“Where are the Avengers?” is a question that has been actively pondered for a few years now, both by moviegoers and characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe itself. Of course, for the people who exist in real life, the question can be more accurately interpreted as, “Which of the upcoming Marvel movies is going to be the next Avengers sequel?” Well, as Kevin Feige announced during San Diego Comic-Con in July 2022, we now know that “Earth’s mightiest heroes” will return in Avengers 5 (formerly titled Avengers: The Kang Dynasty).
However, what we do not know about this highly anticipated sequel is what exactly the new lineup of costumed protectors will look like following the loss of a few key members, such as Tony “Iron Man” Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Natasha “Black Widow” Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). Yet, we can infer that, whoever is up to the task of crushing evil this time, their mission might have something to do with containing the Marvel Multiverse. We will dish on that and all the details we know of regarding Avengers 5 in the following breakdown — starting with the most important question: when can we see this thing?
What Is The Avengers 5 Release Date?
Currently, Avengers 5 is set to come out on May 1, 2026. It was previously set to hit theaters almost exactly a year earlier, before circumstances like the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes and other details we will get into soon caused setbacks. Despite the release date push back (which at least gives fans enough time to revisit or discover all the Marvel movies in order so far), the Avengers: Endgame follow-up is still planned to be one of the final films in the Phase Six timeline, as previously announced by Kevin Feige during Marvel Studios’ San Diego Comic-Con panel in 2022.
Jonathan Majors Is No Longer Playing Kang
At the moment, there are no actors confirmed to appear in the Avengers 5 cast, but there was one who was previously expected to appear, based on the film’s original title, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. However, Jonathan Majors will not be reprising his role as the ruthless interdimensional traveler, Kang the Conqueror in this new film, or any upcoming MCU installment for that matter.
The Emmy-nominated Lovecraft Country star was dropped by Marvel Studios in late 2023 after he was found guilty of harassment and assault in a trial against his former girlfriend, Grace Jabbari. Majors made his Marvel debut as “He Who Remains” in the Loki Season 1 finale – which was meant to set him up as the Multiverse Saga’s new big bad – before making his official debut in the role of Kang as the main antagonist of Ant-Man and the Wasp and later appearing in Loki Season 2 as a variant named Victor Timely. It has been rumored that the villain could be recast, but no official announcements have been made as of now.
Avengers 5’s Original Title Shares Its Name With A Brutal Comic Book Arc
Story details for Avengers 5 are still unconfirmed at this point. However, one way someone could gain insight into what to expect from the plot is by taking another look at the film’s original name, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and reading the Marvel Comics storyline of the same name. Written by Kurt Busiek and published in 16 parts between 2001 and 2002, the arc sees the eponymous villain successfully take over the entire Earth with the help of his son, Marcus.
However, this is mere speculation, of course. Besides, with how often the MCU likes to take liberties – such as with the many differences between the two-part story told in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame and the epic, iconic comic book arc that inspired it – the film might bear very little resemblance. Not to mention, the story might go in an entirely different direction now that Jonathan Majors is no longer involved, unless a new actor for Kang is chosen, allowing Marvel to go forward with the original plans. Regardless, the plot of the next Avengers movie remains a mystery for now, which is just how Kevin Feige and co. seem to like it.
The Follow Up Has Also Been Announced
One likely part of the plan is to have another Avengers: Infinity War/Avengers: Endgame situation and make Avengers 5 the first half of a two-part story. Reason being: there are already plans well underway for a sixth Avengers installment, called Avengers: Secret Wars, which is currently set to release roughly a year later on May 7, 2027.
Primed to serve as the finale for MCU’s Phase Six and the Multiverse Saga overall, Avengers: Secret Wars shares its name with a popular crossover event from Marvel Comics which ran for 12 issues from 1984 to 1985. It involves an omnipotent being called the Beyonder (literally the physical manifestation of an entire alternate dimension), who kidnaps various superheroes and supervillains and pits them against each other on a planet of his own creation called “Battleworld.” One such villain reluctantly involved in these deadly challenges and forced to endure a taste of his own medicine is Kang the Conqueror, so we might be seeing him return for this monumental cinematic event, as well.
Currently, Avengers 5 Has No Director
Not only are the Avengers 5 cast and story still under wraps, but we do not know who is helming the sequel, either. Previously, Destin Daniel Cretton was tapped to direct the fifth Avengers movie in July 2022. However, the acclaimed filmmaker would step down from the gig in late 2023, but only out of his obligation to other Marvel projects, as Deadline reported.
Said upcoming Marvel projects include a sequel to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – the action-packed 2021 favorite that saw his MCU debut – and an upcoming Marvel TV show for Disney+ about Wonder Man. Cretton also has previous experience working with Marvel movie stars, having directed Captain Marvel’s Brie Larson in three acclaimed dramas: 2013’s Short Term 12, The Glass Castle from 2017, and the 2019 biopic Just Mercy, which was led by Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan. He was also an EP on another Disney+ original comic book adaptation with no Marvel connections called American Born Chinese.
Loki Creator Michael Waldron Is Writing Avengers 5
One behind-the-scenes fact about Avengers 5 that we do, thankfully, know is who is writing the screenplay. That responsibility has been placed in the hands of Michael Waldron, who is also writing Avengers: Secret Wars, according to Deadline. He is best known as the showrunner for Loki, but has more contributions to the MCU under his belt.
The writer and producer also penned the script for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness from 2022 and, that same year, contributed to some of the dialogue in Avengers: Quantum Encounter – a short film shown exclusively on the Disney Cruise Line that features Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man, Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, Anthony Mackie’s Captain America, and more. Waldron has also served as a writer and producer for Rick and Morty and created the Starz original series, Heels.
It has taken us the strength of all the Avengers combined to withstand our anticipation for said superhero team’s long-awaited return. However, like Feige and co. have proved over the past decade-plus, it is best to take these things just one step at a time. That being said, wish us luck as we await the release of Avengers 5.
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Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.