As the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) continues to evolve, so does its strategy of weaving the tapestry of the MCU.
Coming into this latest batch of films, Marvel Studios had the challenge of following up on the Infinity Saga, which saw 23 movies come together in the biggest comic book event of all time in Avengers: Infinity War & Avengers: Endgame.
Now one phase into the Multiverse Saga, Kevin Feige and co. have gotten creative in how they grow their individual franchises under the Marvel Studios banner. Multiple IPs in the MCU have spinoff projects that are being developed as pseudo-sequels of previous projects.
Here are a few projects that are acting as indirect sequels to previous projects, only with different titles.
1.) Thunderbolts (Black Widow & The Falcon and the Winter Soldier)
Marvel Studios visual legend Andy Park referred to the upcoming anti-hero film Thunderbolts as a "Black Widow sequel". This makes all the sense in the world with Yelena Belova, Taskmaster, and Red Guardian all joining the Thunderbolts team.
Other team members bring this into another franchise that gets to tack Thunderbolts on as a sequel as well. Bucky Barnes, John Walker, and Valentina Allegra de Fontaine all played major roles in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+, meaning this works as a follow-up to that as well.
This is the face of the pseudo-sequel in the MCU because both Black Widow and Falcon/Winter Soldier seem to be one and done. The film is also heavily rumored to be a lead-up to Captain America: New World Order.
2.) Echo (Hawkeye)
The street-level corner of the MCU has been sprinkled in throughout Phase 4 and will take full form with Echo on Disney+. Echo will continue the story of Maya Lopez after being introduced in Hawkeye.
This project expands the foundation of the underground crime world seen in Hawkeye with Echo navigating Wilson Fisk's criminal empire and a whole lot more.
No one knows when this series will be released, but when it does, it will be a building block for the Hawkeye franchise and the upcoming Daredevil run in the MCU.
3.) Agatha: Coven of Chaos (WandaVision)
WandaVision seems to be a one-and-done for the title character (Wanda Maximoff) but not the city of Westview, New Jersey.
Agatha: Coven of Chaos will return to Westview to continue the mystic corner of the super-powered franchise and flesh out one of the best villains of Phase 4.
Also, fans can look for this to be a sandbox for Billy and Tommy Maximoff to be developed ahead of an anticipated Young Avengers/Champions project.
4.) Vision Quest (WandaVision)
Another WandaVision pseudo-sequel will be spinning off the third iteration of Paul Bettany's Vision. White Vision is the most ambiguous element of WandaVision with no clear road ahead for the character other than the recently announced Vision Quest.
This series could fall into many different corners of the MCU but everything that leads to it was started in WandaVision.
5.) Ironheart (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)
Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore referred to the upcoming Disney+ series Ironheart as a direct sequel to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. This all centers around Dominque Thorne's Riri Williams who debuted in the Black Panther sequel.
A newly introduced character receiving a Disney+ series is inherently a spinoff, but Riri's involvement in the evolution of Wakanda puts this show just as much in the Black Panther bucket as it does the Iron Man one which this show is bound to call back to.
6.) Armor Wars (Iron Man Franchise)
Do not worry Iron Man fans. The IP that started it all will continue in spirit through Armor Wars. Don Cheadle is one of the longest-running veterans of the MCU and will finally be leading his own project soon.
The Iron Man trilogy came and went before the second Avengers so many remember Tony Stark more as a member of the Avengers than an individual superhero.
This will be a chance for Marvel Studios to continue to tell Iron Man adjacent stories through the vehicle of War Machine and James Rhodes. Things seem to be looking up as Armor Wars was recently changed into a theatrical blockbuster after being originally developed as a Disney+ series.
HONORABLE MENTION: The Marvels
The Marvels falls into honorable mentions because it is first and foremost a true sequel to 2019's billion-dollar hit Captain Marvel. What puts it on the list is the decision to title it "The Marvels" and present both Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel and Teyonah Paris's Monica Rambeu as the main characters, along with Brie Larson's Carol Danvers.
Monica Rambeu was a surprise star in WandaVision. Not only progressing the character into a superhero but also building upon the relationship between Monica and Carol introduced in Captain Marvel.
Kamala Khan debuted on Disney+ with Ms. Marvel and directly tied into The Marvels with Captain Marvel appearing in the post-credit scene.
Dig a little deeper and The Marvels will act as a pseudo-sequel to both WandaVision and Ms. Marvel.
New Saga, New Sequels
Marvel Studios has had its work cut out for them ever since the rebuild began in Phase 4. Finding new ways to tell its stories and build its roster is the kind of ambition in a movie studio that isn't seen a lot in Hollywood.
Some franchises (Star Wars) are happy attempting to recreate the magic of previous projects and hope that is enough for fans. While this is not a sure win for the red brand, it is a sign of growth that Marvel Studios has always embraced.
It does create more work for fans to follow along with the biggest cinematic universe of all time. For the general public, that might feel like a daunting task. For die-hard MCU fans, this is candy.