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James Gunn Says The MCU Will Tell A 'New Story' After Avengers 4

No, the Marvel Cinematic Universe won't collapse in on itself after Avengers 4.

There's a lot of uncertainty about the future of the MCU once the Infinity War takes place, and it's rumored that several beloved characters won't survive. But Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn explained on Twitter that the MCU's Phase 4 will simply be the start of a different overarching narrative. 

When asked by a fan if the MCU will end after the current Phase 3, Gunn referenced comments made by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and replied, "No. Read Kevin Feige's quotes and not the static around them. It's the end of one long story and the beginning of another."

Gunn also said where the next Guardians of the Galaxy sequel will fit into that timeline. "One of the films that will kickstart the new story will be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."

The MCU began in 2008 with the release of Iron Man and the first phase included The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers. The second phase started in 2013 with Iron Man 3 and continued with Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man

The third phase began with Captain America: Civil War, then went into Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Spider-Man: Homecoming. But we're only halfway through Phase 3, which continues with Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, and Avengers 4.

It's believed that the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming will be the beginning of what comes after that, along with Guardians of the Galaxy 3. That's all that Marvel has revealed so far, but it could just be to prevent spoilers for who survives through Avengers 4, which doesn't arrive until 2019. Feige also said, prior to the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, that the focus is currently on Phase 3.

"We're not actively discussing anything past [Avengers 4], other than we've dated Spider-Man: Homecoming 2... because that's the agreement we made with Sony for the inclusion of Spidey in the Avengers films, and James Gunn [is] doing a third Guardians of the Galaxy at some point," he said. "But really, the whole focus of Marvel Studios is, counting Guardians 2, the next eight films that are gonna take up all of our time."

It is worth noting that the contracts for several major players in the MCU will be fulfilled after Avengers 4, including that for Captain America actor Chris Evans. He's hinted pretty heavily that he's ready to hang up his shield after that, but also said that he's open to return. "It's tough thinking about not playing the guy," he said.

Still, we've got plenty more to look forward to in the current phase that will keep moving along when Thor: Ragnarok thunders into theaters on Nov. 3.