What 2022 Reveals About the Future of the MCU

Marvel is having another successful year in 2022, with projects and announcements revealing a lot about the future of the MCU and teaching some great lessons.

2022 is another big year for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, full of valuable lessons and signs of the MCU's future. With three movies, three Disney+ shows, and two holiday specials in theaters, Marvel Studios has a plate full. The combination of these different projects helped us complete Phase 4 of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Throughout the year, audiences experience new adventures with familiar heroes like Doctor Strange and Thor, and meet new characters like She-Hulk and Moon Knight.

With every MCU 2022 movie or show tasked with telling a single story and setting a key part of the future, Marvel Studios is trying to keep fans entertained as they chart new courses after Avengers: Endgame . Questions about where the MCU is headed in Phase 4 and beyond are finally being answered in 2022, thanks to more seeding from Kevin Feige and various announcements from Marvel at conventions and in the press. That's not to say this year has been perfect for Marvel Studios, as there are plenty of lessons that can be learned to help improve the future of the MCU.

Kang Is The MCU’s Official Thanos Replacement

2022 confirms Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) is The MCU's replacement for Thanos is an overarching villain. After Marvel spent nearly a decade building the Mad Titan, questions arose about who would replace Thanos even before Avengers: Endgame killed him. The debate over who is the MCU's next Thanos is likely to dominate the conversation, with theories suggesting Dr. Doom and others could be contenders. However, Marvel confirmed that Kang the Conqueror is the answer by revealing his role in multiple upcoming MCU projects, including the next two Avengers films.

Ever since He Who Remains in Loki last year, audiences have suspected Kang plays a major role in the future of the MCU. Still, there are questions about how quickly he can become the team's big bad. The 2022 guaranteed Kang era is already in front of the audience. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum Mania's trailer teases exactly how terrifying a menace he is, as well as his connection to the larger MCU. Con, meanwhile, is at the heart of the Multiverse Saga, which means viewers will see a lot of Jonathan Majors playing various variations of Con.

Avengers: Secret Wars Is Marvel’s Next Endgame-Level Event

Marvel also announced Avengers: Secret Wars as the next installment in the MCU in 2022 Avengers: Endgame-level event movie. A potential multiverse event movie was set up throughout the year, but most fans don't think the film will be around for another decade. It wasn't until 2022 at San Diego Comic-Con that Marvel confirmed plans for Avengers: Dynasty Kang and Avengers: Secret Wars. The latter will serve as the conclusion to Phase 6 and the Multiverse Saga, giving viewers a clear roadmap of where the entire MCU story is headed.

The multiverse ending adapted from Secret Wars is Marvel's chance to surpass Avengers: Endgame after introducing alternate timelines, invasions, etc. Fans are already wildly speculating which Marvel heroes from the multiverse will be returning. These cameos are likely to be Marvel Studios' way of landing a successful Avengers rally moment. With Avengers: Secret Wars set to hit theaters in May 2026, audiences will still have to wait a few years to see if Marvel's Phase 6 cappers will bring a similar twist to Avengers: Endgame. Same satisfying ending.

MCU’s X-Men Are Coming Sooner Than Expected

It also becomes very clear in 2022 that the arrival of the X-Men is not far in the MCU's future. Following Disney's acquisition of 20th Century a few years ago, the X-Men film rights were repossessed to Marvel Studios. Marvel's introduction of mutants has been slower than some had expected, but it's important to remember that the last X-Men movie of the Fox era came out in 2020. This has led to some reports and speculation that the introduction of the X-Men to the MCU could be years away, especially since Marvel Studios has yet to announce its X-Men reboot series or new projects starring mutant characters.

2022 changes expectations for the X-Men introduction timeline in several important ways. Ms. Marvel stunned fans by revealing that Kamala Khan is a mutant in the finale, while Black Panther: Wakanda Forever confirmed Namor's mutants are from the MCU. The multiverse was also used to showcase Patrick Stewart's variant of Professor X in Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness, making him the first actual X-Men member to appear in the MCU. It's also been confirmed that Deadpool 3 will bring back Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, and he might not be the only familiar mutant appearing. All of these moves could be used to speed up the MCU's X-Men debut.

James Gunn’s Time With Marvel Is Over After Guardians 3

After nearly a decade as a member of the MCU, James Gunn's exit is officially on the horizon Thanks for 2022. This year, Gunn released the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 holiday special for Marvel Studios on Disney+ and filmed the long-awaited Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. 3. While Gunn has been outspoken about the movie being the end of the original Guardians of the Galaxy team, there's still some hope he'll return in future projects. That's starting to look unlikely as he develops more projects for DC after Suicide Squad, and that's before the news that he's now the co-CEO of DC Studios.

James Gunn, who is now in charge of planning the future of the DC Universe, will leave Marvel after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. His mission is to bring a cohesive vision to DC with a plan to unify movies, TV shows, animation, and games. James Gunn's new job at DC Studios includes a four-year exclusivity window, meaning he can't work on any Marvel projects during that time and after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. Team Guardians is sure to move on in some form, possibly with a very different roster, but Gunn's days at the helm of the MCU franchise are over.

Daredevil Is A Big Part Of The MCU’s Future

Audience reintroduced Charlie Cox's Daredevil hits theaters in late 2021, thanks to his cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home. It's in 2022 that Marvel Studios shows just how important Daredevil is to the future. Charlie Cox returns as a supporting character in She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, revealing a slightly humorous personality and a new costume. Marvel also confirmed plans for an 18-episode series on Disney+ for Daredevil: Rebirth. The high episode count and the return of Daredevil in Echo means audiences will see more of Charlie Cox's superhero than previously thought.

Kevin Feige's quote further explains Marvel's move to support the future of the Daredevil MCU in 2022. Daredevil will lead the MCU's corners alongside Spider-Man, according to the head of Marvel Studios. With this sentence, Feige makes it very clear that Matt Murdoch is going to be a huge part of the cinematic universe moving forward. That could include using Daredevil to bring back other familiar faces from Netflix's Marvel shows.

The Avengers Need To Return To The MCU

2022 is also a good reminder that the future of the MCU must feature the Avengers. The superteam was front and center throughout the Infinity Saga, but it didn't This is the case at the beginning of the Multiverse Saga. Phase 4 was the first of the MCU without the Avengers team in any form, and 2022 barely makes their presence felt. Worse, the question of whether the Avengers still exist after Avengers: Endgame remains largely unanswered. This mistake has to be righted, especially since the Avengers will soon have to rally to fight Kang.

Marvel Needs To Be More Careful With The MCU’s Multiverse Cameos

The MCU's multiverse paves the way for some major cameos in 2022, but Marvel needs to learn a lesson and be more careful with them in the future. The temptation to go ahead and bring back familiar actors/characters from past Marvel franchises or do one-off variant cameos is understandable for the studio. However, the idea is almost starting to supersede the actual story of the MCU, as theories about the future mostly revolve around how known characters who aren't currently part of the MCU will show up. As Avengers: Secret War looms, the situation will only get worse after Doctor Strange 2's Illuminati team showed what could happen.

Also watched Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man, Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, Nicolas Cage's Ghost Rider, etc. It will excite a lot of people. But these cameos mean nothing if the actual MCU story falters. That's why Marvel needs to be more careful about implementing multiverse cameos. The more often they happen, the less memorable they are, and the more they'll be seen as pure fan service. So whether it's in Deadpool 3 or any other movie before Avengers: Secret Wars, multiverse cameos have to become more important to be worth the money.

Disney+ Is An Even Bigger Piece To The MCU’s Future

The future of the MCU beyond 2022 will continue to see Disney+ play a key role in building the franchise. This year proved its importance, as it was a streaming show starring new heroes, while theatrical films focused on established heroes. Additionally, the Disney+ MCU shows and specials have been instrumental in expanding the type and tone of Marvel Studios' stories. For example, She-Hulk is a legal comedy, while Werewolf by Night is a black and white horror film. The volume and importance of each shows that Disney+ shows will remain indispensable in the future.

Marvel Needs To Slow Down To Improve The MCU's Quality

2022 also teaches the future of the MCU a lesson in quality over quantity. Eight real people posted this The year was largely successful overall, but there were some disappointing projects and elements of the good ones that didn't live up to the standards of the Marvel operation. Slowing down the production and distribution schedule will allow Marvel Studios to fine-tune scripts before production begins, and will hopefully help improve VFX. The more Marvel rushes to get the project to meet its scheduled release date and let the project suffer, the more likely it is that the magic of the MCU will fade.

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