The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become massive, heading into its 12th year of existence with 23 movies full of unique characters and storylines. One of Marvel Studios’ best traits is their ability to tease upcoming movies and lay the groundwork for dozens of potential plot directions down the road.
While some of these teases and Easter Eggs have come to fruition, there are still so many that remain unresolved and unexplored. Phase 4 of the MCU is set to include the largest quantity of projects to date and thus will look to resolve a few outstanding "issues," but there are plenty of unresolved teases still up in the air with no closure in sight. In this look into the Marvel Studios Infinity Saga, The Direct breaks down and ranks the Top 10 MCU teases that remain unresolved to date.
Thor: Ragnarok and beyond – Where in the universe is Sif? Jamie Alexander's shooting schedule for Blacklist conflicted with shooting Thor: Ragnarok in 2017, but she has not been seen in the MCU since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and a guest starring role on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2014 and 2015.
Thor: The Dark World- Erik Selvig’s chalkboard in the mental hospital contained numerous Marvel Easter Eggs and teases including the mention of Universe 616, which is where the MCU takes place. Universe 616 is notably mentioned again by Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok - These two movies introduced the Collector and Grandmaster, who are both brothers and two Elders of the universe. We may see more of their type in The Eternals, but there has been no mention of the Elders or Celestials in any major capacity in a while.
Avengers: Endgame – After going back in time to borrow the Infinity Stones, there could very well be some after-effects due to messing with the timeline, as the Ancient One explained to Smart Hulk. While the effects of meddling with time could come into play in 2021's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it is hard to tell what those ramifications will be.
Spider-Man: Far From Home – The movie ends with the reveal of Talos taking Nick Fury’s place on Earth while Fury is in an undisclosed location in space with a few other Skrulls. There is still no word on where exactly Fury is, what he’s doing, or if/when he will return to Earth in the near future.
10.) Fury’s World Map
Nick Fury’s last scene in Iron Man 2, where he revealed to Tony Stark that he was being assessed for the Avengers by Natasha Romanoff throughout the movie, was jam-packed with Easter Eggs and teases. Besides footage of the news report from The Incredible Hulk that helped with the MCU’s continuity, one of the biggest teases of the scene was an extensive S.H.I.E.L.D activity map on display behind Fury and Tony.
This map has never been explicitly discussed, but it showed some very curious points of interest that S.H.I.E.L.D. had their eyes on. Tony’s Malibu home is on the map, and both Wakanda and Captain America’s crash site have already been resolved, but the biggest one still unexplored is the ancient city of Atlantis.
Fans have clamored to see the lost city along with its ruler Namor the Submariner play a role in the MCU for years, especially with recent casting rumors and the success of Warner Bros. DC adaptation Aquaman. There are no confirmations to Namor joining the MCU, so all fans can do is hope that this Iron Man 2 tease means something in the long run.
9.) How did Rocket Come to Be?
When Marvel Studios decided to make a film featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, it was safe to say that barely anybody knew exactly who they were or what they could do. Today, the team of misfits has become a household name after their first two movies grossed $1.64 billion combined, with a third film confirmed to be on the way. Both Guardians of the Galaxy films did a great job not only of giving most of the team detailed backstories, but integrating them well both within the team and with the Earth-based Avengers. The one exception in this case is Rocket Raccoon, who could possibly have one of the most intriguing pasts of anyone in the MCU.
During a drunken outburst on Knowhere, Rocket yells out to his companions “I didn’t ask to get made! I didn’t ask to be torn apart, put back together over and over and turned into some….some little monster!” This one quote has so many implications that arise, mainly pertaining to how exactly Rocket came to be and who experimented on him. With no plot details confirmed for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Rocket’s past has endless possibilities to dig through, and his story is one that should be told in full.
8.) What Happened to William Ginter Riva?
One of the most surprising members of Mysterio’s team in Spider-Man: Far From home was a man named William Ginter Riva, played by producer Peter Billingsey. For those who don’t instantly recognize him, he was the Stark Industries scientist assisting Obadiah Stane in the original Iron Man before he became Quentin Beck’s key technical expert. Considering his unexpected role in the final film of Marvel Studios’ Phase 3, his unresolved tease is that much more intriguing.
Just after Mysterio is defeated, Riva manages to download the illusion tech (and maybe more) from his phone onto a hard drive and escape the London chaos undetected. Considering how capable he proved to be in giving Beck a fighting chance against Spider-Man and S.H.I.E.L.D., the fact that he got away and still seems to hold a grudge against Tony Stark (and now Spider-Man) could be incredibly dangerous in the future. Nobody knows where he will show his face again, just as nobody thought he would play such a pivotal role in the Spidey sequel, and he still has the potential to be a problem for other MCU heroes to deal with.
7.) Samuel Sterns Is Infected with Bruce Banner’s Blood
The Incredible Hulk has been unfortunately recognized as one of the black sheep movies of the MCU. Not only did it directly follow the financial and critical success of Iron Man in 2008, but due to Universal Studios still owning the distributing rights to the character, Bruce Banner has never gotten his sequel solo movie. These facts considered, there is one particular moment in the film that could lead to such exciting possibilities if the opportunity becomes available.
Just after Dr. Samuel Sterns turns Emil Blonsky into the Abomination, the vial of Bruce Banner’s blood starts leaking and drops into an open wound in Sterns’ head. This starts a mutation in his head before Sterns gives a menacing smile to the camera, but he has not been seen since. In the comics, Sterns becomes the villainous Leader due to the gamma radiation, but the issue of the Hulk’s character rights has not allowed Marvel to continue along this path. Technically, Sterns is still lurking somewhere in the MCU, and he would still be an exciting villain to explore given the right chance.
6.) Will Adam Warlock Ever Come to Life?
Thanks to James Gunn’s overwhelming success with the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, the doors have swung open for the MCU’s cosmic potential. Although the Guardians’ adventures thus far have led to facing and defeating the Mad Titan Thanos, there have been multiple teases that still haven't come to fruition for one important character: Adam Warlock.
In both 2013's Thor: The Dark World and 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, there was a glimpse of a Sovereign cocoon with the Collector on Knowhere. Additionally, in one of 5 post-credits scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, Ayesha is sitting in front of a new type of birthing pod where she says “I think I shall call him…Adam.” And yet, after all of this buildup, one of the most powerful characters from the "Infinity War" comic stories has not made his way onto the big screen yet. With Thanos turned to dust and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 on the way, it’s purely a matter of time until Warlock makes his on-screen debut.
5.) How Serious are the Sokovia Accords?
Captain America: Civil War finally brought things to a head in the MCU, holding the Avengers responsible for years of collateral damage in their battles to save the world. Taking inspiration from the Superhero Registration Act in the "Civil War" Marvel comics, the UN and 117 countries signed off on the Sokovia Accords to try to keep Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in check. The question now is: Will the Accords play a serious role in the MCU’s future?
The Accords had been teased since Iron Man’s Senate hearing in Iron Man 2, and cleaning up after the Avengers was a consistent plot point through Phases 2 and 3. After the Accords were introduced, there has only been a couple mentions of their existence since 2016. They were discussed for a split second in one of Peter Parker’s classes during Spider-Man: Homecoming, they played a big part in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and they were slightly referenced a couple times during Avengers: Infinity War, but nowhere else. There are so many opportunities for the Accords to mean something in future MCU films and series, especially considering how much effort it took for them to come into existence. It would be great to see them make a comeback in Phase 4 and beyond and to get some resolution on how the world will choose to allow superheroes to act going forward.
4.) Will the Hidden Quantum Realm City be Explored?
The Quantum Realm has become a vital location in the MCU. Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang has not only gotten himself out and saved Janet Van Dyne from it, but he also used it in his master plan to bring half the universe back to life in Avengers: Endgame. Interestingly, there is one detail of the Quantum Realm that has not been mentioned on-screen at all.
In a split second shot of Ant-Man and The Wasp, fans have found evidence of a hidden city buried in the Quantum Realm. This city has never been explicitly addressed before, but it opens up so many avenues to explore in this microscopic universe. Finding out how this city came to be, who lives there, and what it’s doing in the Quantum Realm could be a whole movie all on its own. Might this be an avenue to introduce the city of Chronopolis, the stronghold of classic Avengers villain Kang the Conqueror? Hopefully Ant-Man 3 will go deeper into this tease and give some depth to this hidden city.
3.) Who Bought the Avengers Tower in New York?
Stark Tower in New York City from The Avengers turned into a home base for the team during Avengers: Age of Ultron. Tony turned it into a technological marvel and adapted it beautifully for the team to use for both operations and social gatherings in the film. It hasn’t been seen in-depth on screen since 2015 due to the Avengers' shift to their Avengers Headquarters, and it is part of a tease that frankly needs to be explored in the future.
While on the phone with Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Happy Hogan reveals that Tony sold Avengers Tower and that it would be cleared out by the end of the film. Considering how many more characters are coming to the MCU over the next few years with the Fox/Disney merger, the ownership of the tower could go to a number of key Marvel characters known to be based in NYC. The Fantastic 4 could have purchased it to convert it into the new Baxter building. Or, sticking with other characters from the Spider-Man comics, it could easily come to be the MCU’s Oscorp building. The possibilities are quite endless. With no word on who bought the tower and no mention of it after this film, this is easily the most intriguing real estate purchase to keep an eye on.
2.) Bringing the Sinister Six to the Big Screen
Spider-Man has been blessed with one of the most impressive villain catalogs in all of comics. In his first two MCU solo outings alone, Marvel has brought the Vulture, two different Shockers, and Mysterio to life fighting against Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. Teases have also been laid out for the Prowler, the Tinkerer and Scorpion, along with multiple other possibilities. With Spider-Man 3 on the way next year, all of these villains could potentially tease something never done before on screen: a live-action Sinister Six in the MCU.
All of these villains have been part of the Sinister Six at one point or another in the comics, and Spider-Man in the MCU already has experience going up against multiple bad guys at the same time. On the production end, there is also the infamous Sony leak from 2014 to consider from which it was revealed that Amy Pascal discussed potential plans for a Sinister Six movie set in the MCU. The MCU has done a fantastic job integrating the Web-Slinger, and hopefully the numerous teases of the supervillain team come to fruition someday.
1.) The Repercussions of 4 Infinity Gauntlet Snaps
The two most monumental movies of the MCU to date are Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. The two-part conclusion to the Infinity Saga upped the ante by raising the stakes to an all–time high. The events of these 2 movies lead to one of the most open-ended unresolved teases in the entire MCU: What are the after-effects of four different snaps from the Infinity Gauntlet?
To quickly recap, Thanos snapped his fingers twice with all 6 Infinity Stones in the Gauntlet: to eliminate half of all life in the universe in Avengers: Infinity War and then to destroy the Stones at the beginning of Avengers: Endgame. Bruce Banner then used the Stark-tech gauntlet to bring everybody back to life, and Tony used it to destroy Thanos and his army before his death.
The amount of cosmic energy (described as gamma radiation by Smart Hulk) released from using the most powerful weapon in the universe on four separate occasions is undoubtedly going to have some kind of effect on life across the cosmos. Small mentions of how people grieved and adjusted to life after the snaps were mentioned in Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, but it has largely been glossed over thus far. Could it be a cosmic storm that leads to the Fantastic 4 gaining their powers? Could this be the start of mutations that lead to the birth of the X-men? With characters from those franchises and multiple new characters already confirmed for Phase 4 and 5 like the Eternals and Blade, this is too monumental a moment in MCU history to not address down the road.