Disney CEO says the future of Marvel movies includes ‘a new franchise beyond Avengers’ — here’s what that could mean, Business Insider

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“Avengers vs. X-Men”
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Marvel Comics
  • While discussing the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe during an earnings call on Tuesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that Disney and Marvel will “try our hand at what I’ll call a new franchise beyond ‘Avengers.’”
  • This could mean many different things, but the most logical answers lie in the Disney-Fox deal, which would give Disney access to a bevy of new characters like the X-Men and Fantastic Four.
  • With these characters, the MCU could easily build up to “event” movies like “Infinity War” that don’t necessarily revolve around the Avengers.

The fourth “Avengers” movie next year might be a conclusion of sorts for the current status quo of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the franchise doesn’t have any plans to slow down.

During an earnings call on Tuesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger, while discussing the future of the MCU, implied that Disney and Marvel Studios are thinking about life after the Avengers – including a new franchise to carry the MCU.

“We meet on a regular basis with our Marvel team, and we’ve plotted out Marvel movies that will take us well into the next decade,” said Iger. “I’m guessing we will try our hand at what I’ll call a new franchise beyond ‘Avengers’…”

Since the MCU debuted in 2008 with “Iron Man,” each “phase” of the MCU has culminated in a different “Avengers” movie: “The Avengers” in 2012; “Age of Ultron” in 2015; and the two-part finale started with “Infinity War” this year and ending with its sequel next year.

So a “new franchise beyond Avengers” could mean many things, but when taking this into consideration, it could mean that the next phases of the MCU will build to “event” movies that don’t necessarily revolve around the Avengers.

There are plenty of comic book characters that would make worthy additions to the MCU that haven’t been introduced yet, but how would they fit into the grand scheme of things?

The most logical answer lies in the Disney-Fox deal. When it is finalized, Disney and Marvel will have access to the X-Men and Fantastic Four, characters whose film rights are currently owned by Fox.

If Marvel decides it wants to use those characters, it opens up huge possibilities for the MCU going forward. The amount of characters and storylines from the comic books that would now be in Disney’s possession spans back decades.

Iger also specified that this “doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t see more Avengers down the road,” so it’s even possible for the MCU to loosely adapt a comic mini-series called “Avengers vs. X-Men” in the future.

That could also mean that this current version of the Avengers might end, but a new one could rise from it. This is what happens in the comics, after all. In 2005, the original Avengers were torn apart, and a team formed after that consisted of newcomers like Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and Wolverine (there’s your X-Men connection). They were appropriately called “The New Avengers.”

The Fox deal would also allow the MCU to further explore cosmic ideas seen in the comic books. With the rights to the “Fantastic Four,” the MCU could introduce the Silver Surfer and villains like Galactus and Annihilus. This could lead to something similar to a 2006 event comic book called “Annihilation,” which involved a war between Marvel’s space-related characters.

This storyline also included Nova, the last remaining member of the Nova Corps. In “Infinity War,” Thor mentions that Thanos destroyed the Nova Corps (introduced in “Guardians of the Galaxy”) to retrieve one of the Infinity Stones. So, Nova’s origin story has already been established, and would be easy to expand upon if Marvel wanted to go in this direction.

There are storylines in Marvel’s comic books that the MCU hasn’t touched yet, and it has been inspired by many already. If the “Infinity War” sequel really is an end to this era of the MCU, then it’s not a stretch for it to follow a path similar to the one described here.

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