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Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame.
Avengers: Endgame has been in theaters for nearly two months, but the conversation surrounding The Russo Brothers' massive blockbuster hasn't slowed down. The blockbuster was complicated and thrilling, built upon the previous 21 movies before it. Endgame also had real consequences, and we saw some beloved characters fall in the group's final stand against Thanos.
Both Iron Man and Black Widow died in Endgame, while Captain America became an old man after living with Peggy. A few characters also died in Infinity War, and we shouldn't expect any of these fallen heroes to get rebooted in the MCU anytime soon. As Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus recently explained:
It's the nature of the MCU. It's not a place where you can reboot one and suddenly Iron Man is 15 years old and everyone else is still the same age. The characters have to pass out, and the universe has to still stand. So if you're going to take people off the board, they've got to go for real. Granted, these are movies. I understand that somebody has made some kind of announcement that has the word 'Vision' in it, so I mean…
According to the longtime Marvel writer, it seems that the deaths presented throughout Phase Three should stick. And that rings especially true for emotional sacrifices like Iron Man, Black Widow, and Vision from the last two Avengers flicks.
Christopher Markus' comments Empire seems cut and dry for the most part. Because character deaths would have less meaning if anybody could be rebooted. On top of that, they'd make the timeline into a big old mess. Considering how much time travel was used in Endgame, we don't need things to get any more muddled when it comes to the MCU's timeline.
Then again, there are Marvel projects coming out in the future that are going to star characters who perished throughout the course of the last two movies. Christopher Markus references WandaVision, which is an upcoming Dinsey+ series set to star Paul Bettany's Vision and Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch. Tom Hiddleston's Loki will also be getting a series despite his Infinity War death, although the villain's acquisition of the Space Stone during Endgame's Time Heist might provide the much needed catalyst for new content.
Black Widow is also getting her long awaited solo movie in Phase Four, which is expected to be a prequel given her death on Vormir. So while the same cast is being utilized to bring future projects to the MCU, the franchise doesn't appear to be considering any all-out reboots. As such, the original actors will remain in their roles, without having to pass the baton to another performer.
While we shouldn't expect the Marvel Cinematic Universe to reboot any of its properties or heroes that have fallen, there does seem to be a passing of the torch happening within the property. The most obvious example of this happened in the final sequence of Avengers: Endgame. After Captain America returned the Infinity Stones to their proper place in the timeline, he decided to live out his life in the past with Peggy. Steve Rogers eventually returns as an old man, with the love and family he always craved.
When Grandpa Steve appeared onscreen (thanks to stunning CGI work), he had his trusty shield with him. In that scene he literally gives Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson the mantle of Captain America. With the iconic weapon in hand, Falcon becomes the next Cap, in a plot twist that should be fascinating during the mysterious Phase Four of the MCU.
There is clearly a new Captain America in town, but will there also be a new Iron Man? Spider-Man: Far From Home appears to be grappling with that very subject matter, as Peter Parker is seemingly haunted by the memory of his mentor. The trailers show that Peter is wearing the Iron Spider suit during his missions, and is teased about possibly becoming the next Iron Man.
This would be an interesting plot twist, as most fans expect Peter Parker to continue inhabiting the role of Spider-Man. The web swinger only debuted in Captain America: Civil War, so it would be surprising for Tom Holland's character to become another hero so quickly. Perhaps he'll simply get the opportunity to take over as Iron Man, before deciding to once again remain the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Christopher Markus' comments about possible reboots make total sense, especially considering how many heroes are currently occupying the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite the handful of deaths, there are a ton of characters and franchises that are alive and well. As such, there's no need to reboot characters who have perished along the way.
The MCU is still expected to grow substantially in Phase Four, especially considering Disney+ and the merger between Fox and the House of Mouse. With Disney now acquiring 20th Century Fox's assets, Marvel finally has control over the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters. While we should expect a few years to pass before the latter franchise is adapted for the MCU, Phase Four seems like a likely place to finally bring the Fantastic Four into the fray. Especially considering how dismal the last attempt at adapting that team of heroes went.
But if the Iron Man and/or Captain America franchises continue on with new actors, does that technically count as a reboot? We're not getting a new Tony Stark or Steve Rogers, but the mantle of their superhero identity is seemingly being tossed to someone else. Although Spider-Man: Far From Home is bringing the multiverse to the big screen, so the narrative possibilities are seemingly endless.
We'll just have to wait and see what's coming next, as Phase Four continues to be a total mystery to the generations of Marvel fans.
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now, and Spider-Man: Far From Home will wrap up Phase Three when it arrives in theaters on July 2nd. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.