Recently, it has been “leaked” that the third installment in the Avengers series may be split up into two films, a move becoming somewhat of an industry standard amongst high grossing franchises like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and (god forbid) The Twilight Saga. Now, while I don’t think this leak is entirely improbable, Marvel and Disney have a way of intentionally setting themselves aside from the rest of the industry. I have some theories that could explain how something like this could be done. Keep in mind, while I’ll be deducing this theory based on information released by actors, studios and anonymous leaks, this is all mere speculation. Bear with me, please.
So I’ll start off with the fact that Marvel Productions and our resident franchise master Kevin Feige has made it clear that he expects the Avengers’ roster to evolve over time. Here is a quote from early this year in regards to the introduction of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Age of Ultron.
“It’s also the tradition of the Avengers to switch up the roster every now and again and to have new characters coming in. It’s just part of the fun, but we wouldn’t have included them if it had just been a case of ‘Oh, we want two new figures, two new costumes.’ It very much flows with the story that Joss is creating.”
Now that quote means a whole lot in terms of the grand scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Feige has also been quoted as saying he has a set plan for the cinematic universe up until the year 2028. That’s 14 years of films, with two a year through 2016 and then an apparent ramp up to three in 2017 and then back to two in 2018. There are theories that in order to incorporate all of the necessary character development to fit Feige’s time frame for the projects, production may permanently ramp up to three a year as they will in 2028. Now, while all these dates are, for all intents and purposes, glorified place holders that may not actually have a film to fill the date, that’s a whole lotta films. Most actors aren’t okay being a key player in an action series spanning twenty years. My ultimate point here being, people are most definitely going to die.
It has gone on record that Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. can’t see themselves playing these characters for the rest of their lives. Given the scope of all of this, I don’t think anyone can blame them. So, how do you replace our favorite billionaire-playboy-philanthropist and our star-studded boy scout? Well, if you ask me the ground work has already been built. With The Vision appearing in Age of Ultron, being voiced by Paul Bettany, our very own Jarvis, and Bucky Barnes revealed as the brain-washed Winter Soldier, I think we are starting to see the development of a brand new roster. I don’t believe each character will have a direct replacement, but I do think that it isn’t outlandish to think that at some point these characters could fill the hole left from a character dying. My personal opinion is the first character to pass will be our Iron-Man, but that theory if for another time.
So all of thems words bring me back to my main point, why and how could someone think that Avengers 3 is getting two films. Now it could be that Marvel wants to draw out this epic arc, but as I said before, I think they are more clever than that. No, I think they know exactly how to get people’s’ attention. I think this isn’t a part two, but another Avengers franchise. I know, that’s a little out there, but think about it. Imagine, we have an epic film including; the Guardians of The Galaxy, rumored to be part of the third installment; The Defenders, rumored to be incorporated in the films at some point; the Inhumans, rumored to be in development; and our newly expanded Avengers team, including new members, Antman, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and others. That’s a lot of actors for one film, a lot of actors who are going to want some face time in potentially the biggest film franchise ever created. Feige has expressed before that he is trying not to crowd the franchise with too many faces as he said in an interview earlier this year.
“Certainly when it comes to comic book movies, you can fall into the trap of having too many villains and in the case of team-based movies, having too many heroes.”
I imagine the first “part” of this film as a build to Thanos finally getting his hands on (and in) his shiny new infinity gauntlet before defeating one of our major players, be it Iron-man, Captain America or a wild card. This leaves us with a defeated Avengers, and a defeated Guardians. They need help and hope, after witnessing the inevitable death of a comrade. This leads to a darker second part. A team that can no longer feel comfortable calling it’s self The Avengers, one that has the support of the world as they watch in fear as our towering purple tyrant takes the planet. A feat that garners the attention of the secretive Inhumans and has Doctor Strange call out to his Defenders. This is where I think The New Avengers comes to play. A darker era of Avengers, one that has seen how hard it’s going to be now that the universe knows they exist. The flood gates have opened, this is the beginning of the end.
That’s all just speculation though, It wouldn’t surprise me of they don’t bring together all of their franchises at once. You know what they say about eggs and baskets. I do think at the end of this we will have to truly face the fact that these characters may not always be there for one reason or another. I believe that is one of the reasons Marvel has decided to change all of their big hitters on the shelves right now, with The Falcon picking up where Captain America left, a new warrior worthy enough to wield Mjolnir as the Thor we know becomes unable to do so, Iron-Man getting mentally swapped and becoming “Superior”, and our newly “born” Doc Green taking over the Hulk and shutting Banner out. They want to prove that characters change, even our much beloved heroes, even in the films.
So that’s it for my long-ass rant/theory for now. Thank you for getting through my verbose explanation and I hope you enjoy. Stay critical, stay smart, stay alert.
My question is, how long is it going to take for FOX and Sony to realize the war is lost and its more important in the long run for everyone to put all of Marvel under one roof. I agree that the Avengers do change the roster up pretty frequently, but aren’t two of the most impactful and important changes the ones where Spider-Man and Wolverine are part of the mix? W/ Hugh Jackman bowing out and Andrew Garfield being contracted to Sony, there’s a huge opportunity to re-cast, take the bits and pieces from FOX and Sony’s productions that lead into the character without needing new origin story remakes, and really redefining the “New” Avengers w/ characters that are recognized by the masses and who can help ease in newcomers like Ant Man and Dr Strange. Great Read! Thanks!
Good insight Maverick. I think Sony will be the first to bow out given that ASM2 didn’t make nearly as much as they thought it would. I give it 5 years with Venom Carnage most likely sucking and the Sinister Six only doing so-so. They’ll be forced to sell Spidey to keep the studio alive. Fox on the other hand is harder. The X-Men franchise is at the top of it’s game and with Apocalypse it could potentially do better than DOFP, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Expect Spidey in the next ten years though.