To understand just how much “Avengers: Endgame” has changed the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe look no further than the upcoming “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” The last Marvel movie set for release in 2019 is the official ending to phase three of the MCU and will take a look at how the events of “Infinity War” and “Endgame” have forever changed the lives of everyday people like Peter Parker, Aunt May, Happy Hogan, and more. The “Far From Home” trailer spoiled that the “Endgame” time travel heist has resulted in the creation of a multiverse within the MCU, and exploring the possibilities that come with it was a top priority for director Jon Watts.
“We had to look at it in terms of the scope of what happened at the end of ‘Endgame,'” Watts told Fandango about crafting “Far From Home.” “Seeing all the crazy things that they did and all the questions that raises. So we’re definitely trying to answer one of the big ones — alternate timelines. So many possibilities opened up at the end of ‘Endgame’ and Peter Parker is one of the few people on the ground dealing with them.”
The film’s major new character, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck/Mysterio, claims he is from an alternate timeline. Watts confirmed the same is true of the movie’s villains, the Elementals. “They’re both from the same sort of parallel dimension,” the director said.
Fans of the comics know to tread lightly, as Mysterio is a desperate trickster at heart. On the page the character is a washed up actor who uses special effects to trick people into thinking his magical powers are real. Some theories are already circulating that Mysterio is behind the Elementals himself and is making up the whole “alternate timeline” claim as a cover. In the post-Thanos world, it’s not a stretch to think many people would be easily tricked into thinking multiverses are possible. After all, half the world’s population disintegrated into dust and then magically reappeared five years later without any perception of time lost. Mysterio emerging after the snap to prey on the public’s fear of otherworldly beings and timelines makes perfect sense.
Watts maintains the MCU multiverse is real for now, although he declined to comment when Fandango asked how similar it will be to the one depicted in “Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” Marvel has faked out fans before when it comes to movie villains (see the bait-and-switch of Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin in “Iron Man 3”), so nothing can be certain at this point. If the MCU multiverse ends up being real, it opens up the door for phase four to build to a potential “Secret Wars” adaptation. The beloved comic book storyline inherently deals with heroes and villains crossing over from multiple timelines, and the Russo Brothers have already expressed interest in adapting it.
For what it’s worth, the Russo brothers are already leaning into the existence of MCU multiverses. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, the brothers teased that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) could still be alive after stealing the space stone when the Avengers went back in time to the battle of New York. Loki’s destination was never revealed. When Loki took the space stone, Iron Man and Captain America went further back in time to get an earlier version of the stone. Captain America was tasked with returning all of the stones to their proper places in time at the end of “Endgame,” but the Russo brothers say a “branched reality” could have easily been created if Captain America did not track Loki down in the past and prevent him from escaping. Whether Cap did that has yet to be confirmed, making the possibility of an MCU multiverse the biggest question of the franchise movie forward.
“Spider Man: Far From Home” will give us more concrete answers about a potential MCU multiverse when it arrives in theaters July 2.