There are plenty of reasons to think the next two Avengers movies (April's Avengers: Infinity War and 2019's still untitled sequel) will be the last ride for this original cinematic crew of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. There's the Infinity Gauntlet-wielding threat of Thanos (Josh Brolin) and the even more permanent end of contract obligations for much of the talent involved. There's also the looming feeling from those Infinity War trailers that not every Avenger is going to make it out of this war alive.
What we do know is that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will go on, with sequels to current hits and new franchises beginning. What we don't know right now is if the MCU film franchises that will go on after the Infinity events will interconnect to form a new team of Avengers in the future.
We're at the tail-end of a movie moment 10 years in the making with Infinity War. Does Marvel Studios have what they need to do something like this again?
Here's a list of heroes we believe could form the next roster of Avengers for Marvel Studios.
- Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)
The MCU's Sorcerer Supreme would be a powerful addition to a new Avengers squad. And while we're sure Thanos will eventually get his hands on the Time Stone that hides inside Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto amulet, that won't prevent the doctor from continuing to be a master of the mystic arts. Doctor Strange appears to be in bad shape in the last Avengers trailer after meeting Iron Man and the Hulk (no word if he was instantly given official Avengers status in that meetup), but we can assume he makes it out of the Infinity War alive if for no other reason than we have to see him take on Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in the sequel to Doctor Strange.
- Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)
Humor will always be a key component to the MCU and outside of Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man, there's no funnier potential Avenger than Ant-Man. His super powers of shrinking down to insect size and becoming superstrong in the process and turning into a giant are also things a super team could put to good use. Ant-Man gets a sequel with this July's Ant-Man And The Wasp so we know he's not riding off into the sunset just yet.
- Captain Marvel (Brie Larson)
The MCU's first female superhero to get her own movie franchise (coming in March 2019) is the ideal candidate to be a part of the next generation of Avengers though Captain Marvel will take place in the 90s and we'll have to wait and see if the heroine makes it to the MCU's present day.
After leading one of the biggest superhero movies of all-time, the Black Panther is the prime candidate to lead a new Avengers team in the MCU. If more Avengers films are made after Infinity, the Black Panther's presence is a must.
- Shuri (Letitia Wright)
Wherever the Black Panther is, his sister Shuri, one of the brightest minds in the MCU, won't be far behind, and her science abilities make her a valuable asset. Some fans are calling for Shuri to become Iron Heart (the Riri Williams version of Iron Man from the comics), while others want to wait and see if Shuri will become a Black Panther herself.
- Spider-Man (Tom Holland)
Marvel Studios and Sony negotiated some behind-the-scenes movie magic to make Spider-Man a part of the MCU in time for Avengers: Infinity War. There will be sequels to the Marvel Studios/Sony co-produced Spider-Man: Homecoming, but any further Avengers appearances post-Infinity might have to be renegotiated between the two studios. Still, Spider-Man is one of Marvel's greatest heroes and was an Avenger in the comics. Sony would be wise to make sure Spider-Man is a part of any new Avengers team - it would only help the Spidey-brand, which just isn't the same without Marvel Studios swag.
- The Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan)
Now that he's no longer a brainwashed assassin, the former Captain America sidekick is for sure a part of the MCU's future, especially given the unprecedented length of Stan's nine-picture deal with Marvel Studios. Stan could even become Captain America himself if something tragic happens to the character in Infinity War, which is possible given what we've seen in trailers (Captain America confronting Thanos, Iron Man crying over someone we can't see) and the fact that Chris Evans has hinted his time as Captain America could be up. Stan has made four MCU appearances so far (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther and the upcoming Infinity War) Assuming he's in the Infinity sequel, that's five films. That leaves four more.
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