The Marvel Cinematic Universe was a risky proposition at one point, as something of its sheer scale and proportion had never been done before. Mainstream audiences of the late aughts weren't especially up on Iron Man, or convinced a Captain America movie could work, and were geared toward darker comic book material like Batman, delivered courtesy of competitor DC Comics.
A decade later, the MCU has made nearly $6 billion, is a globally known entity, and is will wrap up Phase 3 of its über-story a year after Avengers: Infinity War, in May 2019. Phase 4, according to directors Joe and Anthony Russo, will dramatically change gears from what we’ve come to know and love.
Speaking to Yahoo! Movies, the Russo Brothers were adamant the third Avengers, originally referred to as part one of a two-part Infinity War tale, will be a self-contained story that prioritizes its own narrative above the task of setting up future films. When asked if the title of follow-up Avengers 4 will be revealed in Infinity War, Joe made sure to clear some things up.
“No, no,” he said. “It’s going to be quite a long while before people see that title. We need people to see this movie, digest this movie, and then we can tell them what the next story is they’re going to see." He went on to add: It’s a complete story. It’s got a beginning, middle, and an end and the next movie has a beginning, middle, and an end, in the same way that Civil War handed off to Infinity War and Infinity War will hand off to the next movie.”
In regards to the follow-up, scheduled for May 3, 2019, there’s obviously a connection—but Joe reiterates his desire to keep things contained. “It’s serialized storytelling without question so there is going to be a correlation, narratively, but we really wanted to make two distinct movies. We weren’t interested in making one long film and getting out the scissors and cutting it in half. We don’t find that a satisfying cinematic experience so this is a complete story, that’s a complete story, and they’re very different movies.”
Since 2019’s untitled Avengers film will mark the end of an era and allow Phase 4 of the MCU to begin, audiences are curious as to just how different things will be. According to Anthony Russo, the answer is “pretty drastic,” with Joe Russo elaborating more clearly. “I think massively different,” Joe Russo said. “I think that this is if Marvel has been writing a book for 10 years, it’s the end of the book and someone is going to write a new book. Who knows what the book will be but this is an ending and that’ll be a new beginning.”