'Avengers 4' may see end of Marvel Cinematic Universe Phases

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Actors Paul Bettany, Robert Downey Jr., director Anthony Russo, actress Emily van Camp and actor Daniel Bruehl (L-R) pose before the German premiere of "The First Avenger: Civil War" (original title: Captain America: Civil War) in Berlin, Germany, April 21, 2016. Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

Talks of the still untitled “Avengers 4” have yet to cease, especially with Marvel head Kevin Feige recently divulging what the aforementioned film could mean for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). As some fans may be aware, the MCU has released films in several “Phases” over the years. The first “Iron Man” film from nearly a decade ago was what launched the MCU with Phase 1, whereas 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War” kicked off the MCU’s Phase 3. With the “Avengers: Infinity War” and its subsequent sequel — as well as the conclusion of several film contracts for some of the MCU stars — in the horizon, what lies beyond Phase 3 is still up in the air.

Though Feige has made it clear that the contracts of MCU stars have not been that major a factor, the sequel to “Infinity War” is said to be the end of the MCU’s “Phases.” Speaking to Collider, Feige shared that what lies beyond the fourth “Avengers” film will be notably different than what the MCU has previously served its fans.

“Certainly as we get to Infinity War there is a sense of a climax if not a conclusion to, by the time we’re at untitled Avengers 4, the 22 movies that will have encompassed the first three phases of the MCU,” Feige explained. “And what happens after that will be very different. I don’t know if it’s Phase 4, it might be a new thing.”

While the prospect of a Phase 4 is still up for debate, Feige has stated that its direction will be vastly different from previous MCU ventures. “We have an idea [of what the MCU looks like post-Infinity War], and it’s gonna be very, very different,” Feige continued.

The next MCU film to be released is “Spider-Man: Homecoming” which will continue where “Civil War” left off from Peter Parker’s point of view. Portrayed by actor Tom Holland, “Homecoming” marks the first film under the trademark deal between Sony and Marvel. The venture first culminated in “Civil War” where Holland’s Spider-Man made his MCU debut.

On the topic of possible contract extensions for MCU actors, such has yet to be confirmed or finalised. Previously, Chris Evans — who has portrayed Captain America in the MCU since 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” — revealed on The Ellen Show that his contract will reach its conclusion after “Avengers 4.” Whether or not he will be extending his contract, along with other MCU actors who have reached the end of the line, remains unknown.