The Marvel Cinematic Universe was an experiment in film continuity that nobody had ever tried before. Several years later, we can call it an official success, with individual films in the franchise breaking the billion dollar mark and the MCU as a whole becoming a global phenomenon. While there’s no end in sight on the current production schedule, is there an end expected for the concept eventually? What do you think?
Unsurprisingly, Disney Chairman Bob Iger has absolutely zero plans to put a stop to the Marvel Juggernaut. Not the actual character named Juggernaut, of course. Fox has the rights to him. Speaking to the BBC, Iger actually went as far as to use the F word when describing the long-term plans for the MCU.
Marvel, you're dealing with thousands and thousands of characters - that will go on forever.
While fans of the MCU are surely happy that there are no plans to pump the breaks anytime soon on any of the parts of the franchise, the idea that it might truly go on "forever" seems like a tall order. The comics themselves have been going on for decades but in doing so, they have created some fairly dense continuity which has been known to keep new readers from getting too involved. The MCU has the potential to do the same if it truly continues for an extended period. Eventually, you may have moviegoers who have never seen the earlier films and might be hesitant to join the series when the tenth Avengers movie comes out.
But, it might not come to that. Bob Iger implies with his statement that part of the reason the films could continue on is because there are a nearly limitless supply of different characters. We may never see a tenth Avengers movie because those films may fade away while something new takes their place. While we fully expect to see plenty of film sequels like the upcoming Captain America: Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, we’re also getting new properties mixed in with them like Doctor Strange and Black Panther. While not every Marvel character is necessarily right for their own movie, the fact that they were able to make Ant-Man successful enough to warrant a sequel means that at this point we’re going to just assume anything is possible until we see something that doesn’t work.
From a business standpoint, we fully expect Disney to continue to make these movies until the money stops rolling in. From a creative standpoint, is it the right call? Should they have an endgame ready, even if they don’t plan to use it for years? Or, should the plan to wrap up the MCU before it gets too long in the tooth?