The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is something fans are dying to know more about following the devastating ending of Avengers: Infinity War. After all, how can this massive franchise continue without more than half of its characters? With so many turned to dust–and a couple more dispatches of in other ways–the roster is looking a little thin.
Naturally, chances are at least some of the deaths in Infinity War will be undone in Avengers 4–if not all of them. Still, as Marvel Studios looks toward shaping the future of its universe, the question of evolution becomes paramount. How important is it to evolve these movies and the characters that populate them as the MCU moves into Phase 4?
“It is perhaps the most important thing,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige tells Gamespot, while promoting Ant-Man and the Wasp. “That is the most important thing, and that’s what you’ve seen happen over the past 20 films, different genres, different heroes, heroes maybe you’ve heard of if you’d read comics, heroes you might not have ever heard of even if you did read comics, and now moving forward, hopefully the next 10 years, and eventually, we’ll reveal what we’re working on for the next handful of years, and it’ll be similar.”
What does that evolution look like, though? According to Feige, it’s “brand new heroes, new types of heroes, continuing what we see in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Black Panther, and Captain Marvel. Who a hero can be, and should be, and seeing all different types of heroes.”
The idea of “seeing all types of heroes” is something Marvel is seemingly committed to. After Black Panther gave the studio its first black superhero standalone movie, Captain Marvel will be its first female-led film in early 2019.
“We want people from any background to be able to look at that screen and see themselves reflected, and just as importantly to have different types of people be inspired by people who don’t look like them, or people who have different backgrounds than them, and let them inspire them going forward,” Feige says. “To me, that’s the most important thing that we can do, and we’ve started it, and we’re going to continue it.”
So when it comes to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what it will continue evolving into inclusivity is key. Given what’s already been announced–a third third Guardians of the Galaxy movie, a Spider-Man sequel, and, of course, Captain Marvel–the studio is clearly continuing to take big swings when it comes to expanding its roster of heroes beyond the standard Avengers that drove much of its first 10 years.
When it comes to “all types of heroes,” though, it’s Feige’s tease of a potential Ms. Marvel movie, about a young Muslim superhero inspired by Captain Marvel, that may be the biggest clue about what the MCU’s evolution looks like over the next 10 years. In the meantime, there’s plenty to look forward to. Ant-Man and the Wasp is in theaters on July 6. It’s followed by Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019 and Avengers 4 on May 3, 2019.