Will the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever end? Maybe. But probably our own universe will collapse on itself first.
Kevin Feige, the mastermind behind Marvel Studios’ interlocked series of movies, says there is no end in sight for the MCU — although it may take a different form after Phase Three.
“I think you look at comics as a guide,” Feige tells EW. Although certain titles may get relaunched or rebooted, the narrative exists on a never-ending continuum.
“I think there will be a finality to moments of Phase Three, as well as new beginnings that will mark a different, a very different, a distinctively different chapter in what will someday be a complete first saga made up of three phases,” Feige said.
Captain America: Civil War, which opens next month, is now the 13th movie in the series, and the universe has gotten to the point where a fresh twist was necessary, its filmmakers say. Instead of the usual good-guy/bad-guy conflict, this one pits hero against hero as Cap and Iron Man throw punches over who has power over the superpowered.
“Things always get deconstructed, right?” says Joe Russo, who directs Civil War with his brother, Anthony. (The two are also the filmmaking force behind 2018 and 2019’s Avengers: Infinity War double feature.) “You build things up and people enjoy the experiences you’ve built up. But then you kind of reach an apex or you reach a climax, a moment where you go, ‘This structure is really going to start to be repetitious if we do this again, so what do we do now?’ So now, you deconstruct it. We’re in the deconstruction phase with Civil War and leading into Infinity War, which are the culmination films.”
It’s no accident that the next movies in the Marvel Studios line-up – Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok — involve characters who are not featured in Civil War. “That’s somewhat intentional to go and explore the other aspects [of the universe],” Feige says.
The post-Infinity War Phase Four line-up is currently wide open, although a third Guardians of the Galaxy movie is considered a likely option. Other possibilities include sequels to Doctor Strange, Black Panther, or Captain Marvel, which will all have their first stand-alone features released in Phase Three.
Although he left it vague, that could be what Feige means when he says the universe will become “distinctly different.” The same interlocked narrative will continue, but different heroes will be at the fore.
Speaking of linked universes, check out EW’s four Captain America: Civil War covers below. To continue reading more on Civil War, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands now, or buy it here — and subscribe now for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.
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Captain America: Civil War is out on May 6.