Blockbusters don't come bigger than 2019's Avengers: Endgame, the follow-up to last year's shattering Avengers: Infinity War.
While we've just about come to terms with the devastating impact of Thanos' (Josh Brolin) finger snap, along comes Endgame with a storyline that promises to change the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) forever.
That's because it lowers the curtain on phase three of the MCU, anticipating a new phase four landscape populated by fresh faces in which the likes of Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) may not even appear.
Marvel president Kevin Feige, the architect of the MCU, has been offering tidbits of information about the movie and wider franchise...
Avengers: Endgame trailer footage may only come from the first 20 minutes
Released in December 2018, the first Avengers: Endgame trailer was, understandably, rather hazy with the details – after all, who wants the movie spoiled five months in advance?
Well it turns out that the clips revealed in the trailer (and indeed the footage in all forthcoming trailers) may only come from the first 20 minutes of the movie. Upon reflection, this makes absolute sense – the scene of a devastated Tony alone in space, recording a message for Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), looks like a dramatic scene-setter that establishes his journey throughout the movie.
When quizzed on the issue by MTV News at the Golden Globes, Feige (without ever stating yes or no) seemed to imply this was the case: "I'd call it somewhat accurate. As was the case with a lot of our films, this one in particular, being able to generate a lot of excitement without giving away one of the many, many, many secrets. I think the Disney marketing team is the best in the world and we'll be able to pull it off."
What manner of unseen shocks and twists could Avengers: Endgame possibly have in store? We'll find out on 26th April.
Avengers: Endgame title existed long before Avengers: Infinity War
Following months of fevered speculation, the Avengers 4 title was finally revealed as Endgame in the first trailer. Cannily, this had already snuck its way into the final stages of Infinity War, when Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) revealed "we're in the endgame now" before crumbling into dust.
But it turns out the title had been established long before the cameras started rolling on Infinity War – in fact, the studio had known about it during the preceding five year development period of both Infinity War and Endgame. Again speaking to MTV news, Kevin Feige stated the name Endgame "was in place before we started developing the movie. Or just as we were developing it".
In fact, the addition of Doctor Strange's line was prompted by the pre-planned Endgame title. "Doctor Strange says that line because we knew it was the title," Feige confirmed. How's that for a clever bit of Marvel flummoxing?
Of course, the very nature of the endgame in question remains to be seen. Does it refer to the final days of Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), given that the contracts for each of those actors is due to finish with the release of the movie? We're already bracing ourselves for this very real possibility...
Kevin Feige promises Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 "will happen"
We were all stunned by the departure of James Gunn from the Marvel Cinematic Universe last year. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 well into production, it seemed the most unlikely development – the previous two Guardians movies spun box office gold out of second-tier comic book characters, blessed with an irreverent sense of wit and rocking soundtracks.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was initially one of the cornerstones of phase four of the MCU. With Gunn's departure the movie, initially scheduled for release in 2020, eventually slipped off the MCU schedule altogether. It remains to be seen when we'll be reunited with Star Lord (Chris Pratt) and the gang, but Feige has assured us it will happen.
"Guardians will happen," Deadline quotes him as saying. "When, where, how – that’s for a later time." And on the issue of Gunn's defection to rival comic book studio DC to direct the Suicide Squad sequel, Feige remained cagey, stating: "I went to see Aquaman last night and I really, really enjoyed it. And you know me, I've always supported [them]. I don't see a rivalry, I see cool films being made. And one thing you know about James Gunn, he makes cool films."
Neither Guardians Vol. 3 nor Suicide Squad have confirmed release dates but stay tuned to the blog for all the latest.
What do you think the future of the MCU holds? Let us know @Cineworld.