As Marvel Studios moves beyond Phase 3, they are developing another franchise that could replace Avengers. The Marvel Cinematic Universe may have began with just Iron Man, but it was the forethought to build to The Avengers that truly launched the interconnected franchise. The MCU library is now nineteen movies deep, with Avengers: Infinity War out in theaters and crushing the competition at the box office.
But, with the future of the MCU still very much under wraps, what exactly will happen next is up for speculation. Some balance of solo movies, sequels, and team-ups still will more than likely be the formula Marvel follows, but the big tentpole franchise that is Avengers could be left behind.
Related: Predicting Marvel's Phase 4 Slate
Disney CEO Bob Iger shared some words about the future of the MCU on an earnings call. Shared by THR, Iger teased that the Avengers name could go away for a while, which has led to them internally developing a new franchise. He wouldn't share any other details about this new franchise, but the tease indicates its being viewed as a replacement for the big team-up title.
We meet on a regular basis with our Marvel team, and we've plotted out Marvel movies that will take us well into the next decade. I'm guessing we will try our hand at what I'll call a new franchise beyond Avengers, but that doesn't necessarily mean you won't see more Avengers down the road. We just haven't made any announcements about that.
Possibly leaving behind the recognition that comes with the Avengers brand is a somewhat surprising move. All three of the Avengers films released to this point have crossed $1 billion at the box office, and Infinity War will soon make it so all three are Marvel's top-grossing films worldwide. With Avengers 4 on the horizon as well, it is very likely that all four will achieve this same milestone. Leaving behind an IP that consistently rakes in $1B is a bold move to make, but possibly shows the focus on the future not the past.
Those involved with the MCU continue to talk about these first three Phases as one complete story. If that is really the case and whatever comes next is the beginning of a whole new story still set in the same continuity, then leaving behind the Avengers name could allow for the new faces of the franchise to really make their names known. There's countless teams in the comics that Marvel Studios could pull from too. The way Iger talks about this new franchise though, don't expect it to be New Avengers, Young Avengers, or anything with Avengers in the title. Instead, something like the Ultimates, A-Force, or Champions could all work. Whatever it is, Marvel wants to keep it and all of their Phase 4 plans under wraps until after Avengers 4 hits theaters.
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