The Marvel TV/Movie universe is in rapid expansion right now, with new TV projects in development and a mix of anticipated sequels and new property launches coming to the big screen soon. There is also development in when we'll see Marvel blockbusters hit the big screen, as Thor: The Dark World prepares to test the brand's might in this 2013 fall movie season.
But with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on TV, and so many movies (and potential new movies) introducing more and more elements to the Marvel Universe, one has to wonder: where is it all leading? Well, we may have confirmed a seriously cool destination on that road to come.
While at the press junket for Thor: The Dark World, I had a chance to sit down with Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige and pick his brain about everything we here in the Screen Rant bullpen have dissected and analyzed (on the site or on our podcast) since long before Phase Two even began. And based on what we've seen and heard about films like Thor 2, Guardians of the Galaxy - and possible future properties including Doctor Strange and The Inhumans - it's been clear that there's a cosmic game afoot, and that that grinning Thanos at the end of Avengers is still in the shadows watching it all - but to what end.
[WARNING: The Following is Speculation that could be considered MILD SPOILERS for every Marvel Movie until Avengers 3. Just saying: we're usually on the money about these things. You've been warned.]
Given that The Avengers 2 will be about the earth-bound threat of Ultron, I asked Feige straight up if clues like the Tesseract and Loki's mind-control scepter in The Avengers - or the recent revelation that Thor 2 villain Malekith the Dark Elf is chasing "The Aether," another god-like power - are leading us to an Avengers 3 scenario where Thanos takes hold of the dreaded Infinity Gauntlet (last seen in Odin's vault in Thor) and essentially achieves that godhood. Feige's response:
"Well, I don't know that I would spell it out that clearly, necessarily, but certainly fans of the comics could surmise that all of this is leading somewhere. That Joss' decision to have Thanos turn around and smile for the audience at the end of 'Avengers', our reveal, was always the plan."
Feige continues, speaking of certain MacGuffins in The Avengers and Thor 2, explaining that upcoming reveals (including a big one in Thor 2) tie into Guardians of the Galaxy.
"...And where it goes from there, we'll see... But yes, the MacGuffin of 'Guardians' certainly plays into MacGuffins of the past."
For anyone not clear, "MacGuffins" are a term for THAT object in a movie that everyone is chasing after/fighting over. What Feige has just confirmed, essentially, is that the sought-after items in Avengers, Thor 2 and potentially, Guardians of the Galaxy are all connected, and form a loose blueprint for the Marvel Movie Universe that could run from The Avengers in 2012 as far as that point in 2021, which Feige has previously confirmed as the fullest extent of their current planning. In short: without directly saying so, Feige is acknowledging that an Infinity Gauntlet storyline comics fans may know well could be getting re-fitted for the movies.
Comic book fans have likely been expecting (read: hoping for) this since the end of The Avengers, but for the casual film fan: The Infinity Gauntlet is a glove that has six gems (time, space, power, mind, reality, soul) that grant the wearer godlike power. In the famous '90s comic book storyline by writer Jim Starlin and artists George Pérez and Ron Lim, Thanos gets the glove and lays waste to the Marvel superheroes, until he is betrayed by his companion Nebula and defeated by the heroes. Nebula, of course, will be introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy - so you can see just how intricately and deliberately this web is being spun.
Though he didn't directly address it, Feige also acknowledged my speculative claims that films like Doctor Strange and Inhumans seem more viable for theatrical release now, since they have the notable advantage of being further opportunities to introduce more mystical "MacGuffins" (possibly Infinity-related objects) into the movie mix. Even Avengers 2 could use their non-mutant (for legal reasons) version of Scarlet Witch as a springboard an Infinity Gauntlet piece - since her "witchy" powers need to come from somewhere. Going forward, it's all about which of the Gauntlet pieces best correlate to each respective movie (in terms of plot and themes), but there seems to be little doubt about the destination: an Avengers 3 showdown with the mad titan and his god-gauntlet. Count us in!
Watch the next step in our journey towards an Avengers 3 Infinity War when Thor: The Dark World hits theaters on October 30th in the UK and November 8th in the US.
And STAY TUNED: We have more big news to for you from our Thor: The Dark World junket experience.
Header Image by Skeleton Jack 666 @ DeviantARt