Marvel Insiders Answer The Biggest Questions About The Future Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

April 4, 2016

With "Captain America: Civil War" hitting theaters this May, everyone is dying to know how the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it will be affected. What will happen to Iron Man, Black Widow and the Winter Soldier? How does "Civil War" set up the rest of the MCU Phase Three movies and beyond? We got the scoop during "Spoilers! Phase Three Speculation on the Marvel Cinematic Universe," a recent panel at Wizard World comic con. Prepare for spoilers and informed conjecture!

Who Will Die In "Captain America: Civil War?"

Someone's got to bite the dust during the big battle, and fans are positive it will be Tony Stark/Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr. "His contract was up before 'Civil War' and was renegotiated to be in the movie. He's a good possibility because of that, but he's such a good character," said Matt Key, host of the "Marvel Movie News" broadcast. "But whoever dies in 'Civil War' will be dead -- actually dead. The rumor, though, is that they'll come back for 'The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2.'" 

Iron Man's death definitely would make sense. After all, Downey already has appeared in three "Iron Man" films, two "Avengers" films, cameos in several other Marvel properties and a few shorts. He's also contracted for both parts of "Infinity War," though we don't know how, exactly, he'll play into things. Whatever happens, it's been a LOT of Tony Stark for Robert Downey Jr. and a lot of big, big paychecks from Marvel (sources say he'll be getting at least $40 million for "Civil War").

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Fans also are speculating that James Rhodes/War Machine will die, thanks to a perilous trailer. Key knocked that aside, but thoughtfully nodded as a fan speculated that the Winter Soldier dies, which drives the Avengers apart and starts the Infinity War. Clever!

Will Spider-Man Be Cool Or Lame?

Fans have been salivating to see Peter Parker/Spider-Man in a true Marvel movie for decades, but because of licensing and usage rights among different studios (Don't get us started), that hasn't happened -- until now. Through lawyer magic, Spidey will appear in "Captain America: Civil War," and his appearance in a recent trailer is revving up anticipation. But will he suck? "Tom Holland is a genius. Holy crap, this kid can do it," Matt Key said at Wizard World. "I'm excited. He's a true Spider-Man fan and even took gymnastics as a kid because of Spidey." Key also remarked on Spider-Man's costume in the trailer, noting expressive eyes that recall Marvel artist Steve Ditko's drawings and a mechanical nose.

But Key also warned that "Civil War" won't be the Peter Parker show. "He's only in the movie for about seven minutes and plays a bigger part in the battle that's to come," Key said. "'Civil War' is more about Black Panther's instigation and hunting of the Winter Soldier." Watch Spidey's debut in the trailer below:


Can Everyone And His Brother Wield Thor's Hammer Now?

Fans are still surprised that in "Avengers: Age of Ultron," the Vision could pick up Thor's hammer Mjölnir, since "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor." Traditionally, the only one "worthy" has been Thor (and a few others in the comics), and we saw in the film that Captain America and Iron Man couldn't even budge the weapon. Does this mean that the Vision could become Thor? Hold on, now. Matt Key says that the Vision as depicted in "Age of Ultron" isn't actually worthy. "That would be cool, but that's probably not it," Key said. Damian Beurer, producer for "Super Power Beat Down" went even further. "An elevator could 'lift' the hammer as it goes up. An elevator is not worthy. Vision isn't, either," Beurer said.

Will We Finally See Some Diversity In The Marvel Movies?

So far, the Marvel films have been mostly about white men; that's changing, thank goodness.

Scarlet Johansson, who plays Natasha Romanova/Black Widow, has featured heavily in the "Avengers" and "Captain America" films, and there's major fan outcry for a film of her own. Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Sharon Carter/Agent 13 will feature heavily in "Civil War," as will T'Challa/Black Panther who will later get his own movie. "Civil War" star Chris Evans, who plays Steve Rogers/Captain America, has indicated that he wants to move to directing after his Marvel contract is up, so someone else will have to take up the mantel of being Cap. Sam Wilson/Falcon dons the costume after Rogers' retirement in the comics, and the Wizard World panelists say that likely will happen in the films, too. "It'll be Falcon (played by Anthony Mackie)," Damian Beurer said with assurance at Wizard World. Other Marvel Cinematic Universe film characters on the horizon include more from Gamora of "Guardians of the Galaxy" and Wasp of "Ant-Man," a Captain Marvel film and an Inhumans film.

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"This is the time to pull in different genders and races," Beurer said at Wizard World. "There's room for the Miles Morales Spider-Man, the Jane Foster Thor and the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel. It's ok to vary the audience and add more women and different races."

"There are rumors that there will be 68 characters in 'Infinity War,'" Beurer continued. "That's the end of phase three and the start of phase four. There's room for anything to happen."