Marvel Names the Replacements for Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor Amid MCU Overhaul, Report Claims

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Iron Man (L) and Captain America (R)

Credit: Marvel Studios

Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe is a far cry from what it once was, and that’s not just because of the dwindling audience reception or reported decreasing quality in production but the faces, too. The likes of Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans are no longer part of the evolving narrative that is the MCU, and it seems Marvel Studios has chosen the next trio to headline the franchise.

Marvel's Avengers including Thor, Black Widow, Captain Avenger, Hawkeye, Iron Man, and the Hulk, look up at the destruction of the city.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Jon Favreau’s Iron Man (2008) set in motion a series of events that would bring about the billion-dollar franchise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Based on Marvel Comics events and characters, the MCU is the prestige of comic book movie cinema.

Now five Phases deep, with four Avengers movies to boot, the MCU is facing crisis. A string of lukewarm projects, both on television and on film, has seen this once great leader of action entertainment fall from grace. Many fans believe that the MCU should have ended with the Infinity Saga, where Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019) became two of the highest-grossing movies of all time; the latter even usurped Avatar (2009) briefly to become the highest-grossing movie before it was taken down by the James Cameron behemoth once more.

Captain America with the Avengers
Credit: Marvel Studios

Over the past 15 years, fans have come to love the MCU’s heavy roster of characters. While Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man was the first hero audiences were greeted with, the franchise has gone on to include Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), and Spider-Man (Tom Holland), among many others.

The emotional crux of the MCU would come in the form of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, where many sacrifices were made in order to secure the survival of the universe. Both Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark sacrificed themselves to win the war against Thanos (Josh Brolin), paving the way for Chris Evans’ exit as Steve Rogers/Captain America also to leave the franchise behind, although on a much happier note.

Older Captain America talking to Sam Wilson about the Shield
Credit: Marvel Studios

So, with Phase Four being hindered by the pandemic and also being where Marvel Studios began its TV effort on Disney+ with the likes of WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Solider, and Loki, there was a lot of change happening in the live-action Marvel universe, namely the explosion of the Multiverse Saga.

Lesser known faces became the new norm, and the legacy of characters like Iron Man and Captain America became whispers of the past. That said, as the MCU faces a crisis, with a seeming lack of direction on the big screen and a confirmed overhaul on the small screen, it seems now that anything is possible. In fact, there are rumors that Tony Stark will return in the upcoming Avengers movies, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2026) and Avengers: Secret Wars (2027).

Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror
Credit: Marvel Studios

As fans await to hear what the future holds for Marvel Studios after the November release of Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels (2023), a new report has surfaced identifying the replacements for the MCU’s former A-list trio of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth.

In a new book, “MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios” (2023) by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and Gavin Edwards, information is shared about the MCU’s historic rise to a global pop culture powerhouse as well as more intricate details over who was planned to become the new “trinity” of the franchise.

T'Challa with Okoye and Shuri
Credit: Marvel Studios

“[Chadwick Boseman] told me the story about how on the set of Endgame, he and Brie Larson and Tom Holland sat around and talked about how they were the future of Marvel and how exciting that was for them. Robinson notes in the book published October 10, 2023 (via Comic Book Movie).

“[Then] you look at the breakdown between the Sony-Marvel deal over Spider-Man, you look at [Chadwick] Boseman passing away, and you look at Brie Larson either not being a great fit or just, you know, being damaged by toxic fandom. So many factors came into play that sort of knocked their plan out [from] under them.”

Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa/Black Panther
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Reveals Next Avengers Team, Confirms New Kang the Conqueror

Boseman first appeared in Captain America: Civil War (2016) as T’Challa/Black Panther before starring in his own record-breaking solo movie, Black Panther (2018). He would later go on to star in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, with his final Marvel appearance being in the animated series What If…? due to his unfortunate passing in 2020.

As for Tom Holland, the Peter Parker actor also made his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War before heading his own trilogy (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Spider-Man: No Way Home) and starring in the Russo Brothers’ Phase Three Avengers films.

Tom Holland as Spider-Man wearing backpack
Credit: Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures

And then, looking at Brie Larson, the actress debuted as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in 2019’s Captain Marvel before appearing in the final two Avengers movies and having a cameo in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021). She will next return in The Marvels in November.

These three actors all boast billion-dollar movies and are key players in the machinations of the MCU. That said, as Robinson points out, there are factors affecting each member of this potential trio.

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel with a glowing fist in The Marvels
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Updated Look at Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man Replacement in the MCU

It will be interesting to see where Marvel Studios goes with deciding the next Avengers team, especially after the upcoming Avengers movies have reportedly been overhauled, removing Jeff Loveness and Michael Waldron as the screenwriters for The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, respectively.

Who do you think should be in the next Avengers team? Would you have liked to see Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Captain Marvel be the new “trinity”? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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