Warning! The following contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame. Read at your own risk!
Avengers: Endgame is now in theaters, and after months of mystery, Marvel's plans for Phase 4 of the MCU are starting to take shape. While there's still no exact layout for what's happening in the MCU going forward, the movie does present some clues towards how things may play out in the coming years.
Now we have more than rumors to go on when it comes to the upcoming Disney+ shows, and further details to speculate on ahead of their release. Here's what we learned about these shows from the movies, and how the events of Avengers: Endgame may affect each Disney+ series.
Ahead of Avengers: Endgame, there were whispers that Loki's Disney+ series would be a prequel and would detail the origins and formative years of the God of Mischief. That's still very much on the table following Avengers: Endgame, although there's a question of whether or not it will follow another story. Specifically, one that details what happened after Loki escaped with the Tesseract and created an alternate timeline.
For the record, Captain America and Tony should've erased this timeline when they retrieved the Tesseract from 1970, although we're still not entirely clear on how the timeline works, whether the Avengers properly understood how they affected it, and whether Cap followed protocol. In short, it's possible these alternate timelines still exist, and a Disney+ series could explore Loki's journey with the Tesseract in a journey that's technically set after The Avengers.
If that Loki is still alive, then that matches up with the rumored plot that the Loki series will feature the villain having an unlikely hand in major historical events over the years. Now we just need to figure out if this second Loki would be doing this in a new alternate timeline, or he's somehow also in the prime timeline. Time travel, am I right?
Wanda Maximoff's Scarlet Witch series is said to be set in the '50s, and will feature Paul Bettany returning as Vision. Avengers: Endgame did help that confusing premise make sense somewhat, although it also made the story a bit more confusing as well with the events that played out.
To start, Avengers: Endgame introduced time travel, and the machine used to travel through the Quantum Realm was intact at the end of the movie. This means it's possible for the 20-something Wanda to live in the '50s with Vision, provided Vision is alive. While Avengers: Endgame did revive a lot of previously dead heroes, the robotic Vision was not seen anywhere. Additionally, his creator Ultron is long gone, so unless he left blueprints behind and the Avengers have a mind stone, rebuilding him will be an issue.
A version of Vision could always be shanghai'd from the past, but doing that could create an alternate timeline without him. There's also been talk of Wanda's series possibly being an illusion, and that she's using either the Reality Stone or her own incredible powers House of M-style to create a fictional world for her to live in. Rumors about the series teased Vision without the Mind Stone, so perhaps Bruce rebuilds him without the Infinity Stone? Obviously, we're gonna need some more answers on this one.
Falcon And Winter Soldier
It was originally rumored that Falcon and Winter Soldier's series was centered around finding a new Captain America, but that theory is looking to be bogus following Avengers: Endgame. That's what one could assume anyway as one of the film's final scenes showed Steve Rogers return as an old man and give the Captain America mantle to Anthony Mackie's Falcon. Given that, one would assume the series won't be about finding a new Captain America, right?
That depends, as while Cap may have crowned his successor, it may not have been his title to give. If the government or S.H.I.E.L.D. has other thoughts, they might try and give the title to someone else, and have Sam keep on donning his respective hero role while searching for someone else.
That means the Disney+ plot rumor may stand and possibly lead to an adventure that shows Steve was right to crown Falcon as Captain America. It's also possible this adventure is entirely different, and will feature the new Captain America and Winter Soldier coming face to face with the villain freed once again by the Soul Stone, Red Skull. With his appearance in both recent Avengers movies, it feels as though the villain's being re-introduced (and recast) for a reason.
The Hawkeye series hasn't been confirmed by Disney yet, which is a shame considering its rumors line up the best with the events of Avengers: Endgame. The show is said to feature Jeremy Renner's character passing on his title to Kate Bishop, who will assume the mantle of Hawkeye. Clint Barton survived the movie to pass the torch, so right now, this rumor is looking good.
Unfortunately, the whole Kate Bishop bit is still in question. The young female archer seen in the movie turned out to be Clint's daughter Lila, and there was no mention of Hawkeye giving up his hero status or training someone else to be a hero. That doesn't really jeopardize this rumor considering the Disney+ series could be an origin story for Kate Bishop, but it does make it less solid.
It could be unrelated, but it's worth mentioning that Katherine Langford, who was believed to be in Avengers: Endgame, did not appear in the movie. Was the 13 Reasons Why star originally present, but her role was cut? Some thought Langford was playing Kate Bishop, and it's possible we may learn she still is should the series be confirmed with the same plot details. Perhaps Bishop originally appeared in the movie in an end-credits scene, but it was nixed for that mysterious sound.
Bonus: Howard The Duck
Howard the Duck's upcoming series is going to Hulu, not Disney+, but with the character making an unexpected cameo in Avengers: Endgame, it's worth speculating if the movie will impact his upcoming adventure. Howard appears among the many fighters who aided the Avengers in the giant final battle, and his animated adventure is said to involve him being stranded on Earth. Coincidence?
Maybe, as Marvel's animated shows are rarely canon to the rest of the MCU. This is even true with the Disney+ "What If" series, which explicitly creates non-canon circumstances just for the fun of it. Breaking that tradition now could make things a bit messy for Marvel, who already has trouble incorporating television shows into its cinematic universe.
Still, this is Howard The Duck we're talking about! The chances of him getting a major picture or live-action adventure are probably very low, so maybe Marvel can make an exception in this instance?
Keep up with CinemaBlend for updates on Marvel's Disney+ shows and news on other franchises in the MCU as they become available.