Marvel has done an overall good job with the films they've been making over the past eight years. We've had some great movies and a few good ones. Nothing has been outright terrible, but at the same time, they have, for the most part, played it safe. They had a plan with the films they wanted to make and they pretty much stuck with it, but all that could change after the Avengers: Infinity War films.
In a recent interview with Collider, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said Infinity War will change a lot of things. While we knew that something was definitely going to change, we weren't exactly sure what or how big it would be. But from how he's talking, it could be much different than we expected:
"We've been lucky that [contract expirations] haven't factored in too much. We've had people under contract for certain films, then we've had new ideas and new directions like Civil War like we wanted to do, and we've been lucky enough to make new contracts. ... Certainly, as we get to Infinity War there is a sense of a climax if not a conclusion to, by the time we're at untitled Avengers 4, the 22 movies that will have encompassed the first three phases of the MCU. And what happens after that will be very different. I don't know if it's Phase 4, it might be a new thing."
He also promised that more high caliber actors would be brought on to the films as well. We've seen some pretty fantastic actors come through already such as Robert Redford, Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, to even Sylvester Stallone and that's exciting to me! It's always cool to see great actors jump in the Marvel Universe. I think it speaks a great deal that they are considering and getting iconic film stars to play in these movies. It gives them weight and depth that a lot of young actors just have a hard time delivering without the experience.
What exactly they have planned, we can't be too sure, but we can always speculate. The interesting thing is that they are saying there may be no Phase 4. That intrigues me! While we have seen that their phase program and connected universe has been very successful, having so many movies connected in so many vital ways can be exhausting. It's crazy to think that 21 movies will be leading up to the grand finale of the Untitled fourth Avengers film. I could see this being intimidating and frustrating for new viewers.
My own personal thought is that they will be putting a bookend end to the connected universe. At least to the level it is at. It can still exist, just not in the sense that everything leads up to something else. By creating and acknowledging multiple Marvel Universes you can make for exciting new stories that don't have to worry about stepping on other director's toes. You can hire fantastic directors with brilliant ideas like Edgar Wright and not have to worry if his direction is too different. James Gunn is a great storyteller and having him direct a film out in space where it is unaffected by the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave him some freedoms to really do some fantastic things. But when you want to direct a film that takes place on earth, suddenly you have to ask yourself, "why don't any of the other hundreds of heroes get involved?"
I think breaking up the Marvel Universe is a smart plan, but again, that's just my own thoughts. What Marvel actually does could be something completely different. What would you like to see Marvel Studios do in the future after they've concluded their master plan?