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While we’re not even halfway through Phase Two yet, it looks like rumblings about Phase Three and beyond have already started around Marvel Studios. Earlier this week, we learned that Anthony and Joe Russo are already being lined up for ‘Captain America 3’ and we’ve been hearing about casting for ‘Ant-Man’ left and right all month. But now it looks like some news has surfaced about Phase Four and what the crown jewel of that slate of films could entail.

About seven months ago, Robert Downey Jr. entered into negotiations about how much longer we’d be seeing him in Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor. After all was said and done, he had committed to ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and ‘The Avengers 3’, but beyond that, things are still to be determined. And if it turns out that the 3rd film featuring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is the final appearance of RDJ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then the studio might end up going in a NEW direction.

Tony Stark
Are Tony Stark’s days in the Marvel Cinematic Universe numbered?

According to Unleash the Fanboy, Marvel Studios is currently in the early stages of setting up for a movie featuring the New Avengers, a team that forms when the original team of Avengers disbands following a reign of destruction by the Scarlet Witch. A number of key members of the roster will have been introduced by then since Ant-Man and Doctor Strange are meant to be coming as part of Phase Three’s films and Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil are all making their way into the mainstream thanks to Netflix. With those names alone, we have the makings of a fine team right there. And that’s not even including Falcon, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch, who are making their debuts in the remaining Phase Two films.

As much as we all love RDJ as Tony Stark, the actor is getting up there in age and more expensive as the years pass. While we enjoy him and the character, overexposure would be a terrible thing for Marvel Studios to fall into. The solution? Shaking things up a bit. I’d love to see some sort of amalgamation of ‘Avengers: Disassembled’ and ‘The Death of Captain America’ play out in ‘The Avengers 3’ and then have The Winter Soldier step into the Captain America role and join forces with Luke Cage and Doc Strange to form the New Avengers.

Honestly, there are a ton of different team combinations that they could work out really well onscreen. It’s a bit too bad that Spider-Man and Wolverine won’t be anywhere near the roster, but you win some and you lose some. Either way, there are some big things coming from Marvel down the road with or without Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and I look forward to seeing which road they end up taking.

What do you think about Marvel Studios doing a movie featuring the New Avengers? Who would you want on that team’s roster? What storyline from that team’s history would you want to see on the big screen? Share all your thoughts and theories in the comments below.