Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of a decade’s worth of superheroics, universe building and character construction at Marvel Studios.
The third team-up movie will bring together every virtually every character the comic book giant’s movie arm has previously brought to cinema, from the Guardians of the Galaxy to Spider-Man, and the results promise to be world-shattering.
Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye must unite the Marvel Universe to run the gauntlet against Josh Brolin’s mad titan Thanos, and it’s expected to be a very different place when the dust from the battle has settled.
Some heroes and villains may not survive the crossover event, others could emerge forever changed and no doubt a few will come out the other side relatively unscathed.
Then there are the wider repercussions on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel Studio’s approach going forward to consider…
As any fanboy or girl worth their salt will tell you, the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies have always been issued in phases, usually bookended by Avengers outings.
We’re currently in Phase 3, which includes Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming, among others.
Infinity War will not mark the end of the third phase when it hits next April, but lead into an as-yet-untitled fourth Avengers film scheduled for May 3, 2019.
However, the cosmic team-up and its sequel are expected to spell big changes not just for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Marvel Studios’ release strategy.
Studio president Kevin Feige told Collider that the concept of Phases could be scrapped after the fourth Avengers movie has landed.
“Certainly as we get to Infinity War there is a sense of a climax if not a conclusion to, by the time we’re at untitled Avengers 4, the 22 movies that will have encompassed the first three phases of the MCU. And what happens after that will be very different. I don’t know if it’s Phase 4, it might be a new thing.”
As for the title of the fourth Avengers movie, Marvel is keeping mum because it’s apparently too spoilerific for our mortal minds to comprehend.