Marvel Studios set a new cinematic standard for the comic book movie genre in 2012 with the release of The Avengers, bringing together a roster of characters established in four different movies over the previous years into the ultimate team up movie.
After Avengers, Marvel moved into "Phase 2" of its cinematic universe, bringing in even more characters, establishing an entirely new team in Marvel's cosmic realm with Guardians of the Galaxy, and culminating in a second Avengers movie even bigger than the last with Age of Ultron, seeing both critical and financial success every step of the way. Though Phase 3, the Avengers have been torn apart through Civil War, and even more new characters have been brought in, with Ant-Man ushering in the quantum realm, and Doctor Strange introducing magic to the MCU.
As all roads lead to the two-part Avengers: Infinity War, in what Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige, describes as "the culmination of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe," setting high expectations for the events of the biggest Marvel team up film yet, while also bringing into question the fallout and future of the franchise beyond Infinity War. Check out the video above, for more.
With Avengers: Infinity War set to bring almost every single major MCU character onto the big screen together, it's one of the most ambitious comic book movies of all time, if not one of the most ambitious of any genre ever.
Previously, Feige has stated in broad terms what will happen to the Avengers as we know them now, post-Infinity War:
“Phase 3 is definitely an end to some version of the team we’ve come to know as the Avengers. The team will always be evolving. The roster is always changing. You may pick up an Avengers book ten years later and not recognize the people on the cover. It’s not going to be the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, certainly, but it will be an end to part of it.”
Ever since the first Avengers, there have been questions about the longevity of the original cast. Robert Downey Jr. has already renegotiated a new contract on more than one occasion (since he was brought in before the plans were so grand), but the other Phase 1 Avengers are also coming to an end, with no one confirmed for any appearance past Avengers 4 (formerly known as Infinity War: Part 2).
Will the post-Infinity War Avengers be exclusively the newest heroes, or will any of the legacy members receive a contract bump? Several rumors have long suggested that Robert Downey Jr. may slide into a role more akin to that of Nick Fury, as we may begin to see in Spider-Man: Homecoming this year. However, given that Feige is holding off on announcing the MCU's Phase 4 films to avoid revealing Infinity War spoilers, it’s clear that there will soon be permanent changes to the Avengers lineup.