It seems like not long ago, Marvel Studios launched their first film, Iron Man, within what would soon become known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Eight years later and the biggest franchise in Hollywood is continually bringing more content into theaters, as phase 3 of the MCU has just begun. Captain America: Civil War was the start to this phase, but when it comes to a close in a few years with Avengers: Infinity War and the currently Untitled Avengers movie, it will mark a much bigger ending point.
Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo will be making their third and fourth films under Marvel Studios as they tackle the next two Avengers films, but there is little known about what state the MCU will be in when the credits roll on phase 3.
Speaking to IGN about the upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release for Civil War, the directors were asked about the direction that MCU is currently heading in. With the movies set to bring various MCU properties together, such as the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers finally meeting, the former two-part event will be culmination of everything that has happened in the MCU up to this point, according to Anthony Russo.
"I can't get into too much detail about who we're introducing, but these two movies are intended to be the culmination of everything that has happened in the MCU since the very first Iron Man movie. In being a culmination, these movies are in some ways going to be an end to certain things, and in some ways, they're going to be the beginning of certain things."
The Russos are no strangers to working with large casts, after pitting twelve heroes against each other in Civil War, but Infinity War and the fourth Avengers movie will push the limits on the number of characters in a single movie even further. One of the things that made the large number of characters work in Civil War was giving each character their moment, which is what is making the decision process on who to put in these movies so difficult.
"It's a little bit of both, because you always have to make sure that your choices feel organic to the storytelling, and really, you have to sort of structure them in the way that they need to be there. You have to have them, or they shouldn't be in the movie. It's a little bit of a dance between the two, where you have big eyes, and you want everybody included in the movie, but you have to go through the process of... what's the best story that you can tell."
Even though Infinity War is still over a year away, Marvel Studios and the Russos are already prepping for the nine month shoot that will feature the large cast and crew shooting the movies concurrently. Among the characters set to return for another appearance in the MCU, there will also be those, such as Brie Larson, that could be making their debuts within the universe. It is not surprising that they are not ready to reveal what new characters could be involved with casting likely still underway, but whenever Marvel unveils the official cast list for both movies later this year, expect the longest list yet and a few surprises.
Doctor Strange opens 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 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.