With the U.S. opening of Captain America: Civil War just days away, a new chapter of Marvel Cinematic Universe history is set to begin. As the opening salvo for the much anticipated Phase 3, Civil War will set the tone and direction for the upcoming entries into the franchise, which will vastly expand upon the established mythos and bring new characters and new stories to the big screen for the first time ever.
Under the leadership of directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who’ve taken the reins of the MCU from Joss Whedon after Avengers: Age of Ultron, Phase 3 is set to become the biggest and baddest chapter we’ve seen yet from Marvel. With their success on Captain America: The Winder Soldier and with the largely positive early reviews from Civil War, the Russo Brothers have a difficult job ahead of them as they guide the franchise to the next Avengers movies. Currently known as Avengers: Infinity Wars - Part 1 and 2, the Russos have recently suggested that these titles give a false impression that the movies are two parts of the same story - and they've now lent further credence to this idea.
In an interview with Uproxx, the Russo Brothers not only confirmed that the two upcoming Avengers movies are separate stories, but that they'll have different titles too. As Joe put it:
“The movies are two very different movies. The intention is we will change it, we just haven’t come up with the titles yet. But, yes, we will change it…we will retitle them.”
Anthony added to this, saying that the titles, as is, are “misleading.” This of course jives with what the brothers have previously said about the now untitled films and how they were, in fact, two entirely different stories. If that’s truly the case, that’s a good movie on both their part and Marvel’s, especially considering that the trend of splitting final entries of a franchise into two movies has been receiving some pushback from fans in recent years. It’s good to know that Marvel isn’t just trying to milk the Avengers cow and will be offering fans fully realized movies instead of two halves.
That just leaves the question: What will the new titles be? Presumably, the movies will still be culmination of events set in motion in The Avengers, with all the heroes teaming up to face off against galactic baddie, Thanos. In the comics, this event played out over three interconnected storylines, The Infinity Gauntlet, The Infinity Wars, and The Infinity Crusade. Is it possible that they’ll be taking their cue from the comics?
It's not a certainty, given what we currently know. If the plan was to change the first movie to Infinity Gauntlet and the second to Infinity War or Infinity Crusade, then it doesn’t make sense that the brothers are still looking for the right title. That would be an easy switch, all things considered. Furthermore, Infinity Crusade is largely a sequel to the events of Gauntlet and War, so that seems unlikely, too.
Of course, even with that in mind, it could be that they’re planning to combine the events of Gauntlet and War into one movie, and make Crusade the follow up. That makes sense, as far as narrative is concerned, but that doesn’t explain why they’re still trying to settle on what to call these movies.
Whatever ends up happening, however, there isn’t much cause for concern. The MCU seems to be in good hands. Having seen Civil War, this writer can say that the Russo Brothers do a remarkable job at keeping the complexities of all the MCU's moving parts going forward without any hang ups. With that in mind, we know that their next movies, whatever they’ll be titled, will feature an unprecedented number of characters and will be the largest superhero movie to ever hit the big screen. Based off what they accomplished with The Winter Soldier and now Civil War, this shouldn’t be a problem for the directing team.
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.