Marvel announced 11 features yesterday, bringing them all the way up to the year 2019 and putting in place not only their entire Phase 3 slate but also moving to a pattern of releasing three films a year.
It's massive news and it comes with a slew of questions and a huge amount of excitement for fans. One of the biggest announcements was the continuation of the Avengers flicks after the events of 2015's Age of Ultron. And they did it with this incredible teaser trailer which was captured by a fan...
I just love how the Marvel movies are clearly massive commercial enterprises but are also put together with serious care and thought. In case you don't know, that glove at the end is the Infinity Gauntlet and its modelledby James Brolin's Thanos. And you've seen some of those stones before, particularly the Tesseract (Captain America, The Avengers) and the Aether (Thor 2). The connection is also made very clear in Guardians of the Galaxy.
That's a lot of world-building and, together with the full speaking introduction of Thanos in GOTGhas been setting us up for a massive battle for years now. That will all come to fruition in 2018 and 2019 with a massive two part battle to the finish. The video suggests that Thanos has at least five of the stones by that time - meaning he's basically an all powerful god capable of wiping out half the universe with a snap of his fingers.
We don't yet know what shape the Avengers will be in by that time but the presence of Thanos and a two film arc could well mean the introduction of plenty of new characters, including those from Guardians. Also by then we'll have seen feature outings for Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther so there will be plenty of opportunities for new faces.
There are still loads of questions, not least who will be writing and directing these films a full three years after Joss Whedon's current contract with Marvel expires. While I'd love to see him continue to guide the franchise I also want him to get a chance to do his own projects.
Exciting times are ahead.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 debuts on May 4th 2018, Infinity War Part 2 arrives in May 2019.