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We're still some time away before production beings on The Avengers 3 and The Avengers 4, as well as several other Marvel films taking place before the Avengers reassemble in The Avengers 3. But the next team-up event for the Avengers is definitely going to be a topic of much interest fairly soon, seeing is how The Avengers 3 and The Avengers 4 are no longer titled The Avengers: Infinity War.
In early May, the Russo Brothers opened up in an interview with Uproxx about their next cinematic projects. The interview was geared towards the subject of the success of Captain America: Civil War, but soon turned towards the Russo Brothers' next project. And i'm not talking about their Chinese based superhero film they're developing. During the interview with Uproxx, the Russo Brothers confirmed their decision to rename Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1 and Part 2. When asked as to why they'd decided on renaming the next two Avengers team-up films, this is what they had to say.
"The movies are two very different movies", Joe Russo states.
Followed up by Anthony Russo. "The intention is we will change it, we just haven’t come up with the titles yet. But, yes, we will change it. And, yes, that is a scoop: we will retitle them."
It's clear that the interview with the Russo Brothers is confirming their decision to rename the slated Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1 and Part 2. However, there's no indication of what the untitled Avengers 3 and Avengers 4 films will be titled, now that the Infinity War event has been scrapped. Another aspect that is still unclear is what will happen to the events expected to happen in the Infinity War event.
We were all expecting Thanos (Josh Brolin) to be the main antagonist of The Avengers Infinity War, but with the sudden change of title, Thanos may not be the main antagonist after all. There's potential for an entirely new Marvel event to be set up in place of Avengers: Infinity War in either scenario. That being said, Thanos could still be utilized in the untitled Avengers 3 and Avengers 4, but he probably won't be the only villain present during the films.
In the scenario that Thanos is still used in a sub-plot or even if he is scrapped altogether, the ambiguous nature of the Avengers 3 and Avengers 4 titles being unknown at the moment could point the film in a variety of directions. Here are some of the popular Marvel Comics' events which could be the basis for The Avengers 3 and The Avengers 4, along with titles that have the potential to exemplify those Marvel events.
1. Avengers: Secret Invasion
The Secret Invasion event had the race of alien Skrulls venturing to Earth, to infiltrate society and reform it into their liking. The result saw many of the superheroes of the Marvel Universe replaced by Skrulls masquerading as heroes. There could definitely be a basis for the Skrulls and the Secret Invasion event to appear in Avengers 3 and Avengers 4, seeing is how multiple alien races have been introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the Kree which are alike to the Skrulls. The Avengers have been deceived by their adversaries in the past but they wouldn't see the Skrulls coming. Hiding in plain sight, while the disassembled team of Avengers are still trying to pick up the pieces, and are undercover as the Secret Avengers. If any team of Avengers is formed before another pivotal event in the MCU' changes the current standing of enhanced individuals in the public's eye, the team will either implicitly or publicly acknowledged as the Secret Avengers. Most likely Steve Rogers will be under a new moniker, taking on undercover missions with his buddy, Sam Wilson up in the air. And there could be a place for Bucky Barnes in the midst of it all. Sebastian Stan has a nine picture deal with Marvel, and he's only had two roles so far. Which places his return from cryogenic stasis in Captain America: Civil War to be coming very soon. Stan's nine picture deal also implies that he'll be included farther down the timeline in the MCU'. Placing him in Avengers 3 and 4, and even closer in time, in Black Panther (2017). The people of Wakanda may have already cured Bucky Barnes, and have sent him ready to go on missions with Steve Rogers. As well as giving Bucky an opportunity to redeem himself. Wearing the mask of Captain America may be something Bucky can do to redeem himself. And from the looks of Sebastian Stan's deal, it appears that at some point, he'll be throwing around Captain America's shield, and possibly wearing a similar suit.
But even with the struggling team of Secret Avengers going on covert missions, they may not be enough to counteract the threat of the Skrulls. However, being out of the view of the public protects Steve Rogers and his team of Secret Avengers. Their anonymous status will place them out of the scope of the Skrulls if they are to invade. In that scenario, Steve Rogers and the Secret Avengers would be the only heroes left in the world to defend it from being completely invaded by the Skrulls.
2. Avengers: Inhumanity
The Inhumanity Event could potentially find the Avengers in a tug-of-war with the Inhumans for Earth. The population of Inhumans just grew substantially in the last season of "Agents of SHIELD", as well as setting up more Inhumans to appear in the next season. There'll be a mass of new Inhumans to the world, recently affected by Civil War. And with multiple government agencies wanting to take acquisition of enhanced individuals that may put the Inhumans in a position to want to dominate rather than stay under the heel of government officials. In that scenario, the Avengers would be called upon to defend the world, regardless of the past. But would that act of avenging grant the team of Avengers a pardon for their past treasons, including Bucky Barnes'? Or would they be thrown back into cells once they're done helping again? But for the sake of the Inhumans taking over the world, the Avengers may be the only ones to put them in their place. And that would definitely produce a violent confrontation between a newly formed team of Avengers and an Inhuman brigade.
Along with the possibility of a confrontation between Inhumans and the Avengers in The Avengers 3 and 4, the Inhumans may be introduced into the MCU' through an Avengers team-up film rather than their own solo film. The Inhumans movie was recently scrapped from production and places the Inhumans in a fluid state. They exist on the television program of "Agents of SHIELD" but their presence in the MCU' is dwindling, now that their feature film is no longer in production. However, the recent removal of an entire Inhumans film may be intended to have the Inhumans introduced directly to the MCU' through means of an Avengers film. The amazing confrontation to be had between any enhanced still willing to fight on the governments' behalf and the army of Inhumans would be insane. Of course, we'd see Iron Man, Steve Rogers, and Black Panther stand up to the Inhumans, but they won't be enough. More heroes will have to rise from the ashes to take a stand against the Inhumans. The Inhumans have just lost their movie, they are going to be mad and are going to want to take out some of their frustration. Why not throw them at the Avengers, and see what comes of it?
3. Avengers: Dark Reign
The Dark Reign event could come into play as a team of super-villains bands together to counteract the Avengers. Since we've seen almost every single-feature Marvel villain bite a bullet, they may return in Dark Reign. There would need to be some explaining, but seeing is how the Avengers are currently inactive, the necessity for a super-powered team may call on Norman Osborne to assemble his team of Dark Avengers which were used in place of SHIELD and the Avengers. An interesting combination of villains and heroes supposedly fighting on the behalf of the people but in actuality have plans of their own. And seeing is how Norman Osborne is the new director of SHIELD and the Initiative at this point in Marvel Comics' history, after he takes the chair from Tony Stark. Stark wouldn't reveal the identities of the people on the superhero registration act roster for identifying superheroes, or enhanced. That aspect of Dark Reign could fit in with what is currently going on in the MCU'. Enhanced are being forced to come forward with identifying themselves, but in doing so, half of them are giving up their freedom. Tony Stark already has little standing in the MCU' and it sounds like he's going back to his roots in Spider-Man: Homecoming while he helps Peter Parker (Tom Holland) become a better superhero. In that scenario, Tony Stark's involvement with the Sokovia Accords would be minimal, he may be the one in possession of the files that contain information on every registered enhanced. And in that, we'd have the catalyst for more government officials to want Tony Stark dead. Forcing him underground as well. Then as an enforcer like Secretary of State, Thaddeus Ross would put together a team of his own enhanced, whom would fight in protection of civilian lives, but turn out to go psychotic in uncontrollable rages would bring the Avengers back in the fold. But they Avengers will have to learn how to stick to the shadows because they are just as wanted as any other enhanced. That circumstance would call for Steve Rogers and Tony Stark to don new identities. Steve Rogers could easily select a new costume to wear, in order to hide his identity. But Tony Stark will have to continue wearing his suits of armor to be effective. That need may very well define Tony Stark in the future. However, the development of a new technology that can transform into a new suit of armor would give Tony Stark a new look, as well as keeping his suit of armor in talk. The technology capable of this feat has been famously known as the Bleeding Edge in Marvel Comics.
4. The New Avengers
The idea of the New Avengers could work better than most of the other comic events for the basis of The Avengers 3 and 4. The current Marvel Cinematic Universe is all but setting up a new team of Avengers in Avengers 3, after the Avengers were disassembled at the conclusion of Captain America: Civil War. A new team could be assembled, coinciding with the sub-title of the New Avengers to accompany The Avengers 3. As well as Spider-Man being introduced in Captain America: Civil War, he may be the one to lead the New Avengers if the past team of Avengers doesn't return in The Avengers 3. The core of the Avengers will likely appear again when a catastrophic event calls their attention, regardless of government oversight. And that'll see them as the New Avengers. But we may not see every member of the Avengers returning, and we could see some new faces to the main line-up of Avengers. For one, we could definitely see Spider-Man leading the team. Then there's the possibility of War Machine returning to action if he recovers. He may have to undergo a cybernetic transformation a kin to Deathlok, but he'll be capable of returning to active duty. That would give us two all-stars to the lineup of New Avengers. And in the highly unlikely scenario that Bucky is released from his cryogenic stasis, and cured, he may return under a hidden moniker to attempt to atone for his past mistakes. With the potential of Spider-Man, War Machine, and Bucky Barnes returning to duty as the New Avengers, who else could possibly join up. Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, Wanda Maximoff, and Hawkeye will probably stay out of the public's eye, removing them from contention be members of the New Avengers. But that does leave some open spots on the team. Tony Stark could return as a 'consultant'. As well as the possibility of T'Chala/Black Panther rising to the occasion to become more than just the hero of Wakanda. Then we'd have a full team of Avengers, in the newly formed team of New Avengers. Of course it's possible that the Vision may still be on the forefront of the battle for humankind's survival. There are many possibilities considering the forming of a team of New Avengers.
5. Avengers Disassembled
Avengers Disassembled comic book event could play out similarly to the New Avengers event. In the current MCU', the Avengers have just disassembled, and we may not see them assembled at the beginning of The Avengers 3, which could place the film at the start without a functioning team of Avengers, hence the title, Avengers Disassembled. Although, we'd still like to see a partial reforming of the team which would see some of the Avengers from the past and present allying to defeat a common enemy. The idea for an Avengers Disassembled movie has a good schematic set up for the follow-up film. In the scenario of Avengers 3 seeing all the Avengers on their own separate paths, running into conflicts that are affecting everyone, realizing the necessity to make themselves public once again, they could reassemble in Avengers 4. It makes sense for the Avengers to be disassembled in The Avengers 3. They won't be joining up before then, and they're not magically going to be a team again after the conclusion of Captain America: Civil War. The first reunion of the Avengers, or at least partial reunion, may come when Black Panther premieres. The last we saw of Steve Rogers was in the post-credits scene of Captain America: Civil War, wherein Bucky Barnes is being placed into a cryogenic chamber. It is then that we see they are in Wakanda, indicated by the Temple of the Black Panther. Seeing is how Steve Rogers is a fugitive and we just left him in Wakanda with Black panther, he may have the other fugitive Avengers by his side in Wakanda. Possibly training for the next fight, under the cover of T'Chala's residences. After all, T'Chala is the king of Wakanda now. But not all of the Avengers may be keen on returning to the forefront of the fight. Wanda Maximoff was treated like an animal and the rest of the Avengers were caged in the Raft. As well as Clint Barton/Hawkeye having to give up his anonymous status when he stood by Captain America's side in Civil War. It's becoming more and more likely that the Avengers are going to be disassembled when they return in Avengers 3, but it may be a villain that rises which will bring them together. Unless some of the Avengers get a partial return in Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, or Doctor Strange. Stephen Strange is altering reality, he may just go back in time to when the Avengers were first fighting the Chitauri in New York during The Avengers. That's speculative for now. Or on the far chance of things, Thor: Ragnarok could end with the death of Hulk, and Thor returning to Earth to let his fellow Avengers know, finding that they are no longer the heroes of the world, as well as the team being disbanded, Thor may be the one to pull them back together.
6. Avengers: Secret Wars
Now the Secret Wars event would be the most intriguing Marvel event to cover. Every great hero and villain of the Marvel universe was included in the massive event. And regardless of the characters from the X-Men universe being able to appear in the film, there could still be a massive battle between the heroes and villains of the MCU' as it stands. Not including the villains and heroes who've died, or been taken to a foreign place (i.e. the Red Skull). That event would call forth the presence of the Beyonder and the Collector, and possibly the Grand Master (Jeff Goldblum) who'll make his first appearance in Thor: Ragnarok late next year.
X-Men related comic-book events from Marvel Comics that may play into The Avengers 3 and 4
And these are the more X-Men centric Marvel Comics' events which could be used as the basis for the untitled, Avengers 3 and Avengers 4. That would necessitate the need for the X-Men cinematic universe to crossover with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But in the scenario that, that endeavor is successful, we could finally witness some loyal on-screen adaptations of our favorite comic-book events, including the X-Men fighting the Avengers.
7. Avengers vs. the X-Men, AXIS Event.
Here's another massive team-up event between the Avengers and the X-Men but it doesn't start out so friendly. The heart of their confrontation lies with the differing philosophies of the X-Men and the Avengers. One sees one manner of doing things while the other team sees another; it doesn't end well for either side. However, the two factions may be forced to form an alliance in the AXIS event. Wherein the biggest villains of the Marvel universe have shown up, including Red Onslaught. Red Onslaught is the combination of the Red Skull who took over the empty shell of Onslaught after Charles Xavier and Magneto were freed from it.
8. Age of X
The Age of X' event could finally achieve a believable crossover between the X-Men and the Avengers. As it sits, the Avengers and the X-men can't share a screen together. But if the Age of X' event was adapted into The Avengers 3, there would be no denying future crossover potential for the X-men and the Avengers in either's universe of films. Eventually leading to multiple comic-book events being mirrored in either cinematic universe. The event in question would be the Decimation event. Were that part of Age of X' adapted to an on-screen version in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the superheroes of the MCU' would not stand idly by while an entire race of people gets massacred. The current MCU' has the Avengers disassembled but an event like Decimation would call upon heroes uniting to ensure the safety of innocent people in the world. Of course anything involving the X-Men and the Avengers would require the studios which own the separate properties to begin sharing those properties in cinematic feature. Our first glimpse at a shared movie universe was only recently done in Captain America: Civil War, with Spider-Man (Tom Holland) being introduced as the Spider-Man of the MCU'. And not only is he in the MCU' but he's receiving his own solo adventure in Spider-Man: Homecoming next year. But he won't be going alone. Robert Downey Jr. is confirmed to be returning as Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Along with Robert Downey Jr. joining the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming, that officially connects the universe of Marvel characters together. No longer will we need separate iterations, simply because property rights are in juggling hands. However, we'll have to wait and see if 20th Century Fox opens up and allows the X-Men to crossover into the MCU' and vice-versa.
Not to speak badly of the recent installment in the X-Men franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse, but the film is being sorely criticized. Personally, I thought the film was fantastic, and could have had a bit more individual mutant action but it definitely met expectations when viewing it. But the film is still doing poorly in reviews, which may have 20th Century Fox rethinking their strategy with the X-Men. If the studio notices the benefit of including Spider-Man into the main storyline of the MCU', then what could the Marvel Cinematic Universe do for the X-Men. That's not to say that the MCU' wouldn't benefit greatly from the X-Men joining in, but the X-Men would finally receive the spotlight they deserve, alongside heroes and villains they've had storied pasts with; benefiting quite a deal more. But still, the matter stands still as neither Marvel/Disney or 20th Century Fox are opening up about sharing their Marvel property rights. It's a simple matter of acquisitions gone wrong. No one ever expected the separation to exist for so long, especially with two separate universes of growing characters who could benefit substantially from one another, but sadly are kept separated due to property rights being owned by differing entities. However, there's always hope that 20th Century Fox will acknowledge the benefit of sharing their property rights with Disney/Marvel owned properties to have every hero and villain of the Marvel universe available to show up on the roster within the MCU'. Then we could have a clear cut Avengers vs. X-Men showdown for the ages. That's all hopeful thinking.
9. Onslaught Unleashed
The Onslaught Unleashed event also saw a villain rise who could even rival Thanos if he were placed on his opposite side. However, in the Onslaught Unleashed event, Thanos is nowhere to be seen. As well as the X-Men and Avengers having their hands full with Onslaught.
Onslaught is the combination of Charles Xavier's residual mind inside of the vacant Magneto. Xavier is forced to eject Magneto's consciousness from his body after Magneto kills multiple civilians, then followed by ripping the metal from Wolverine's bones, transforming Wolverine into a feral beast in the process. The result left Magneto's body as an empty shell but Xavier's mind wasn't allowed to leave his body, and the two became Onslaught as a result.
10. House of M
In the House of M' event, mutants were rendered powerless by Wanda Maximoff a.k.a Scarlet Witch altering reality. Now mutants don't currently exist in the MCU', but in the scenario of the X-Men crossing over into the MCU', the ideal way to integrate them would be to have them start off without their mutant abilities. Then manifesting them later on to save the Avengers from a villain they can't defeat on their own. That would see Wanda Maximoff in the same position as she was in the House of M' event, wherein she'd feel the necessity to alter reality in order to depower mutants. Or she could do the same in Avengers 3 by depowering more than just mutants, she could reduce multiple superheroes to nothing but skin and bones if she develops her power further.