It's hard to believe next month will mark thirteen years since the Robert Downey Jr-led Iron Man debuted in theaters, kick-starting the MCU and changing Hollywood forever. Years later, 23 films have been released and Marvel is just getting started as Phase Four introduces many new characters while beginning the roll-out of its blockbuster Disney+ series.
As the franchise continues to release billion-dollar movies and sees viral success in its streaming releases, it's hard to imagine a point at which the MCU could ever come to an end. However, it seems Marvel CCO Kevin Feige has some pretty strict conditions for continuing to expand the universe as he reveals the reason he wants to continue tackling new projects.
WHY DOES KEVIN FEIGE WANT THE MCU TO CONTINUE?
In a recent interview with Variety to discuss Eternals director Chloé Zhao's recent Oscar win, Marvel CCO Kevin Feige has revealed the main reason why they want to continue building the MCU.
Feige explained that he and Marvel Studios only want to continue building the legendary cinematic universe as long as they “can keep evolving it and changing it and growing it” to do “things [they] hadn’t done before”:
“I’m in my 20-plus years at Marvel. We only want to keep doing this so that we can keep evolving it and changing it and growing it, and doing things we hadn’t done before. And that’s what many filmmakers like Chloé for. Not just for Marvel, by the way, but for the business — and for the theatrical business, and for the quote unquote blockbuster business. You want those filmmakers coming in and continuing to evolve and adapt what it means for genre film — or certainly for Marvel Studios film.”
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Kevin Feige explained that he and Marvel Studios only want to continue building the legendary cinematic universe as long as they “can keep evolving it and changing it and growing it” to do “things [they] hadn’t done before.”
WHEN COULD THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE END?
Marvel Comics has been releasing new issues — with new characters and storylines — consistently since they first began in 1939. Obviously, it's safe to say Kevin Feige and the rest of the creative teams at the studio won't be running out of ideas anytime in the near future, so when could the MCU eventually reach its end?
The Marvel Comics world typically sees a fresh start every few years to create a jumping-on point for new readers, something fans could one day see happen to the MCU. As the universe continues to expand on its already released 23 films and two Disney+ series, it becomes increasingly hard for viewers to get involved in the latest superhero adventures without getting confused.
The Infinity Saga alone is almost fifty hours long, and the introduction of regular six-hour-long series won't make it any easier for new viewers to catch up. With the release of every new Marvel project, it's never exactly clear what past projects it may interlink with, meaning that viewers need to remain familiar with almost everything that has come before to truly appreciate a film or series.
Any easy solution to this problem would simply be a comic-inspired soft reboot. Simply reducing the number of references to Infinity Saga events could allow Phase Four to act as a new beginning for the MCU, making it much less daunting for moviegoers wishing to enjoy a singular film or series.
Nonetheless, it's clear to say the MCU has a bright future ahead of it as Disney's acquisition of Fox finally opens the doors to The Fantastic Four and the X-Men joining the cinematic world. The introduction of these major players in the Marvel universe could take the focus off the Avengers in the future as a new set of heroes finally take the spotlight, truly changing the game of the MCU.
Ultimately, there is no end in sight for the MCU anytime soon. As long as the interconnected universe continues to churn out billion-dollar successes, Disney and Marvel Studios will likely continue to release them. With new actors and filmmakers joining the world every week, the creative juices will keep flowing as long as fans continue buying tickets and renewing Disney+ subscriptions.
Whenever the tragic end of the MCU does eventually come, fans can likely expect one of the biggest films of all time with a major crossover event that is sure to bring back past favorites and see major battles.