Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 will be jam-packed with characters and content, but the minds behind the film promise every arc from the MCU so far will be paid off. Marvel has a good problem on their hands, as their huge team-up film debuting this summer is current being eclipse by their first film of the year. Black Panther is shattering box office records and proving to be a cultural phenomenon. And though Avengers 3 won't have any trouble attracting an audience, its return to Wakanda will certainly get people excited.
It's easy to see how the events of Black Panther will play into Avengers: Infinity War, but the past 10 years of the MCU have involved a lot of stories that are still open-ended. Marvel's 10 year anniversary photo brought home just how many big name actors and characters could factor into the next two Avengers films, and some fans are worried about whether the movies can do so many arcs justice. But according to the architects of the MCU, everything will be connected.
The home video release of Thor: Ragnarok has an expanded retrospective called "Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years - The Evolution of Heroes" that details the growth of the MCU. After recapping everything that's happened so far, viewers get a brief tease of the future thanks to some of the chief players responsible for crafting the MCU. And for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 co-director Joe Russo, fans will be pleased with how everything comes together starting this summer.
“Every story that Marvel has told since Iron Man 1 finds a narrative thread in these next two Avengers movies. It is a culmination of all that storytelling."
It's a lofty concept, given Marvel Studios has released 18 films thus far over the past 10 years. And of course, there's a good chance Russo isn't even referring to the plots from all of the Marvel TV shows. Even without those threads, there's been dozens of characters and arcs introduced, and it's certainly daunting imagining just two films trying to tie them up. But Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige agrees that Avengers 3 will not only pull together everything we've seen so far but set the stage for Phase 4 as well.
“With Infinity War, we’re paying off every little thread and every little tease that we’ve had in what will be 18 films prior to Infinity War. There’s never been anything like this. Being able to, film after film, tease at a larger story. Really building these stories up into a giant conclusion. While at the same time introducing an entirely new direction for the future.”
Marvel just passed $14 billion globally with their MCU releases thanks to the push from Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War is bound to notch that up another billion or so. Even with so much success, Feige and his team can certainly afford to take it easy, but by all accounts, Phase 4 and beyond will be even more ambitious than what audiences have seen so far (at least, that's the goal). And considering that Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 will combine dozens of actors from multiple blockbusters, there's no telling what the MCU will do to top it in the future.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019