetera, et cetera, it's gonna add up.

And what do you mean we are no longer allowed to buy things?


I am speaking hyperbolically. But it's pretty obvious that a lot of what the studios want is for us to pay a monthly subscription fee to access things rather than buy the blu-ray. Everyone is moving to a subscription service model these days. Not only do you have things like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Criterion, NBCUniveral, NBATV, ESPN Plus, et cetera, but Google Music, Spotify, and Apple Music as well.

My only issue with subscription services is that there is never anything on there worth watching that interests me.


Right, this is sort of the point. You pay a monthly subscription fee, then that's money they get from you whether you use the service or not. It's the gym membership formula: charge a monthly fee knowing full well that people will pay it without really utilizing it. Or, charge a monthly fee for a service that doesn't ultimately require that much work from you, especially if people paying don't use it.

I dont think they are sucking us out of every "penny" we have. The hours of entertainment that you get for $12 a month for netflix alone is a far more affordable option/ better bang for your buck than going to the movies each week or even buying a new video game each month.


I mean, Disney is literally trying to get every penny out of us that they can. That's their objective and a reason why they're inching more and more to entertainment monopoly by the week. But this argument depends on a few things: first, if I were to spend $60 on a brand new video game when it comes out and it takes me a month to beat it, on the surface that seems like it's going to cost me more in the end than paying $10 a month for a video game streaming service where I pay a monthly fee for access to it. Except if I want to go back and replay that game in a year, I basically spent $120 just to play the game twice. (On top of that, I'm limited to both my internet provider not being total garbage [tall order] and their servers to be working properly.) There's something to be said about paying for something and getting it. (I'm excluding going to the movies because that is more cost for an experience.)

But the same thing is true with blu-rays. I pay $25 for End Game, I can watch it whenever I want, regardless of when I have my internet working, and regardless of whether Disney's servers are working. $10 a month for access to End Game, again, if I watch it today and then I watch it next July, I will have been required to spend $120 just to watch it twice.

In addition, I don't *lose* access to these things if I cancel my service. You aren't paying for a movie or a game with streaming services: you're paying for access to them from whoever holds the rights (which is why Netflix is constantly a revolving door of titles).

The benefit, obviously, is that you get access to a lot. It seems like such a good deal, and when push comes to shove, it probably is (as long as not everyone is locking access behind their own specific paywall). Except, as you mentioned, you will go a while without anything really catching your interest. So what value does the service actually have if - despite the tons and tons of movies and shows they have on there, you don't wind up using it? They make money, but you don't wind up really getting anything. At least when you go out to buy a game or a movie, it's a deliberate act. Generally, people don't buy a game or movie randomly when they go to the store.

I'm not down on streaming services in general. I obviously have some and use them. But as more and more studios and companies start shifting to that model, it's going to become more problematic. It'll ultimately be more limiting and more expensive than cable. (It already can get kinda close now.)

But also, as I said, it's going to be creatively problematic if they start designing their movies so as to either require or heavily benefit from paying that subscription service. If they ever wind up doing that. And knowing that they can use the movies to push subscriptions, it's hard to imagine Disney won't start doing that at some point.


Smells like broke in here.


Classist, much?





Posted July 31st by Jet Presto
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But why would that be bad?


I think what I said is pretty transparent in that it's personal opinion about what I'd want to see. I think it would be bad for a movie I want to see to not be worth my money. Not every thought has a bigger picture :)

I'm also not convinced there is a gap in the Marvel market here. They've got the young kids angled covered with the cartoons they've been doing.

Also as I said, I don't believe that young kids don't watch/enjoy the MCU anyway because from what I've witnessed they do.

Posted July 31st by Moonray
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But why would that be bad? Why does every movie have to appeal to adults? We've had R-rated superhero movies, and a heck of a lot of PG-13 superhero movies. Why would it be a problem or annoying or disappointing if once in a while, they make a movie specifically aimed at young kids? That's *literally* who these comics were designed for when they came out. Yes, yes, I get that as their audience aged, so too did the content. But even today, they still make sure to have some superhero comics specifically for young kids. Why do all of the movies have to appeal to grown men?


Because the adults are the ones paying to watch them and not kids? Didnt they release big hero 6 not that long ago? while not an MCU film it was geared towards kids. And uh the biggest MCU fans in my life are women lol.

And while it is not the MCU Shazaam is really kid/family friendly. I am not sure if that was the intention though.

Classist, much?


Learn to take a joke.



But the same thing is true with blu-rays. I pay $25 for End Game, I can watch it whenever I want, regardless of when I have my internet working, and regardless of whether Disney's servers are working. $10 a month for access to End Game, again, if I watch it today and then I watch it next July, I will have been required to spend $120 just to watch it twice.


based on this logic it seems to be that you are only paying for access to solely watch end game and nothing else.
The concern here is what happens when everyone tries to make their own streaming service to compete with Disney? When you're paying $10 a month for FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, ESPN, et cetera, et cetera, it's gonna add up.


if you cant afford it pick and choose what you want. You dont have to have all those things at once.

Right, this is sort of the point. You pay a monthly subscription fee, then that's money they get from you whether you use the service or not. It's the gym membership formula: charge a monthly fee knowing full well that people will pay it without really utilizing it. Or, charge a monthly fee for a service that doesn't ultimately require that much work from you, especially if people paying don't use it.

except you can cancel at any time. And its much easier to cancel one of these subscriptions than it is the gym. There are also no hidden fees when it comes to them.

for netflix I payed 12 dollars for about 8 hours of entertainment with Casa de Papel. Already a better bargain than going to watch a movie. If I cancel right after I still have the rest of the month to enjoy what ever is on there until my subscription to that month ends. As long as you can cancel at any time with no penalties or hidden fees I dont see the issue.

The alternative would have been paying 2.99 per episode. I am not going to shell out 24 dollars to stream an entire season.

Except, as you mentioned, you will go a while without anything really catching your interest. So what value does the service actually have if - despite the tons and tons of movies and shows they have on there, you don't wind up using it? They make money, but you don't wind up really getting anything. At least when you go out to buy a game or a movie, it's a deliberate act. Generally, people don't buy a game or movie randomly when they go to the store.


But no one is forcing you to continue the subscription after you have seen what interests you.

If you continue with a subscription knowing fully well that there is nothing on there that interests you than you are deliberately wasting money. You can opt to cancel at anytime.

revolving door of titles

this is why you have to be smart with your money. alternate between streaming services to get the best bang for your buck.

owning media is better sure. No ones denying that. But I personally cant justify buying a 25 dollar bluray knowing fully well I can either rent it for a fraction of the price or use a streaming service that will include that movie, and a number of other media that interest me.


Edited July 31st by s.o.h.
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s.o.h.
 

I mean, in as much as they would all eventually end up in a film together. Other than post-credits scene and sometimes blink-and-you-miss-it references that got shoe-horned in here and there, nothing about the Phase I movies actually builds to the plot of The Avengers. (Actually, that's kind of always the case. Arguably the only film that has anything to do with anything in an Avengers film is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. But there's no real build up to Age of Ultron. And narratively, there's no build up to The Avengers either. It just builds the world.) As such, there's no reason to think they can't do the same thing here. I kinda hope they don't do the same thing, in which they shoe-horn in unnecessarily sequences just to "build" to a crossover event. They've already connected the world, so the next Avengers film can just go, ya know?


Yeah, and I think that building up separate characters in their own films with the promise that they will eventually crossover is enough. It doesn't need to be an Infinity Stones-style buildup to get people interested, as the first two Avengers films proved, but it's a little weird that no crossover event seems imminent because it seems like that's been part of the films' appeal (and the first two films in Phase 4 seem to cover characters that are the trickiest to crossover). This is the first time in the MCU's history without an announced Avengers film, right? That's why I think the start of Phase 4 is the riskiest thing they've done in a while, because they can't rely on either well-established characters (aside from Natasha, but she obviously has her own issues post-Endgame) and they're also missing the marketing appeal of promising the next big thing these characters will be a part of. Then again, as you pointed out, the first Guardians was arguably the least-connected film ever, but it did just fine, so I'm sure these films will be similar as long as they're good.

Fair. If it just enhances it, that's one thing (although I still don't really love the idea of being sold an inherently incomplete film in theaters). But I worry about this model being adopted widely by movie studios. The idea that they can sell you a $15 ticket to a movie, focus primarily on the action and not bother fleshing out the other characters that they deliberately put in it, then turn around and charge you $10 a month more to get more understanding of a character.

Like the thing about Ant-Man in Civil War is that he didn't actually matter to the plot of Civil War. He was effectively just a cameo, like everyone else; just there for one action sequence and that was it. But if you start doing things like, say, adding Wanda to a Dr. Strange movie and having her be more than just a cameo for action, then you should be doing characterization in that movie.


I just think you're being a little pessimistic about how this is going to work, is all. Why are you assuming the films in theaters are going to be incomplete, or that they're not going to do characterization in those films? Like, even if we throw out the Ant-Man example, I also hadn't seen The Winter Soldier when I first watched Civil War, and I hadn't seen The First Avenger in years. I still had no problem understanding Steve Rogers and his place and characterization within the context of that individual film. Would it have enhanced my film-watching experience to have been familiar with those two films before watching Civil War? Yes, of course. But the film and the character still worked totally fine as a virtually standalone experience for me, and I suspect cases like Wanda in the new Doctor Strange are going to be very similar. I wouldn't consider a film incomplete just because it builds on what came before it, because that's literally what every series does, but I think the MCU has demonstrated the desire and ability to make every film work on its own even if you missed what came before (with Infinity War/Endgame being the main exceptions).

Maybe I think about this more since I've started seeing a woman with children on the younger side, but there hasn't been a Marvel movie yet that I would feel totally comfortable bringing a child under 10 to. These aren't always super serious films (though they often do take themselves seriously), but outside the action scenes, I can't imagine a child having all that much interest for the duration of a Marvel film. I think it would be nice every once in a while to make, like, a Fantastic Four film that aims for a younger audience than the PG-13 crowd they generally do target, while also making, say, R-rated Deadpool or X-Men movies for older crowds. To be honest, the movies have always felt geared more towards the 15-40 year old range to me.


I mean, if we're talking about kids that are that young, I see your point. Personally, the only non-animated films I was interested in at that age featured talking dogs, so I doubt I would have cared about these live-action superhero flicks until I was a little older. As far as that goes, I wouldn't mind if they were to make animated superhero films specifically targeted at young kids--I just would prefer that they keep them out of MCU continuity. For older kids (like, pre-teens), I have to imagine that the MCU movies are fine, given the general lack of sexual content and graphic violence (with some films, like the Ant-Man and Spider-Man films, being more appropriate than others).

As far as the numerous streaming services go in general, I'm really not sure how well it's going to work out for the smaller ones. Netflix cornered the market for a good long while and had success largely because it had something for everything, but most of these network-specific ones are not in the same boat. I suspect that a lot of them are going to fail or at least be mostly unsuccessful since most people are probably not going to subscribe to more than two or three (and things like removing The Office strike me as much more likely to hurt Netflix than establish an NBC streaming service as a lucrative venture). Disney+ would probably have worked with or without the new Marvel and Star Wars content they're creating, since I'd bet a lot of parents would get it for their kids regardless.

Posted August 2nd by white lancer
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