With the “Avengers: Infinity War” junket having taken place over the weekend in Los Angeles, quotes from various people involved in the film’s making have gone up and offer updates on the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in coming years.
For now, most of that future remains clouded, Marvel will continue to hold its cards close to its chest until after the release of the fourth “Avengers” in May next year. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was able to comment on several things though and the common thread in his answers – hold your horses fanboys.
Speaking with The Playlist, he says once the fourth “Avengers” opens in May, only THEN will they make an announcement about their ‘Phase 4’ films which kick off with “Spider-Man Homecoming 2 in July next year:
“Ideally, I think that’s what we’d like to do. We did a big event a couple of years ago where we announced like ten movies between 2014 and 2019 and we haven’t delivered all of those yet and we haven’t delivered the promise when we made that really big deal of announcing all those movies. And so now to make a big deal of ‘even more movies, before the movies that we already announced!’ doesn’t seem like the right thing to do… so we’re gonna wait until Comic-Con next year.”
Marvel is notably sitting out of this year’s Comic Con, but it sounds like they will be back with a vengeance in 2019 with new projects to announce. One of those will quite likely be “The Eternals” movie rumored the other day with Feige telling The Wrap: “‘Eternals’ is one of many many many things that we are actively beginning to have creative discussions about to see if we believe in them enough to put them on a slate.”
One thing Feige is quick to clear up though is all the speculation about the X-Men being incorporated into the MCU. Despite overzealous fans getting all excited about the possibility of X-Men character cameos in the MCU sooner rather than later, Feige says don’t expect anything (even mentions) of the sort until several years down the line. Asked if the Disney/Fox deal complicates plans for ‘Phase 4’, Feige tells The Playlist:
“No, because any of that deal would take a while to get going and years from whenever and if ever it happens. So, certainly it won’t impact the five movies we’ve announced, and it probably wouldn’t impact anything for a handful of years after that. Because really, we’re not thinking about that. We’re thinking of delivering on what we promised. Any movie, especially for any characters we don’t have the rights to yet until someone tells us we do, would be even further after that.”
That suggests Fox’s Marvel characters won’t start being included into the MCU until a potential ‘Phase 5’. Despite speculation Marvel Studios already has plans in place for when the deal is done by next Summer, Feige has always stuck to the line that they only focus on current characters they own. He tells io9 that they do have a plan to follow for the next phase:
“We do know what’s coming. We have ideas of the shape of what’s to come, but that structure that you laid out was from the comics, right? Everyone had their individual stories. They meet up for a mega event and they go back to their individual stories changed from that event. I think that’s a wonderful structure that’s worked for decades in the comics, has worked for us now for a decade, so I think it’s a good model. But it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to stick to it in stone.
I think the overall mythology will begin to [grow], as you’ve already started to see with Guardians and certainly now with Panther and with Doctor Strange. I don’t think we’ll ever leave our past behind necessarily, but I think the new elements and the new inroads and, by the way, places that we haven’t explored yet from the comic universe, will become more and more at the forefront.”
He also discussed how the speculation about the fourth “Avengers” film title has gone past the point of ridiculousness. He tells IGN:
“I’ve said before, it’s gotten entirely out of hand. And now will have no chance to living up to any expectations of what it’s gonna be. It sort of backfired, if I’m honest with you, because the notion was to not talk about it so the focus was to be on [Infinity War].”
He adds that the reticence was born of the experience of having revealed the “Avengers: Infinity War” title before the release of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” which took away some of the energy of the hype surrounding the second film.
Finally, he also took the time to shoot down one of the popular fan theories out there about the fourth “Avengers” films – namely that it will dabble in time travel and alternate realities. He tells Screen Rant:
“There’s no ‘What If’ scenarios. Everything that happens in these movies, happens in these movies. There’s not like, you know, some potential, a tangential reality. We wanted to commit to the storytelling and the most complete way and not give ourselves any kind of, you know, potential, uh, outs, like, uh, it was all a reality dreams.”
“Avengers: Infinity War” will be in cinemas around the world this week.