Something that Marvel Studios is continuously commended for is their ability to look at the big picture while simultaneously making sure that each chapter in their unfolding saga is of the right quality. We've watched other studios stumble out of the gate, where they announce or tease years worth of movies based on a beloved property, only to have a film come out that forces them to either change or scrap all of those plans.
Sony famously had to abandon their plans for a Cinematic Universe based on Spider-Man. Warner Bros. just recently completed putting a facelift on pretty much their entire DC Extended Universe after BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE caused a negative stir for the brand.
The fact that Marvel has announced ambitious slates, often years in advance, and has been able to meet all of those promises (so far) is worthy of praise. Marvel honcho Kevin Feige recently opened up about the studio's crystal ball and how far down the line they're willing to look, while trying to make sure that all of their stepping stones are leading things in the right direction.
"We always look at a horizon line that's usually about five years off," Feige told ComicBook.com. "Sometimes, even that is sort of a pipe dream, sometimes it even goes beyond that. That's usually what we're looking at. Right now, we know through and have announced through 2019. We have ideas and pretty firm of where we're going in 2020. 2021, which still sounds like the crazy, far fetched future to me, but 2021 is still in flux through 2025."
So it sounds like they have everything figured out for the next five years, and then everything after that will be dependent on the success of their current productions. They have ideas of where they want to go, but none of that is set in stone until they see how the current crop of films do.
What about the future of The Avengers? We're always reminded of how actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, who are the biggest stars from the original lineup of the legendary team, are nearing the end of their deals with Marvel Studios. With characters like Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) entering the fray in a major way in the coming years, how do Feige and Marvel view the idea of an all-new team of Avengers?
"You always look to the comic books, as we do, and you look at how rosters shift and rosters change and characters go away for a while and characters come back," the producer said. "I would guess that we would get to that soon. Luckily, we're years away from it. Everything that we're doing right now when we're not here getting ready for Comic-Con is focused on the nine movies that will be produced over the next three years and that takes up all of our time and all of our thoughts and all of those include all of those great actors you just mentioned and all of those characters."
Feige paints a picture more akin to a revolving door, rather than a relay race. That's to say that rather than these current Avengers merely handing the baton over to a new crop of heroes, they'll simply bow out as the stories see fit, and then return when the time is right. That makes the idea of a "Phase" that contains no Iron Man, Captain America, or Thor movies a pill that's a little easier to swallow. It probably also increases the longevity with which actors like Downey Jr and Evans can see themselves playing these roles, because their appearances will become fewer and further between in the years to come- making them less daunting.
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