Things are changing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the still untitled ‘Avengers 4‘ is set to be a “finale” of sorts for the franchise. It isn’t going to be the end of the franchise by any stretch but some, if not many, of the current leads are going to be stepping out of the limelight. Rumors have had multiple deaths set when we learned that Marvel Studios was shooting ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers 4’ back to back, especially with multiple actors set to have their contracts come to a close.

The news came from a 10-year anniversary spread of Marvel Studios in Vanity Fair where it was stated that:

“After Avengers 4, an ambitious multi-franchise crossover movie slated for release in 2019, at least some of the original characters who sit at the center of the billion-dollar Avengers team will be hanging up their capes and shields.”

This isn’t too surprising. With contracts having already expired or are about to for Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Chris Evans, it was only a matter of time before some of them would be leaving the franchise. It doesn’t hurt that in some cases like Captain America we’ve seen others take on the shield such as The Winter Soldier and we already know that Sebastian Stan who plays Bucky Barnes has quite a few films still open in his contract.

As I said, that isn’t the end though as Disney CEO Bob Iger stated:

“We’re looking for worlds that are completely separate—geographically or in time—from the worlds that we’ve already visited.”

With Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige having previously said that they have at least 20 other films in mind it should be interesting to see what route this could go.

While Steve Rogers would be an easy actor to see out of the picture, Scarlett Johannson was vague about her future as well:

“I feel a lot of joy for the next generation. It’s a bittersweet feeling, but a positive one.”

One can only hope that this isn’t a goodbye so shortly after Stan Lee mentioned a Black Widow stand-alone film could be in the works. While it would be feasible to recast her and do an origin or early spy film, I’m pretty sure fans would feel ripped off to not see Scarlett get the solo movie she deserves.

As to ‘Avengers 4’ keeping things new and surprising, Feige said that it will “bring things you’ve never seen in superhero films: a finale. There will be two distinct periods. Everything before Avengers 4 and everything after. I know it will not be in ways people are expecting.”

We already have new characters being introduced with Captain Marvel and the Wasp, and know that the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ will be mixing things up as well. With Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Ant-Man, Hulk, and Spider-Man only being loosely connected so far, it would be interesting to see if the next two Avengers films bring these heroes together enough to form a new team. Or, if one of the original Avengers will still survive long enough to pull our heroes together for future adventures in saving the world.

What kind of changes do you feel that ‘Avengers 4’ will bring to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Which heroes do you think might not make it through the end of the film? Share your thoughts below True Believers!