Could the third outing for Earth's Mightiest Heroes feature a very different lineup?
It's an interesting time for fans of the massive superhero universe Marvel Studios has been building since 2008, in that we know what's in the immediate future, but in many ways whatever's just beyond that is murkier than ever. Marvel's got release dates lined up all the way to 2019 at this point, and while we can pretty reliably guess what some of those are for (Thor 3, Avengers 3, etc.), the others leave us wondering if they're reserved for the introduction of new Marvel heroes, and if so, which ones.
Speaking of new heroes, we're also still wondering how long Marvel can hold on to the old ones. As far as we know, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth are all coming to the end of their Marvel deals, and though renegotiation is always possible, it's also expensive. With Avengers 3 on the horizon, Marvel has to face the possibility that their roster of heroes will look very different in a few years. So, if the old heroes are on their way out, how do you prove to audiences that the new heroes are worth following with the same fervor?
Badass Digest's Devin Faraci reports that, according to his sources, Avengers 3 might not really be the culmination of Marvel's Phase Three, but instead a "springboard to...something else." Apparently, word is that Marvel's planning to keep characters like Captain America, Thor, and possibly Black Widow out of that film by giving them in-story reasons for not being there (Cap's still dealing with what happened in Captain America 3, Black Widow's on a mission of some kind, and so on). With most of the main roster gone, and Iron Man possibly acting as an anchor or mentor figure, it'll be up to "secondary characters" from the universe to save the day in Avengers 3. Then, Marvel follows that up with another big film that brings the other heroes back, and you've got both a big payoff and a launching pad for all those secondary heroes to take the lead in the universe.
As for what that post-Avengers 3 big film might be, well, we don't know, and Faraci doesn't know. He does speculate, though, that it could be the long-awaited culmination of the Infinity Gauntlet adaptation Marvel's been teasing out for a while now, or another big crossover story. We also don't know just how much of this will actually come to pass, but if these reports are true, Marvel's already preparing to usher in a new generation of heroes to keep the blockbuster machine rolling.
What do you think? Will Avengers 3 work with an almost entirely new roster of Avengers?