Avengers 4 is in a peculiar situation of being a direct continuation to this summer’s Avengers: Infinity War while also having a unique story. Several months before Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron released, Marvel Studios announced plans to deliver Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 in May 2018 with Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 arriving in theaters the following summer. Captain America: The Winter Soldier directing duo Anthony and Joe Russo later signed on to direct the films back-to-back with an enormous production budget supporting them.
Then, shortly before the Russos’ Captain America: Civil War released in 2016, they revealed that their upcoming Avengers movies would be quite different from each other and that the Part 1/Part 2 names didn’t properly represent their individual stories. So, they made plans to re-title the films. Avengers 3 stayed as Avengers: Infinity War (without the “Part 1” portion, of course) and Avengers 4 remained untitled for the time being. Since Avengers 4‘s title might give away a major plot for the film (though Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige wagers that has been blown out of proportion), the studio may not reveal the title until after Infinity War releases. Still, despite being two separate movies now, they were still filmed back-to-back in 2017, something that Marvel Studios has never done before.
Speaking with Screen Rant’s Rob Keyes and other a handful journalists and bloggers on the set of Avengers: Infinity War last summer, Joe Russo briefly discussed their approach to filming both Avengers movies back-to-back despite the movies technically being separate films.
“Our approach has always been … we look at the process, as with Marcus and McFeely, it’s simply the same thing in the way that The Winter Soldier relates to Civil War, and the way that Civil War relates to Infinity War. These two movies will also relate. There’s a narrative thread that is connecting these films, but at the same time, there’s an independence in terms of what the experience is or where the story goes. It isn’t a true two-parter, and I think the two-parter concept came back when Marvel decided they were going to culminate the MCU, it was going to be a two-movie deal. But as we developed the movie, in execution, it ended up being more of two singular expressions. And I think that just what happened -“
It’s not the first time that the Russos have discussed narrative threads from other Marvel films connecting to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, but what fans are most interested in is just how next summer’s Avengers film connects to this year’s blockbuster movie. Since Infinity War appears to be largely about Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his loyal Black Order obtaining all six Infinity Stones, Avengers 4 could depict an all-out war – a final stand, so to speak – between the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the Mad Titan. After all, it seems like virtually every character in appearing in Infinity War will also be appearing in Avengers 4, with an additional character or two potentially joining the fold, such as Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel.
The currently-untitled Avengers 4 may not be the second part of Avengers: Infinity War‘s story, but it does build off that film’s narrative and it does bring the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first saga to an end – after more than 20 films and a decade of storytelling. And since quite a few contracts will be up following Avengers 4, many characters may not return in the future. Furthermore, according to Feige, deaths in both Avengers films might be permanent. At this point, the stakes have never been higher for the MCU… and its superheroes.
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