When Spider-Man: Far From Home hits theaters on July 2, the epic third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will come to an end. Avengers: Endgame forced us to say farewell to fallen heroes like Iron Man and Black Widow, ended with the retirement of Captain America, and left the fate of the Hulk, Hawkeye and several other iconic characters up in the air. With Marvel staying relatively silent about which films they'll be putting out in the coming years, fans are left uncertain about which heroes we can look forward to seeing in Phase 4.
While little has been officially confirmed about the franchise's future, the Internet is absolutely filled with speculation from casual fans and comic book experts about what might happen in the MCU. Disney's acquisition of the rights to Fantastic Four and X-Men characters definitely opens up a lot of doors for Marvel, and superhero lovers are anxious to see Mister Fantastic and Wolverine finally join some Avengers on the big screen and eager to throw out their thoughts on how they should be incorporated into the films.
Some of the fan theories concerning Phase 4 might just turn out to be completely accurate, but not all predictions seen online are winners. In fact, some of them are outright outrageous and shouldn't be believed for a second. Here are 15 MCU Phase 4 Theories That Make Absolutely No Sense.
15 RETURNING THE SOUL STONE BROUGHT BACK BLACK WIDOW
Marvel hasn't revealed all of the films fans can look forward to watching in the MCU's Phase 4, but we do know for sure that there will finally be the much-anticipated Black Widow solo film. Fans have been clamoring for Natasha to get her own movie for years now, but the timing of this is definitely unusual considering she sacrificed her life in Endgame so the Avengers could acquire the Soul Stone.
Fans are theorizing that when Steve Rogers returned the Soul Stone to Vormir, the "soul for a soul" trade got called off and Natasha was brought back to life.
14 THE X-MEN WILL ARRIVE FROM ELSEWHERE IN THE MULTIVERSE
Mysterio is known for being incredibly deceitful, so it's as likely that he's lying about being from another Earth as it is that he's lying about being a hero. Far From Home will likely see him become a villain by the end of the film, and reveal that his "powers" are just special effects like they are in the comics. So while the Multiverse theory would explain why there's suddenly mutants all over the planet, it's probably not going to be the route Marvel ends up taking.
13 OLD MAN STEVE ROGERS CAMEOS WILL REPLACE STAN LEE CAMEOS
One of the highlights of the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the Stan Lee cameo fans could look forward to in each film, but Marvel has confirmed that Endgame marked the comic icon's final big screen appearance. Fans are theorizing that fun Easter egg cameos might still happen, though, with the old man version of Steve Rogers instead of Stan!
12 HARLEY KEENER WILL REPLACE TONY STARK AS IRON MAN
Tony Stark's funeral at the end of Avengers: Endgame showed just how many lives the billionaire playboy philanthropist had touched from the first time he uttered the words "I am Iron Man" to the last. Several heroes and their loved ones were there to say their final farewells to him, and one particular character's appearance at the funeral had fans speculating that we haven't seen the last armored Avenger.
Harley Keener, the young boy whom Tony had worked with in Iron Man 3, was there at the funeral. It took some viewers a second to figure out who he was, but dedicated fans instantly recognized Harley and think that Pepper may have given him one of Tony's suits so he could become the Iron Lad.
11 NEWLY ACQUIRED HEROES WON'T ACTUALLY JOIN THE MAIN MCU
While most fans are thinking that the X-Men and Fantastic Four will enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe via some sort of Multiverse, some believe that Disney will just keep them away from the MCU entirely to avoid having to explain their absence over the past decade at all.
It will be difficult for Marvel to explain the sudden appearance of mutants and the Fantastic Four in their cinematic universe, since they didn't show up when Ultron or Thanos were threatening all of existence. Marvel could just keep their new properties separate and make X-Men and Fantastic Four films that exist outside of the MCU, but there's simply no way they'll do that and deny fans the chance of ever seeing heroes from those films team up with the likes of the Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy.
10 THANOS IS STILL ALIVE AND WILL RETURN
Ever since Thanos snapped his fingers and caused half of all life across the universe to dissolve into ash at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, fans have formulated theories about what really happened to those fallen characters. One popular theory is that they never truly perished and were simply trapped inside of the Soul Stone, and if that's true, then Thanos and his army may have survived the events of Endgame and could come back if anyone releases them from the Stone.
9 CAPTAIN MARVEL WILL LEAD THE AVENGERS
When Marvel first announced plans to make a Captain Marvel solo film, fans assumed that she'd replace Captain America as leader of the Avengers upon Chris Evans' departure from the role of Steve Rogers. Carol Danvers definitely proved her skills in her first two MCU appearances, but she didn't quite prove she was ready to be in charge of Earth's Mightiest Heroes and viewers shouldn't expect her to take on that role anytime soon.
She barely spent any time with the Avengers in Endgame, as she was off on other missions in space for most of the film. If the Avengers do continue on as a team without Cap, Iron Man and Black Widow, it's more likely that they'll be lead by a hero who has spent more time with the others on the roster.
8 SOME BELOVED MCU CHARACTERS ARE SECRETLY SKRULLS
As soon as behind-the-scenes images from the set of Captain Marvel revealed that the film would feature the shape-shifting race of aliens known as the Skrulls, the Internet was flooded with theories that some of the heroes we've grown to love over the past decade of Marvel films might not be who they appear. Some fans expected Endgame to reveal that big twist, and when that didn't happen, they assumed Phase 4 will feature an adaptation of the Secret Invasion storyline.
This probably won't ever play out, though, because the MCU's Skrulls were made out to be a peaceful race that only wanted to find their place in the universe.
7 ONSLAUGHT WILL BRING TOGETHER ALL OF MARVEL'S HEROES
If the X-Men and Fantastic Four are in fact going to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a new villain even more powerful and dangerous than Thanos will need to rise up to force all of Earth's heroes to join together to defeat them in a massive, crowd-pleasing crossover event. All of Marvel's heroes had to team up in the comics to take down Onslaught, a sentient psionic entity created from the consciousness of Professor X and Magneto, but it's doubtful that he'll be the MCU's choice for the next main villain.
6 MCU CHARACTERS WITH TV SHOWS ARE DONE APPEARING IN THE FILMS
It's definitely a bummer that Marvel's Defenders Netflix shows have all been canceled, but fans can find comfort in the knowledge that a whole batch of new MCU TV shows are on the way. Falcon and Bucky will be getting their own series together, there's going to be a Loki series, and one featuring Scarlet Witch and Vision. It's going to be great to see such beloved characters on a more regular basis, but one depressing theory suggests that these shows will be the only way we get to see them from now on.
5 ULTRON WILL BE A PRIMARY PHASE 4 VILLAIN
One popular fan theory that has existed ever since the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron is that the diabolical robotic supervillain actually survived the film and has just been waiting for the right time to reappear and try to remake the world in his image. Ultron briefly found himself inside of the Avengers' Quinjet that Hulk flew all the way to Sakaar, and it's possible that he uploaded a piece of himself into the ship and has been in hiding off-planet all this time.
Ultron never seems to stay gone for long in the comics, so this theory is actually supported fairly well by the source material.
4 SPIDER-MAN WILL FIGHT THE SINISTER SIX
Far From Home is only Tom Holland's second solo adventure as Spider-Man, but his Rogue's Gallery is already growing at an extremely rapid rate. Homecoming introduced Vulture, Shocker and Mac Gargan, who goes on to become the Scorpion in the comics. Far From Home will feature Mysterio and villains with the powers of Hydro-Man, Molten Man and Sandman. It's entirely possible that Sony and Marvel are building up to a Sinister Six showdown against the web-slinger, and many fans are praying it'll happen.
3 THE ENTIRETY OF PHASE 4 WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE PAST
It's definitely possible that Natasha's solo film will be a prequel which explore's the fan-favorite heroine's origin story, and the Eternals film could feasibly take place at any time over the course of history. That really doesn't mean Marvel will do a phase full of prequels, though.
There will likely be another Guardians, Black Panther and Doctor Strange adventure in the next wave of films, and those wont be mere origin stories. So feel free to just toss this illogical theory in the junk pile.
2 ANOTHER SUPERHERO CIVIL WAR WILL TAKE PLACE
One of the most memorable crossover events in Marvel Comics history was Avengers vs. X-Men, when Earth's Mightiest Heroes clashed with the notorious team of mutants over the all-powerful cosmic Phoenix Force. The Avengers viewed the entity as a threat, while Cyclops and the X-Men hoped it would lead to the resurgence of mutants and be the key to the survival of the homo superior species.
There's no doubt that an Avengers vs. X-Men film would be a huge hit, but the MCU won't be ready for that event for years.
1 THE RED SKULL WILL LEAD HYDRA ONCE AGAIN
When the Russo brothers revealed that Thanos' acquisition of the Soul Stone freed the Red Skull of his duties as its protector on Vormir, fans of the power-hungry HYDRA leader gained hope that he'd return to Earth and resume his villainous attempt to take over the world. It's definitely tragic that the iconic antagonist played such a small role in the MCU, but we doubt he'll come back and take another shot at global domination.
Johann Schmidt is, as far as we know, still stranded on Vormir with no way to return to Earth. He's without any followers, and his greatest enemy has retired. Decades of solitude on a distant planet probably caused him to lose his greed and lust for power, so he simply wouldn't be a good supervillain anymore.