For the past 10 years, Marvel Studios has followed a simple structure. Make a bunch of movies, bring them together with a huge event, rinse, and repeat. And while we'll see the beginning of the end of the current three-phase drama this week in Avengers: Infinity War, the films that follow are likely to do the same.
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Doctor Strange, and maybe Wong, will be prominent in Phase 4 of the MCU. Photo: Disney
Speaking to us at the Infinity War junket last weekend, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said that Phase 4 will likely follow the same structure as the first three, with a bunch of smaller movies leading into a big, culminating event.
"We do know what's coming. We have ideas of the shape of what's to come," Feige told us. "But that structure that you laid out was from the comics, right? Everyone had their individual stories. They meet up for a mega event and they go back to their individual stories changed from that event. I think that's a wonderful structure that's worked for decades in the comics, has worked for us now for a decade, so I think it's a good model. But it doesn't necessarily mean we're going to stick to it in stone."
The first three phases also seemed to rotate around not just Tony Stark, but Stark's family and, eventually, his original Avengers. So we asked Feige if Phase 4 would have a similar core group.
"I think it will vary," Feige said. "I think the overall mythology will begin to [grow], as you've already started to see with Guardians and certainly now with Panther and with Doctor Strange. I don't think we'll ever leave our past behind necessarily, but I think the new elements and the new inroads and, by the way, places that we haven't explored yet from the comic universe, will become more and more at the forefront."
At the junket, the news also broke that one of those new places might be The Eternals. But Phase 4 will start in earnest in July 2019 with a globe-trotting Spider-Man sequel, followed by a third Guardians of the Galaxy, a sequel to Black Panther, maybe a sequel to Doctor Strange, and certainly more to come.
Avengers: Infinity War, along with its follow-up Avengers 4, may be an ending, but things are just beginning.