When ‘Iron Man’ came out back in 2008, nobody had the slightest of an idea about Marvel’s inevitable global domination. Fast forward 11 years later, Marvel is now Disney‘s biggest asset. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown to be one of the biggest and most successful franchises in film history. Yet, Marvel would not have relished the success it is relishing now, had it not been for the Avengers. The Avengers is the crown jewel of MCU and nobody can deny its influence on the superhero genre of today. The box office success of these films sheds light on the huge impact they have had on cinema.
The first movie titled ‘The Avengers’ released in 2012 and went on to gross 1.5 billion dollars worldwide. The second one came out in 2015 titled ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and almost replicated first one’s success with 1.4 billion dollars. The third one, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ topped everything in 2018 and went home with 2 billion dollars. And the most recent outing of the Avengers in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ has now become the highest-grossing movie in history by collecting almost 2.8 billion dollars. Marvel was going steady and strong with solo films but 2012’s superhero team-up, ‘The Avengers’ propelled its success to never seen heights and they have not looked back since.
We have all had a cathartic experience at the end of ‘Avengers: Endgame’. We all are emotionally drained after watching everything that transpired in the film but as fans, we couldn’t wait for another Avengers movie and in this case, ‘Avengers 5’. So when Kevin Feige in this year’s San Diego Comic-Con took the center stage and announced everything that is coming out in the next 3 years from the studio, fans were waiting with bated breath for the next Avengers movie, without much success.
But the Phase 4 of MCU looks great anyway, with or without an Avengers movie. The next three years will see the release of ‘Black Widow’, ‘The Eternals’, ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’, ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ and ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’. There’s going to be TV series like ‘Loki‘, ‘WandaVision’, ‘Hawkeye’, ‘What If…?’ and ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’. Apart from these, ‘Blade’, ‘Black Panther 2’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’, and ‘Captain Marvel 2’ are also confirmed to be in development. ‘Avengers 5’, if indeed releases, will not be in the next two years for sure, but in order to understand more about the future Avengers project, we need to look back into the past.
It’s not hard to realize that MCU movies revolve around the Avengers and the ultimate team-up movies carry the biggest impact in the grand narrative of MCU. Joss Whedon gathered an enviable cast and directed the first film with panache. Various elements in this superhero mashup were taken care of and were balanced nicely. We had mini-arcs for more grounded heroes like Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and synced camaraderie between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man. Chris Hemsworth‘s Thor introduced the first outer world feel in MCU and Mark Ruffalo stepped up to fill Edward Norton‘s shoes as the new Hulk. The film was a big risk and could have gone anyway. But it turned out to be an amazing film with great actions, nicely fleshed out character arcs, and a menacing villain in the form of Loki (Tom Hiddleston). ‘The Avengers’ charmed both critics and audiences and became a milestone in the superhero genre.
The sequel ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ released in 2015. It was solid but bloated. Again directed by Joss Whedon, the film introduced multiple new characters and killed a few too. Ultron, voiced by James Spader, appeared threatening but not enough to get under the skin. The script had too much going on in it and new characters like Wanda Maximoff and Quicksilver were crammed into an already confusing film. Nonetheless, the film was wholesome entertainment, a perfect action blockbuster.
The next one came in 2018. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ always felt like one long movie and both were directed by the Russo Brothers. After working on the acclaimed ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War’, Russo Brothers had created a perfect vision to end the decade long Infinity Saga. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ was a big step up from ‘Age of Ultron’. It carried on with the reimagined Thor from ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (2017) and elaborated Black Panther’s Wakanda kingdom. It was funny and the cinematography was unbelievably gorgeous. The battles on Titan and in Wakanda set very high standards in terms of CGI technology and action sequences. But more than anything, it had everything that made the first ‘Avengers’ film a success: solid mini-arcs defining each character, multiple team-ups in a smaller scale, a solid script and an immensely believable villain. The ending of the film subverted typical superhero conventions and carried forward to ‘Endgame’, a year later.
The latest Avengers film was more of an emotional rollercoaster than anything else. It was complex and grand at the same time. If the first Avengers felt like a long exposition scene, the last one was all about an emotional goodbye to many original heroes of this cinematic universe. ‘Endgame’ had the same flavor of ‘Infinity War’ but managed to outdo its predecessor in every aspect. It was more tranquil and focused on people than the action.
However, the biggest impact of these movies, as stated earlier, can be felt in other movies of the same shared universe. The incidents of ‘The Avengers’ and battle of New York had had a permanent toll in Tony Stark’s psyche in ‘Iron Man 3’ (2013) and also in S.H.I.E.L.D’s operations in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. The least successful Avengers film, ‘Age of Ultron’ actually had the biggest impact. The events in Sokovia resulted in the Sokovia Accords in its aftermath. Tony Stark’s guilt for having mistakenly created Ultron and his fundamentally opposed beliefs to Steve Rogers regarding Government’s decision to rein in superheroes was central to ‘Captain America: Civil War’. The feud that was created between the two lasted till ‘Endgame’. Hawkeye and Ant-Man faced the consequences of standing by Captain America and it also introduced a certain kid from Queens.
‘Infinity War’ was the product of years of long events spanning from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1’ to ‘Thor: Ragnarok’. ‘Endgame’ was the pinnacle of a decade-long narrative and it actually went back to many significant points of MCU, including the 20th century, the battle of New York and 2013 Asgard. The Avengers films tie everything up in the MCU; they are the glue to otherwise seemingly disparate mini-universes.
Avengers 5 Cast: Who could be in it?
Boy, this is tricky and fun at the same time. Right off the bat, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Brie Larson, Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Evangeline Lilly, Tom Holland, and Samuel L Jackson should be in the film. Add them with the cast of Eternals and throw in some Shang-Chi people and we have a team. If they manage to introduce the Fantastic Four before that, then add those four too. They look like a team who can lead as well. From here on, only more actors will be added.
Avengers 5 Plot: What could it be about?
A huge team like the Avengers doesn’t come to exist without any motives, catalysts or threats. All the previous films were at once the product of the previous incidents and shaped the events of the future at the same time. Same can be said about ‘Avengers 5’ as well. We are still healing from the emotional calamities of ‘Endgame’, and Phase 4 is all about rebuilding the universe. Avengers is always about high stakes, so, in order to see them on the big screen, we need, as Mysterio has said, ‘an Avenger level threat’. That might be Galactus or might be any of the thousand supervillains of Marvel canon. If we focus on Kevin Feige’s comments about ‘Avengers 5’, we will see a ‘different reincarnation of the team’, it will be different with some people we have already known and some to be introduced in future. And also by keeping in mind Disney’s recent acquisition of Fox properties, we can deduce a few of the possibilities. There will be Avengers, but of different kinds.
Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff’s demise and Steve Rogers’ retirement truly marked the conclusion of the original team of Avengers we have known and loved over the years. Hawkeye is also heading towards the sunset. But Hulk, Thor, Falcon and Winter Soldier will have an important role to play in the future. Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and Black Panther will be the new leading faces of the Avengers. Eternals and Shang-Chi are also expected to join along with the guardians of the galaxy members. Wasp if not Ant-Man is also going to be an integral part.
Kate Bishop’s inclusion in ‘Hawkeye’ tv series raises our hope for a Young Avengers movie. TV shows at Disney+ are expected to be interconnected with the movies. So character swaps will be a regular thing. Ant-Man’s daughter Cassie Lang’s possibility to become Stature also corroborate the possibility. Young Avengers is literally what the term says. It’s a group of young blood ready to take the mantle from the old guard. Dark Avengers is a group of supervillains disguised as superheroes. Considering the X-Men repertoire Disney has now and renewed talk of Norman Osborn featuring, we can actually have a dark avengers movie in the near future full of betrayals and altered timeline.
‘Endgame’ has one awesome moment when all-female superheroes join hands to protect the gauntlet and Spider-Man and fight Thanos. In comics, this is what the A-Force means. It’s a group of female superheroes, fighting threats. And they look cool too. Considering how much Disney is pushing for diversity and course-correcting in recent years, an ‘A-Force’ movie will be gladly welcomed.
What better way there will be to introduce the iconic X-Men into MCU if not by pitting them against the Avengers? A Civil War-like major conflict can introduce the mutants to the fold and it will also be a perfect way to introduce Deadpool into a PG-13 Marvel movie. Kevin Feige has also said that it will be another 2-3 years before we can see the Fox-owned characters into MCU. ‘Avengers 5’ seems to be the perfect welcome for them.
Avengers 5 Release Date: When will it premiere?
Best bet? 2023. Marvel’s Phase 4 hasn’t left any breathing space for a mega movie for the Avengers. They need to slowly rebuild the world and stakes. And if by that time we indeed see X-Men and Fantastic Four, we can safely assume that Phase 5 will have a major Avengers movie. For that, 2023 seems the most optimistic calculation. It feels weird to talk about ‘Avengers 5’ when ‘Avengers: Endgame’ left us emotionally scarred a few months ago. But what can we say? The Avengers is too big an asset and the show must go on.