Marvel has done something amazing over the course of the last decade. From its first origin story with 2008’s Iron Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a sprawling landscape of incredible superhero adventures and truly colorful characters. This business model has carried the MCU through two highly successful phases of films and into the current Phase Three, but it is clear that some massive changes are in store once The Avengers: Infinity War debuts in theaters next year.
As Marvel continues to close in on the climax of Phase 3, it becomes even more important for us to look ahead at what the comic book giant can do with its massive interconnected universe as it moves into “Phase 4.” On that note, we have put together a list of changes that Marvel needs to make as it evolves its business model and starts to try new things with its superhero movies. We have plenty of arguments to get to, so let’s kick this off with a conversation that’s going to need to take place no matter what: the changing of the guard.
Live-action versions of comic books have one primary drawback that comics have never had to struggle with: the passage of time. Marvel’s Phase 1 heroes get older with each passing year, and while all of them have stayed in great shape, the fact of the matter is that none of them can remain in their respective roles forever. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth started this gran experiment. But we’re going to reach a point where it’s time for them to move on. Is it sooner, or later?
On that note, instead of recasting iconic actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans when they age out of their roles as Iron Man and Captain America, it seems to be in Marvel’s best interest to retire these Phase 1 heroes — at least for the foreseeable future. By taking characters like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers off of the table, Marvel can tell audiences that they still exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while simply shifting focus to other heroes who have a longer shelf life.