With Ms. Marvel wrapping up, Thor: Love and Thunder topping the box office, and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law on the way, the MCU’s Phase 4 is well started and has been tremendously successful thus far. Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, and the other MCU creatives have done an excellent job of deviating from the standard pattern.
Each project evolves into something distinct and perfectly suited to the personalities it portrays.
Despite the fact that many more Phase 4 projects have yet to be disclosed, Marvel fans are anxious to learn more about what prospective projects are in the works. Theories abound on how Kang the Conqueror will rock the Multiverse, how the Fantastic Four and X-Men will be introduced, and, most importantly, what epic peril will reunite the Avengers.
However, fans aren’t the only ones who have speculated. MCU actors and directors have weighed in on what should come next and how the MCU is progressing. Joe and Anthony Russo, the brothers who directed Infinity War and Endgame, have revealed their hopes for Phase 5.
Phase 5 Dreams of the Russo Brothers
Variety recently tweeted a video of filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo discussing what they hope to see in Phase 5 movies and series inside the MCU. Their response? “More of what they’re doing” with “more daring, exploration, and experimentation”:
“Oh wow,” says Joe.
Anthony: “It’s just more of the same. Simply more daring, investigation, and experimenting. Just taking us to unexpected places.”
“Risks, diversity, everything they’re doing, sure,” Joe says.
What You Can Expect Phase 5 of the MCU
There has recently been significant discussion about whether the MCU is “becoming woke” and whether this is harming the franchise. The box office and Disney+ stats would disagree, and it appears the Russos do as well. Exploring different story-telling approaches and emphasizing the MCU’s diversity are characteristics of Phase 4, and both were explicitly mentioned by Joe Russo as more of what he hopes to see in the future.
Joe’s remark of “risks” corresponds to Anthony’s mention of “experimentation.” Perhaps the most notable characteristic of Phase 4 (and a significant factor to its ongoing success) has been its willingness to deviate from the standard pattern. While the Infinity Saga had standout features, most notably the two Guardians of the Galaxy films, nothing came near to the kind of artistic experimentation that Phase 4 has conjured up.
Emmy-nominated programs like Moon Knight and Loki demonstrate Marvel Studios’ ability to create exceptional television. When you compare those series (or a more grounded one like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) to the just finished Ms. Marvel, you’ll notice a wide range of casting and aesthetic. Nothing prior to Phase 4 provided the psychological drama of Moon Knight or the way Ms. Marvel felt more like a teen comedy-drama like Awkward than a superhero show.
This holds true for the big screen, as both Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder were clearly shaped by their directors’ distinct styles.
The over-the-top occult action of Evil Dead was evident in Sam Raimi’s Multiverse. Taika Waititi’s bombastic-yet-emotional filmmaking style was much more evident in Thor 4 than it was in Ragnarok. Both films benefited from their directors’ choices, which were clearly chosen with the goal of best reflecting the personalities in them in mind.
All of this is to imply that the Russos understand that this shift in direction has made MCU films more approachable and, in many ways, more genuine to their source material. Many people want to see the Russos direct another Avengers film, including the brothers themselves, and it’s apparent that if they do, they’ll be embracing much of the Phase 4 aesthetic.