Breaking: GPT-3 leaked plot points from future Marvel Cinematic Universe films
I fed GPT-3 (OpenAI’s very impressive text prediction software tool) summaries of existing MCU films and had it describe the plots of the upcoming films. We won’t know for sure how accurate this super-powered AI is until the films come out. But I am optimistic it has read between the lines and knows what these films are going to contain. I am particularly impressed with the details it was able to obtain on Spiderman 3 (it even predicted this would be the first MCU Spiderman film that does not use “Home” as part of the subtitle).
Here are the descriptions from GPT-3 [my comments in square brackets]. Read on True Believer!
In 2041, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) is still married to Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), but she’s been having an affair with Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). She meets Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) while infiltrating a terrorist cell led by Edwin Jarvis/The Vision (Paul Bettany). Their relationship develops into a romantic one, and after rescuing the Avengers from their own helicarrier crash, they become close friends. When the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier comes under attack by a mysterious figure, the group bands together once again to protect the world from destruction. The Winter Soldier has returned, but this time he’s determined to bring an end to the world.
The conflict has ended, but the world has been broken in two. In the wake of the wreckage, Steve and Natasha begin a relationship together, vowing never to let the world fall again. When it seems like all is lost, Steve proposes to Natasha.
Soon, they will be married… until Nick Fury Jr. (Samuel L. Jackson) comes out of the shadows…
[First: We expected Black Widow to take place in the past, but it actually takes place far into an alternate future. And in this universe Natasha apparently has romantic relationships with everyone except Groot. Also The Vision and the Winter Soldier are villains! So many twists! Really looking forward to this one!]
In 2041, the United Nations declares a worldwide state of emergency due to an unknown threat called the Shadows. As part of their response, they send out a call for super-soldiers to help fight off the enemy. Among those selected are the children of wealthy parents. They’re given special enhancements to make them stronger, faster and more intelligent than normal humans. The only problem? They come at a price…
The story opens on young twins Madison and Grace (Alicia Vikander and Theo James) living in a mansion owned by their billionaire parents. After they argue over a boyfriend, their parents scold them, and they go out to enjoy their privileged lives. When the United Nations strikes down on society, the mansion is attacked. Grace is killed, and the remaining Eternals are whisked away to a secret base where they’ll be able to defend humanity from the Shadow threat…
[Now it makes sense why Black Widow was set in 2041. It was all a set-up for The Eternals! This movie looks far more stand-alone without any of the existing characters, but you can bet there will be Easter Eggs tying it to the Black Widow film. Expect a Nick Fury cameo and maybe that Natasha/Rogers wedding in a background shot?]
THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER
The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) is one of the most popular characters in Marvel Comics, and he returns to the big screen for his third solo film. This time around, however, he’ll be playing a villain instead of a hero. Set in 2028, TFATWS will see Cap teaming up with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) against Falcon and his allies. His team of choice? The villains! He’s swapped sides and joined up with The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), who has just recently re-appeared after being believed dead since the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Unlike the last time Steve Rogers faced him, he won’t be going in without help. The film brings in beloved Sam Wilson for a special, deadly event.
While the title and setting of the film may remind you of the 2006–2007 “Civil War” comic book storyline, this film is actually based on the 2006–2007 “Civil War” run in the Winter Soldier series, where Bucky turns against Steve and helps Iron Man.
[If you have not been following the MCU closely this description may be confusing. You see while viewers knew The Winter Soldier has been alive all this time, the public thought he was dead. In this film (originally planned to be a Disney+ TV series, but due to the COVID crisis, it appears they are going to move it to the big screen?), the Soldier comes out of hiding and teams up with both Falcon and other villains to take on the Avengers — including Captain America and Ironman, who we thought had been retired/dead after Endgame. It seems that was all misdirection to make their appearance here all the more shocking. And while it seems it is all a re-tread of Civil War, it is based on a completely different take on Civil War, so you won’t be disappointed! I know I won’t!]
With Disney’s Moana now firmly established as one of the most popular animated movies ever made, it was only a matter of time before they brought the princess back to live in her own feature film. The studio chose to bring us Wanda Vansickle (Zoe Saldana) — a young woman who, while working on the set of another movie, discovers she’s pregnant. When she goes into labor, she’s whisked off to a military hospital run by General Ross (Samuel L. Jackson), who doesn’t know what to do with the baby. Sneaking out with the newborn boy, Wanda finds her way back to Edgar’s Trailer — his pet dog Wallace (Frank Welker), maternal grandmother Grammy (Maya Rudolph), the brutish leader of the gangster band Big Tommy (Kenan Thompson), and the not-too-bright petty crook Dino (Seth Green). Refusing any kind of help due to her tough girl act, Wanda turns down the advances of Big Tommy and is assisted by her oddball neighbors in bringing up her son.
[We all knew WandaVision was going to be crazy, but now we know just how crazy. Moana is in it! Samuel Jackson playing not Nick Fury, but General Ross! Wanda having a completely different last name and played by a completely different actress! Is Vision even in the series? Who is Seth Green really playing (he seems too big a name to just be a petty crook)? Why can the dog speak? Is this a sitcom or is that just a front for a Twilight Zone-style twist? This one is going to be mind-bending!]
SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
Shang-Chi, a young girl living in the shantytowns of China’s Pearl River Delta, dreams of becoming a singer. She meets a man called Jia (Wu Jing), who offers her a place at his music school. There she meets Wang Yu-Ti (Kun Chen), a famous opera singer. Shang-Chi soon discovers that Jia is not only talented, but also quite wealthy, and they fall into a romantic relationship. Jia often travels, and fixes her advanced singing lessons. A woman called Davina (Zhou Linlin) pushes down a man called Marco (Matt Mullins). She claims he molested one of the students. Jia tells them that Davina is the principal of her former school, which was destroyed in a fire. He saw Marco on CCTV paying the place a visit shortly before the fire started.
Shang-Chi soon realizes that there is more going on than petty infidelity, fraud, and arson. She joins forces with Becca (Teresa Chen) to launch an investigation. This investigation soon gets out of hand, leading to the arrest of another woman, Cassie (Sabrina Zhou), and several murders. One of their friends is brutally killed by a man called Bolo (Darren Kent). Cassie kills herself by slitting her wrists with a shard of glass. The remaining survivors piece together the reason for all this bloodshed…Marter Corporation, tied to several cases of fraud, planned to build a large factory in the area. Terrible cost cutting measures were indicated, and their calculations show that Becca’s husband, Captain John (Zhu Yuyan), knowingly overlooked an inspection which caused the fire. They are don’t have the option of reporting their findings to the police, as someone would certainly slip through the net. During a night out, they encounter Marco again, who can’t remember anything since he was drunk. At the same time, Captain John holds a press conference claiming responsibility for the fire.
Shang-Chi runs a check on the networking in the hotel Marco stays at. They learn that he is Marco Abernathy, an FBI agent investigating Cassie’s death. He left his badge and gun lying around. They ascend the building through the kitchen, where they reunite with Marco. He reveals that Jia is the leader of Marter Corporation, and he was paid to oversee a safe factory. Jia set up the entire scenario to lure out snitches. They rush to the penthouse, only to find him holding a knife against Jia’s throat. He was supposed to die in the fire, only to be saved at the last minute. They fail to talk him down, and Captain John dies of his stab wounds in front of them…
[GPT-3 was able to find out so many plot details on this one! But before we go there, the big twist is that Marvel decided to flip Shang-Chi’s gender! This is going to be the most adult film to date for the MCU: Abuse, Violence, Infidelity — this seems like it will be far darker than the Netflix series. Marvel may actually do Film Noir right!]
After a series of adventures in the DC Extended Universe, Vin Diesel returns to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his own entry into the pantheon of heroes: Loki. While not exactly a new hero, Loki is one of those characters who has been around since the dawn of cinema. He was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1961, and was originally portrayed as a sort of mischievous trickster god, with his strength coming from the fact that he could bend reality in such a way that even the mighty superheroes were no match for him. Like most of the major comic book movie properties, the character of Loki has already appeared in his own film. The character was played by Matt Damon and portrayed as a serious threat, but obviously with a much more comical origin story. Still, seeing as the first appearance of this character was as Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal in the MCU films, it only seems fitting that he gets the first film after Phase Three comes to a close. Expect this one to take place shortly after the events of Thor: Ragnarok.
[Okay. I have no idea what GPT-3 is talking about. Was there a Matt Damon Loki film I missed? Unless… Maybe GPT-3 has skipped the expected 2021 Loki series and is telling is details of the sequel? Does that mean the Matt Damon stand-alone Loki film is coming? And then Tom Hiddleston is going to have a follow-up film the the Damon appearance? And the Hiddleston film is going to take place between Ragnarok and Infinity War? Obviously for that to work time travel is going to need to play a key role. The MCU is going to get really complicated really quickly….]
SPIDER-MAN: My Way or the Highway
The third installment of the Spider-Man franchise will be released on May 2, 2021. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man is still stuck at high school after graduating from high school last year. While there are a lot of other things he wants to do, such as saving the city of New York from crime lord Norman Osborn (Robert Downey Jr.), he’s been having trouble fitting in since he hasn’t made any friends.
One of these finds eventually comes in the form of Eddie Brock (Tony Revolori), someone who also hasn’t been able to make any friends. Peter initially assumes that he’s a “cool” guy that he can be friends with, but doesn’t realize until it’s too late that he’s just an idiot who makes fun of people.
His other find is in the form of his new professor, Dr. Ashley Kafka (Embeth Davidtz). A genetic engineering professor, she introduces Peter to the field of genetic engineering, and universities he might like to apply to.
However, Peter soon starts seeing things that he doesn’t like. Ashley’s been doing genetic experiments, something toward a more evil end. For one, she’s been using semi-sentient embryos that she has hoped to turn into “supervillains” for live experiments to contain. When one of these creatures, a Dudley (from the “Spider-Slayer” series) gets loose during an experiment run by Peter, he realizes that he needs to get himself and Ashley away from the creature. After a long chase through the city, the creature ends up pinned under the Gawker, leading to a series of events that result in it being freed by TIME magazine’s “Man of the Year”, Flint Marko. After agreeing to help Marko in exchange for him saving Ashley (still unconscious), the pair eventually ends up in a another part of the Gawker, where he transforms into the monstrous “Sandman” and gives both of them a 1-way trip to a Government Facility…
For Spider-Man, it’s a little bigger, as he’s allowed in as well, thanks to “suddenly” developing mutations of his own (four extra arms! Just like Dr. Kafka’s creature). Because the facility feels so subversive with their experiments, they decide to relocate to “a remote part of Siberia” which THEY CHOOSE TO NAME “IRON FIST LABORATORIES”.
In the meantime, Spider-Man continues helping Flint Marko and Dr. Kafka (Ashley’s alive in this one). This choice isn’t popular with most New Yorkers, and he starts becoming a pariah in the eyes of society (in fact, one citizen scolds him for “allowing villains like Spider-Man to win!”) Eventually, after months of trying to fight crime in New York and having the public fear and resentment towards him growing with each passing day, he decides to move to Alaska (which should tell you something about what it’s like up there during this period). There, he carries on the legacy of being a hero by fighting crime… also, he gets a job at a fish canning factory. It’s not the most glamorous of lifestyles, but at least he’s living his dream, right?
As the years go on, his belief that he saved people and made the world a better place slowly erodes. The world’s fishery has been depleted by overfishing… leading to people inevitably getting poorer and poorer. Eventually, a religious fanatic killed himself and a bunch of other people with a bomb one day, blowing up the fish cannery Peter works at.
Of course, the real kicker is when the Endbringers attack.
Infinity, as it turns out, wasn’t able to save the world from destruction. In the meantime, as there aren’t any superheroes or powered individuals of any kind left by this time, it’s up to average joes like Peter to defend their lives. Naturally, they fail quite spectacularly. The team of Endbringers create a trench in the middle of the United States (which is renamed “The Nightmare Valleys” after this happens), separating the US into three parts. When all is said and done, only one-third of the population of the United States survives this. Canada fairs a little better, but it’s nothing to really brag about.
When the world’s governments fall one by one, there’s nothing Spider-Man could do to stop it. Even if he had his powers (which by now are pretty much non-existent), the best he could do is be a handicap to them. A mere afterthought compared to what the seven Evan’ders are…
The ironic thing about his mask isn’t that it’s a lie. It’s that it used to be the truth. The End.
[Wow. This one is going to be game changing. “My way or the Highway” is such a great title. It opens up so normal — Pete is still in high school, but then the first twist — his arch nemesis looks exactly like his dead mentor, Tony Stark! Nothing seems to go right for Pete! The film introduces Dr Ashley Kafka as a main character. In the comics she was a psychologist, but here she is re-interpreted as a geneticists doing experiments (that somehow end up giving Peter four arms!). There is a cameo by Eddie Brock (Venom), but he does not seem central to the story. Sandman (Flint Marko) does seem central, but it appears he is going to be Peter’s ally against Dr Kafka’s experiments and government organizations rather than a traditional villain. But all of that just seems to be a set-up for the incredible second half of the movie which is literally Earth-shattering! Peter moves to Alaska, and then Endbringers destroy all superpowers and create giant trenches dividing up America (Canada does a little better). And then what a dark ending. So ironic! “It’s not that the mask is a lie, it is that it used to be the truth.” What does that even mean?!? How is the MCU going to recover from this one? Seems almost as big a deal as Infinity War!]
Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is a crime fighter with the Avengers, but after suffering an injury during their latest mission, he’s forced to retire. With no other options, he joins S.H.I.E.L.D., where he meets Agent Gemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). Together they fight against the mysterious organization Hydra, run by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann). The pair ultimately meet up with the billionaire inventor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his brilliant daughter, Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). Along with a reformed thief and genius-for-hire, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), the team undertakes to stop the organization from getting their hands on deadly weapons. The future of the Avengers is at stake in this story, as the team faces a daring villain with his own personal agenda. Hints are given about what will come years down the road, while openly revealing others. One thing that is certain is that the team will never be the same after it…
[Not a lot of facts here, except that Hawkeye looks like it is also the “unofficial” sequel to Ant-Man. Maybe why there hasn’t been an Ant-Man 3 announcement. GPT-3 is so smart!]
[Before I could ask GPT-3 about Thor: Love and Thunder, it jumped in and volunteered information about a film that has not yet been announced. I believe it thinks this will come out AFTER Hawkeye, but BEFORE Thor 4…]
The Avengers were formed to stop intergalactic threats such as Thanos and the Chitauri invasion. But what if those threats didn’t even exist? What if they’re just figments of your imagination? That’s what happened to Nick Fury, during World War II. As the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the time, he was tasked with gathering intelligence on Nazi Germany’s most secret projects. While there are many accounts of what exactly transpired during these missions, one thing is certain: Nick Fury never returned from any of them. In reality, he actually returned to present day and created the life for himself that we all know: commanding the greatest heroes of our time. And while this modern day life seemed perfect, he began suffering recurring nightmares and hallucinations. These episodes prompted him to seek the aid of a S.H.I.E.L.D. psychiatrist. While under hypnosis, he broke down and confessed to having no idea who any of the Avengers were, what any of those alien monsters were that attacked New York, or anything else that symbolized his life.
It was only later that he started to wonder if what he thought was a delusion was actually true: that he was actually still stuck during World War II, fighting nazis on a weekly basis. If this were the case, he would have to disrupt the time line so drastically that it would completely change all of our lives. It would also mean that Captain America: The First Avenger didn’t “officially” exist, which would explain why Steve’s movies never existed in the first place. The moment that he decided to give up on S.H.I.E.L.D. would have been the moment that he disrupted the time line: he lost hope, and as a result he changed the future, giving all of us what we have now.
[Whoah. This movie could re-write the entire MCU timeline. Maybe everything we have seen is a complete fabrication inside the mind of Nick Fury back in WWII? It’s like the ending of Newhart, only this time the MCU won’t stop — it will continue from this new reality. This changes EVERYTHING!]
THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER
In this, the fourth Thor film, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) returns to Asgard after defeating Hela (Cate Blanchett) in her previous encounter. She and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) have been working together since they were children, so she trusts him completely. However, despite their good relationship, Loki still feels somewhat threatened by her. He wants to use her against Thor because he sees her as an equal. What makes things even more complicated is that Odin (Anthony Hopkins) has recently died, leaving Hela in charge of Asgard. When she discovers that Loki is planning to betray her, she orders him executed. Whether or not he’ll elude death yet again remains to be seen…
Meanwhile, the broken relationship between Thor and Jane Foster is ongoing. The former has decided to abdicate the throne of Asgard, in favour of promoting his brother, the arrogant and slightly dim-witted Vali (Travis Fimmel). He and Jane Foster are still in love with each other, but their feelings are becoming increasingly distant. At some point in time the pair will have to make a choice between their feelings and the needs of their worlds…
[So, as expected this will be a Jane Foster movie — but not in the way we thought. The ramifications of the Nick Fury film are going to be felt in this one. In this reality Jane met Loki before Thor when she was still a child. She is so powerful she was able to defeat Hela, but somehow Hela is back and in charge of Asgard. Also Thor has another brother: Vali. Vali has not been seen in the MCU, but in Norse Mythology he is the son of Odin and the God of Smart People. Ironic that in the MCU he is dim-witted. This one feels like a smaller story, but really emotional as these characters choose between love, family, and their societal obligations. Looking forward to it!]
DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) second stand alone film continues the adventures of the Sorcerer Supreme. This time around, he teams up with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to battle the evil sorcerer Dormammu (Cary Elwes), and his minions. In the process, they must deal with the return of Baron Mordo (Stefan Kapicic), and his quest to bring about a dark future for humanity. Alas, we never learn what this future looks like. But given that it involves Dormammu, we can only imagine how bad it is.
[GPT-3 did not have a lot of information on this one unfortunately. But what is clear is that the multiverse will be well underway by the time we get to the Dr Strange Film. I wonder which version of Nick Fury will work with the Doctor in this one? The only real twist here is that Stefan Kapicic (who played Colossus in the Deadpool films) takes over the role of Baron Mordo. I expect there will be backlash on that choice. The MCU has been critiqued in the past for shifting genders and ethnicities of their characters, but this will be the first time where they will have taken a character who was white in the comics, made them black in a film, but then re-cast as white again. It seems like a poor choice, but maybe there is something missing that rationalizes that decision. I hope the concerns around that change don’t overshadow the rest of the film]
Note that apart from the parts contained in [brackets] all of the content was created by GPT-3. I have also used GPT-3 to create a marketing consultant simulation, and specifically to create new brand names for golf balls and water bottles. When I am not wasting time playing with AI’s I write a weekly newsletter, Marketing BS. The weekly letters cover a lot of ground, but one essay was all about GPT-3 and the future of marketing, and my weekly links email covers new GPT-3 news and samples [example].
Keep it simple,
Edward is a senior advisor at Warburg Pincus and former CMO at General Assembly and A Place For Mom. He was an executive at Expedia, a consultant at McKinsey & Company and a graduate of the Wharton School. YOu can follow him on Twitter at @ednever