Four years ago, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy debuted in theaters, and the MCU was changed forevermore.
Sure, Marvel’s juggernaut franchise had already dabbled in the cosmos thanks to Thor, while The First Avenger‘s use of the Tesseract was a sure-fire sign that the studio were about to expand the MCU’s horizons quite dramatically. Fast forward to 2018, though, and in the wake of Avengers: Infinity War, every facet of Marvel’s franchise has ballooned in size – scale, scope, character count – and at least according to MCU architect Kevin Feige, no one has any intention of taking the foot off the pedal. In short: Marvel Studios will continue to explore the cosmic side of its cinematic behemoth beyond Avengers 4.
I love it and that’s why we didn’t wait very long to get that, I’d say. Thor was the beginning of that, Tesseract in Cap as well but no I love it because I love space stuff and I love the kind of stories you can tell. And Avengers: Infinity War is a great example of that.
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So while terrestrial heroes like Ant-Man and the Wasp will continue to enjoy the spotlight down on Earth, the arrival of Captain Marvel signals the beginning of a new era for the MCU in that Carol Danvers acts as something of a gateway to the cosmos, the Kree and everything in between.
Characters like Captain Marvel are also “very important” to the future of this franchise, as Feige tells ComicBook.com:
I mean, all of the things you’ve seen throughout Phases 1 and 2 and now through much of 3, the new characters always are important going forward in driving, shaping the future of the MCU. I think it would be amazing, another 10 years, another 20 films or so. We only focus on one step at a time but that’s all about continuing to surprise with the stories, go unexpected places, continue to play with new, fresh, unexpected genres and then introduce characters that people might have heard of or a beloved big fan base like Captain Marvel or characters like Guardians where before we made that, which people had never even heard of.
To their credit, James Gunn and Marvel Studios quickly transformed the Guardians into household favorites, and we’re quietly confident that they’ll be able to do the same thing with Captain Marvel when the time comes. Hell, there’s even been talk of it being a Wonder Woman-sized hit for the House of Ideas. Fingers crossed, eh?