When the untitled fourth Avengers movie bring Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a close in 2019, you should prepare for some major changes team upcoming to your favorite superheroes. According to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, the follow up to Avengers: Infinity War could be the end of the story the company has been telling since Iron Man debuted in 2008.
In an interview with Uproxx, Feige says, "Well, all I'll say is the films we are working on now--which take us through to the Avengers Untitled in May of '19--that's really all we are focusing on. And we are focusing on bringing, by that point, an unprecedented, 22-movie, continuous shared fictional narrative to a conclusion in a satisfying way."
Conclusion is a tricky word to use there because it implies that fans might be saying goodbye to some of their favorite superheroes. By the time the fourth Avengers movie releases, it'll have been 11 years and 22 movies released as part of the MCU. There has to be some sort of an end in sight, and Feige wants to make sure it's a proper one.
"As the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation said, 'All good things must come to an end,'" he says. "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."
Still, while the original incarnation of the MCU may change, it's not going away. After all, the remaining films in Phase Three include dedicated movies for the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Given their status as newer characters in the MCU, surely there are still plenty of stories to tell with them.
As for what team-up movies will look like in the MCU once Phase Three it over, that remains to be seen. One actress has a pretty good idea, though.
At a press conference for Thor: Ragnarok, Tessa Thompson--who plays Valkyrie in the film--was asked about the possibility of a solo movie for her character. While that doesn't seem to be in the cards for now, the actress did share an interaction she and some other female Marvel stars had with Feige about the future.
"Recently, I marched up with a couple other women who work in Marvel and we were like, to Kevin, 'What about a movie with some female superheroes. Just, like, all of them?'" she remembers. Feige adds, "It's a pretty amazing moment to be somewhere and have your shoulder get tapped and you turn around and every female hero we have is standing there going, 'How about it?' And I said, 'Yes.'"
While the tone of the exchange was a joking one, the interest in an all-female team-up Marvel movie is there. With the stable of characters the studio is building, it wouldn't be lacking in star power either. In addition to Valkyrie, Captain Marvel, and the Wasp, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) could round out an incredibly powerful and entertaining group. Marvel could even find a way to work in Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), should the Netflix shows finally cross over.
Regardless of what steps Marvel takes after the end of Phase Three, it's clear that the MCU is not going away anytime soon. With so much comic book history to look to for inspiration, the possibilities are endless. Maybe they'll even get around to that standalone Hulk movie.
Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters on November 3.