Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is teasing that the MCU is going to look “very different” after the fourth Avengers movie hits theaters in May 2019, and the future may not even contain a Phase 4. Though there’s currently plenty for fans of the franchise to be excited about (including a trio of new releases this year), moviegoers can’t help but try to look into the future and predict what movies Marvel might make into the next decade. The company is in no particular rush to announce their upcoming plans, but that hasn’t stopped them from confirming the likes of a Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 recently.
Just yesterday, it was reported that Doctor Strange helmsman Scott Derrickson would return to call the shots on Stephen Strange’s second solo film, a development that seemingly brought further clarity to Marvel’s next wave of blockbusters. But now, however, Feige is cautioning that they haven’t really started to piece together a plan and are focusing more on the present day as they build up to Avengers: Infinity War.
While speaking with CinemaBlend at the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 press day, Feige stated the creative team is still very much in the process of figuring what comes next after the showdown with Mad Titan Thanos:
“Truthfully, other than knowing that we’re going to work with Sony on another Spider-Man film for that year and that James [Gunn] is committed to continuing with the Guardians at some point, it’s all about Phase Three. I don’t even know if it will be called Phase Four. Things will be very different after 2019. After May of 2019.”
This attitude marks a stark difference in approach from what audiences have become accustomed to in the MCU. So much of the past nine years has been spent looking to what was ahead, with full slates of productions confirmed years in advance. Some longtime viewers may recall that some of the Phase 1 installments were criticized for feeling like full-length trailers for The Avengers as opposed to movies that stood on their own merits. In a way, it’s refreshing this is Feige’s outlook, especially considering Infinity War allegedly serves as an ending for the MCU as we know it. These next couple of years worth of films should feel like the culmination of something special instead of mere cogs in a larger wheel. Keeping the scope limited to Phase 3 right now lends gravity to the next handful of movies.
So, those hoping Marvel’s Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 included future movie announcements might be disappointed by this, but it won’t be much longer until all is revealed. As hard as it is to believe, Infinity War is just about a year away, and the untitled Avengers sequel will follow in May 2019. By then, Feige and company should have a better idea of the direction they’re headed. For now, they can’t be faulted for just enjoying the moment and concentrating on what’s at hand.