With CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR coming out in less than a month, fans are excited about the future of the MCU. Aside from the positive buzz that the film is already garnering, people are talking about what the film means for Phase 4 and beyond. There's also the little matter of Joe and Anthony Russo sliding into Joss Whedon's old seat. Whedon's voice and vision loomed large during the first two phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and now that he's stepped away, the Russos are taking over. Why is that exciting? Because their CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is seen as one of the very best, most grown-up MCU films to date. And they may have topped themselves with CIVIL WAR, so having these guys helping to steer the ship is very encouraging news.
The Russos will next be tackling the first ever non-Whedon AVENGERS films, in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR- PART 1 & 2. This is going to give the directors access to characters they haven't yet had the pleasure of working with. While we already know that they handle a bevy of stars/characters in CIVIL WAR, there are two heroes on the cosmic end of the MCU that they'll get their first cracks at in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. One is Chris Pratt's Star-Lord, from James Gunn's GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, and the other is Chris Hemsworth's Thor, who'll seemingly be rejoining the rest of his AVENGERS buddies after some interesting stuff takes place in THOR: RAGNAROK.
Here's what Anthony Russo had to say, where he inadvertently revealed that the long-rumored crossover of the GUARDIANS and AVENGERS worlds would take place in INFINITY WAR:
"The movies are intended to be a culmination of everything that's happened before in the MCU so you don't want to get into spoilers but I'm a big fan of what James Gunn has done. [Joe Russo and I] are both big fans of what James Gunn has done. Star-Lord is a fantastic character and Chris Pratt is an awesome performer so you'd be very excited."
This confirms what a source told me years ago, in the same conversation where it was revealed that- at one point- Johnny Depp had taken a meeting with Marvel about playing DOCTOR STRANGE, that Chris Pratt was also finalizing a deal that would see his GUARDIANS character appear in an AVENGERS movie. This was before it was ever revealed that these films would focus on the Infinity War, which makes this revelation now something of a foregone conclusion. Still, cool to see it come to fruition.
And what about the God of Thunder? Joe Russo spoke a little about what intrigues him about working with Thor:
"I'm excited to work with Thor. They're doing some really interesting stuff with Ragnarok and where he's gonna be at the beginning of Infinity War is gonna be a very interesting place and I think very profound. I think he's gonna have a real emotional motivation after that."
Those comments definitely speak to a fan like me, who's never found the Thor films particularly interesting. I'm curious what THOR: RAGNAROK is going to do for the character, and what that means for his involvement in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.
What do you think? Excited to have Star-Lord enter the fray? What about the prospect of Thor bringing the boom, after sitting out CIVIL WAR? How about the MCU moving forcefully into the post-Whedon era with CIVIL WAR? Discuss!