As we’ve been told repeatedly in the run up to the climax of Marvel’s Phase 3, Phase 4 of the MCU is going to be considerably different to what came before. We’ll see an expansion of the cosmic arm of the series, even more new characters, prequels and period pieces and the delightful prospect of alternate dimensions.
On top of that, we’re going to see the arrival of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, which is likely to be the biggest wave-maker of all. Quite how they’ll manage that at the same time as continuing the timeline already established is a hell of a mind-bender. But at least they have a link to the Fox universe thanks to the presence of that one downed helicarrier in Deadpool. So it’s not ENTIRELY without foundation.
But continue the timeline they will. Marvel have sequels coming out in Phase 4 that have already been confirmed, and that means we’re likely to see a continuation of the stories and ideas already seeded in Phases 1 to 3. And if you look hard enough, there are some small hints in those movies that could shape where Phase 4’s slate goes.
After all, Marvel aren’t exactly known for making marks that don’t mean anything.