The MCU Isn’t Getting Another ‘Avengers’ Movie for a While, But Many Fans Aren’t Upset
Few would question that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the biggest game in town at the movies, and the biggest name within the biggest game in town is The Avengers, whose movies account for three of the top 10 box office hits of all time. One might think fans would be chomping at the bit for the next installment.
As the schedule stands, however, there is no next installment in sight. Marvel has a bounty of movies and TV shows coming this year and next, although the Avengers are scattered among them rather than being together.
What is in Marvel’s Phase 4?
The pandemic has made every studio in town play the release date shuffle, although Disney/Marvel is more affected by this than most studios, because with the stories being connected, if one movie moves, they all have to move. And that seems to go for the TV shows too.
The slates have been pushed back twice already, and it’s not certain if they’re done moving, with cases still being high around the US. A release schedule can be found on CNET.
On the big screen, Black Widow is slated for May, a year after its original release date, although there are unconfirmed reports that will be a hybrid release between theaters and Disney+, with the Premiere Access option. Next up is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings July 9, followed by Eternals November 5.
Then, the third Tom Holland Spider-man movie is scheduled only a month after that. In 2022, Marvel aims to release Thor: Love and Thunder on Feb. 11, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on March 25.
The TV calendar is full too, with WandaVision under way and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiering on March 19. After that, the release dates get less definite. Loki is slated for May, What If …? In the summer, and Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel later in the year. Next year brings Moon Knight and She Hulk.
What does Kevin Feige say about the Avengers?
Although the last Avengers movie was called Endgame, no one expects that’s the end of the franchise – just the end of the original movie incarnation of the team. Although comics characters are sometimes infamous for not staying dead, the demise of Iron Man and Black Widow, along with the retirement of Captain America, had a sense of finality to it.
As Marvel President Kevin Feige told IGN: “We had a movie (in 2019), called Avengers: Endgame, and it is very much an ending, as you saw, to so many of those characters,” he said. “So Phase 4 is about beginnings, and Phase 4 is about learning new things about characters you already think you know, like Black Widow; meeting incredible new characters like The Eternals and Shang-Chi.”
Like many other outlets, IGN speculated that the next configuration of the Avengers would be some form of the Young Avengers. Besides all that, the Avengers movies are huge undertakings, and Endgame was the biggest of all. In essence, Marvel is doing what it did in the late 2000s – introducing a new group of heroes and building back up to a new heroes crossover movie.
How are fans taking the wait?
Fans are not known for being a patient lot. Often news of delays or lack of news about a certain character or franchise will send them into fits of frustration. On the other hand, the multiple delays prompted by the pandemic has forced some fans to be willing to wait, if this Reddit thread is any indication.
One fan wrote, “It’s easy to forget given how long 2020 felt, but we had two back-to-back Avengers films: I never expected another one until 2023, I certainly don’t expect another until 2024 thanks to the pandemic.” Another said, “That makes sense. Take a break from the Avengers for a bit and get weird. Then introduce some new versions of the team. Young Avengers, West Coast Avengers, Dark Avengers, etc. There’s a ton of options.”
As another fan noted, there’s another team that has a movie that’s expected to see the light of day before another Avengers movie does: “I totally expected this and I’m totally fine with it. Spend time expanding the MCU and let some other teams have the spotlight for a bit and bring the Avengers back together for the next mega threat with a team up of other teams like they did with Guardians of the Galaxy.”