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Avengers Infinity War and Thanos

It is, hands down, one of my favorite topics on the Blockbuster scene at the moment. If Avengers 4 is meant to be the conclusion of the current "Phase" of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, what is to come? And how much of what is to come does Marvel know? This is a company whose strategy -- both short and long term -- has been solid and true. They're not revealing what they know, but I think they're full aware of their path. And Marvel President Kevin Feige dropped a significant clue as to the scope of the company's future when he said:

[Marvel is] 22 movies in, and we've got another 20 movies on the docket that are completely different from anything that's come before---intentionally.

It's just a sliver of a glimpse of the large-scale plan. But this line of dialogue in the extensive profile of Kevin Feige and Marvel in Vanity Fair assures us that while the untitled Avengers 4 seems to be the end of the road for a number of Marvel superheroes, the future, indeed, is bright.

Even before we get to Avengers 4, which has a May 3, 2019 release date, Marvel has 5 movies on its radar that need to stick their landings. These include the first Black Panther movie, a second Ant-Man film, the massive Avengers: Infinity War and the introduction of Captain Marvel, as played by Brie Larson. Any time that Kevin Feige has been asked about that valuable real estate beyond Phase Three -- and believe me, we have asked him ourselves -- the Marvel head honcho deflects, saying that they need to maintain focus on the immediate future before they can discuss what might come down the line.

And yet, in the same Vanity Fair piece, other folks in Kevin Feige's orbit discuss directions that the MCU might go, as when Disney CEO Bob Iger reveals:

We're looking for worlds that are completely separate --- geographically or in time --- from the worlds that we've already visited.

We can also pair this with comments from Guardians of the Galaxy helmer James Gunn, who has spoken about the intention of Marvel to go more cosmic in some of its storytelling (Gunn, himself, has introduced other Guardians team members, and dropped a massive hint at Adam Warlock in his most recent Guardians sequel. If and when that will pay off remains a mystery.)

But from the sound of it, the 20 movies (give or take) that are to come won't include the founding fathers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if you read between the lines and take what has been included as indicators of the end of the MCU as we know it. Kevin Feige talks about Avengers 4 being a finale. This is not new. But Chris Hemsworth, the current Thor, talks about how rare it is to see all of the familiar faces lounging around on a recent Marvel set, and comments:

I thought, 'Could somebody take a photo of this?' We're all aware that this is going to be the last time we get to hang out like this.

The end is near. Yet, so is the next chapter -- whatever it may be. Want to keep up on all that we know about the Upcoming Marvel Movies? Then make sure that you have bookmarked that guide, as we'll continue to refresh it whenever new news arrives.

RELATED: Why We Still Haven't Gotten An Avengers: Infinity War Trailer