The biggest problem the Marvel Cinematic Universe faces is the passage of time. Characters like Captain America or Iron Man can be the same age for decades in comic books — but in the real world, actors age, and that means things have to change. Roles either need to be recast or the character needs to retire. Sometimes it needs to do a little of both. Kevin Feige spoke about this transition to Vanity Fair when he a teased a finale for this version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
Avengers 4, he said, will “bring things you’ve never seen in superhero films: a finale.”
A finale is something we rarely see in comics, too (no one ever stays dead), and we know very little about the time period after Avengers 4. There have been a few announcements (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming), but this brave new world of the MCU is still largely unknown to us and is probably going to stay that way for a little while.
“There will be two distinct periods. Everything before Avengers 4 and everything after. I know it will not be in ways people are expecting,” Feige teased.
When asked if Feige could see the end of the road, he quoted Walt Disney:
“On opening day, when people asked Mr. Walt Disney if Disneyland was finished, he said, as long as there’s imagination in the world, Disney will never be complete.”
As long as people are seeing these movies, Feige seems content to make them — and considering the box office numbers, the gravy train doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Avengers: Infinity War, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, and Anthony Mackie. It will be released on May 4th, 2018.