When Kevin Feige announced MCU Phase 4 at Comic-Con, there were two glaring omissions: Spider-Man and Carol Danvers. Spidey got sorted, but the future of Brie Larson’s character in the MCU was vague. A sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel is on the way, Marvel assured fans. Talent like Taika Waititi, Ryan Coogler, James Gunn, and Peyton Reed all, ostensibly, have control over the solo adventures of characters like Black Panther, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor, etc. Yet, it appears Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden will not take possession of Carol Danvers in that way. Instead, WandaVision writer Megan McDonnell is all-but hired to draft Captain Marvel 2, with a new director to follow. If history is to repeat itself, McDonnell and this new director could end up playing a huge role in the future of the MCU.
While Tony Stark may be the godfather of the MCU, Steve Rogers was its heart and its backbone. The writers of all three Captain America films also ended up writing Thor: The Dark World, and the last two Avengers films. The directors of the second Captain America film were two sitcom guys named Joe and Anthony Russo. If Captain Marvel is meant to shoulder the moral weight of the MCU as Captain America once did. Currently, Spider-Man is the new Tony Stark (that was literally the plot of Spider-Man: Far From Home), but he’s owned by Sony. Thus, the director for Captain Marvel could end up being the architect of Phase 5.
Why Hiring a Writer for Captain Marvel 2 Is Just the Beginning
Image via Marvel Studios
The main takeaway now that Captain Marvel 2 hired a writer is that the film is definitely happening. This wasn’t really in doubt. Marvel has a lot of release dates through 2023, and it makes sense that Captain Marvel’s sequel would be among them. Yet, because of the focus on writer/director teams at Marvel Studios, the lack of movement on the film seems rightly attributable to Fleck and Boden moving on. (Though, the report in The Hollywood Reporter says they may still stay in the Marvel orbit.) Also, it shows that, like with Star Wars, Marvel Studios television operation is a talent pool for the films. Deborah Chow directed an episode of The Mandalorian and now helms the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. When they start announcing writers and directors for their bi-annual films starting in 2022, they could come from the TV operation.
One caveat, however, is that before Boden and Fleck, many writers took a crack at the script for Captain Marvel. Nicole Perlman, Meg LeFauve, and Geneve Robertson-Dworet all shared writing credit for the script, meaning it went through many drafts. Still, McDonnell’s only major writing credit is on WandaVision, which features an adult Monica Rambeau as a character. This suggests that WandaVision will be a real launchpad for both talent and the larger narrative of the MCU. McDonnell, like Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely before her, seems to be in the thick of the most important projects in the Marvel Universe at the moment. Just like the Russos, she might burst onto the big screen scene by crafting the pop culture narrative for the next few years.
The Other MCU Franchise to Watch is Doctor Strange
Image via Marvel Studios
Because of the Disney and Sony split, Spider-Man will never be the figure in the MCU he should be. Thus, we turn to Doctor Strange. He may serve as the ballast to Captain Marvel in the way that Iron Man balanced out Captain America. Both his sequel and Captain Marvel 2 are tied to WandaVision. (It will be interesting to see if the new director for Doctor Strange in the Mutliverse of Madness comes from one of the television series, particularly WandaVision.) It appears that whatever the next big saga will be, it’s going to involve the Multiverse. This makes sense, because it allows Kevin Feige to bring the X-Men into the MCU (and probably why he reached out to Patrick Stewart to reprise his Professor X role).
Both Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange are cosmic-level heroes. Strange’s powers come from sorcery, while Captain Marvel’s come from an Infinity Stone. They are both, as Thor said in Endgame, space-magic. So, it makes sense these marquee heroes will be the tip of the spear for the new Avengers iteration. With Captain Marvel 2 hiring a writer from WandaVision, we can guess Marvel Studios is trying to lay the same kind of connected narrative foundation that brought them success with the Infinity Saga.
Captain Marvel 2 is still a ways off, with the writer just being hired. That means the earliest we’ll likely see the film is in July of 2022. Yet, since Black Panther 2’s release date is just before that, they may delay Captain Marvel 2 until early 2023. Though four years between films would be a long time.
What do you think? Share your thoughts, reactions, and theories about the Marvel multiverse in the comments.
Featured image via Marvel Studios
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.