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If you’ve read more than one Avengers comic book, you know that the superhero team’s lineup is never the same. Every couple of years (or even every couple of months), old members leave, new members come in, and then those new arrivals leave and old members return. It’s an endless cycle. Well, it’s no different in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as evidenced by Avengers: Age of Ultron's ending, and when the Avengers: Infinity War movies arrive in the near future, they’ll usher in a massive team change for the Phase Four slate of films.
Talking to Slashfilm, Avengers producer Jeremy Latchem noted that the Infinity War movies will definitely signal an end to the the team audiences have come to know as the Avengers, but that doesn’t mean that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will be going away completely. According to Latchem:
The team will be evolving. One of the things we loved in the comics is the rosters always changing and you could pick up a new issue of the comics ten years later and you don’t recognize the people on the cover. But the ideas and ideals that make The Avengers still exist, and I think that’s part of what makes this culmination will be: we’re seeing this version of the team doing this thing to save this universe, this galaxy, however you want to put it, and we’ll see where this goes.
Earth’s Mightiest Heroes went through their first cinematic evolution in Avengers: Age of Ultron’s final minutes. With Iron Man and Hawkeye wanting to spend more time with their loved ones, Thor going back to Asgard, and Hulk missing, Captain America and Black Widow found themselves shorthanded. To fill this gap, they recruited War Machine, Vision, Falcon, and Scarlet Witch to make up the New Avengers. However, judging from Latchem’s comments, it sounds like the team shakeup will be even more radical following their upcoming clash with Thanos.
Although the Avengers: Infinity War movies are set to be Marvel’s biggest films yet, it’s still unclear who will appear beyond core Avengers like Iron Man and Captain America, though many suspect that almost every major hero from the MCU (including possibly a few from TV) will show up to do battle against the Mad Titan. No doubt the battle will be a spectacle that may result in notable casualties, but as of now we just we don’t know if any of the current heroes will still be on the team or even active in Phase Four. It’s possible that the next iteration of Avengers will be entirely comprised of new heroes, like Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel. That would certainly line up with what Latchem is saying. The team may not be filled with the same people post-2019, but their mission and ideals will still be the same, and that’s what counts in the long run.
We’ll see the Avengers status quo start shifting when Avengers: Infinity War Part I is released on May 4, 2018, followed by Part II on May 3, 2019.