Avengers: Secret Wars is set to not only feature the best the MCU has to offer but the biggest names from past Marvel legacy movies as well.
While Avengers: The Kang Dynasty will largely center on Kang the Conqueror’s journey across the Multiverse, the follow-up effort will open the doors to the biggest crossover event in MCU history. Avengers 6 will adapt the Multiverse-sprawling Secret Wars storyline from the comics.
Rumors have indicated that Marvel is looking to include as many legacy characters from past Marvel movies as possible, tying back to nearly 30 years of Marvel history on the big screen. This could potentially include everybody from past Spider-Men to a number of often-used characters from Fox’s X-Men movies, and that’s just scratching the surface of heroes and villains that could make their MCU debuts or comebacks.
That being said, here are 14 legacy names & teams from past Marvel projects that we think could make an appearance during 2026’s Avengers: Secret Wars.
1.) Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine
After seemingly retiring from the role of Wolverine with the character’s death in 2017’s Logan, Hugh Jackman is confirmed to make his MCU debut in 2024’s Deadpool 3. With a legacy that will span nearly a quarter of a century in the greater Marvel universe, there is already hope that he’ll have one final go at the role in Avengers 6.
Bringing Jackman back by way of the Multiverse should be an easy decision considering Deadpool 3 will have already done it nearly two years prior, although the details are still murky on how exactly that will come to be. But once he’s back in that movie, the door could be open for potentially his last Marvel appearance ever to come in Avengers 6, giving him the second perfect send-off in the MCU.
2.) Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool
Deadpool is this list’s most unique entry, as he’ll be a Marvel legacy character that gets to continue his own story within the MCU and knows he’s a character in a movie franchise. Wade Wilson’s fourth-wall-breaking antics and R-rated shenanigans will be fully utilized in 2024’s Deadpool 3, which should make an appearance in Avengers 6 a near-guarantee.
How big Deadpool’s role will be alongside so many other characters is unknown, especially with his comedic nature that will lighten even the darkest of moods. But throw him into a battle with any other legacy heroes, and he’s sure to be well e-quip-ped to handle himself mentally and physically.
3.) The Original X-Men
Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine was just one of a few pieces that made up the original X-Men team, which also had heroes like Halle Berry’s Storm and James Marsden’s Cyclops in the early stages before Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey took over in the 2010s. And with Marvel likely unable to recast the roles for the MCU until later in the 2020s, the studio is looking to open the floodgates for past X-Men to appear in Avengers 6.
The only question right now is who specifically from these teams will join the fray, although some actors like James McAvoy (Professor X) and Daniel Cudmore (Colossus) have already hinted that they’d be open to joining the MCU. With more than a dozen potential names on the table from past movies, Marvel fans are hopeful that the mutants will get their due shine under the Marvel Studios umbrella.
4.) Dafne Keen’s X-23
While Logan gave Hugh Jackman his thought-to-be send-off, it also introduced fans to Dafne Keen in her big-screen debut as the young mutant Laura, who was later revealed to be X-23. She showed her prowess as a ruthless and powerful fighter alongside Wolverine, and her powers would be helpful in any form against the Multiverse’s most powerful heroes and villains in Avengers 6.
Keen has spoken on numerous occasions about being hopeful to see her character join the MCU at some point, and being only a short way from her 18th birthday, she could conceivably continue playing the role for a long time for Marvel Studios. Hopefully, she’ll get to don the claws for a second time alongside other mutants after learning how to hone her own powers off-screen over the past few years.
5.) Tobey Maguire & Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men
After stealing the show in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s heroes are at the top of most fans’ lists for characters that should come back for Avengers 6. Particularly now that they’ve already been in a fight alongside Tom Holland’s MCU hero against their greatest villains, their skills could be crucial when going up against Kang the Conqueror, Doctor Doom, and more.
This would also give both of them a chance to truly find out what it’s like to fight with the Avengers after asking Holland’s Spidey about the group during their final battle together. Avengers 6 would pit them right alongside the MCU’s best like Doctor Strange and other heroes that have been popular on screen for as long as they have.
6.) The Fantastic Four/Human Torches
Although the MCU’s own Fantastic Four team will have joined the narrative by the time Avengers 6 debuts, Fox brought two other versions of Marvel’s First Family in movies from 2005, 2007, and 2015. And while it’s unclear if both quartets would return, a couple of names, in particular, could find their way into the fray – both Human Torches.
Chris Evans admitted that he would enjoy seeing his hero return through the Multiverse after his time as Captain America, and 2015’s Human Torch, Michael B. Jordan, already made one exciting return as his former character in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Seeing both of them fly into battle alongside the MCU’s Johnny Storm, fans would certainly witness some of the same craziness that was first seen with three Spider-Men in No Way Home with these three firey heroes.
7.) Tom Hardy’s Venom
Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock made his first appearance in the MCU during the mid-credits scene from Spider-Man: No Way Home, although his inclusion was short-lived – it didn’t even show his symbiotic alter-ego, Venom. This left fans wanting so much more from the first big name in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, although Hardy and the Lethal Protector could very well be in for a bigger appearance next to Marvel Studios’ top heroes.
Venom could wind up as one of the more wild Multiversal heroes picked out of the litter for Avengers 6, bringing his brutal nature into a fight that will most likely include at least one Spider-Man as well. Fans can only hope that the alien won’t hold back on any of his hilarious commentary either should he find his way into the movie.
8.) Agents of SHIELD
Agents of SHIELD‘s place in the greater MCU is immensely complicated, although it still has a rabid fanbase that stands behind Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson and his band of agents. Particularly considering the debate about whether this show is, in fact, definitively canon with the MCU, Marvel Studios could make a huge statement by including this team in the Avengers 6 festivities.
The only real “superhero” of the group is Chloe Bennet’s Daisy Johnson/Quake, who was rumored to be part of 2023’s Secret Invasion, although the intel coming from this group otherwise would be almost second to none. Regardless of their canon status, bringing the SHIELD team into Secret Wars festivities would serve as a great way to pay tribute to the earliest era of Marvel TV while giving the group their first time in the big-screen spotlight.
9.) Ben Affleck’s Daredevil
Coming from one of the oldest eras of Marvel movies, Ben Affleck got his first dose of superhero superstardom with his role as Matt Murdock/Daredevil in Fox’s 2003 solo movie. Even limited by that era’s early CGI capabilities and a lackluster script, Affleck brought the Man Without Fear into his first mainstream Hollywood production, setting the stage for later iterations to shine.
This would be Affleck’s first time on the Marvel side of the spectrum in over 20 years after spending most of the last decade playing Batman within the DC Universe, and it could potentially let him meet Charlie Cox’s MCU take on Daredevil as well. This would send the MCU fandom into a pure frenzy considering the hero’s popularity, getting a double dose of Daredevil after he’s largely been absent from the MCU for a long time.
10.) Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy (Spider-Gwen)
During production for Spider-Man: No Way Home, rumors hinted that Emma Stone was on her way into the MCU to not only reprise her role as Gwen Stacy but also evolve into a live-action take on Spider-Gwen. Unfortunately, Emma Stone’s pregnancy and COVID-related factors kept her from joining the party, but that in no way excludes her from Avengers 6 with the Multiverse now fully open.
As shocked as the three Peter Parkers were to meet themselves, fans are already imagining seeing Stone swing into action in Gwen’s black-and-white hooded suit as she shows her own Spider-influenced powers. After seeing the animated Gwen thrive in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, with more coming in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, her live-action debut would unquestionably be something that brings cheers from audiences worldwide.
11.) Nicolas Cage’s Ghost Rider
Before the MCU’s introduction and during its early days, comic book superfan Nicolas Cage gave the world its first take on Johnny Blaze as he took on the flaming skull and chain of the Ghost Rider. And considering that the MCU hasn’t had a version of the Ghost Rider yet (outside of a small tease in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and a season focused on his inclusion in Agents of SHIELD), Cage could be the perfect get for Avengers 6.
Cage was asked about a potential return to the role in March 2022, and he noted that Marvel Studios hadn’t called him, although he still loves the character after playing him in two movies. But that was long before Marvel officially announced its plans for its Multiversal crossover event in Avengers 6, which could make Cage reconsider his options as the movie inches closer.
12.) Wesley Snipes’ Blade
When looking at the modern era of superhero movies, the MCU somewhat owes its existence to Wesley Snipes’ Blade trilogy, which began in 1998 and opened the door for superhero movies to be what they are today. All three movies even came with an R-rating, which hasn’t been done by many superhero movies since then, setting Snipes in his own category thanks to his work in this genre.
While Mahershala Ali’s Blade will make its way to the big screen before Avengers 6, fans are already imagining what the team would look like with one of the original Marvel superheroes in the picture. This could come as something of a full circle moment as well if both versions of Eric Brooks meet one another, setting up an exciting round of darker action alongside each other against the oncoming villains.
13.) Edward Norton’s Hulk
Edward Norton’s Hulk might be the most complicated entry on this list, as the actor played the same version of Bruce Banner that Mark Ruffalo has portrayed since taking over in 2012’s The Avengers. But thankfully, even though Norton’s Hulk and Ruffalo’s Hulk are technically one and the same, the Multiverse is vast and expansive, meaning that another version of Norton’s hero could certainly be out there.
Many expect Ruffalo to be back in play for Avengers 6, and should he get to meet a different take on Norton’s Hulk, it would certainly throw both of them for a loop as they see how their heroes have evolved differently. On top of that, put him alongside a newly-introduced She-Hulk, and who knows what kind of fourth-wall-breaking shenanigans that trio could get themselves into?
14.) Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing
Marvel Studios is slowly but surely bringing characters into play that were introduced in the Marvel Television Netflix shows, such as Charlie Cox’s Daredevil and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin. And while it’s unclear who else will join them from those stories, many are hoping that Jessica Henwick will get her own chance to shine once again as Colleen Wing.
Although Iron Fist got less than stellar reviews during its run, Henwick had a standout as Colleen, who eventually went on to wield the Iron Fist weapon herself by the end of Season 2. The actress has even held out hope that she’d return as Colleen, turning down roles in other movies like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which could make Avengers 6 the perfect time to give her the comeback she and the fans both want.
When Will Avengers 6 Secrets Be Revealed?
With at least more than three years until Avengers 6 hits the big screen, Marvel fans will have to wait a long time to get news on the main cast for the Multiverse Saga’s culmination event, much less the legacy characters that will be involved. Those characters are sure to be Marvel’s biggest secret during Secret Wars‘ eventual promotional run the way that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were for Spider-Man: No Way Home and the Illuminati was for Doctor Strange 2.
Only minor details have gone public regarding Avengers 6‘s plot, although one of them notes that Marvel is looking to get as many of these legacy characters as possible to be a part of the movie. Should all of these characters and more join the fray, it will only add to what is sure to be the biggest comic-book-movie event in history upon its arrival.
Avengers: Secret Wars will debut in theaters on May 1, 2026.