Avengers: Infinity War sets up no less than five future Marvel movies. That will come as no surprise to any Marvel fan; Marvel boss Kevin Feige has always loved to play the long game. Marvel reportedly has no less than 20 films in the works for after Avengers 4; that gives a sense of Marvel's ambition, as the studio prepares for the next decade's worth of superhero action.
Sometimes the setup takes time to materialize; Marvel famously teased the location of Wakanda back in 2010's Iron Man 2, for example. Other times, though, it's pretty quick; the Tesseract played a crucial role in Captain America: The First Avenger, and returned the next year in The Avengers. So, where some of these teasers refer to films that aren't yet in pre-production, don't take them as evidence that a movie is imminent. The reality is that Marvel could easily choose to drop an Easter Egg to something they don't plan on developing for years to come.
In the case of Avengers: Infinity War, there are really two types of films teased. There are a number of clear, overt references to films that are due to come out over the course of the next year; there are also subtle, clever nods to projects that Marvel have been hinting at. Here, we'll examine all the (potential) movies teased in Marvel's epic 10-year anniversary film.
Of course, the cliffhanger ending of Infinity War is intended to lead straight into the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4. Where Infinity War has seen the heroes defeated, Avengers 4 will see them fight back. All they need to do in order to win is get their hands on the Infinity Gauntlet; they'll then be able to put matters right with a snap of their fingers.
It seems likely Doctor Strange chose to give up the Time Stone in order to ensure some heroes survived. With a number of key heroes taken off the table, including Spider-Man and Strange himself, the film will have a pared-down cast. In fact, with the notable exceptions of War Machine, Rocket, Nebula, and Okoye, Earth only has the original Avengers left. Wasp and Captain Marvel are confirmed to appear in Avengers 4, and Carol Danvers in particular looks set to become a major player in the sequel.
Avengers: Infinity War post-credits scene is clearly intended as setup for Captain Marvel. A sort of prologue to the entire MCU, Captain Marvel will be set in the '90s. It will feature a young Nick Fury (with both eyes intact) meeting his first superhero, Carol Danvers. The film is confirmed to feature the Kree-Skrull War, but its plot is mostly a mystery. No doubt the conclusion will explain why Captain Marvel disappears for several decades.
Whatever that reason may be, it seems Fury has a way to contact her. The post-credits scene sees Nick pull out a modified pager, of all things, which he uses to send a signal. The logo on the screen is easily identifiable as Captain Marvel's, meaning he's decided it's time to call in Carol for help. As for why he didn't do this earlier, when the Chitauri attacked, or when Hydra attempted to have him assassinated? That, too, is currently unknown.
Ant-Man & the Wasp
Marvel's Phase 3 films are out of order, meaning Ant-Man & the Wasp - due out later this year - is actually set before Infinity War. Trailers have already revealed that, after being broken out of the Raft by Steve Rogers, Scott Lang returned home and cut a deal with federal authorities. He was placed under a form of house-arrest, but at least Scott has been allowed to stay with his family. So far as the Avengers are aware, he's still under house-arrest during Infinity War. They choose not to call him in, so as to spare his family further turmoil.
Does this mean that, in the aftermath of Ant-Man & the Wasp, Scott Lang will return to house-arrest? Not necessarily; Steve Rogers's team don't seem terribly good at keeping track of their allies. The post-credits scene revealed that Nick Fury and Maria Hill are working for a mysterious organisation. Fury refers to "Control," suggesting he's not the one in charge, and even name-drops calling "Clint." That suggests Hawkeye, who was also placed under house-arrest, is now working with Fury and Hill.
In terms of setup, then, all this really does is confirm what alert viewers already knew; that, in the wake of Captain America: Civil War, Scott was placed under house-arrest. Ant-Man & the Wasp will pick up with that as its status quo.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019