Although it certainly feels like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is approaching a major crossroads with the cataclysmic stakes of Avengers: Infinity War and its forthcoming, still-untitled sequel, we may not be witnessing the end of the Avengers era just yet.
That’s what Disney CEO Bob Iger appeared to be suggesting on a recent earnings call, reportedly (via The Hollywood Reporter) telling investors that Marvel’s ongoing search for its next hit franchise doesn’t “necessarily” mean the studio is merely lining up a replacement to fill a void left by the conclusion of the current Avengers story arc.
“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," Iger said. "I'm guessing we will try our hand at what I'll call a new franchise beyond Avengers, but that doesn't necessarily mean you won't see more Avengers down the road. We just haven't made any announcements about that.”
As Iger appears to be hinting, Disney and Marvel evidently have some ideas about other new multi-installment movie properties they’d like to introduce once the current MCU cycle — which includes not only the Infinity War stories, but also a Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 — reaches a turning point.
With the record-shattering box office success of Infinity War, it’s obvious that The Avengers are in demand now more than ever. With that kind of momentum in mind, said Iger, it’s hard to envision an MCU future that doesn’t have a place for the franchise, whatever form it may take.
“Given the popularity of the characters and given the popularity of the franchise,” he said, “I don't think people should conclude there will never be another Avengers movie.”
Whether that means the current cycle’s lineup of characters continues to be inhabited by stars who’ve become synonymous with the roles they play (Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and more) — well, that remains to be seen. But it at least looks as though Disney isn’t prepared to wave goodbye to a movie juggernaut that’s outpacing even Star Wars in tickets sold.
In just more than a week since its April 27 debut, Avengers: Infinity War already has eclipsed the $1 billion mark at the global box office. The sequel is slated for a May 3, 2019 release. After that, where should Marvel take the franchise? If you've got ideas, share 'em in the comments!