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Why the Marvel Cinematic Universe will likely be no more after 2019

Words: Jason Wolf
Photo: Flickr/MarvelousRoland

After 22 films in 12 years, it seems that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will come to a conclusion with 2019’s Avengers: Infinity War sequel. Or will it? 

With the releases of Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, Marvel officially transitioned into the third and climactic phase of its interconnected superhero films, known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). And while Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has dropped breadcrumbs about possibly adding another decade of MCU films onto the slate, whether audiences will continue to be enamoured with the current cycle – which dates back to 2008’s Iron Man – remains to be seen. Every movie in the series so far has a trajectory set to culminate with 2019’s Untitled Avengers: Infinity War sequel.

With two years and eight films left in the historic franchise as we know it, let’s see what they’ve got on tap to keep us entertained as the upcoming MCU movies climax with the largest superhero film ever made.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (May 2017)

© YouTube/Filmic Box

The first Guardians Of The Galaxy proved Marvel’s seeming infallibility by scraping the bottom of the comic book barrel and still emerging with a hit movie. While this film has yet to make any promises about playing a significant role in the MCU storyline, based on the wildly popular first instalment and the warm reaction to the trailers, expect fans to show up to cinemas with alacrity for this sequel.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 2017)

© YouTube/Jimmy Kimmel Live

A true homecoming for the centrepiece fixture of the Marvel brand, Spider-Man will finally fall under the dominion of the MCU, and fanboys are eager to see Marvel’s fingerprints on the character. Iron Man’s inclusion in the flick will be another big draw, as well as Michael Keaton’s return into the superhero genre – this time as a villain.

Thor: Ragnarok (November 2017)

Here’s where things get big. After reception to the sequels of Iron Man and Thor paled in comparison to the favored Captain America sequels, film executives cottoned on to the idea that these solo films shouldn’t be solo at all. Thor’s third feature will include notable MCU alumni Hulk, Doctor Strange, and Loki, as well as introducing new characters played by Hollywood darlings Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill. For the nerds, this film will draw major inspiration from Planet Hulk, the most popular comic book series for the green rage-monster. This will surely be the densest, most sprawling superhero film of the year.

Black Panther (February 2018)

While the story is almost entirely unknown, Black Panther is luring in fans with an incredible cast of multiple Academy Award winners and a young director with a critically reputable pedigree. The team associated with the feature – Michael B Jordan, Martin Freeman and Angela Bassett to name but a few – is enough to turn heads, but this film is also groundbreaking in its investment in black talent both behind and in front of the camera.

 
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Avengers: Infinity War (May 2018)

Marvel teased that the third Avengers movie could feature their ultimate villain Thanos as the lead character, most likely being based on a heralded comic book storyline called The Thanos Quest. An intergalactic tyrant’s accumulation of power will be an exciting storyline for the family-friendly franchise to explore, and will ramp up the momentum for the finale.

 

Ant-Man & Wasp (July 2018)

What should you be excited about for Ant-Man & Wasp? Paul Rudd’s in it – that’s about it right now.

Captain Marvel (March 2019)

Brie Larson had barely decided where to place her Best Actress Oscar on her mantle before agreeing to lead Marvel’s first – and long overdue – female-driven solo film, Captain Marvel. Hopefully this movie can help disperse long-held and feckless doubts movie studios have had about the potential earning power of female superhero movies. Although not a household name, Captain Marvel is becoming increasingly popular in the comic book realm and it will be intriguing to see how large her role will be in the final Avengers film.

Untitled Avengers: Infinity War sequel (May 2019)

© YouTube/Abu Tarek

It all leads to this – the finale and the fulcrum of the entire MCU. It should be stated that it’s unclear how exactly this film will gel with its 2018 predecessor. Which film will feature more action, which one will feature what characters, is still a mystery. The fact that the original two-part Infinity War plan has been scrapped in favour of an (as yet) untitled sequel makes it even more intriguing. Will it follow the original strategy to make this film  the conclusion of the 22-part series and open the door for new heroes and a big shake-up of the Avengers lineup if/when they’re to continue making MCU movies, or will be the end of a franchise that has been 10 years in the making?  One thing is for sure, this is going to be made on a scope and scale of which we may possibly never see on screen again. For that, this is certainly a comic book movie to be excited about.

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