Marvel Studios wants Phase 3 to end the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it, and Kevin Feige explains why. Few would've guessed back in 2008 that Iron Man would launch the universe-building craze that now dominates nearly all of Hollywood's moviemaking ambitions. Since that time, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has spearheaded the construction of Marvel's cinematic universe, populating it with the company's most popular heroes from the comics (without the X-Men and Fantastic Four, of course), and in doing so, has released 16 movies sharing one continuity.
With Thor: Ragnarok as the next film on the MCU's slate, the end of Phase 3 is on the horizon. As the end of draws near, so too will this current iteration of the MCU. The next two Avengers films have been teased to be the culmination of the MCU, and now fans have a better idea as to why.
"And where we go beyond that? Of course we will go places beyond that. And, of course, we have ideas of where we go beyond that. But, really, it is all good stories. And as the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation said, ‘All good things must come to an end.’ And part of what makes them special, there is a finite quality to the best of fictional stories through history. And we wanted to do that at the end of our first three phases and 22 movies. How we start anew and wherever we go beyond that is a story for another time. This is really about 10 years on, bringing something to a head in a satisfying and unexpected way."
While several studios have attempted to replicate Marvel's shared universe approach in different ways, no one studio has matched the MCU's financial and critical consistency. However, with each new film comes an even longer history of events for audiences to try and keep track of. By looking at Avengers 4 as an ending of sorts to the MCU, Marvel Studios may be able to reinvent itself, its strategy, and, as a result, the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.
This is not to say that the characters audiences have come to know and love will be gone after Avengers 4. It is already been announced that Tom Holland's Spider-Man will get a sequel that starts minutes after the end of Avengers 4, while James Gunn is busy working not only on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but also building out the Marvel Cosmic Universe for the next decade. But before anyone worries too much about where Marvel is headed in 2020 and beyond, there's plenty on the studio's plate. And if Feige's tease of an unexpected ending to Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel are any indication, how Phase 3 comes to a close will be something to remember.
- 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
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019