MCU Phase 4 rumours: Marvel developing Black Knight, Thunderbolts trilogies

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THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: ENDGAME

Spider-Man: Far From Home hits cinemas in just over two months, officially bringing to a close Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Due to the universe-rearranging narrative of Avengers: Endgame – and as we learned this week, Far From Home as well – Marvel has kept the details of Phase 4 tightly under wraps. We know about some sequels and a few other new projects in the pipeline like The Eternals and Shang-Chi, but other than that, it’s a big mystery. However, some new rumours may have finally shed some light on what’s to come.

Now I have first start by talking about the source of these rumours. Back in December, a Twitter account belonging to a person calling themselves Roger Wardell popped up and started making some pretty outlandish claims about the then-upcoming Avengers: Endgame. Here’s the thing though: Nearly every single one of Wardell’s claims were spot on the money as we found out a few weeks ago. Clearly, whoever this person is, they have some kind of serious inside connection at Marvel. Wardell has made some more claims now, and based on their track record we’re paying attention.

First up, included in the Endgame tweets was the claim that Marvel is talking internally about introducing Black Knight into the MCU. This will not just be as a new team player on the Avengers, but also as the lead in a possible trilogy of solo films. The Black Knight has gone through many different looks and iterations since his debut in 1967, but in essence, he is Dane Whitman, one of the greatest swordsmen and fighters in the world, who wields an enchanted sword known as the Ebony Blade as well as several other magical armaments. In the comics, he’s been a member of various Avengers teams and has a big connection to Captain Britain – who is a character that Marvel has subtly been hinting at recently.

Outside of Black Knight, which other new properties could we see on the big screen? Well, how about a new property with a bunch of old faces? Old villainous faces, to be exact. According to Wardell, “Marvel still has big plans for Zemo, Ghost, Justin Hammer, General Ross, and the Abomination” as the villains Captain America: Civil War, Ant Man & The Wasp, Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk respectively will be brought together for an adaptation of Thunderbolts.

In a nutshell, the modern incarnation of the Thunderbolts is Marvel’s version of DC’s Suicide Squad, as a team of villains are used by the government to do a bunch of dirty work (the original, and in my opinion better incarnation, followed a group of villains who pretended to be heroes). The dirty work, in this case, would be to take down The Leader, the villainous identity of Tim Blake Nelson’s Samuel Sterns, who we last saw in 2009’s The Incredible Hulk.

In one of the more recent incarnations of the team, the Thunderbolts were a group of heroes who have more lethal tendencies led by General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, aka the Red Hulk (he was hulked up as part of a new super soldier program). William Hurt currently plays the character of Ross in the MCU, but without any powers. We do know that the Russo brothers flirted with the idea of introducing Red Hulk in Avengers: Infinity War though, so maybe Marvel plan to merge the two variations of the Thunderbolts into one: A team of villains led by a US Military sanctioned Red Hulk. Either way, according to Wardell, Marvel intends for Thunderbolts to become a trilogy as well.

Both of Black Knight and Thunderbolts are ideas that would slot right in with Marvel’s plans to not only diversify, but also introduce properties that can play with different genres. Black Knight could give us some high-fantasy antics while delving more into the multiverse aspects, while Thunderbolts can be a darker, military vibe. I’m definitely down for both to become additions to this new age of the MCU.

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

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