Kevin Feige and the team at Marvel Studios know what's happening after Avengers: Infinity War, they're just not saying.
The poster for Marvel's next movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Speaking to The Toronto Sun, Feige was asked about the untitled movies Marvel currently has on the schedule for May, July and November of 2020, the start of Phase 4 of their cinematic universe.
"Where we go after Avengers; what those 2020 films are, we're pretty sure what those are going to be… but if I tell you that, we're getting into spoilers," Feige said.
Ah, so that's why there hasn't been a major, Comic-Con-esque announcement. If they revealed the titles to those movies, it would spoil events in Infinity War and its sequel. Which, in itself, is a bit of a clue, is it not? There are only a certain amount of film titles that would be considered spoilers for what comes before it. The Funeral of Iron Man, perhaps? Adam Warlock's Neighbourhood, maybe? Black Widow Lost In Space? You have to think it's either a new character or some kind of radical team-up/situation, because simply saying "Iron Man 4" or "Doctor Strange 2" doesn't feel like much of a spoiler.
But that's not true, either, is it? If a new Iron Man or Doctor Strange movie was announced for after Avengers, we'd sit down in that movie knowing those characters live. When you think of it that way, keeping the films secret feels like Feige's way of combating one of his biggest problems: That many people believe Marvel movies have no stakes because there's always a sequel to it in the works. Thor can't die in Avengers: Age of Ultron if they're spending money to make Thor: Ragnarok, right? This time, though, there aren't any names attached to the post-Infinity War movies. Everyone is vulnerable.
So here's what's coming. Next year brings Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. Then, 2018 brings Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Next, 2019 brings Captain Marvel and Avengers 4; 2020 brings untitled films on May 1, July 10 and November 6. But it won't stop there.
"Once we get into 2021, 2022, 2023… it's the same balance," Feige said. "We want to continue stories in unique ways with characters that we've established. There's facing the crossroads of how to adapt characters after they have had five or six or seven appearances. Then there's choosing the new ones, like Guardians, like Ant-Man, like Doctor Strange... and we certainly know what the handful of those are going to be."