Ever since the first Iron Man hit theaters in 2008, Marvel Studios has been building out a massive cinematic universe full of superheroes and supervillains, with all of it — all 14 movies to date — leading up to two Avengers movies in 2018 and 2019 that will essentially close out a groundbreaking big-screen initiative lasting 11 years.
So then, what comes next?
It’s hard to really tell what’s meant to be next until these final storylines play out, but Marvel chief Kevin Feige did let on to Vulture the kinds of movies we may see following two massive Avengers films sure to be packed with dozens of characters.
“I think it’s possible to have more intimate movies after that, or to have more interesting, unexpected combinations of characters after that, absolutely,” Feige said. “It never is intentionally about ‘being even bigger.’ To us, it’s less about continuing to go bigger with spectacle — although in some cases, we will — and more about continuing to go deeper with those character interactions.”
Sounds like Thor: Ragnarok and to a degree Spider-Man: Homecoming will play big roles in the future of the cinematic universe. Both feature “unexpected combinations of characters” and will carve out their own unique spot in that way. They’re not solo movies and they’re not Avengers movies — Captain America: Civil War was even a good tease of what the future may look like.
We could also see both Black Panther and Captain Marvel feeling more intimate, maybe smaller, too. Spider-Man: Homecoming also fits that mold, from what we’ve seen so far. Seems like our best tease of Marvel’s future rests within the films Marvel is making right now.
Including Doctor Strange, in theaters this week. It’s not only a film that introduces a whole new mystical side of the cinematic universe, but it also delivers the kind of mind-bending action we’ve never seen from one of their movies before. Assuming they conintue to evolve and continue to bring unique, inventive experiences to each of their films, then the next several years should be a fun ride.