What happens after the fourth Avengers movie comes out in 2019 is still largely a mystery, but we know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will continue.
That's because Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be one of the movies that launch a whole new MCU storyline, according to its writer and director James Gunn. The filmmaker tweeted a few comments along these lines after the Twittersphere somehow got the impression that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will come to an end with that untitled fourth Avengers movie two years from now. It all started with this Kevin Feige quote from an interview with Uproxx:
“Well, all I’ll say is the films we are working on now – which take us through to the Avengers Untitled in May of 19 – that’s really all we are focusing on. And we are focusing on bringing, by that point, an unprecedented, 22-movie, continuous shared fictional narrative to a conclusion in a satisfying way.”
For some reason, that translated for a few folks online as "the MCU will be no more after that fourth Avengers movie," which is not the case. And when someone approached Gunn about it, he responded:
To recap: the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not ending. The current massive story arc that has been building for the past 10 years -- the formation of the Avengers, the discovery of the Infinity Stones, the impending conflict with Thanos -- is. That story will end, a certain number of characters are likely to exit (by death or otherwise), and the actors who play them will fulfill their contracts and walk away. But a new story will begin, recently introduced characters will take center stage and new ones will emerge.
And if you trust the word of James Gunn -- which we do -- one of the movies that will launch all that is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In fact, it was not long ago that Gunn suggested Guardians Vol. 3 will be the cornerstone for decades of Marvel movies:
"One of the things I’m doing with creating Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it will take place after the next two Avengers movies, and it will help to set up the next 10 to 20 years of Marvel movies. It’s going to really expand the cosmic universe, we’re going to be setting up new characters, it will be the last movie of this version of the Guardians of the Galaxy.”
So while much of Marvel's future remains shrouded in secrecy (heck, they won't even tell us the name of the fourth Avengers movie yet because it's supposedly a spoiler), we know that the MCU will continue after Untitled Avengers erases and resets the board -- and that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will play a key role in determining the course of that universe.