What If…? What’s Next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Olivia Bell

The Marvel Cinematic Universehas been around since 2008 and since the release of the first movie, Iron Man, a lot has happened. Wars have been fought, worlds have been saved, and friendships have been recovered and found, but what is next in this world that has taken to so many people’s attention?
Since the multiverse has been opened, it has been a gateway to new movies and series including What If…?, Spiderman: No Way Home, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Many fans are speculating of what will happen next in this ever-changing, ever-chaotic world. The new What If…? Series has gotten mixed reviews, as some long-time fans have been found to dislike this new take on the beloved universe, while others have come to embrace the ideas and have continued to further speculate on what is next. The Watcher, a narration character in the What If…? Series, is speculated to abandon his vow of non-interference to assemble a team of interdimensional heroes, who fans could have possibly met throughout the first season. These “variants,” a term used to describe a person who does something they are “not supposed to” in the Sacred Timeline, will potentially come together.
A question on the minds of many fans is if this theory is correct, what threat will these heroes be facing? It’s possible it could be the infamous A.I created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner using the mind stone, Ultron, who fans met in Avengers: Age of Ultron.Where does this theory come from? In the What If…? trailer, there are numerous scenes that offer glimpses of Ultron. As detailed in an article published on Screenrant.com by Thomas Bacon, in one scene from the trailer, a group of Ultrons are seen flying into the sky, while in another scene, “Party Thor” and a version of The Hulk are fighting an Ultron. “A fleet of Ultrons were shown soaring into the skies in one shot, while others showed both Party Thor and a version of the Hulk battling against Ultron” (Bacon).
While fans will not truly know what is to come next in the MCU, there are some theories that are more easily proven. For example, in the finale of the series, Loki, Sylvie in “true Loki fashion,” betrays Loki, then killing He Who Remains and breaking the Sacred Timeline. This event is theorized to happen simultaneously with Wanda’s transformation into the Scarlet Witch in the final episode of Wandavision. This theory can be found at independent.co.uk in an article written by Jacob Stolworthy. “One fan theorised that the moment Sylvie kills He Who Remains, which causes the sacred timeline to branch into different ones, can be detected in the WandaVision’s post-credits scene.” (Stolworthy).
Marvel fans everywhere are highly anticipating the release of the rest of the movies and series in phase 4, having high hopes of loose ends getting tied and seeing in which direction the story goes, as the possibilities are, very literally, endless.