With Avengers: Infinity War now in theaters, fans are wondering if the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be coming to an end. The short answer? Sort of.
In an interview with Uproxx, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said the MCU will continue, but that Avengers: Infinity War and next year's Avengers 4 were always intended to be an ending of sorts.
"It’s been done before in films where there are a finite number of books, and they finish telling the story for the books, so they come to an ending," Feige said. "Characters like Spider-Man or Batman or James Bond or Iron Man, who have been around for so long and are always refreshed in comic books or novels or movies, you don’t necessarily get that kind of an endpoint – and we wanted to do that, which is what these next two Avengers films are.”
So what exactly does that mean? Well, it could mean a farewell to the old guard of the MCU. Characters like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America have been with the Avengers since the beginning, so an end to their stories would make complete sense. Couple that with contracts coming to an end for actors like Chris Evans, and next year's Avengers could put a bow on things.
Given the success of more recent films like Black Panther and Spider-Man: Homecoming, we could see a passing of the baton to these new heroes. With sequels on the way for both of those films, not to mention the debut of Captain Marvel, the MCU is definitely going to continue, just maybe not with all of its familiar faces.
"It doesn’t mean the MCU is coming to a close, by any means," Feige said. "But it means the narrative that started when we began 10 years ago will have a conclusion.”
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston and Josh Brolin, among others.