Looking back at each individual franchise within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, each has comprised three movies and then they're done. Is it safe then to assume that the MCU would conclude after three Phases? That may be the direction Marvel's Kevin Feige is going as things inch closer to the giant line-wide crossover, Avengers: Infinity War. But before we get to what may or may not be the end of the MCU, Feige provides Collider with a small update about 'Infinity War' and its untitled sequel.
“We’re doing them one right after another… It became too complicated to cross-board them like that, and we found ourselves—again, something would always pay the price. We wanted to be able to focus and shoot one movie and then focus and shoot another movie.”
So no more of this back-to-back business. Feige went on to add that the Russo Brothers will begin shooting Avengers 4 or whatever it's called this August, so we'll likely see 'Infinity War' wrap a month or two earlier.
Okay, now to the big stuff. When talking again with Collider about the shape of the MCU moving beyond Phase 3, Feige suggested that we may not see a Phase 4. What emerges could be what he calls a "new thing" entirely...
"We’ve been lucky that [contract expirations] haven’t factored in too much. We’ve had people under contract for certain films, then we’ve had new ideas and new directions like Civil War like we wanted to do, and we’ve been lucky enough to make new contracts. Or Spider-Man: Homecoming, the cast has been awesome in their enthusiasm for the direction and the storylines that we’ve been telling. So it really does, right now, all start with where we wanna take the stories. Certainly as we get to Infinity War there is a sense of a climax if not a conclusion to, by the time we’re at untitled Avengers 4, the 22 movies that will have encompassed the first three phases of the MCU. And what happens after that will be very different. I don’t know if it’s Phase 4, it might be a new thing."
That almost sounds like a reboot, but I highly doubt Marvel would do that with so many burgeoning franchises like Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange. My guess is that we'll see some kind of clean break from the previous generation of actors, which works out fine for guys like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth whose deals are up anyway, and a focus on newer stars like Brie Larson, Chadwick Boseman, and others. At least, I hope that's what he means.