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Column/Op-Ed, Film, Pop Culture

UPDATE: Check Out The Marvel Cinematic Universe Timeline As We Look After The Avengers

UPDATE: A scan by @MarvelFreshman has revealed an official timeline of the events leading up to the Avengers from the new behind-the-scenes book, The Art of the Avengers. The most revealing information? Most of the events of the five movies take place over the course of one week. Check it out here!

If you haven’t heard by now, Marvel’s The Avengers is the number one movie on the planet, and broke box office records totaling $207.4 million it is first weekend in the United States, and over $600 Million worldwide.  In a few short weeks, it will be sure to cross the billion dollar mark. Most likely, you reading this have seen The Avengers and perhaps the five films leading up to it. If you still haven’t or have no idea what I’m talking about, I assume you are also probably an alien from another planet or a human who has just emerged from a cave for the first time since the Cold War,  and we welcome you to our movie website. We won’t question how you found us.

Regardless, we have to stress that this post will be spoiler-heavy as we evaluate and ponder which directions the Marvel movies will go in next, since Marvel Studios has barely scratched the surface in their cinematic universe. So if you haven’t seen The Avengers, Please don’t read any more. Go read another one of our awesome posts or Like SaveThe Seat on Facebook

I’m warning you. I’m not kidding.

Here’s a spoiler off the bat to ward off those with wandering eyes that haven’t seen the movie: The movie’s success has even leaked into the local restaurant industry. Shawarma restaurants in Los Angeles alone saw their sales rise 80% due in part to Tony Stark’s wisecracking comments about trying out the local shawarma joint after they recover from the Chitauri attack on Midtown Manhattan – which the Avengers do in a post-credit sequence filmed right after the premiere nearly a month ago.

Still with us? Moving onward, The Avengers marked the end of a chapter in Marvel Studios, which spent years planning and setting up the origin stories of lesser-know superhero characters – Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye, and Captain America – and having them together in one movie. It is a comic book nerds dream that DC Comics could not pull off with their Justice League. But as The Avengers rakes in the cash, Disney/Marvel is already hard at work planning their next chapter and to keep their multiple franchises going. Here’s what we could expect in terms of the story thus far.


Iron Man 3 – May 3rd, 2013

Tony Stark’s transformation into Iron Man to escape Middle Eastern terrorists first brought us into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and perhaps piqued Stark’s interest in shawarma), so it’s only fitting that he’s the first character we first encounter in the post-Avengers universe. 

Writer-director Shane Black’s (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) – taking over from Jon Favreau – film is loosely based on the 2005 Extremis storyline by Warren Ellis, following Iron Man as he attempts to stop a nanovirus threatening the United States and China. Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson are expected to return, as well as new cast including Guy Pearce, Andy Lau, Rebecca Hall, and Ben Kingsley. 

What we can definitely expect from the new movie is a changed man. Tony Stark, once a selfish and arrogant billionaire ended up sacrificing himself to fly through the Tesseract portal and throw the SHIELD nuclear weapon at the Chitauri mothership. This willingness to sacrifice himself for the greater good – as well as him trying to make his final call to the one woman he loves, Pepper Potts – will reflect heavily in the new movie.  But don’t expect Tony Stark to lose his iconic sense of humor and wit.  We can also expect more from his relationship with Potts, which was the only relationship that we got to see in The Avengers (Joss Wheaton admitted that a scene where Steve Rogers finally went on that date he promised Peggy Carter at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger was deleted, but will appear on the Blu-Ray release), as well as from his partnership with Rhodey, the War Machine. 

Thor 2 – November 15th, 2013

When first explore Asgard, we are not only introduced to concept of alien worlds, but we also first see the Cosmic Cube that becomes integral to Loki’s evil plot to enslave Earth. It is a safe bet to assume that our return to Asgard will bring us our first look at what could be the integral piece of the eventual Avengers sequel. (More on that below in our Avengers 2 section).  Aside from this, we can be sure to expect Thor to face a new villain here in our Earth realm as well as the return of Loki. Whether he will be a villain or an unlikely ally remains to be seen: After all, Loki’s failures have upset some very formidable foes. We can also expect Thor to rekindle his love with Jane Foster as well as battle alongside his Warriors Three and Sif. 

Alan Taylor (HBO’s Game of Thrones) takes over for Kenneth Branaugh in the director’s chair, and Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Idris Elba, Joshua Dallas, Jaimie Alexander, Ray Stevenson, and Tom Hiddleston are expected to return.

Captain America 2 – April 4th, 2014

When Steve Rogers tips Nick Fury a $10 bill when they meet onboard the Helicarrier in The Avengers, we remember that Rogers comes from a completely different era and still has to catch up.  We do get a sense that he has caught up on history, but expect Captain America 2 to still have that fish-out-of-water element, as well as recovering his former celebrity status gained from the events of leading The Avengers into battle. Although there are rumors of a SHIELD or Black Widow spin-off movie, expect Captain America 2 to have him taking on a leadership role working alongside SHIELD and Nick Fury to battle evil.

Directors are narrowed down between George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) and Anthony and Joseph Russo (NBC’s Community) to replace Joe Johnson, and Chris Evans will return.

Untitled Marvel Film – May 16th, 2014

The great thing about the Marvel Universe is the untapped potential of films.  While this slot could be reserved for a new Incredible Hulk film – as Mark Ruffalo signed a six-picture deal –  or a spin-off featuring SHIELD or War Machine, this slot could most likely fit an array of new superheroes, from the long-rumored Dr. Strange film that will introduce magic to the Marvel Universe, to the long-gestating Ant-Man from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World writer-director Edgar Wright. We’ll hear more on this in the future.  In any case, this will probably lead into….

The Avengers 2 – approximately 2015

-> Although many film sites were fooled by a report by Deadline misinterpreting Disney CEO Bob Iger’s comments on CNBC that led many to believe The Avengers 2 is on the way, it would be foolish not to assume that Disney must have this sequel up their sleeve. But until they confirm such a decision, this would be a hypthotetical film idea.

During the middle of the credits, we see The Other talking to a mysterious figure who sneers when the idea of “courting Death” is mentioned.  That creature is Thanos, the most formidable foe in the Marvel Universe.  A psychotic alien from Titan, the moon of Saturn, Thanos – who is also called the Mad Titan and the Avatar of Death – has a twisted obsession with Death and destruction. Aside from being a master strategist and hyper intellegence, he also have alien powers.

One of Thanos’ most infamous storylines is his quest to claim the Infinity Gauntlets in order to gain omnipotent, God-like powers. The Avengers will most likely take this since, since in Thor, you can briefly see the Gauntlets displayed in their treasure room, alongside the Tesseract/Cosmic Cube that led to the first Avengers. Expect Stark Tower (now with just a prominent “A” where “Stark” used to be) to become the headquarters for the Avengers, and perhaps you can expect even more superheroes involved.

Based on their contracts, you can expect Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, and Samuel L. Jackson to return to fight another day.  

This post originally appeared at Save The Seat.


About Richard L. Vargas

Among many things, I'm a writer, blogger, news junkie, and pop culture enthusiast from New York City.


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