After a successful box office run, taking in over $458 million domestically and $1.4 billion worldwide, Avengers: Age of Ultron debuted on Digital HD today, ahead of the Blu-ray and DVD release on October 2. This massive adventure, along with Ant-Man, marks the end of Phase Two, with the upcoming Phase Three set to be even bigger, spanning nine movies between 2016 and 2019. While we still have four years until Phase Three is complete, some are even looking ahead to Phase Four, which we know nothing about at this time, but we may have gotten our first hint in a new Avengers: Age of Ultron featurette.
The preview, entitled Connecting the Universe, shows how several characters from Avengers: Age of Ultron compare to their Marvel Comics counterparts, such as Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) and the villainous Ultron (James Spader) himself. The end of this video mentions that both Klaue and Ultron were part of the same villainous team known as the Masters of Evil, who battled Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the comics several times. This brief mention has some fans wondering if the video could be teasing a potential movie centering on this super-villain team.
This video is not a confirmation of this project, but Marvel Studios does have a penchant for teasing projects years before they are ever announced. 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger mentioned Wakanda, home to both Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and the indestructible metal vibranium, years before the Black Panther movie was even announced. More recently, 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier mentioned Doctor Strange, months before the project was officially confirmed as part of Phase Three.
The Masters of Evil first debuted in the comics back in July 1964 in The Avengers #6, with the original version of this villainous team lead by Baron Zemo, who will be played by Daniel Brühl in next year's Captain America: Civil War. The lineup also included Black Knight, Melter, Radioactive Man, Enchantress and Executioner. Later versions of this team did include Ultron and Ulysses Klaue, along with other iconic villains like Doctor Octopus, Absorbing Man, Yellowjacket, Gargantua and many more. Of course, Ultron died in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but perhaps the studio has plans for a new version of the Masters of Evil.
If Earth's Mightiest Heroes manage to defeat the nefarious Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War - Part II in May 2019, this could set the stage for the Masters of Evil to make their mark on the MCU. Would you like to see a Masters of Evil movie as part of Phase Four? If Warner Bros.' super villain ensemble Suicide Squad proves to be a success, that could lead Marvel do put together a Masters of Evil movie. While we wait for more details, check out this Avengers: Age of Ultron preview below.