James Gunn reveals on the Avengers: Infinity War Blu-ray release that there isn't a grand plan for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as fans believe there is, at least not one that involves the franchise's directors. What Marvel Studios has done in crafting a cohesive, shared universe that spans almost two dozen films is an extraordinary achievement in filmmaking, regardless of what moviegoers may feel about each movie's quality or story. Bridging practically every major story arc together for an ultimate showdown with Thanos is no easy feat.
Anthony and Joe Russo's Avengers: Infinity War was meant to be a culmination of all those storylines, going back all the way to Jon Favreau's first Iron Man movie from 2008. And while Phase 1 of the MCU was all building up to the Earth's Mightiest Heroes uniting for the first time in Joss Whedon's The Avengers in 2012, the rest of the cinematic universe has been leading up to the Avengers' big battle with Thanos in Avengers 3. That requires intricate plotting from the creative minds at Marvel Studios, but there hasn't been a full-fledged grand plan that charts every major event in the MCU.
On the Avengers: Infinity War Blu-ray release, James Gunn says in "The Directors' Roundtable" featurette that Marvel directors don't have a map/chart/document laying out the future of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe: "There's a belief out there that somehow, over the past however many years, we sat in a room and we came up with this long big story that leads to this one thing, and it's just not the way it is."
However, that's not to say that there isn't some semblance of a plan going on behind the scenes, but the only person who really has that plan laid out in some way, shape, or form is Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. But even then, plans have always changed somewhat at the last minute, such as the introduction of Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and fast-tracking a solo movie for that character. In the same roundtable discussion, Favreau says:
"But it kind of is in a weird way, and a lot of it's Kevin [Feige]. Right? All kidding aside... there was a map on the wall behind Tony Stark and Nick Fury at the end of Iron Man 2 that had Wakanda on it. And all those things I always thought were just Easter eggs and fun for the fans, but he must have been keeping his journal and having the through-line of one person that really would come in and not just be an executive, but actually have a creative point of view that you could go back-and-forth on."
Overall, it seems that, while the MCU is certainly going in a particular direction, there are multiple pathways that it can take. For instance, the Wakanda Easter egg in Iron Man 2 originally set up its potential appearance in Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron, but that plan was changed, thus leading to the Wakanda that was shown in Ryan Coogler's Black Panther film. The same thing applies to Wasp originally being planned for the first Avengers movie, not appearing in Peyton Reed's Ant-Man and the Wasp six years later. What's more, the directors themselves never worry about what's happening in other movies, like Gunn not telling Marvel (or the Russos) about how he planned on ending Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. They each want to make their own movie, their way.
Avengers: Infinity War is now available on digital HD, and it releases on Blu-ray on August 14.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019