When the curtain fell on Avengers: Endgame, it became clear that the Avengers team had gotten a lot bigger. It was also stronger than ever. Some of these superheroes had a lot of time to work together in the five years between Infinity War and Endgame. Everyone else came back to life to fight Thanos again. But it was also made very clear that the Avengers team entering MCU Phase 4 will need at least one new leader. Now we’ve had nearly a year of Phase 4 adventures, and we’re slowly getting closer to the next Avengers movie that we all love. Marvel has yet to announce the cast of Avengers 5, but we may have found the next team leader.
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Iron Man and Captain America
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) died in Endgame, and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) retired. Whatever the Avengers 5 sequel story we get, we’re going to have a new Avengers team.
Iron Man and the original Captain America were the de facto leaders of the original team. Nick Fury brought them together, and it was SHIELD who oversaw this group of extraordinary people. But it was Tony and Steve who led the team.
The former had a voice in everything, and fans know that means everything. From technology to politics to the battle royale plan, Tony Stark always had something to say. Rogers was equally frank about the things that mattered to him; about doing the right thing; and on the use of profanity in language. But he was making the decisions during the battle.
Marvel continued to increase the cast of the Avengers as the MCU got bigger, making the hugely momentous movie Captain America: Civil War possible. It was then that the Avengers had to choose a side between these two leaders. Like the Avengers, so did the audience. And it’s perfectly normal to keep switching sides as a fan the more you watch Civil War again.
That’s not to say that the future Avengers crew has to rally around more than one leader. But Phase 4 will see the universe grow spectacularly. We will have several teams of superheroes in the MCU, thanks in part to the purchase of Disney by Fox. The Eternals, X-Men and Fantastic Four teams are some of them. Also, we will have a lot of new characters that could join a version of the Avengers in the future, and Marvel has already cast some of the Young Avengers.
Avengers 5 cast members remain a secret
With that in mind, we will likely see some of the strongest personalities in the group emerge as the new leaders. Some reports said that Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) could be the new faces of the MCU. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man could be another, but the character is far from a leader. The main problem with Peter Parker is that Marvel does not have full control over the character.
Then there’s the new Captain America, and Anthony Mackie could become one of the Avengers leaders on future teams. Marvel will likely use one of the older Avengers – characters we’ve seen in at least a couple of movies and / or TV shows before – to lead the new group. But Marvel is nowhere near announcing Avengers 5 or the cast of this long-awaited crossover. The studio confirmed that the movie is in the works, and we have 2024 release dates for untitled Marvel movies. But we are still waiting for new members of the Avengers and new big villains to be revealed.
Benedict Cumberbatch on whether #DrStrange is the new Avengers leader: “I’d have to think about that.” https://t.co/mteaDUtwlr pic.twitter.com/SjGAPyMkVT
– Variety (@Variety) September 12, 2021
When asked bluntly if Doctor Strange is “the new Iron Man” and if he is the leader of the Avengers, Cumberbatch offered a politically correct answer. “I’d have to think about that,” the actor said in an interview with Variety. Cumberbatch did not confirm or deny what many fans are already thinking about his character. And the way he phrased the answer leaves a lot of room for speculation.
But the fact that Cumberbatch lets fans speculate is itself a clue. He does not outright deny the possibility. It must be clear to him that Strange is indeed one of the characters who could lead the Avengers.
Is Doctor Strange the new leader?
The actor may know a lot more about the Phase 4 plans than what’s to come in Doctor Strange 2. Or he’s just using this question to further his own interests. What actor wouldn’t want his character to lead the most beloved team of superheroes right now? No matter who will cast the Avengers 5, we will all want to see that movie as soon as it comes out.
Now that I think about it, Cumberbatch could have been preparing to replace Iron Man for years. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter a few weeks ago, the actor recalled how he improvised an iconic line in Infinity War. It is a scene at the beginning of the film, which shows us a brilliant battle of ideas between Tony Stark and Doctor Strange. The scene tells the audience that Strange won’t let it all fade away with Tony. And it can be seen as a direct challenge:
I remember on set when I called him an idiot, there was a kind of ripple effect. ‘Oh Lord. Did you just call Iron Man an idiot? They kept it, good for them. And then he got the same kind of response at the movies. I was just… I got bored of being compared to Liberace or whatever other response the guy with the same field knob had in front of me, so I tried to take him down. It’s a lot of fun to play with those things. Find your feet. The more times you do it, the more familiar it will become.
Variety’s question came up during an interview for a different Cumberbatch movie. Joining Cumberbatch on that couch is Kodi Smit-McPhee, as the two chatted with Variety about The Power of the Dog. That movie has nothing to do with the MCU, of course. But what’s interesting about all of this is that Smit-McPhee could theoretically cross paths with Cumberbatch in the MCU. Smit-McPhee played Nightcrawler in Fox’s X-Men. And some of those mutants can always spread to the MCU, especially through a movie like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
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The cast of ‘Avengers 5’ is a secret, but we may know the next leader of the team – EzAnime.net