Geeks love having specific names and labels for the various corners of the universes they love. So Marvel Studios seemed to directly touch our hearts (because they’re nothing if not crafty) when they revealed that each grouping of films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe belong to a “phase.” And with Phase 3 coming to an end next month with Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has offered up another name over which we can totally obsess: The Infinity Saga, which seems to be the newly-official name for the first 22 films in the MCU.
Yes, we can smell the Blu-ray boxset, too.
The Infinity Saga
Speaking with Empire Magazine, Feige dropped the phrase “The Infinity Saga” to refer to the first 22 films, or three phases, of the Marvel Cinematic universe (and big thanks to /Film reader Eddie Woodley for sending us a picture of the page to confirm this detail). This makes sense for a number of reasons – all of those films are loosely connected by the Infinity Stones and they all culminate in the heroes’ battle over said stones with the evil Thanos.
Feige elaborated on why the upcoming Avengers: Endgame is the proper place to close the door on this first “saga”:
“We wanted to bring to a conclusion a series of movies in a way that had never been done before. Harry Potter had an ending because there were only so many books. Lord of the Rings too. But we thought, 22 movies in, wouldn’t it be fun to bring some finality to the storyline.”
So here’s the big question: does this mean three phases now equal a saga? Will the next decade of Marvel movies, the next 20-plus adventures, also be interconnected and simultaneously climax, forming a new named saga? If not, this is all very enjoyable noise! But if Feige and Co. really are thinking that far ahead, us nerd-types who enjoy endlessly classifying the things we love are going to have a field day with Phases 4 through 6.
Also speaking with Empire, Feige revealed that there was a great deal of discussion about where to place the infamous “snap” that decimated the heroes of the Marvel universe at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. It was even suggested that it occur early in Avengers: Endgame, but Feige explained that they had to make it into a cliffhanger:
“We talked about that ending for years and years and years. It was the reason to adapt Infinity Gauntlet. What was the most shocking thing we could do? End the movie with The Snap.’
It’s the right choice. Putting it at the end of Infinity War suggests that this is something truly final (even though we know it’s not, of course). Putting it in the first 30 minutes of Endgame would’ve been a promise that it would be undone before the credits roll.
Original Team, Assemble!
Of course, the snap left some Avengers alive. And it was no accident that the core Avengers, the original team and their earliest allies, were among the un-snapped. After all, the Infinity Saga has to give these characters, the ones who probably won’t stick around for Phase 4, a final farewell:
“People would point out that that Cap wasn’t in Infinity War a whole lot. And Iron Man didn’t really speak for that last half hour because of what was going on. But those characters, and all of the original six, are very much the focus of Endgame in a very personal and emotional way.”
Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and other newer heroes will dominate the next phase, so forgive Marvel for sidelining them for the moment. This may be our final chance to hang with Cap and Tony and Thor and the Hulk.
Avengers: Endgame opens on April 26, 2019.
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