There's no doubt that Avengers: Infinity War will be the biggest movie Marvel has attempted yet. And it will bring every faucet of this sprawling cinematic universe together, with a reported 67 characters battling it out against a galaxy-wide terror known as Thanos. So it makes sense that what was once a two-part movie would start to tie up all the dangling loose ends. And it will do just that, according to directors Joe and Anthony Russo. But more so, the movie will mark the beginning of something new for the MCU.
Avengers: Infinity War will arrive exactly ten years after Marvel launched its cinematic universe, and quite a lot has happened over this past decade. These superheroes are collectively the biggest franchise currently going in Hollywood. But it's starting to look like Marvel is in need of a very cool change. Captain America: Civil War certainly shook things up, kicking off what is known as Phase Three. And things are only going to continue to change and evolve over the course of the next few years, as Marvel heads into a new decade. Phase 3 will come to its inevitable conclusion with Avengers 4, which has not yet been awarded an official title. And it will mark a huge end for all that has come before it.
Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 are being shot back-to-back by the Russo Bros., who already have Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War under their Disney belt. At this stage, other than the fact that Thanos is searching for the Infinity Stones, not much is known about how these next two epic superhero ensembles will play out. The brothers did offer some keen insight, speaking with IGN. Joe says this.
"I can't get into too much detail about who we're introducing, but these two movies are intended to be the culmination of everything that has happened in the MCU since the very first Iron Man movie. In being a culmination, these movies are in some ways going to be an end to certain things, and in some ways, they're going to be the beginning of certain things."
Early on, the directing duo teased a roster of characters for Avengers: Infinity War that has never been attempted before in any movie. But they have had to scale back some of their aspirations. And it has become somewhat difficult to discover and figure out who exactly belongs in this next movie. About who will show up in Avengers 3 and 4, Joe says this.
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"You always have to make sure that your choices feel organic to the storytelling, and really, you have to sort of structure them in the way that they need to be there. You have to have them, or they shouldn't be in the movie. It's a little bit of a dance between the two, where you have big eyes, and you want everybody included in the movie, but you have to go through the process of... what's the best story that you can tell."
Just yesterday, Vin Diesel confirmed that the Guardians of the Galaxy will return in Avengers: Infinity War. And we also have confirmation that the Winter Soldier (aka Bucky Barnes), will next be seen in the movie. Beyond that, no one has been officially confirmed. Though it's a pretty safe bet that all of the original Avengers will return in some capacity. Doctor Strange will continue Marvel Phase Three this November. And next year, we'll get Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. This will be followed by Black Panther and Infinity War in the early part of 2018, with Ant-Man closing out the year. Captain Marvel and Avengers 4 will bring this leg of the Marvel saga to a close in 2019. Marvel already has three more movies planned for 2020, but they have not been announced yet.