Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore opens up about how the franchise never started out with a plan of creating as many trilogies as it has made so far. Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 1 introduced superheroes like Iron Man, The Mighty Thor, and Captain America. The characters were well established before their awe-inspiring spectacle in The Avengers. The three phases of the MCU which were spread out through several years concluded with the last phase called The Infinity Saga.
During these three phases, each of the above heroes were given follow up films between each of the Avengers films. Iron Man 3 took to the big screens in 2013, and even after that Tony Stark stuck around as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while Captain America: Civil War was released in 2016 and Thor: Ragnarok was released in 2017. All these films made it out before the grand finale of the Infinity Saga, which apparently concluded the massive one part of the MCU.
It is true that some of the Marvel heroes only got one standalone film, for example, Bruce Banner’s The Incredible Hulk. However, it seems like following that, Marvel decided to follow its signature move of giving the franchises a wholesome trilogy, and once the heroes are done playing their part, they would bid adieu and clear the space for new Marvel superheroes.
In the later years, the MCU introduced some fantastic new heroes, namely Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and very recently, Shang-Chi made his debut in the MCU. All these heroes are set to get their sequels, and possibly even more films following that. Marvel’s upcoming film is Eternals, which will feature a whole new set of superheroes with incredible powers and individual storylines, and it is very likely that these heroes will make an appearance in the near MCU future as solo films as well as other multicast franchises.
Early last year, in January 2020, media networks like Screen Rant and many others were cordially invited to the sets of Marvel’s Eternals to converse with the showrunners of the upcoming film. Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore said that the studio’s initial intention was nowhere close to making trilogies and that it happened naturally as they moved forward in the MCU. Not only that, Marvel Studios didn’t even have a stiff plan of giving a certain hero a trilogy and once the character’s role in the MCU came to an end, they wouldn’t include the same character in other upcoming films. Nate Moore added on the matter by saying:
“Even in Phase 1, I would argue I did not think ‘Oh, we’re definitely going to do three films and then be done,’ So again, as Kevin would say, ‘let’s put all the great ideas in this film and then see if people like it.’ So we don’t necessarily have a trilogy planned out, it’s not something that is a must have. Obviously, we hope people love the movie and obviously we have ideas just as fans where we could go, but there isn’t a hard and fast rule of like we got to have three of these things and this is the first.”
As the creators moved forward with the characters’ stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the format of trilogies also evolved with time. As The Infinity Saga required a greater build-up and had comparatively higher stakes, the Avengers fight between the heroes and Thanos was split into two movies, hence making The Avengers series four films. Besides that, Thor is the first superhero in the MCU who is getting a fourth solo installment.
Also, it was recently revealed that even Captain America film series will move forward with a fourth film, and Anthony Mackie will be seen donning the shield and carrying on the journey in Captain America 4. There is positive news of Marvel planning third and possibly final instalments for franchises like Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Spider-Man. However it is also likely that the stories of these heroes might be led by a newer cast, and even alterations can be made in the way their stories are told and the arc that follows.
Since the very beginning, Hollywood has been following the trend of making films in trilogies for the fact that the fashion gives the story a good assemble as it matches that of a playwright’s three-act structure. The trend initially gained huge popularity in the movie genre with the original Star Wars trilogy. And after inserting prequels and sequels to the original trilogy, Star Wars became an incredible trilogy of trilogies.
Even franchises like the Indiana Jones, Mad Max, and Matrix film series have been fashioned into a trilogy of films and following that, sequels have been effortlessly added to them. Whereas other movies like Back to the Future and Austin Powers have stayed in trilogies. Not only that, the early Marvel films like Blade, X-Men, and Spider-Man were also defined as trilogies. So it is clear that like some of these classic horror properties, Marvel has the creative liberty of making multiple movies with a certain character. And the studio may continue to do so if the audiences are interested in still seeing the character. And with Marvel’s upcoming film Eternals, the fact has just been proven correct.