Marvel Studios’ sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron was a big movie. It had to be, given that it was the follow-up to The Avengers—which pre-Jurassic World held the box office record for opening weekend. But it then posed a problem for Marvel: how do you go bigger? While the character-stuffed Captain America: Civil War may provide a brief response, the full answer will come in the form of Avengers: Infinity War, a saga so big it’s Marvel’s first two-parter.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo are helming Infinity War – Part 1 and Infinity War – Part 2 with frequent Marvel scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely penning the scripts, but so far little is known about the Phase Three-ender beyond the fact that it’s going to be positively massive.
However, at a recent Q&A to tout the upcoming Blu-ray release of Age of Ultron, Marvel Studios exec Jeremy Latcham revealed that Infinity War will act as a conclusion to the Avengers as we know them:
“I think it definitely is an end to some version of the team that we’ve come to know as The Avengers. Who knows exactly what is going to happen yet in that film, but I think this version of that team—and I think we start to hint at it at the end of Age of Ultron—will be evolving.”
Latcham goes on to say that this idea of rotating out The Avengers comes straight from the comics, though the ideal of what the team was originally formed to be will remain:
“One of the things we love from the comics is that the roster is always changing and new people are coming onto the team, and you can pick up an Avengers book 10 years later and you don’t recognize the people on the cover. But the ideas and ideals and things that make the Avengers the Avengers still exist, and I think that’s part of what this culmination will be. We’re seeing this version of the team doing this thing to save the universe, the galaxy, however you want to put it, and we’ll kind of see where that goes. It’s not the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I think that it is the end of part of it for sure. We’re still trying to sort out that point.”
We already saw an almost entirely changed lineup for The Avengers at the end of Age of Ultron, with Tony, Thor, Bruce, and Hawkeye all scattered to the wind, so I’m very curious to see what becomes of the OG Marvel Cinematic Universe players when all is said and done. We’re coming up on the end of the contracts for many of the invididual actors, with Robert Downey Jr. and Co. up for renegotiation at the end of Infinity War – Part 2. Chris Evans recently told us he’s happy to stick around and keep making Marvel movies as long as they’ll have them, but I do wonder if we’re in for a creative shakeup when Phase Three ends, with only a select few of the original cast members remaining as things move forward.
Indeed, Marvel is branching out. Ant-Man introduced Paul Rudd to the mix, and Black Panther and Captain Marvel are on the horizon. We also have to see how the Guardians of the Galaxy ensemble fits into this mix when they presumably encounter the Earth-bound heroes in Infinity War. The MCU is getting crowded, and we’re reaching the point—if this were a traditional TV series, that is—in which big character deaths start to occur. Although, since the MCU is set up to exist much like the comic book runs, we know that death doesn’t exactly mean the end.
Regardless, we’re no doubt in for a pretty spectacular double-header when Infinity War is unveiled as the crew finally gets to face off against Josh Brolin’s Thanos. During the Q&A, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that the Infinity Gauntlet that Thanos retrieved in the post-credits stinger for Age of Ultron is not the same Gauntlet that was glimpsed in Odin’s throne room way back in Thor. So there’s a way to balance the scales, but it’s going to be an uphill battle.
Peruse the links to the rest of our coverage from the Marvel event below. Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 opens in theaters on May 4, 2018 followed by Part 2 on May 3, 2019.
For more Marvel info from this Age of Ultron Blu-ray event, peruse the links below:
- Kevin Feige on Spider-Man, Marvel’s Contingency Plans for Using Characters They Don’t Own (Yet)
- Kevin Feige Says Crossover Between Marvel TV and Films Is “Inevitable”
- Original ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Ending Revealed