One thing that fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe enjoy is speculating on the future, whether it’s a couple months from now or in the coming years. The next film set for release is Avengers: Age of Ultron, but many geeks are already attempting to predict what happens in Avengers 3 and beyond, using only the clues Marvel has given to us and deductive reasoning. Of course, with all the curve balls Marvel has thrown us over the years, it’s difficult to ascertain what’s coming up next, but we may get a glimpse of that soon. While on The Late Show with David Letterman this past week, Robert Downey Jr. implied that Marvel has a plan that will eventually be announced. What could it be?

Let’s look at what we know so far about Marvel’s post-Phase 2 plans. The movies that have officially been announced include Ant-Man, Captain America 3, Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. There’s also many untitled films they’ve snagged dates for, and logical choices for these features include Thor 3 and Avengers 3, the latter of which may be split into two films. Then there’s the unofficial rumblings of characters that Marvel is eager to use, like Black Panther, Captain Marvel, the Inhumans, etc. Fans are looking forward to these characters appearing in the MCU, but it won’t be much of a surprise when they show up because we’ve been begging to see them. It’s like when you’re a kid and ask your parents for a bowl of ice cream. You’re excited that you got it, but it’s not surprising because you finished your dinner and behaved yourself... ideally.

To attempt to understand the scope of what Marvel might have planned, we need to think outside the box. Think back to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. While the MCU has been quite successful, there have been few surprising twists. Those moments that left you uttering "Whoa," like Thanos’ cameo in The Avengers. However, The Winter Soldier gave us one of Marvel’s biggest twists when it not only revealed the Hydra conspiracy, but dismantled S.H.I.E.L.D. at the end of the movie. It was huge! It not only changed the game for Captain America and the gang, but also shifted the status quo of the entire MCU, which is currently best exemplified on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While Avengers: Age of Ultron will assuredly be packed full of shocking moments, Captain America 3 is being touted as the next movie to deliver another "Whoa" moment; maybe even bigger than The Winter Soldier.

What might that moment be? We have big ideas.

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