Marvel will release official MCU timeline to resolve confusion

Confused about when certain Marvel events happened? Trying (and failing) to make sense of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's actual timeline, especially after the apparent time-hop seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming? You're not alone, and Marvel Studios plans to make it up to you.

Speaking with ScreenRant during a press junket for the studio's upcoming film Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel president Kevin Feige addressed the uncertainties about and slight obsession over the MCU's timeline. He stated that Marvel is planning to release an official timeline in the near future in order to clear up any confusion.

"We are going to be publishing an official… timeline. It'll probably be apart of… an in print that you can fold out and look at," Feige said. He then stated that the debate surrounding the "eight years later" moment in Spider-Man: Homecoming "encouraged" Marvel executives to make the decision to launch the set-in-stone timeline. 

However, Feige admitted that he isn't sure "when or in what format" the timeline will be launched, and noted that certain movies don't actually take place in the year they are released. "Suffice to say, only in limited cases do we ever actually say what the actual years are because we never want to be tied down to a particular year, and I think people assume that whenever the movie is released is when is when the movie is taking place, and that is not the case," explained Feige. 

During that same junket, a CinemaBlend correspondent spoke with Feige and asked a few specific questions in regards to time, particularly whether The Avengers "was or wasn't set in the year 2012." Feige evaded that inquiry, but did divulge into additional details about the impending official timeline. He likened its format to the way the Star Wars' timeline is set up, which establishes a key point in time where everything within universe completely changes. In the case of the MCU, that moment involves a certain "genius billionaire playboy philanthropist."

"I've loved timelines, I love the Star Wars timeline, with the Battle of Yavin, everything is either 'After the Battle of Yavin,' [or] 'Before the Battle of Yavin.' We're doing that, and the origin point for us is Tony saying, 'I am Iron Man," Feige explained. "So everything will be years after that, years before that—to the Big Bang, which is where it starts. It will look very cool and complex like Doc Brown on a chalkboard by the time it's published."

Marvel Studios' current plan is to produce three feature films a year beginning in 2017, so establishing when each movie takes place is extremely beneficial and even necessary in order to have the stories interconnect. For instance, only one of this year's three Marvel releases had a confirmed timeframe: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which takes place in 2014. It remains largely unclear when the other two releases, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok, are set. 

Though things are still pretty hazy when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe's timeline, at least answers are on the horizon. Check back with Looper to see when the timeline is officially published. We'll be sure to keep you in the know with any updates in the meantime.