Avengers Endgame: The Marvel Cinematic Universe Explained


SPOILER ALERT! This article contains details of portions of some Marvel movies, including recent releases.

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Why so serious? Maybe the cast of Avengers: Endgame is wandering around the meanders of the MCU

Marvel's Avengers: Endgame hits UK theaters on April 25 and is widely expected to be the biggest release of 2019.

The film will be the 22nd entry into the Marvel film universe, which began with Iron Man 2008.

If you want to watch Endgame but feel scared at the size of the MCU, do not be afraid!

Here is everything you need to know.

What is Marvel's cinematic universe?

The Marvel Cinematographic Universe – or abbreviated to MCU – is the shared place where all 22 comic book movies are set.

Each tells its own distinct story, but also connects with other movies on the MCU, to tell a comprehensive story. It's a technique that Marvel Comics pioneer Stan Lee has also used in his comics.

The MCU is the most successful film franchise of all time, earning more than $ 18.2 billion so far.

In what order should I watch the movies?

We suggest you watch the movies in chronological order instead of the order in which the movies were released.

Handily, in the book Marvel Studios: The First 10 Years, Marvel has released an official MCU schedule to help you do just that.

We've added the movies released since the book came out and voila, here's a handy diagram to help you organize your Marvel preview!

Just a nerd note on the diagram. Technically, the main events of the Ant-Man and the Vespa happen before the War of Infinity, but we suggest you watch it later to fully appreciate the scenes of post-credits that happen later.

Why did Marvel start with these characters?

In 2007, Marvel was recovering from bankruptcy and sold the film rights to some of the company's most popular characters, such as the X-Men and Spider-Man.

Marvel still had the superheroes who make up the main team of the Avengers – Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America – then used the first MCU films to introduce these heroes.

Marvel then reunited these characters for the crossover film Avengers Assemble. You can see a list of all current members of The Avengers here.

The crossing was planned from the beginning.

The first MCU movie to be released, Iron Man, included a post-credits scene in which Samuel L Jackson's super spy, Nick Fury, gives the first mention of the Avengers.

I do not have time to watch all the movies! What can I skip?

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Do as Thanos and halve the size of the MCU

Endgame is the end of a series of 22 films.

But do not worry, you do not need to watch everyone to be fully prepared.

Here are the 10 movies you can skip and still understand the basics of Endgame.

  • The incredible Hulk – you'll learn everything you need to know about the main characters here at Avengers Assemble
  • Thor idem
  • Thor: The Dark World – you do not need to see this to understand the essence of Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Iron man 2 – Scarlett Johansson fans may not want to skip this because it marks their entry into the MCU
  • Iron Man 3 – Robert Downey Jr is always watchable, but jumping this will not leave you confused
  • Ant Man – Scott Lang and his superpowers are featured again in Captain America: Civil War
  • Strange doctor – all you need to know is that this movie features the Time Stone.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 – There is some nice character development here, but it will not give you any new information about the final battle
  • Black Panther – we hesitate to suggest that you skip this Oscar-winning movie, since it's one of the best of MCU, but apart from presenting Wakanda as a location, you'll get most of the relevant information about the characters featured here on Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinite War
  • Captain Marvel – once again, note this if you can, but if you are pressed for time, all you really need to know is that Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) got her powers from Space Stone (also known as Tesseract) and she will be important the final battle in Endgame. In addition, the man who set up the Avengers – Nick Fury – lost his eye to an alien disguised as a cat.

What's so important about Avengers: Endgame?

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Media LegendWatch The Avengers Trailer: Endgame

Marvel's plans for his films are structured in phases, each ending with a movie of the Avengers' crossover.

Avengers Assemble spelled the end of Phase One, and Age of Ultron ended Phase Two.

Endgame not only ends Phase 3, but also ends the series of 22 films that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is calling The Infinity Saga.

The new title for the first three phases of the MCU refers to its comprehensive history, which sees the meeting of the Infinity Stones (six powerful gems that grant their owner great power) and the war against the crazy Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin). You can read a complete guide of the Infinite Stones here.

The Endgame will see the remaining Avengers try to rescue them all, after villain Thanos (Josh Brolin) picked up all the Infinity Stones and swept half of all living things with a snap of his fingers in the Avenger's War: Infinity last year.

You can see a complete list of all who died here.

All bets are for those who reach the finish line in Endgame, as it also coincides with the end of the contracts of some of Marvel's biggest stars.

  • What We Learn From The Trailer Avengers: Endgame

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Could the Avengers: Endgame be the end of the road for Chris Evan's Captain America?

It has been widely publicized that Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Robert Downey Jr (Tony Stark / Iron Man) have come to an end of their contracts.

There has also been speculation that her Marvel co-stars Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romonova / Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton / Hawkeye) and Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner / Hulk) also reached the end of their studio tenure.

Although a black widow solo film is in progress, it may be a prequel, so there is no guarantee of survival for the character of Johansson.

But one thing is certain – no matter what, it will take time for Endgame's story to unfold.

It's the MCU's longest entry so far, clocked at three hours and two minutes. This is the same size as the first part of Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey (2012).

What is the future of the MCU?

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Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), probably reacting to rumors that one of the main members of the Avengers team may not survive the Endgame alive

We can expect a big change in the MCU at the end of Endgame.

Phase four begins with the release of Spider-Man: away from home on July 5, 2019.

According to producer Amy Pascal, the film "will begin a few minutes after Avengers 4 is told as a story".

Tom Holland's Spidey was one of many heroes annihilated in Snap in Thanos in Infinity War, but given his starring role in this film, we can expect him to be alive and well before Endgame credits.

New films involving other allegedly dead characters have also been confirmed for Phase Four.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has confirmed that Dr. Strange, of Benedict Cumberbatch, will return to a sequence at some point in the future.

Chadwick Boseman must also recover from his disintegration in time for Black Panther 2.

We also know that a third movie from the Guardians of the Galaxy has been confirmed, after director James Gunn was hired by Disney, but we do not know which Guardians will return to him. At the end of Infinity War, Bradley Cooper's Rocket and Karen Gillan's Nebula were the only survivors of this franchise.

Feige also hinted that Phase Four might include a solo sequence for Captain Marvel by Brie Larson.

Also in development are new films involving superpowered beings called Eternals and the super-hero of martial arts Shang-Chi.

Which Marvel characters are not in the MCU?

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Dark Phoenix, which stars Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones, is probably the last time the X-Men appear outside the MCU

You may be confused about why some Marvel characters appear in movies that do not connect to the MCU.

The reason for this is really simple.

Long before Marvel Studios existed, Marvel Entertainment sold the rights of some of its characters to other filmmakers.

Spider-Man was sold to Sony. The studio made a Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, and shortly thereafter restarted the franchise less successfully with Andrew Garfield as the webslinger.

However, Sony and Marvel have already agreed to a partnership that allows Tom Holland's Spider-Man to appear in MCU movies, while Sony holds the rights to the character.

Sony also owned the rights to Ghost Rider, and made two films about it starring Nicolas Cage, until the rights returned to Marvel in 2013.

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Nicolas Cage, possibly hoping that some strategically placed Ghost Rider brand might inspire Marvel bosses to make a new movie

The Fantastic Four series and the X-Men were sold to 20th Century Fox, although Marvel Studios expects to recover the rights of the two properties this year due to a merger between Disney and Fox. The merger means that Marvel could introduce these rights. MCU characters in future films.

Fox has also made Deadpool's films, starring Ryan Reynolds, who are firmly off the MCU.

It is not clear what the future holds for this franchise, since the dirty-mouth and pansexual superhero is certainly not the friendliest character in the family.

However, the Deadpool films were a commercial success and star Ryan Reynolds suggested on social networks that he would like to see a future for the character with Disney.

Fox also owned Daredevil's rights in 2003 producing a film starring Ben Affleck and the 2005 spin-off film Elektra before the royalties returned to Marvel.

Universal Line's Hulk and New Line Cinema's Blade Films were also the result of deals made before the rights of these characters returned to Marvel and did not belong to the MCU.

I've seen all the MCU movies. What else can I watch?

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Clark Gregg seems very pleased that his character has been resurrected so he can continue cashing Marvel's checks

Do not worry. There are plenty of TV shows set on the MCU to keep it running.

  • Agent Carter – follow the adventures of Hayley Atwell's agent Peggy Carter as she reprises her role in the MCU films of this series, which ran from 2015-16.
  • Agents of Marvel de S.H.I.E.L.D. – The show that proves the Avengers Assemble was not the end of agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg).
  • In humans – this show was shown on the American network ABC for a series. It centered around the Inhumans – an alien race with superpowers that comes in contact with Earth.
  • Runaways – this show, based on the comic of the same name, is on the Hulu streaming service. Here are six teenagers who discover their parents are villains.
  • Cloak and sword – This series about a romance between two super powerful teenagers is on ABC's Freeform network. It is based on characters that first appeared in the Spectacular Spider-Man Comics.
  • The Netflix Marvel TV Shows – Marvel's deal with Netflix is ‚Äč‚Äčover but you can still enjoy the nerve-racking adventures of Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and The Punisher in the streaming service. Ensemble show The Defenders is a real highlight. Although ostensibly set in the MCU, these shows have a darker tone and do not really connect with any of the movies.

If you've already become a diehard fan and really want to dive into the MCU, Digital Spy has set a complete chronological chronology of all the movies and TV shows.

You can also watch the original Marvel movie – the notorious failure of the 1980s Howard the Duck.

The feathered superhero will soon be starring in one of Marvel's four animated adult series, so consider this research essential.

Disney has also announced plans for several new Marvel TV series, including one based on Thor's adopted brother Loki in its new streaming service, Disney +, so there will be much more Marvel content to watch in the future.

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