When rumors surfaced last week about Marvel/Disney splitting Avengers 3, we scoffed. But, apparently, it’s deeper than that. According to Badass Digest, Marvel is taking an even ballsier approach to Avengers 3. Major names like Captain America, Thor, Hulk and Black Widow may be missing from the line-up. Why, you may ask? Marvel seems interested in holding the major players for a fourth installment that would include all the players across the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Badass suggested that the fourth’s title may be something like ‘Infinity Guantlet’ or ‘Marvel Secret Wars’.
First of all, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans are down to two films on their contracts. To stretch their involvement means that both Thor and Steve Rogers survive the end of their first trilogy. This is actually a surprise to me as I totally expected to see Bucky pick up the shield by then. So no Bucky as Cap. At least till after the huge crossover event. But this becomes a creative way to actually split Avengers 3 and still keep the contracts intact. It has been mentioned by most of those reporting this that Guardians of the Galaxy is mostly to blame for this change in thinking. After seeing a group of realative no-name ‘heroes’ take the box office by storm, Marvel feels better about letting the likes of Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Ant man, Doctor Strange and possibly Ms. Marvel try and carry the franchise. Some nerd news outlets have suggested that Guardians proved that it’s the ‘brand’ or the ‘franchise’ and not individual players in the game.
Also possibly missing from the list is the Hulk. I expect we will see the falling out between the big green goliath and his Avengers teammates happen as quick as it happened in the comics. One issue you’re friends. Next issue, Banner will come to realize just how much he isn’t trusted at all by the ‘team’. We will either see him split off his own way and use that extra slot in his contract for a solo venture. The rumor came with the phrase ‘off planet’ concerning the Hulk. I’m not sure if that was actually part of the rumor of someone’s fervernt wish, but could this mean Planet Hulk movie? IF so, we will see the angry emerald Avenger shot into space in Avengers 3. This is highly possible as he is not trusted by anyone and, if he goes the slightest bit awol, this would give the powers that be reason enough to send him packing off planet. Also, this would be an easy out for Ultron to get rid of a major powerhouse and cripple his adversaries.
Bumping Scarlet Johansson may mean little of nothing to the story; sad to say. What I’m hoping is that this will give them opportunity to give Black Widow a much deserved solo film and give some of that star power a chance to shine through the mediocre screen time she’s been given.
Robert Downey renegotiated his contract last summer to star in two more specific projects; those being Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers 3. This being so, it almost nails Iron Man as the leader of a new group of Avengers in what was supposed to be the end of the story. Big question. Will they renew Downey’s contract for ‘one more film’ so that he can be in the ensemble film? Or will we see the end of Tony Stark in Age of Ultron?
It would be fitting; seeing that the story has been changed to make Stark Ultron’s creator. What more fitting way to put an end to the legend that him losing his life destroying his biggest mistake. Highly doubtful, mind you. But possible.
There’s also the chance that they will recast him for the big finale. Also doubtful, but not impossible. Feige himself has been quoted as saying that Ironman is heavily important to the franchise, but could end up being a ‘James Bond’ like figure. Ie he can be recast with realative ease. Not sure how true that is. It will be hard for the fans to let go of Robert Downey for another actor, but it could be done. But, would they do this in the shadow of such a big project as the ‘Infinity Gauntlet’? I doubt it. Re-negotiations will probably be in order.
But why this sudden move? Why not just finish the trilogy and get it over with? I have a few theories.
First of all, there’s the fact that the Avengers Franchise has become a massive cash cow. With Guardians hitting big with a subdued cast, Marvel may be feeling its oats here and flexing their MCU muscles a bit. They may be feeling that they could do no wrong and are ready to take a chance. I personally don’t think its arrogance. I think they’re beginning to understand what they have a hold of here. Sure it’s about money, but it’s also about the story.
Secondly, they may think they need more room to tell the story. And, if that is the case, we fan-boys need to just accept it and trust the Marvel juggernaut. Let’s face it. Marvel has been done the dead level best at translating the comics to film. All the fan-boys will rage, but they can’t argue that point. The fans pack the seats more than any of Fox’s or Sony’s efforts. And, as the Avengers go, they seem to be following old school continuity. Although this new move may put a kink in my original theory.
All in all, I think Marvel is doing the best possible thing considering the big star contracts they have to juggle. It’s almost as annoying as multiple studios separating our favorite heroes. But, as with the rights that Sony and Fox hold, it is a necessary evil. And, at times, they work to our favor and give many more movies than one studio can produce themselves.
Some things still stay constant in my mind (Speculation ahead). Cap’s shield will change hands. Which means Rogers may be doomed to a tragic exit in ‘Infinity Gauntlet’. Someone else will most likely take the helmet of Iron Man and play Tony Stark much like the infinite lives of James Bond (thank you, Feige). The finales of both Thor 3 and Cap 3 will be epic and SO worth seeing; the aftermaths of which cannot be too easily dismissed. We may finally see Ruffalo in a Hulk movie. At the very least, we may get to see World War Hulk or beyone. And, maybe…just maybe Black Widow can have her own movie. I think she’s proven herself as a draw.
No matter what happens, trust me, True Believer, it will be awesome and the real fans will love it!