The exact chronology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has arguably become one of the most fascinating aspects of the entire franchise. While the overarching story has pretty much played out in real time over the course of the last decade, some of the films have played with things and overlapped stories. In that regard, Thor: Ragnarok executive producer Brad Winderbaum opened up to CinemaBlend and other outlets about the chronology of Taika Waititi's highly anticipated threequel during a set visit last year, and he explained that the film (more or less) overlaps with the Earth-based Phase Three films, saying:
In the timeline of the MCU, things kind of happen on top of each other, especially now in Phase Three. They're not as interlocked as they were in Phase One, you know, during Fury's Big Week and everything. So it kind of happens maybe on top of Civil War, maybe, you know, on top of Spider-Man... Somewhere in that ball park.
Remember in Captain America: Civil War when Thunderbolt Ross asked The Avengers if they knew where Thor and Bruce Banner had gone after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron? Well, now it looks like we've figured out where they were while Steve Rogers and Tony Stark duked it out on an airport runway. Although the events of Civil War, Homecoming, and Ragnarok don't intertwine in many substantial ways, it seems the films pretty much all take place on top of each other.
From a storytelling standpoint, keeping the chronology of these films as close as possible helps ramp up the stakes for The Avengers: Infinity War. Kevin Feige has stated that the reason the Marvel Studios creative team adapted Captain America: Civil War at the beginning of Phase Three was so they could disassemble The Avengers before The Mad Titan shows up with his Infinity Gauntlet. From there, origin movies like Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and (eventually) Black Panther put their respective heroes on the board while also keeping them away from the main Avengers roster. In the same vein, Thor: Ragnarok tells a story that can unite Thor with The Hulk, but it also creates specific conditions that can keep them away from Earth while also setting up a massive game-changer for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2018.
As Brad Winderbaum pointed out in his remarks, this isn't the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has layered films on top of each other. In Phase One, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, and the first Thor movie all took place within a single week, with each film subtly referencing the presence or debut of a new MCU hero. The events of Phase Three are a bit more standalone and self-contained than they used to be, but it's clear that one Marvel story doesn't sit around waiting for the previous one to conclude.
Thor Odinson's third solo adventure will smash its way into theaters later this year on November 3, 2017, and the God of Thunder will make his way back to Earth on May 4, 2018. Here's everything that we currently know about the next Thor film, and here's everything that we have on the upcoming Avengers adventure! Get excited, and stay tuned for more of our set visit coverage here on CinemaBlend!
With anticipation for Thor: Ragnarok officially ramping up, Marvel Studios has released some fantastic new character posters the accompany the film. Check them out below and let us know what you think of them in the comments!