Avengers: Endgame Director Promises A More Diverse MCU In Phase 4

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While there’ve been three distinct phases of the MCU, the release of Avengers: Endgame next week will truly be a watershed moment for the universe. Whatever happens in that film will change the franchise forever, as decade-long plotlines are being wrapped up and there’s a high chance of some of the most beloved heroes biting the dust.

But what comes after that in Phase 4? Well, we know that a handful of movies are already in development, but it seems that behind the scenes at Marvel Studios, they’re eager for a political and cultural shift in their films. In fact, Endgame co-director Joe Russo laid it out pretty clearly in a new interview, when he was asked what the future of the MCU looks like and responded as so:

“The future of these movies will be an inclusive one. Diversity, both in front of and behind the camera, will be its gold standard.”

While that’s a statement sure to get some of the more grubby corners of the internet gnashing their teeth in rage, it makes a good deal of sense. After all, Black Panther and Captain Marvel both marketed themselves on their diversity credentials, with both films going on to make a cool billion at the box office.

Plus, Russo’s comment fits with what we know of Disney CEO Bob Iger’s philosophy for his movies. About a year ago he gave an interview with Vogue where he explained how important he felt Black Panther was, saying:

“I badly wanted this movie. To have a black director, a black producer, a black cast. Look around. It means something. … On the business side, there is a case to be made for your product reflecting the world you’re trying to do business in, but of course, there’s also an ethical side. I felt that Marvel needed to turn its afterburners on in terms of developing movies based on more diverse characters, and that led directly to Black Panther and Captain Marvel. It was time to take a leap forward, and I exhorted them to do that.”

So, what could this mean? Well, word is that The Eternals will feature a gay lead character, with Shang-Chi bringing us an Asian lead and, of course, Black Widow will feature Scarlett Johansson. Plus, we’ve heard rumors that Marvel Studios might be planning to diversify their legacy heroes, with Kate Bishop apparently destined to become the new Hawkeye and the outside chance that Ironheart (an African-American woman) might be stepping into Tony Stark’s robotic boots.

Clearly, the future of the MCU is diversity, and as we hear more on what the studio’s got in the works for us, we’ll be sure to let you know.

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