While Marvel Studios may not be revealing the information to fans, the company has an actual scroll of events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for creators to reference. Even to diehard Marvel fans, the timeline of events in the MCU can be a bit wonky. Despite Marvel's assurances that everything lines up, the lack of a cohesive story group like Lucasfilm has made things tricky. While Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has referenced Daredevil, the former seems contemporary while the latter seems to occur back around the first Avengers. Likewise, Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 will take off right after Avengers 4, but Peter will only be in the next grade rather than having experienced a two-year gap.
Even the chronology of films like The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor are a bit confusing as they all happen around the same time in-universe, despite releasing years apart in the theaters. Of course, if it's confusing for fans, imagine how much trouble it must be for new creators. They have to craft a compelling story with a mythology of its own all while focusing on multiple other properties. And even if the TV shows are ignored - as they often are - that still leaves over a dozen previous films to contend with.
Related: A Chronological History of the MCU
Luckily, Marvel seems to have everything mapped out. Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts revealed in an interview with EW that he was presented with a timeline of events when he signed on. Even more intriguing, but the whole thing is placed on a massive scroll.
“There’s an actual scroll that they unrolled for me. One of my producers, Eric Carroll, it was his first job at Marvel to work on a timeline and see where things line up and see where things didn’t quite line up. Like, ‘Oh, that’s when Captain America is born.'”
At this point, you're probably thinking two things. The first is where you can get your hands on such a treasure trove of canon information. The second thing likely on your mind: How big is this scroll? According to the interview, Watts said it was longer than the conference room table.
“Uh yes, it’s very long. It’s the most amazing thing because it starts, honestly, at the beginning of time — I don’t remember specifically, but I think it has something to do with Thor. It is truly an amazing document.”
While rough events can be culled together by fans into a vague timeline, the idea that Marvel has a concrete document with all the specifics of their world is certainly a fascinating one. Perhaps when Phase 3 is over and a massive box set is released, a replica of this fabled scroll will be included. Of course, with Marvel being so secretive that even Tom Holland can't see the Infinity War script, we won't hold our breath.
In the meantime, it's good to know more about the inner workings of the MCU and how cohesive it is. With each new project, the world expands a little more, so it's always reassuring to know that progress is being tracked and shared among new members of the Marvel family.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) release date: Jul 07, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- 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
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019