The signature aspect of the #MCU is its connected nature. Comprised of 15 movies and over five different TV series, the universe manages to keep a fairly straightforward and well-structured timeline. And an impressive recurring aspect's been the overlapping between stories. It's been a fun thing that's been present throughout the franchise. However... have you noticed recent movies moving away from that continuity model?
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Take Doctor Strange. While we're still not sure when in the MCU it takes place, it's implied to be a few years before Civil War (at least for the first half of it). Or #GuardiansoftheGalaxyVol2. It was recently confirmed to take place in 2014. But why exactly is that connected dynamic fading away, you ask? We now have the answer.
During an interview with CinemaBlend, Marvel Studios president #KevinFeige revealed that, yes, Marvel is moving away from its overlapping narrative. He explained that, even though Marvel Studios' long-term plans seem to be set in stone, they're not. In fact, the studio is guided first and foremost by stories and the elements that allow those stories to stand out:
"I think people like to talk about our long term plans, which we certainly have. But very rarely do those long term plans dictate the specificity of any individual film. It's usually the opposite. It's focusing on a story, and focusing on the individual movie that we're making to do what's best. And then, if something changes that we weren't quite expecting down the line because it was made for a better movie, then we deal with it down the line."
The producer went to explain that, surprisingly, the constant overlapping in Phase One began simply because the circumstances called for it...
"I think that's what happened in Phase One. We were telling those stories and having the crossover of Nick Fury talking about the Southwest Region, when the hammer fell..."
With that explanation, you may be wondering: Is this slight shift in dynamic good for the #MCU? Absolutely, if handled with care. Having constant overlapping between the films is great, it gives audiences a sense of cohesive structure, after all. But it's also a good thing that there isn't an unnecessary rule of each movie having to exist in the same time period. It frees storyline possibilities and opens the franchise to new things.
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Take Captain America: The First Avenger, for example. It was set 70 years before Iron Man, but it had to be done because of the nature of the titular character. In that case, #Marvel needed to move away from overlapping and allow the film to be its own thing.
Of course, Feige is not saying the MCU will be completely disjointed from now on. But it's great knowing that option is open for future projects. It'll be exciting to see what the studio has in store for us.
What do you think about MCU movies overlapping less?