Marvel Studios’ head honcho Kevin Feige is out doing the press rounds for Marvel’s latest superhero blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, and speaking to Uproxx, the producer has been talking about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, stating that while Phase Four will bring about a new beginning, the studio’s main focus remains on Phase Three and delivering a “satisfying” and “unexpected” conclusion to the first ten years of the MCU.
“All I’ll say is the films we are working on now – which take us through to the Avengers Untitled in May of 19 – that’s really all we are focusing on,” said Feige. “And we are focusing on bringing, by that point, an unprecedented, 22-movie, continuous shared fictional narrative to a conclusion in a satisfying way. And where we go beyond that? Of course we will go places beyond that. And, of course, we have ideas of where we go beyond that. But, really, it is all good stories. And as the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation said, ‘All good things must come to an end.’ And part of what makes them special, there is a finite quality to the best of fictional stories through history. And we wanted to do that at the end of our first three phases and 22 movies. How we start anew and wherever we go beyond that is a story for another time. This is really about 10 years on, bringing something to a head in a satisfying and unexpected way.”
Meanwhile, given the sheer volume of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe these days – and the increasing debate / confusion regarding continuity (see Spider-Man: Homecoming, with its “eight years later” title card suggesting the story takes place in 2020, despite Captain America: Civil War coming out just four years after The Avengers), Feige has also said that the studio has plans to publish an official Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline to help us keep track.
“All of that debate has encouraged us,” said Feige to Screen Rant. “We are going to be publishing an official, and I’m not sure when, or in what format, an official timeline. It’ll probably be apart of ah, I don’t know, apart of an in print that you can fold out and look at. But suffice to say, only in limited cases do we ever actually say what the actual years are because we never want to be tied down to a particular year and I think people assume that whenever the movie is released is when is when the movie is taking place, and that is not the case.”
It will be interesting to see whether the official timeline includes the various TV shows, which could end the debate once and for all as to whether Marvel Studios considers them part of the Cinematic Universe.