So you may have heard the news by now that Marvel Studios' upcoming Avengers: Infinity War is now no longer slated to be released as a two-parter. The huge Thanos favored event of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 3 was long expected to exist as a two part piece — but Disney confirmed via Variety a few days back that Avengers: Infinity War will now simply exist as one movie, releasing on May 4, 2018 as planned.
The expected Avengers: Infinity War Part II has now been renamed nice and simple as Untitled Avengers Project, still set for a May 3, 2019 release. This, of course, has thrown the internet into a state of frenzy. What could this mean? Could we see an X-Men crossover as part of the untitled project? Does this mean Brie Larson will be introduced as Captain Marvel in Avengers: Infinity War? Will Tony Stark finally go to therapy? 'Cause damn that man has some serious issues.
In all actuality, the name change really means very little. The third and fourth Avengers movies were always going to be designed to be sandwiched together, because this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Each ensemble film, and even elements of the solo movies, are designed specifically to flow into the playground of the MCU.
This means everything that happens in every single movie has to at least attempt to link coherently to the others in the shared universe. This doesn't always work — such as in the case of Black Widow's characterisation across the board, and the set-ups for Thor: Ragnarok which were cut from Avengers: Age of Ultron — but generally Marvel and Disney have done a pretty decent job so far.
We know that the backstory of the third and fourth Avengers movies will still be formed from within a connective backbone concerning the Infinity Gem narrative, which has been woven through the majority of the MCU movies so far. Just changing the name doesn't mean that we're not going to get two strongly connected movies featuring Thanos as the antagonist and the Infinity Gems as the mystical MacGuffins.
They're Still Being Written Back-to-Back
Both Avengers: Infinity War and the Untitled Avengers Project are being directed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War directing duo Anthony and Joe Russo, with the screenplays penned by their collaborators Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Markus spoke to Yahoo! Movies last week, confirming that the two screenplays are still being written simultaneously, designed to be placed alongside and blend into each other.
"On any given day, you're only working on one [screenplay] but that doesn't mean that next week, you aren't working on the other one. And certainly, notes are coming in and all sorts of production stuff is coming in, like for instance, 'that thing over there is now a window not a door so adjust that.' Or, 'we're not going to this town now, we're going to this town.' That kind of stuff happens constantly and will continue to happen for the next few months."
Even as the new theories about what this name change could mean start flowing in, it's really not worth us becoming too concerned about it. Just because Avengers: Infinity War Part II is no longer titled Avengers: Infinity War Part II, doesn't mean it's not going to be Avengers: Infinity War Part II at its core. Just like Captain America: Civil War was entitled thusly, when we all knew it really was Captain America With A Vengeance: The Accords Are Fucky, Let's Protect Bucky.
Until we learn the official title of Avengers 4, we won't know what they're doing with it. And even then it's tricky to call — as even though Civil War took the name from the comics, it didn't take very much of the narrative. The MCU tends to mostly do its own thing, and that's been working pretty well for them so far.
So worry not, the untitled Avengers movie will still act as a follow on to Avengers: Infinity War regardless of what it's called. And, as Shakespeare famously said, "a Marvel movie by any other name would smell as sweet".