Marvel Studios has invented a shared universe between their films, creating a formula that most studios have tried to copy (most with no success). They’ve split their films into “Phases”, each with more engaging stories in each film and each having stakes higher than the last. We’re currently weeks away (as of this writing) from Captain America: Civil War being in theaters, and that film will jump start Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Once we reach the end of Phase 3, we’ll have been introduced to many new heroes, The Avengers will have fought Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War (part 1 or 2, or both), and many of the previous heroes will reach the end of their time whether it be due to death, them stepping away from the heroics, or just the actor’s contracts ending .That leaves just one question: Whats in store for Marvel’s Phase 4? Glad you asked because we got some answers.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige comments on the infinite possibilities that are available for Phase 4 and even more Phases that follow suit:
“I think you look at comics as a guide. Although certain titles may get relaunched or rebooted, the narrative exists on a never-ending continuum… I think there will be a finality to moments of Phase Three, as well as new beginnings that will mark a different, a very different, a distinctively different chapter in what will someday be a complete first saga made up of three phases.”
Speaking on the ever-changing universe, we also have statements from Civil War co-director Joe Russo on how Captain America: Civil War will effect the MCU as of right now:
Things always get deconstructed, right? You build things up and people enjoy the experiences you’ve built up. But then you kind of reach an apex or you reach a climax, a moment where you go, ‘This structure is really going to start to be repetitious if we do this again, so what do we do now?’ So now, you deconstruct it. We’re in the deconstruction phase with Civil War and leading into Infinity War, which are the culmination films.”
So Civil War is going to basically tear down whats been built in the MCU so far, and then it will get built up again, and then torn down once more in Infinity War. Seems fair enough. Also, while some familiar faces may remain, many of the lovable heroes from the first three Phases probably won’t all be around. The only movie we know that’s official been slated for Phase 4 is Guardians of The Galaxy 3 (unofficial title). It’s been rumored that Inhumans will get pushed back to Phase 4, so we’ll have to see what becomes of that. We should expect sequels for Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and solo films for whichever new heroes we’re later introduced to. There’s also the chance that the TV and Netflix side of the MCU could make their way to the big screen at some point in the future. They have a lot to work with, so the possibilities are endless. One thing is certain though: it looks like Feige has plans for the MCU to last for quite a while. How long can we expect the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be around? Probably longer than our own universe.
Captain America: Civil War is scheduled to release on May 6th, 2016; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 on May 4, 2018; Inhumans on July 12, 2019.