Do you smell that, dear MCUEx reader? That is the delightful aroma of closure. After spending two entire features ranting about the need for an official MCU canon figure and how Spider-Man: Homecoming mucked things up, we (or maybe just I, in my own soundproof glass case) will finally get answers.
You may remember how a certain “EIGHT YEARS LATER” timecard set some devoted MCU fans into a frenzy. When do these damn movies take place? How far apart or close together are certain events? What year is this? Internet discussion forums such as/r/marvelstudios on Reddit speculated, debated and argued. Friendships were ruined, civilizations fell and the overall loss of life is immeasurable.
But the folks at ScreenRant helped us all to gain a little peace by asking Marvel Studios President and cap collector Kevin Feige about that Homecoming snafu and the timeline debates that followed.
“All of that debate has encouraged us. We are going to be publishing an official, and I’m not sure when, or in what format, an official timeline. It’ll probably be apart of ah, I don’t know, apart of an in print that you can fold out and look at.”
… … …
Sorry, I actually fell out of my chair just reading that.
An official MCU timeline? Feige—my dude—my man—that is exactly what I wanted- nay, what I needed. Wait, you have more to say?
“But suffice to say, only in limited cases do we ever actually say what the actual years are because we never want to be tied down to a particular year and I think people assume that whenever the movie is released is when is when the movie is taking place, and that is not the case.”
Fair enough, Kev-Dawg (if I may call you that). The MCU timeline is sort of a floating thing, in order to allow their filmmakers some creative freedom. Of course, Marvel Studios more than their competitors keeps closer tabs in order to keep their canon from becoming a total clusterFOX (zing!). I’d love to see how comprehensive this will be—if you remember my first canon feature, I was hoping that Marvel would be as comprehensive as Lucasfilm with Star Wars and their “Holocron.”
What’s that, Kev-Dawg? More you have to say to CinemaBlend?
The specifics of the timeline, looking at… I’ve loved timelines, I love the Star Wars timeline, with the Battle of Yavin, everything is either After The Battle Of Yavin, Before The Battle of Yavin. We’re doing that, and the origin point for us is Tony saying, ‘I am Iron Man.’ So everything will be years after that, years before that — to the Big Bang, which is where it starts! It will look very cool and complex like Doc Brown on a chalkboard by the time it’s published.
I am salivating right now. Feige is hitting at all of the points that I and many others had concern about. Finally, no more disputes, no more conjecture—just pure knowledge. I need a glass of water.
However, with this mini-announcement still comes a few questions.
What form might this timeline take?
Feige mentions that the timeline could be released as a fold-out print; it would certainly be a neat companion to a Phase 3 boxset. As I mentioned in my Homecoming timeline feature, producer Eric Carroll was tasked to create a literal scroll of all of the MCU major events. Using that document as the base of a printed timeline for fans should theoretically be an easy task. Just pretty it up by putting in some color and maybe adding some Evans, Hemsworth and Pratt pics around.
But why not go further than that? Include it as a video with the Phase 3 boxset. Get Samuel L. Jackson to narrate the MCU timeline in-character as Nick Fury. Or heck, do what you did in SDCC and have Paul Rudd and Michael Peña do it. The most Marvel Studios could do is create a full in-universe documentary, detailing all of the universe’s events in detail.
Kev-Dawg, here’s what I’m saying you should do: Ken Burns the crap out of it.
But what about the television shows?
Contrary to the belief of a few, we here at MCUEx actually love all of the MCU television shows, and we 100% believe them to be canon. In fact, that may be a higher percentage than the actual Marvel Studios people, as they don’t seem to want to acknowledge (or just forget) that the contributions by Marvel Television are a thing. As Feige is a movie guy, he likely wasn’t thinking about the television shows when talking about an official timeline.
But boy, imagine the perfect world where they are included. With several key events of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. being dependent on its synchronicity with the movies, I’d hope to see how everything fits in. Hardcore fans are likely going to want to see how the “Agent Carter” One-Shot fits in with the Agent Carter television series. And when the hell do the Netflix shows take place relative to any of the movies and other television shows? I, on the other hand, would like to know down to the very minute when Karnak of Inhumans decided to become a weed farmer.
If they don’t add this to the timeline, I’ll scribble it in myself if I have to.
Is this really a big deal?
Probably not really, to be honest. In the end, they’re just movies and television shows to watch and have a good time to. But you’re talking to the people who writes obsessively and non-stop about talking raccoons and teleporting dogs—so it certainly is to us.
Now give me that timeline, Kevin.