Written by Charissa Roberson
How do you move on from a finale like “Avengers: Endgame”? The epic climax of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3, which said goodbye to many founding faces of the Avengers, spelled the end of an era – but not, however, the end of the line. Marvel Studios is already underway on Phase 4 of the MCU, and, based on early reports, upcoming projects could be the most ambitious yet.
Phase 4 kicked off with the debut of “Wandavision” on Disney+. This oddball, genre-blending series finds Wanda Maximoff (a.k.a. Scarlet Witch) at the heart of an alternate reality that presents itself as a television sitcom. Each episode is styled after a particular decade of American television, from the ‘50s onward. Not only does this make for extremely entertaining viewing – watching the costumes, dialogue and camerawork evolve masterfully with each episode – but it raises suspicions about what’s actually going on in this unsettling “TV Land.”
Viewers will have to wait until “Wandavision”’s last episode premieres on Mar. 5 to (hopefully) get answers. But “Wandavision”’s exploration of an alternate reality could have implications beyond the show itself. Rumor has it that Marvel is setting up something big for Phase 4. The upcoming “Dr. Strange” sequel (“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”) might hint at where the superhero franchise is heading.
That’s right – Marvel could introduce the multiverse. The third “Spider-Man” film (recently confirmed as “Spider-Man: No Way Home”), which stars Tom Holland as the titular web-crawler, has been surrounded by speculation well ahead of any official plot release. Could Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire – who each wore the Spidey suit in their own right – reprise their roles in a live-action version of the Spider-verse? Holland recently debunked this claim (Esquire), but even so, theories continue to spin as thick as spiderwebs.
And consider the topsy-turvy weirdness going down in “Wandavision” right now – all of that has yet to be fully explained. Could Marvel’s release of “Wandavision” at the start of Phase 4 be a calculated move to prepare us for the multiverse? Wanda Maximoff is set to appear in “Multiverse of Madness,” so perhaps there are stronger ties there than originally thought.
Although most information remains rumors, Marvel definitely appears to be moving into multiple dimensions. Add to that a whole slate of upcoming projects, from TV series like “Loki” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” to solo films for favorites like “Black Widow” and “Hawkeye,” plus introductions to all-new heroes in films like “The Eternals” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” Whatever direction Phase 4 takes, we can be sure that Marvel will deliver up a wild, wacky and wonderful ride of characteristically epic proportions.