avengers movies

The Marvel Cinematic Universe will be forever changed after Avengers 4 hits theaters in 2019, except for one thing: there will always be Avengers movies. The culmination of the first three phases of the MCU may be reaching its conclusion in the next Avengers film, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. That is, not if Disney has anything to say about it.

The end never really means the end. The MCU is stronger than ever, and barreling ahead with comic book films planned 10, 15 years into the future. And while Disney CEO Bob Iger promises that the still-untitled Avengers 4 will reach a “significant conclusion,” it won’t be the conclusion of the most powerful superhero team on Earth. Iger told analysts in an earnings call (via Reuters):

“Given the popularity of the characters and given the popularity of the franchise, I don’t think people should conclude that there will never be another ‘Avengers’ movie. There’s certainly a lot more stories to tell, a lot more characters to populate those stories with.”

More than 7,000 characters in the Marvel universe to be exact, Iger said. Most of which Marvel Studios hasn’t even touched upon yet in the movies. Some of these characters could join up with the new line-up of the Avengers (which will probably, definitely, look significantly different after the events of Avengers 4), while others could make up whole new superhero teams. The possibilities are endless.

Iger added that Disney would also likely “try our hand at what I’ll call a new franchise beyond Avengers.”

So what could that mean? Well, we have the Guardians of the Galaxy already spearheading the expansion of the cosmic universe. There are plenty of space-centric teams that the Guardians movies have hinted at that could spin off into their own franchises: the Nova Corps (though after Thanos was through with them, maybe not), the Ravagers, maybe subgroups of the Guardians led by Nebula. The number of Earth-based superhero teams in the Marvel comics are too many to count, but each have the potential for years-long franchises.

And of course, there’s the ever-resilient Avengers, who have already seen several line-up changes since the team first got together in 2012. It’s reflective of the constantly revolving members of the team in the comics, but it also keeps the movies feeling fresh. There’s a likelihood that the new Avengers after the events of Avengers 4 will be completely fresh and unfamiliar (we already have our theories as to who), but that’s a testament to the power of the team. No matter who is defending the Earth — or gracing the movie poster — you can guarantee that we’ll still be first in line to see them in theaters.

Avengers: Infinity War is currently playing in theaters. It’s followed by Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6, 2018 and Captain Marvel on March 6, 2019. Avengers 4 will finally open in theaters on May 3, 2019.

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