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Destiny has arrived, folks. Avengers: Infinity War is now in theaters, and we're experiencing the cinematic culmination of a ten-year story. That said, we still have a few more installments in the Phase 3 Avengers arc, especially with the release of Avengers 4 next year. And according to Marvel's Kevin Feige, the conclusion of that arc in the fourth Avengers film will lead to the end of a Marvel era. Drawing comparisons to other classic franchises, Feige explained:
Characters like Spider-Man or Batman or James Bond or Iron Man, who have been around for so long and are always refreshed in comic books or novels or movies, you don't necessarily get that kind of an endpoint -- and we wanted to do that, which is what these next two Avengers films are. It doesn't mean the MCU is coming to a close, by any means. But it means the narrative that started when we began 10 years ago will have a conclusion.
I hope you aren't too attached to the current Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline, because it looks like things are about to change in a significant way. The MCU as we know it is going to end with the debut of Avengers 4, and some major changes are around the corner. What does this mean for the potential look of Phase 4? We still have absolutely no idea.
Having said that, it's hard to figure out precisely what Kevin Feige's remarks to Uproxx really mean. Drawing comparisons to franchises like Batman and James Bond seems to imply a change in continuity, but he also notes that the MCU will still exist when all is said and done. With that in mind, this would seem to suggest that the MCU will simply tell a new story separate from the Thanos buildup that we have experienced over the course of the last decade, or it could also mean that the events of Infinity War and Avengers 4 will fundamentally change the landscape of the MCU in a way that borders on a reboot. Either way, the story that we're currently experiencing will be tied up and finished by the time the credits roll on Avengers 4.
Warning: MASSIVE spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War! Don't read any further if you don't want to know the film's secrets!
Of course, as Kevin Feige's comments imply, we're only halfway through this Phase 3 climax. As those who have seen Avengers: Infinity War already know, the film ends on a shocking note that sees practically half of the fan-favorite heroes killed by Thanos when he snaps his fingers and unleashes the power of the Infinity Stones. Though not quite a full-blown cliffhanger, the film does end with the suggestion that these heroes have more work to do, so we will need to wait another year to see how this story properly ends.
Avengers: Infinity War is currently in theaters, so head over to our full review of the film, as well as our comprehensive review roundup, to see what critics have to say about it. From there, check out our To 3D guide to figure out which ticket you should buy, and while you're at it, mark down the May 3, 2019 release date of Avengers 4 on your moviegoing calendars!