In 2007, we saw Robert Downey Jr., a washed up actor, play Tony Stark/Iron Man, a third rate hero from a new production studio. Back then, no one could have imagined what was coming. Everything that has been set up, up to this point, has led up to Avengers: Infinity War, as well as Avengers: Endgame, the title of which will apparently be a huge spoiler itself.
Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind all of this, has said that Infinity War will be a conclusion of the MCU as we know it, but also that they have 20 more movies already planned out for after. How can you have both?
“We’ve been lucky that [contract expirations] haven’t factored in too much. We’ve had people under contract for certain films, then we’ve had new ideas and new directions like Civil War like we wanted to do, and we’ve been lucky enough to make new contracts. Or Spider-Man: Homecoming, the cast has been awesome in their enthusiasm for the direction and the storylines that we’ve been telling. So it really does, right now, all start with where we wanna take the stories. Certainly as we get to Infinity War there is a sense of a climax if not a conclusion to, by the time we’re at untitled Avengers 4, the 22 movies that will have encompassed the first three phases of the MCU. And what happens after that will be very different. I don’t know if it’s Phase 4, it might be a new thing.” –Feige to Collider
What movies do we still have before Avengers 4 though? We get to look forward to Black Panther this February 16, Infinity War May 4, Ant-Man and the Wasp July 6, Captain Marvel March 8, 2018, and Avengers: Endgame May 3, 2018. (Edit: Endgame release April 26)
Black Panther, more than likely, will reveal the location of the last Infinity Stone, the Soul Stone, thus allowing everyone to be familiar with all of the stones before Thanos arrives to kill everyone for them in Infinity War.
(Edit: It did not, but the character protecting the stone was a huge surprise!)
And kill everyone he will. The only way for this to be a true conclusion of the first 20 films, is people have to die. I’m not sure how, but I think that our four starting Avengers will not be in any more movies, unless in flashback or mentorship after Avengers: Endgame.
Ant-Man and the Wasp has been said to be a romantic comedy, in between these two big event Avengers films. I think that while Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne are busy fighting alongside the Avengers, Hank Pym will look back to the quantum realm to find his long lost wife, to try to find a way and turn the tide of battle.
Captain Marvel is said to be set in the ’90s with Nick Fury, and the story line, if following the comics, will involve the Kree. They then have to explain why no one has mentioned Carol Danvers since then. I think the movie will end with her going out into space to continue her own personal Kree story line.
Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel returns to Earth, continuing whatever story line she left uncompleted in her film, thus starting the next phase of the MCU, The New Avengers and The Kree.
The only films confirmed for after Avengers: Endgame is Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Chances are, that Marvel will continue to give all of their heroes trilogies, which means we have Doctor Strange 2/3, Spider-Man 2/3, Black Panther 2/3, Captain Marvel 2/3, Ant-Man 3, and Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3. That’s 10 of the 20 right there.
They have already teased Adam Warlock at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, so that’s at least one film for him, unless they stick him with a supporting role like Black Widow. Guardians also showed us an amazing team of Ravagers led by Sylvester Stallone, and I wouldn’t think you would waste a tease like that, so maybe a Ravagers film all to themselves. Also, the governmental group in the first Guardians was the Nova Corps. and there is a hero called Nova, so I’m pretty sure that they are going to be opening up that door. That’s another 0-3 franchises, depending on how much they want to follow the cosmic side of the universe.
“I think it’s a little early to know what it’s going to look like, I think things are going to look very different at that point, but I think the early discussions we’ve had with James Gunn about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and beyond with what we’ll call the ‘Cosmic Universe’ and the Guardian characters is very exciting. Which is why he signed up and we announced that even before Guardians Vol. 2 came out. As you know from the comics, there are so many places to go and so many more characters, and there are a few characters hinted at in the tag scenes of Vol. 2. All of which could be potential to see and explore more in the new age following our big Avengers films.” –Kevin Feige to Fandago
The only other major character I would love to see on the big screen is Namor, the OG Aquaman. Of course seeing as how Aquaman is getting his own film December 21, 2018, I’m not sure that they will be using Namor at all.
The only story lines that I am really hoping that Marvel puts into their lineup are as follows:
Death of Captain America. I love Captain America, but I think that they are going to kill him off in the next two Avengers movies, which will primarily be the reason that the rest of the original Avengers that aren’t dead find their reasons to leave, except Hulk. Spoiler: Winter Soldier becomes Captain America.
World War Hulk. Something happens during the Infinity War that, once complete, makes Hulk realize that humans cannot be left to take care of themselves, because they oftentimes are the creators of their own demise (Ultron, Zemo, Hydra, etc) and becomes their emperor. Also picks up some points of Planet Hulk that Thor: Ragnarok wasn’t able to.
Illuminati. In a flip-flop of the comics, the Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Tony Stark, Namor, Black Bolt, or some combination thereof, is formed after World War Hulk to stop the Hulk. Potential plot-twist, Marvel is able to secure the rights for Fantastic Four back before then, and brings in Reed Richards as well. I doubt that Fox will be giving up the X-Men anytime soon due to the success of Logan and Deadpool, or the upcoming New Mutants, so I doubt Professor X will be a part of this in time. (Edit: Disney bought Fox)
Kree-Skrull War. With Captain Marvel bringing in the Kree storyline, that opens up one of the best cosmic wars (outside of Star Wars of course), with the shapeshifting Skrulls.
The New Avengers. With the original Avengers all out of the picture, it is up to the New Avengers to continue the big massive stories. Grown up Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Winter Soldier and Scarlet Witch team up and fight attacking forces in protection of the Earth.
All of this ends with Original Sin – Death of Uatu. The Watcher has been canonized during Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, so having him play a part in the upcoming story makes sense. Especially with the Illuminati formed, the use their skills in conjunction with all of the new Cosmic storylines to find Uatu, and the story followed out.
(Edit: I predicted almost everything wrong, but that’s what happens when you try to guess. I’m still incredibly happy with how everything has/is turning out.)