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7 MCU Heroes We’ll Probably Never See in a Movie Again


7 MCU Heroes We’ll Probably Never See in a Movie Again


Summary

  • Deadpool & Wolverine
    offers a solid first step for the MCU in course correction post recent misfires.
  • Loki, while a beloved character, may have found an organic exit point post
    Loki
    Season 2.
  • The future of major heroes like Scarlet Witch, Vision, Hulk, and Ant-Man in the MCU remains uncertain.

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For over a decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was essentially the safest bet in Hollywood. Until Eternals, each one received a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes (including, oddly enough, Thor: The Dark World) and raked in substantial profits. From a reliably consistent tone to likable characters played by equally charismatic performers, it was a cinematic machine that kept on winning. But, after a few misfires, the MCU is currently in flux. Deadpool & Wolverine looks to be a solid first step towards course correction, but outside the two title characters, which major heroes are going to be in it (save for the already announced return of Jennifer Garner’s Elektra)? And, for that matter, which heroes are going to have a presence in the MCU afterward? Let’s think it through.

Of course, if the character has already died in the MCU canon, e.g. Idris Elba’s Heimdall in Avengers: Infinity War, they have been excluded from consideration. So, no Black Widow or Iron Man (though, never say never on the latter front). The same exclusion applies to Steve Rogers, whose narrative was successfully and fairly concretely wrapped up in Avengers: Endgame.

7 Loki

Loki Laufeyson (Tom Hiddleston) finally got his time in the spotlight thanks to Disney+’s Loki. Sure, he had been the showstopper in 2012’s The Avengers, but the narrative focused on the forming of the titular team as much as it focused on his takeover plan. And, at the end of Season 2, Loki becomes the being in charge of the multiverse. While that could strongly hit at a further presence now that the MCU is embracing the multiverse concept to an increasing degree, there was also no post-credits scene for Loki Season 2. In other words, it felt and played like an organic exit point for the title character.

Hero, Antihero, What’s the Difference?

But what about Sylvie, the standout newcomer in Loki? Sophia Di Martino’s take on her character was nearly as beloved as Hiddleston’s, and that’s without years of film appearances. Di Martino has yet to feature in an MCU movie, but never say never on that front. As for Hiddleston, the best chance would be a cameo in Deadpool & Wolverine, but perhaps it would be for the best to leave him working hard at the center of the multiverse tree he’s crafted.

Loki

Loki

Release Date
June 9, 2021

Seasons
2

Studio
Disney+, Marvel Studios

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6 The Original Guardians of the Galaxy (Save for Rocket and Groot)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 wrapped up the story for not only Peter Quill, but Drax and Gamora as well. But, unlike Steve Rogers in Endgame, their resolutions didn’t exactly negate further MCU appearances. The characters are on personal journeys, like Rogers, but they’re also not suddenly in their twilight years. Yet, as far as the construction of narratives go, Quill, Drax, and Gamora have found a more-than-suitable ending point.

What About Mantis?

With Quill getting closer to his blood relatives, Nebula and Drax teaming up on Knowhere and raising the children they’ve rescued, and Gamora being in the Ravagers, where does that leave the remainder? Well, Rocket, Groot, and Kraglin are members of the new Guardians team. Mantis, however, is looking into discovering her identity, and should there be another Guardians film, that self-discovery could end up with her wanting to be part of a heroic team again, especially considering she could see some old friends.

5 The Scarlet Witch & Vision

Debuting in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch has developed a steady presence in the MCU. But, the narrative was never quite hers until WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Grief overcame her, and she turned to slightly (but only slightly) regretful villainy. The end of Multiverse of Madness has her collapse Mount Wundagore around her, ostensibly killing her in the process. But, when viewers don’t see a body, especially in a lucrative superhero franchise, that essentially means the character is not dead. Yet, even still, it’s questionable what could be done with her from this point on.

No Point in Bringing Back Vision, Either

In other words, while Multiverse is a mixed bag, that resolution is as fitting an ending for Wanda Maximoff as any. The same goes for Vision’s demise in Avengers: Infinity War. Of course, WandaVision brought him back, in a way, but only as part of the fictional world imposed upon Maximoff by Agatha Harkness. He is reconstructed as White Vision by the end of that phenomenal miniseries, but there’s little chance or reason of him coming back. WandaVision was (thankfully) a one-off, and the only other real potential is in a Young Avengers movie. But White Vision is a separate entity from Vision, even if he does possess the same memories, and he’s an entity that’s had too little impact and presence in the MCU to be a mentor to a new, younger team of heroes.

4 Hulk

The Incredible Hulk has been embraced by the MCU down the line, but it still feels fairly disconnected. And, until The Marvels, it was the franchise’s lowest-grossing film. Right now, the MCU is risk-averse, and even given how fans have taken to Mark Ruffalo’s version of the character, another solo Hulk movie would be a risk.

What Else Could Even Be Done With Him by This Point?

Is his teaming up with another major hero in their film, such as in Thor: Ragnarok, a possibility? Sure, as is his featuring in another Avengers movie. But, at this point, he’s Smart Hulk, not the rage-filled hammer that makes for a great inclusion in action sequences. Not to mention, by becoming Smart Hulk, Bruce Banner has effectively finished his arc, coming to terms with his two personalities so well that he’s merged them entirely.

The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk

Release Date
June 12, 2008

Runtime
114

Studio
Universal Pictures, Marvel Studios

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3 Captain Marvel

The MCU’s shortest film, The Marvels, also stands as its most poorly-received to date, in terms of commercial results. That’s a stark contrast from 2019’s Captain Marvel. So, in hindsight, perhaps that film benefited more from being sandwiched in-between Infinity War and Endgame, instead of demonstrating that there was a macro-scale interest in the title character. Furthermore, while it was financially successful and did fairly well with critics, not many MCU fans would put Captain Marvel in their top 10.

Ms. Marvel’s a Maybe

While The Marvels did flop, making the potential for a direct follow-up practically nonexistent, that’s not to say it couldn’t lead anywhere. For one, the post-credits scene again shows a member of the X-Men, specifically Beast, in the furry flesh. But the final scene of the film itself leads not to The Marvels 2, but a Young Avengers movie. That project has a high likelihood of coming to fruition, especially considering Ms. Marvel, as a show, was well-received.

Furthermore, Iman Vellani’s two performances were considered the highpoints not only of her own show, but the big-screen flop, as well. So, like Kate Bishop (whose mentor’s narrative was concretely wrapped up in Hawkeye) and Kathryn Newton’s Cassie Lang, there’s great potential for Ms. Marvel return to the big screen.

The Marvels

The Marvels

Release Date
November 10, 2023

Director
Nia DaCosta

Studio
Marvel Studios

Tagline
Higher. Further. Faster. Together.

2 The Eternals

Outside Kit Harington’s Black Knight and, perhaps, Harry Styles’ Eros, next to no characters in Eternals are likely to appear in an MCU film again. It was the first film to receive a splattered tomato on Rotten Tomatoes, in spite of being majorly hyped before the reviews rolled in, and the general audience didn’t feel much different. It was too much packed into a fairly bland package, and it doesn’t work far more often than it does. It even left behind a major plot point that has yet to be addressed in the MCU as a whole.

The MCU’s First “Rotten” Film Is Unlikely to Get a Sequel

So, Eternals 2 flat-out won’t happen. But, as for Black Knight, things are not so certain. His tag scene in Eternals hinted strongly that he’d be in the forthcoming Blade, but that doesn’t look to be the case. Yet, like Styles, Harington has many fans, and his presence could greatly benefit a project. It’s just that, in the case of Black Knight, it would probably be better as a Disney+ series. When it comes to Styles, however, he’s too big a mega-star to be relegated to a single tag scene in a flop and then do absolutely nothing with him in the future.

eternals

Eternals

Release Date
November 5, 2021

Runtime
2hr 36min

Studio
Marvel Studios

Tagline
In the beginning…

1 Ant-Man & The Wasp

Ant-Man is a lot of fun, as is Ant-Man and the Wasp. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, however, just doesn’t work. It leans way too far into comedy, and when the comedic bits seldom work (not even Bill Murray could inject genuine comedic life into his scene), that’s a big problem. Not to mention, the less said about M.O.D.O.K., the better. Unfortunately, after Quantumania came and went, even Paul Rudd doesn’t know if Ant-Man will come back for another round.

People Really Didn’t Like Quantumania

In a way, Quantumania doesn’t even feel like Ant-Man 3. It’s as if, to introduce Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conquerer in full after his cameo in Loki Season 1, they just picked a hero at random. This left not only Paul Rudd’s character short-changed, but also undermined the supposed strength of Kang since he’s so easily defeated by the MCU’s smallest hero. And, now that Majors is out, Quantumania looks even less relevant in 2024 than it did in 2023. It would be great for Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, and crew to get a fair third Ant-Man film, but Quantumania severely damaged the chances of that happening.

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