Marvel’s Next Move

it’s been a rough few years for Marvel. Pretty much since Endgame (with exception to only two movies… Shang Chi and Spider-Man No Way Home,) the product that Marvel has been churning out has been lousy. And that definitely includes the Disney Plus shows, where one was worse than the next. But the movies have been bad too, ever since Iron Man left the MCU. No gripping stories. No new worthwhile villain (sorry, but the Kang debacle is a mess on all levels.)

Luckily Marvel seems to be learning from its mistakes. At least in terms of the over-saturation problem. During the past decade or so, Marvel was generally putting out three to four movies a year. And they were good. They did well. But then Marvel got greedy. They started turning out way too much product, and even worse, they lost sight of what made their cinematic universe special… the connectivity between stories and movies and characters.

Now Marvel seems to be realizing that less is more, and that maybe the best approach is to make the audience hungry again. That leads us to the upcoming calendar. Marvel has exactly one film slated for 2024. Just one. Deadpool 3. And Marvel seems to be getting back to the bigger picture of characters we know, who are connected to other characters, with the upcoming movies Captain America: Brave New World and Thunderbolts.

Let’s take a look at the calendar and discuss…

Deadpool 3 (May 2024)

The big thing about this movie, of course, is Wolverine. He will finally be in the MCU. And played by Hugh Jackman, the only actor to don the mantle. Our favorite X-Men character will even be wearing his iconic yellow and black suit. What the story is, is anyone’s guess, although it must involve time travel since the Wolverine character was killed off in the movie Logan, and Jackman himself has said this new Deadpool movie won’t change that fact. So it’s time travel related and will have an R rating like past Deadpool films. But that’s unique now because it will make this the first R rated movie in the MCU. One thing for sure is that the movie will make a fortune. And it will be loaded with Easter eggs to past Fox-Marvel movies. This one should be a blast!

Captain America: Brave New World (2025)

Starring Harrison Ford, Liv Tyler, and Tim Blake Nelson

The cool thing here is that this movie will supposedly feature Harrison Ford as not just Thunderbolt Ross, but as Red Hulk. The other cool thing is that with the inclusion of not just the Thunderbolt Ross character, but also hist daughter, Betty Ross, played by Liv Tyler, and the Leader played by Tim Blake Nelson, Marvel is finally getting back to it’s second movie, The Incredible Hulk. We haven’t seen these characters since over a decade ago, (2008.) This makes one wonder if Mark Ruffalo (Hulk himself,) or Tim Roth’s Blonsky (Abomination,) will be in the movie. And what in the world does any of this have to do with Captain America? All of it sounds pretty intriguing and I can’t wait to find out.

Thunderbolts (2025)

If Captain America Brave New World brings in Thunderbolt Ross in a major way, then this follow up film which stems from that characters’ name, should continue the story. The movie is supposedly about a team of anti-heroes put together by Valentina Contessa (Julia Louis Dreyfus) who go out on a mission. If that sounds a little bit like the Suicide Squad movies, there’s a reason why. But unlike those movies, this time it’s loaded up with characters we’ve already met and spent time with, such as Bucky Barnes. Most of the cast is made of one-off characters from previous films, such as Yelena Belova, the sister of Black Widow. And it’s unproven whether any of them are actually big enough to carry a movie on their own, but maybe together there might be something kind of cool.

Blade (2026)

Little is known about this movie. And that includes how it connects to other MCU films, if at all. There was a hint about it at the end of the Eternals, but considering how awful that movie was, the less connections to that sinking ship, the better. What we do know is that the great actor Mahershala Ali is supposedly playing Blade. I say supposedly because there has been talk that maybe he’s out. What we do know is that Marvel is trying very hard to get the script right, and not rushing it at all. These are the reasons why it has been so delayed. Hopefully we get some as Vs sees about what happening with the project soon.

Fantastic Four (2026)

This is the one we’ve all been waiting for For a long, long time. We’ve seen the Fantastic Four done the campy, kid-friendly way (the two Tim Story movies,) and we’ve seen it done the dark, adult-themed way (the Josh Trank attempt.) But what we haven’t seen is Marvel’s take on the characters. And considering how many years they’ve been carefully planning and building up to this, the movie better be smart and good. I imagine it probably will be.