It’s hard to imagine that it’s been eight years since Nick Fury appeared at the end of Iron Man to inform Tony Stark that “he wasn’t the only superhero in the world”. In the years that followed, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown and changed in ways that not even its original architects could have anticipated. It’s almost quaint now how novel the team-up premise of the first Avengers film seemed at the time. Since then we’ve seen the Avengers fight together, fight among themselves and, ultimately, we’ve seen them split apart. Now their biggest threat is on the horizon, Thanos. As Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel approaches, it’s apparent that a few of the storylines are heading towards some type of conclusion, while others are just beginning. Speaking to IGN about their plans for the Avengers sequels, Joe and Anthony Russo had this to say about what’s to come.
“I can’t get into too much detail about who we’re introducing, but these two movies are intended to be the culmination of everything that has happened in the MCU since the very first Iron Man movie,” Anthony Russo said. “In being a culmination, these movies are in some ways going to be an end to certain things, and in some ways, they’re going to be the beginning of certain things.”
Of course, this might mean saying goodbye to some characters, or at least the actors playing them. While it’s sad to think that we might live in a world without Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, it’s heartening to know that Marvel is planning for the future. Giving resolution to older characters and bringing new ones in is the best way to reward longtime fans and to attract new ones. This attention to the construction of the MCU is a large part of its charm. Just throwing a bunch of colorful characters at the wall to see what sticks has never been their style. While the Russos, of course, have their favorite characters and want to include them, they realize that it most be right for the story.
“It’s a little bit of both, because you always have to make sure that your choices feel organic to the storytelling, and really, you have to sort of structure them in the way that they need to be there,” Anthony Russo said. “You have to have them, or they shouldn’t be in the movie. It’s a little bit of a dance between the two, where you have big eyes, and you want everybody included in the movie, but you have to go through the process of… what’s the best story that you can tell.”
After the success of Winter Soldier and Civil War the Russo brothers have more than earned the trust of the fans. Even still, by taking the reins of the next two Avengers films, they’ve been giving the tough task of setting the course for the greater MCU going forward. It remains to be seen where they will take this ongoing story, but I think it’s fair to say that the MCU is in good hands.