If there’s one thing that’s been made abundantly clear, it’s that Avengers 4 is going to fundamentally change everything for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios boss and MCU mastermind Kevin Feige calls the film “a finale”, promising that “There will be two distinct periods. Everything before Avengers 4 and everything after.” So what comes after? That’s the million (or multi-billion) dollar question the good folks at Vanity Fair tried to dig up as a part of their fantastic in-depth profile.
As you might expect, the famously tight-lipped folks at Marvel played things pretty close to the vest, but one thing we know for sure is that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 isn’t just the third act of James Gunn‘s trilogy-in-progress, it will usher out the current incarnation of the Guardians and, as one of the first post-Avengers 4 films, help usher in a new era for Marvel films.
That’s fitting. You don’t have to look far for someone to tell you how influential Guardians of the Galaxy was on the future of the MCU. Guardians marked a shift; a freer approach to a “more colorful, more playful, heightened reality, as Evangeline Lilly described. “Guardians of the Galaxy opened up a whole new door in the Marvel universe,” said Mark Ruffalo, who recently starred in the distinctly playful Thor: Ragnarok. “We don’t have to force a tone from movie to movie. We don’t have to force a look from movie to movie. All we have to do is carry those characters with some semblance of the last story.”