Avengers Movies Will No Longer Culminate Phases, But End Sagas, Says Feige

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige reveals a shift in strategy.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been adept at setting and following an overarching template. Among the many spinning wheels that make up this “template” has been the structure of movie releases. Traditionally, the studio’s movies have been grouped together into Phases, with each Phase capped off by an Avengers film. This expectation is precisely what left fans confused and empty when they didn’t see an Avengers movie at the end of Phase 4.

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has set the record state. In interview bytes after SDCC, Feige revealed that the Avengers movies will no longer culminate Phases but will instead be used to cap sagas. Feige explains the reasoning as an influx of material that the studio has been able to release, thanks in part to the original series streamed on Disney+. As a result, Phases now feature many more hours of content than before, which also explains why they feel shorter in real years. Having an Avengers movie release at the end of a Phase would have therefore meant seeing Avengers movies every 2-3 years, which is no longer sustainable, hence this shift in strategy.

Feige lays out this rationale in two separate quotes. Here’s the first part where he talks to Brandon Davis from Phase Zero about how they came about this realization as they were laying out the MCU’s roadmap for the next few years.

Well, I think we learn something on every project we do. But as we were laying out and even three years ago, here, laying out Phase 4, which we didn’t lay out all of but most of. You know, we realized that it’s very different than Phase 1, 2, & 3. That there are more projects and less years and therefore, it didn’t seem right to culminate… you know, we’re not gonna culminate every 10 months in an Avengers movie. And each of the films themselves now has become quite big and are crossover events in many ways. And after the creative experience we had with Infinity War and Endgame, it felt like it was about capping a saga. Saving back-to-back Avengers films for the completion of a saga. And that’s really what we wanted to lay out today.

And here’s the second statement from MTV News where he debunks the “bigger is better” school of thought and again talks about what led them to this line of thinking.

Well… it’s never about going bigger just to go bigger. Sometimes, by the nature of the number of characters that you have in the toy box to then bring into the sandbox of the story, things can get bigger. But you know, the truth is, when we were doing Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3, there were less projects over more years. And they were smaller projects and individual character stories. And it felt appropriate at that point that after, you know, every two or three years that it took for a phase, we would do an Avengers film. As 4, 5, and 6 were coming together, there are more projects in less years because of all the amazing stuff we’re now allowed to do on Disney+ and getting and getting characters from Fox, for Fantastic Four and Deadpool, that it felt like… and certainly after Infinity War and Endgame that we thought, ‘Avengers movies aren’t cappers.

This also explains why Feige announced the Avengers movies in Phase 6 to begin with, even though none of the other Phase 6 movies have been revealed. The intent, as Feige puts it, was to calm audiences nerves and let them know of this shift in strategy, so they know what to expect moving forward.

And it felt like we needed to let people know — people used to have that guide point of when an Avengers would come to cap the Phase — it felt like announcing today that the Multiverse Saga and two Avengers films would cap that was something that we needed to share.

In the 11 years before 2019, we witnessed The Infinity Saga that culminated in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. We’re now in The Multiverse Saga that spans Phases 4, 5 and 6 which could culminate in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. Essentially, Feige has done away with the intermediate Avengers movies and is reserving these films only for gigantic, saga-ending events to prevent the Avengers brand from being diluted.

On the one hand, this new strategy is going to lead to longer wait times for Avengers movies. But on the other hand, we know that the wait will surely be worth it. Personally, I prefer this over cramming out Avengers movies every few years, which is exactly the path that a more traditional, conservative, old-school studio would have taken. Exciting times are ahead of us once again.

Let me know what you think about this new shift in strategy in the comments below.