The MCU gave us a definite ending and a new beginning with Avengers: Endgame. It closed many story arcs but some of them were left loose and hanging, only to be tied in the future. These movies are just bringing life to a fantasy world inspired by the comics and what happens in comics can very well in the MCU as well. No matter how much this world is grounded in reality, at the end of the day it is still fiction that challenges the laws of nature. One of the biggest aspects of these films that do this is the resurrections post-death.
Just like heroes die and come back in the comics, they do the same in the MCU as well. These films let us believe that certain characters are dead whereas the story is entirely different altogether. So far we’ve seen Loki die and come back at least twice and that’s why people still believe that Loki faked his death in Infinity War as well. Nevertheless, Avengers: Endgame brought half the population of the Universe back to life, and now we think that the MCU can actually do the same for some of its characters that died in the past.
Here’s a list of characters that can return sometime in the future of the MCU:
Zola died sometime between the events of Captain America 1 and 2, but his consciousness was still revealed to be alive in The Winter Soldier. We saw the definitive end of Hydra in Age of Ultron and Civil War, but that doesn’t mean that Arnim Zola cannot return in the MCU. Before the Russos got to make Civil War, they actually had a very different direction planned for Captain America.
It would have involved some more deep exploration of Hydra, and Zola’s consciousness could have certainly returned. Now that we’ve got a Falcon & Winter Soldier series coming in on Disney+, with Baron Zemo taking the villainous role, it is also possible for us to get Zola as well. Let’s see what happens.
Well, Ronan the Accuser already had his MCU return in the MCU prequel Captain Marvel, and he was left alive by Carol Danvers only to return in another Guardians of the Galaxy prequel story, but there may be a chance that we could see a cloned version of him as well. Back in the day, that was believed to be a possibility, so let’s see what happens.
People hated the fact that Aldrich Killian claimed to be the Mandarin whereas Trevor Slattery just turned out to be a stage actor. But then Marvel’s One Shot ‘All Hail the King’ revealed that there’s a REAL Mandarin out there who’s not dead and is pissed that is identity was stolen. So we could probably see the Real Mandarin step in sometime soon since Kevin Feige himself has revealed that the MCU has plans for him in the future. He could perhaps be a villain in Shang Chi.
Thor: Ragnarok ended the character arc of Hela out of a sudden. We were never shown her to be truly dead although the foundations of her return may have exploded with Asgard being nothing but Ashes. But still, Taika Waititi has said it in the past that he would like to direct a sequel to Thor: Ragnarok, and with Thor having survived Avengers: Endgame & being active within the MCU, we can only imagine that he will surely meet with his sister again in Thor 4.
There are still theories out there which suggest that Aaron Taylor Johnson’s Quicksilver is still alive. It is a fair point to argue that if he was indeed alive, then Marvel would have surely brought him back in Avengers: Endgame. In fact they also had the chance to do so with Time Travel being at their disposal. But we cannot stop but consider the fact that we were never really shown Pietro’s Body. Moreover, Wanda hasn’t even mourned the death of her brother properly. So is there a possibility that Pietro could indeed return in the upcoming future.
WandaVision would just be the perfect stage for it. We’ve seen Nick Fury heal Phil Coulson so he could run Agents of SHIELD. Then there was the Regeneration Cradle in Age of Ultron, which was a huge deal. So what if Pietro was put into the Cradle, and with the use of that and his regenerative abilities, he took some time before he could get back. His injuries were fairly severe, so even with all those amenities, it may have taken time for him to heal. Aaron Taylor Johnson possibly has more movies in his contract with the MCU, so let’s see what Marvel does.
Talking about WandaVision reminds us of Vision himself. Now if the show is based on your name then you cannot claim to be dead. We believed that Avengers: Endgame would bring Vision back, but there just wasn’t any time for that. Although we did see notice the fact that Shuri uploaded Vision’s consciousness in Infinity War, so he surely would be a character that would return from the dead.
Marvel again pulled one of their death tricks when they supposedly killed off Killmonger in Black Panther. We were only shown him fall from far away back in Black Panther. This may have been deliberately done to keep the audiences thinking. But since Killmonger turned out to be such a great and relatable villain, Marvel may just decide to bring him back. Remember that Wakanda has Vibranium and Vibranium can do anything. So, Killmonger could be returning.
Well, this is kind of a no brainer. Although Loki won’t have any resurrections this time, the directors of Avengers: Endgame have confirmed that he did survive in an alternate timeline, so it is easy to believe that the upcoming Loki TV series on Disney+ will include that version of Loki, causing mischief through a Branched reality.
The Ancient One
Avengers: Endgame gave us a surprise inclusion of the Ancient One through a flashback sequence set in 2012. But the Ancient One’s deal didn’t just end there as the some details of Doctor Strange 2 have been leaked by a person who clearly has some insider information from the MCU.
Doctor Strange 2: 1980's Boogaloo. Tilda Swinton is in talks to return as the Ancient One. Jericho Drumm and Clea will make their MCU debuts, Clea will likely be portrayed by an Asian actress. Most importantly the gloves will be back!
— Roger Wardell (@RogerWardell) May 7, 2019
This leak as you can see clearly above includes the return of the Ancient One. Since this film could be going back to the events of 1980s, it is obvious to say that Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One will be back in a flashback sequence telling us a version of the history of MCU.
Bonus – Stan Lee
Stan Lee may have died but his legacy still lives on. But with the amazing advancements that have been made in CGI, we could imagine that the MCU could continue the trend of his cameos by creating the legend using CGI. Although Endgame Directors do believe that Stan Lee’s Endgame cameo was surely the last one that he shot. So let’s see whether Marvel ends Stan Lee’s reign with Endgame, or will they continue bringing him in the upcoming films and projects using CGI.