Kevin Feige says that the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s plans have been extended until 2032. Marvel Studios is now developing new projects as it continues to build the franchise, not long after the completion of the Infinity Saga, which lasted nearly a decade. And, based on a recent comment from Kevin Feige, it doesn’t appear that they have any intentions to slow down anytime soon.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe began in 2008 with Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau’s Iron Man and has developed dramatically over the subsequent ten years. The first three Phases concluded in the films Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. The franchise is back in full force with Phase 4 after a long absence.
Marvel Studios has positioned itself as a streaming player as part of its quick expansion, with a slew of exclusive Disney+ content, all of which are part of the company’s next overarching narrative. The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s announced slate extends until 2023, but Feige and his colleagues at Marvel Studios have planned the franchise far beyond that.
Feige announced that the MCU’s storytelling arc now extends until 2032 when speaking at CinemaCon 2022. That’s a decade’s worth of story, though he doesn’t explain how the projects would be divided into Phases or whether that structure will be maintained. As it continues its journey from the Infinity Saga to a fresh new overarching plot, the blueprint incorporates both new and old characters.
As previously stated, the MCU’s confirmed slate only lasts through 2023, with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania being the final dated feature in the series; the Peyton Reed threequel will enter theatres on July 28, 2023. Fans should be aware, however, that there are multiple other projects in progress, both films and television shows, that are awaiting a release date. Secret Invasion, Armor Wars, and Ironheart are among the anticipated Disney+ shows.
Films like the Fantastic Four revival, Blade, and Captain America 4 have yet to be included in the MCU’s release schedule. In addition to these, essentially confirmed sequels such as Spider-Man 4, Doctor Strange 3, and Black Panthers 3, as well as Deadpool 3 and others, are scheduled to be released in the following decade. These don’t even take into account other unreleased Marvel Studios projects, such as a future X-Men film. Given this, it’s easy to envision the MCU filling out its release schedule over the following decade.
It’s easy to understand why many people believe Marvel Studios has a well-thought-out long-term strategy. Iron Man’s post-credits sequence, which introduced Samuel L. Jackson as the franchise’s Nick Fury and welcomed viewers into a larger universe, feels like it gave birth to the entire MCU.
Fury’s Avengers Initiative was a narrative thread that carried throughout Phase 1 of the MCU, culminating in 2012’s The Avengers. However, with a post-credits scene introducing Thanos the Mad Titan, even this film concluded in setup. Unacquainted audiences had no notion who the purple guy in the chair was, but comic book enthusiasts knew exactly where they were going.
Marvel Studios reaffirmed this plan in 2014, when it released their whole Phase 3 slate, which spans from 2014 through 2019. This wasn’t the first time a studio made a dramatic five-year declaration, but the announcement in this case also signalled a broad sense of direction. The Avengers may have been Phase 1’s conclusion, but the culmination of Phase 3 was much bigger: the two-part event known simply as Avengers: Infinity War at the time. The announcement for Phase 3 encouraged spectators to see each film as a phase in the journey, with the final battle against Thanos serving as the ultimate goal.
Marvel then followed through on his commitment. When Avengers: Endgame was released in 2019, it was everything fans had hoped for, hitting all the correct narrative beats and playing off character arcs that had been building for what seemed like a decade.
Of course, there has been one final alteration in the MCU over the previous four years. With the debut of Disney+, the MCU has evolved into a real transmedia project, with storylines conveyed across multiple platforms. There’s a reason why the initial wave of Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney+ TV programmes were dubbed “six-hour movies.”
Marvel can easily switch between the two mediums with this method, reusing a film idea and turning it into a TV series, or vice versa. It will be very intriguing to watch whether some of the rumoured MCU franchises take on a different form than what people are expecting in the future.
Looking beyond the universe and the next five years, Feige has stated that the studio has plans in place for more than a decade. However, they should not be taken as set in stone; rather, Marvel will be watching to see what connects with viewers at all times, as well as responding to changes in popular culture. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is nearing completion, which opens up new intergalactic possibilities.
Marvel has just started work on its first intergalactic Disney+ TV show, which seems like a good time. However, this does not indicate that Marvel just lifted and dropped the original cosmic ideas from Phase 4 to Phase 5; the world has evolved significantly since then, and Marvel’s plans will have changed as well. It is prudent for viewers not to regard words made years ago as gospel.
It’s remarkable that Feige is prepared to provide this information, given that he previously confessed that laying out the MCU’s future content strategy had a detrimental impact. For starters, it encourages fans to concentrate on what comes next rather than the current storyline of the brand. Second, there isn’t enough leeway to change them without eliciting a range of reactions from the audience.
The Russos famously stated that the MCU had no grand plan and that Marvel Studios made it up as they went along. Perhaps things were different in the Infinity Saga, and the company adjusted its storytelling strategy for Phase 4 and onwards. Otherwise, this ten-film schedule could merely be a rough outline of what the Marvel Cinematic Universe could look like in the future. Whatever the case may be, it’s evident that the franchise isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.