At Comic-Con, Marvel made a truck load of announcements related to their plans for the future of the MCU. As someone who has been slightly obsessed with Marvel films since I saw The Avengers in 2012, I was on the edge of my seat. However, I was… disappointed, at least with the films. (The TV shows are a whole different topic.)
There’s a lot to talk about as to why I feel that way, but it’s mainly due to the removal of the original favorite characters, the characters we had in Phase One.
We lost half of the original Avengers—while Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) didn’t die, he’s pretty much out of the picture—and the only one confirmed to be a part of the upcoming films that further the story for Phase Four is Chris Hemsworth’s Thor (since the Black Widow movie is likely a prequel). They’ve moved Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to TV, and there’s no mention of Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) at all.
They’ve also removed Bucky (Sebastian Stan) from the film lineup, another favorite from Phase One. We still have bit parts from Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in Spiderman: Far From Home, but they might not be enough to keep the moviegoers who loved the original characters coming.
The details of Thor’s fourth film were also a bit of a disappointment. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is obviously gone from the film; Thor and Loki’s relationship was a key point in all the previous Thor films, and without it, I feel there will be a void in this upcoming movie. The Warriors Three (Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, and Tadanobu Asano) and Heimdall (Idris Elba) are gone, and despite confirming Sif (Jaimie Alexander) is still alive, there has been no mention of her returning.
Removing all these favorites, while there are still many interesting and loved characters from Phases Two and Three present, may be a mistake on Marvel’s part. I doubt it will hurt their box office numbers too much, but as someone who’s been in love with this franchise from the beginning, seeing the characters who were there at the start leave the movie lineup may result in me forking over less money to Marvel.