It's been two years since every single Avenger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) assembled to take on Thanos post-Snap. But if you're a Marvel fan hoping for a similarly cheer-inducing moment anytime soon, then you might have to wait a while, according to the MCU's chief architect and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige.
"I think we want there to be a reasonable amount of time from the Endgame to start a new saga, which is already underway and already started," Feige told Collider in an interview. "And then you need time, as you did in Phase 1, to build that saga before you start bringing everyone together."
The MCU is currently in Phase 4, which kicked off with the recent release of Black Widow and will soon continue with the releases of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Sept. 3), The Eternals (Nov. 5), and Spider-Man: No Way Home (Dec. 17) later this year, with plans for it to stretch out all the way to 2023. And this doesn't even take into account all the Marvel TV shows that the company plan to release on Disney+ in the coming months following the successes of WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and most recently, What If.
There's also the fact that that two of these upcoming movies will be introducing characters never before seen in the MCU before now. It's been a while since Marvel added new faces to its line-up, with the most recent being Carol Danvers (2019's Captain Marvel), Stephen Strange (2016's Doctor Strange), and T'Challa (2016's Captain America: Civil War), and as fans know by now, it will take some time for them to be established.
After all, it took four years after the release of Iron Man for the Avengers to team up that first time, and back then no one was even sure something like the MCU could exist. And this is not even taking into account all the other characters set to make their debuts courtesy of their upcoming TV shows, with some of them even making the leap to the big screen, as seen with Kamala Khan's Ms. Marvel and Riri Williams' Ironheart joining the mix, first with their solo TV series, and then their expected big screen debuts in The Marvels, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, respectively.
However, that doesn't mean team-ups are completely off the table in the meantime. Not only is it confirmed that the Guardians of the Galaxy will be a part of Thor: Love and Thunder, but Spider-Man: No Way Home is rumored to possibly reintroduce all three actors who've played Peter Parker on the big screen so far along with a host of former Spidey villains, and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (Mar. 25, 2022) is going to feature the Scarlet Witch, and potentially even a certain someone who made an appearance in the season finale of Loki. There's even the high likelihood that Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier will play a role in Captain America 4, which will star Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson in the titular role, and there are already rumblings of a second season being in the works (though the new film could always take the place of that project).
And if you feel like you need to take notes to keep track of everyone that's coming, don't worry. The Marvel Team needs one, too.
"We used to not need [a whiteboard]," said Feige. "Because it really was just all in our collective imaginations at the studio. Just before the pandemic, we started going, 'You know what? Maybe we need a big whiteboard.' And then we all went into our houses, so we still have not done that, but truth is [we have] a wonderfully dedicated, creative, spectacular team at Marvel Studios. One person is dedicated full time to each project ... There are people, whose sole tasks it is to keep it in their head and deliver it for us. And then we have interconnected meetings quite often about how things grow and evolve."
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits cinemas on Sept 3.