It was made explicit during the Avengers panel at NYCC today: after The Avengers, Iron Man 3 will kick-start a new era and a new narrative for the ongoing Marvel movie cross-over project.
Kevin Feige spoke about being in pre-production on Iron Man 3 right now, and referred to it as the first film in “the second phase of the Avengers initiative”. His hope is to build up, in a similar fashion to this last time, and culminate in The Avengers 2.
The first clue to this second phase is likely to come with The Avengers, as Feige confirmed that there’s going to be a little teaser scene tucked away at the end, after the credits.
But what about those Guardians of the Galaxy rumours? Aren’t we going to see those characters cropping in Marvel films, coming together like The Avengers did?
Feige says that, in fact, there is a Guardians of the Galaxy film in development but it will, in this respect at least be standalone. Missed opportunity? Or a nice chance to have a picture not get bogged down with continuity beyond its own narrative?