I think it is safe to say that the interwebs exploded yesterday with the news from the Marvel Movie Universe that Iron Man would be part of Captain America 3 and that the Movie-verse will be ramping towards a possible Civil War story line. It’s almost hard to believe that a mere six years ago, we were first experiencing Iron Man on the silver screen and dreaming of what was to come.
The rumor mill was already working overtime before this announcement, with ideas about how Phase 3 would develop and what Avengers 3 would actually be. This new wrinkle of plot has only added fuel to the fire, and I don’t think any of us know what is in store for us in the near future.
But we can certainly theorize. Which we will do, after a quick retrospective.
We are living in the golden age of comic book movies. Well, of Marvel comic book movies. Well, of Marvel movies about the Avengers. We certainly are seeing a surge of other comic books being adapted to the screen, but not all of them are the quality us geeks hope for. Yes, for the most part, big-budget comic book movies are entertaining and exciting and have to be viewed with the understanding that they are a different entity than their source material. Sometimes, we get great movies that draw only inspiration from comics. And sometimes, we get horrible movies that are trying to revitalize a franchise. In general, comic book movies require a strong suspension of disbelief and a willingness to accept a weaker plot. Of course, a comic book movie can certainly be a deep film full of character development and rich plot. But for the most part, the average audience member (hard-core geeks included) enjoys the movies with all the explosions and excitement. Marvel has hit the sweet spot that delivers all of this along with solid writing, great casting, and intriguing plot.
It is an understatement that Marvel has raised the bar for comic book movies, and big-budget movies in general. Even at their weakest moments, every Marvel movie is still entertaining and enjoyable. They deliver that “comic book vibe” that other movies strive for. We can see that DC is attempting to copy this formula after several under-performing stand-alone films. We see this in other Marvel properties, specifically in X-Men (with the “reboot” of the timeline and the inclusion of Deadpool), but also in Spider-Man (with the possible villain spin-offs and the rumors of the cross-over into the Avengers world, which the Civil War rumors lend even more credibility to). And Universal is rumored to be creating a “monster-verse” that starts with their new Dracula flick.
Personally, I am greatly in favor of this principle. I think it forces producers and studios to look at the larger picture when it comes to green-lighting films. Too often, we hear stories about studios shutting down large projects or cutting a budget that would allow a movie to connect with a larger universe. It’s no secret that producers look more at budget and potential revenue than anything else. Prior to the success of the Marvel Avengers movies, a pitch to a producer that incorporated over a dozen movies and extended at least ten years into the future would be laughed out of the building. Now, we see a proven track record of such a project. Now, studios are wanting to cash in on this concept and create their own movie universes. This will undoubtedly result in some failed attempts, but overall, movies of this genre will now be seen as part of a larger, more profitable, entity.
So what does the future of the Avengers movie universe hold for us true believers?
There are tons of articles out there by people who know way more about the movie world than I do. And most of these articles carry the weight of facts such as contracts and information from things like interviews. Please go read those, as they are usually very good articles. I just want to think about the story and how it could potentially go, according to my own crazy ideas.
As it stands at this point in the movies so far, the Marvel Avengers Movie Universe is building towards conflict with Thanos over the control of the Infinity Gems. My idea culminates with a two part Avengers 3 spectacular movie blow-out. Avengers 2 will end with the team as we know it battered and bruised and scattered. I think Hulk will make a sacrifice play to take out an Ultron satellite (or moon station or anything other similar death-inducing space installation) and will end up drifting unconsciously off into space. The remaining Avengers will see the cost of their actions in collateral damage across the entire world and retire. The next single movies for Cap and Thor will take them out of the picture completely, either by death or sciency-magic. The movie-verse will continue with GotG and other new players (Ant Man, Doctor Strange, and maybe Black Panther) as well as small screen additions (Daredevil and crew on the Netflix series). Through these stories, Thanos will acquire all but one of the Infinity Stones.
The final Infinity Stone will be revealed to be part of Earth itself. Thanos will send his armies after it, giving the new heroes something to deal with. Ultimately, Avengers 3 part 1 will kick off with Thanos obtaining the final gem and laying waste to earth. The first third of the movie will be nothing but destruction and domination of Earth. Then we’ll get a time jump to several years later. Earth is subjugated, but we will begin following the resistance. One pocket in the States will be led by SHIELD, another in Wakanda by Panther, and other heroes will be helping where they can (the Netflix crew). The resistance will be assembling a device for their final play against Thanos. It will be made of SHIELD and Wakandan tech and be boosted by Strange’s magic. It will not function properly, though. In the final moments of the movie (during an assault by Thanos’ soldiers) the Milano will arrive and deliver the one final thing the device needs.
The final thing could be a space McGuffin, maybe something chased after during some of the single movies. Or it could be Banner. Seeing the ramp of the Milano extend and a silhouette of Banner standing there (maybe in the middle of reverting from Hulk to Banner) saying he’s here to help would be a sweet final scene to end the movie on.
Or, the final scene could take a different direction and reveal Stark showing up to make the device work.
Or maybe the device works on its own and we get a portal opening. Through the portal steps the Avengers, but from an alternate dimension (which would smooth over the pesky rumors of certain starts not returning after their contract ends).
Whatever the case, the movie ends on this beat. The thing happens, and credits role. Then, Avengers 3 part 2 kicks off with a short exposition as to what happened and why, and then we fight. The entire movie is a knock down, drag out, destroy every, epic battle against Thanos and whatever other bad guys have popped up during the other films. Of course, the good guys win, but at a cost, with various heroes getting killed or exiled or trapped somewhere.
Thanks what I want to see.
Given the recent news, however, I don’t think it’ll go that way. The most likely theory is that Age of Ultron will kick up a hero registration movement, which will divide the world and the heroes themselves. We’ll see this play out in single movies. We might see Civil War in its own movie, or it might be framed as Avengers 3: Civil War. I think the second option is unlikely, however. To date, Avengers has been about Thanos and the Infinity Stones. It’s more probable to see the Civil War events in the background of the Thanos story arc. There are rumors, of course, that Cap will die in his third movie, which we know as one of the climactic events of the Civil War story line. So it is also possible that the “civil war” will be how certain heroes are phased out of the movie-verse. If a true Civil War movie is in the future, I doubt Cap will meet his true demise in his third flick. And I certainly hope such a dramatic event for the entire movie universe is not squeezed into this one movie. Unless, of course, events take a different turn than they did in the comics. Although, we do have precedence of certain individuals taking up the iconic shield, two of which are already in the movie-verse. And of course, if we experience Civil War before the Thanos arc is concluded, he might be the catalyst necessary to unite the heroes after the tragic events of internal struggle.
No-matter how many facts we cite and how large we dream, we really will not get an answer until those opening credits start to role. Or rather, until the new trailers hit and footage leaks start happening. Whatever the future of the Marvel movie universe is, I am along for the ride. And given how much money Marvel is rolling in, I think everyone else is too.
So what’s your take on this? Do you have your own theories? Am I completely out of my mind? DISCUSS THE THINGS.