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When the Avengers movies for Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were announced back in October 2014, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige referred to the features as the capstone of the journey that we've seen unfold since Jon Favreau's Iron Man in 2008. Because of this, many have wondered exactly what kind of consequences the films will have on the larger continuity -- both in terms of continuing/ending arcs for heroes and villains we know, and introducing whole new ones that will be expanded in the future. According to the directors, audiences should be ready for the epic blockbusters to do both.
I had the pleasure of talking on the phone last week with directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and in addition to talking about their work on Captain America: Civil War, the conversation veered towards the future and their development of both The Avengers: Infinity War and the untitled Avengers 4. Recognizing that we've heard various reports about the blockbusters bringing back every living character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was curious how much focus the films will have on bringing in new characters. Anthony Russo explained that he couldn't talk about it in much detail, but that both endings and beginnings will be a part of what the blockbusters are about. Said the filmmaker,
That is definitely a part of the process in these movies as well, the introduction of some new characters. These movies are intended to be the culmination of everything that has preceded them in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that's what we're going for in terms of scope of story-telling and in terms of sensitivity to character arcs and movements and climaxes. So very much these movies will in some ways be an ending to a long journey for many characters and they will also be a beginning for other characters. So, you know, without going into too much more detail than that, that's pretty much the essence of these films for us.
First in this situation, it's hard not to consider and think about all of the confirmed brand new characters being introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Phase Three. Simply limiting ourselves to the heroes getting their own solo movies, Tom Holland's Spider-Man, Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther, and Brie Larson's Captain Marvel should all have extremely important roles to play in Marvel's Phase Four and beyond -- and therefore will probably be stepping up in a big way in The Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.
With that side of the coin considered, the second big question is in regards to which characters will be "ending" their "long journeys" in the pair of blockbusters. Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth's Thor, and Chris Evans' Captain America will have all completed their own trilogies by the time The Avengers: Infinity War is released -- does that mean that all three of them could be getting close to the finish line? It's equally possibly that some or none of them see their arcs completed, and instead it will other major characters like Black Widow, Hawkeye or The Hulk. There are too many possibilities to really narrow it down at this point.
Hit the comments below to tell us what you think Anthony Russo means about beginnings and endings, and maybe even your predictions for how things are going to go. And while you all wait for The Avengers: Infinity War and The Avengers 4, be sure to check out Joe and Anthony Russo's most recent work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Captain America: Civil War arrives on Blu-ray and DVD September 13th.