The end is nigh. When “Avengers 4” hits theatres, many of our favourite Marvel superheroes will be hanging up their capes and shields for good. It will also mark a new era for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) timeline.

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Last month, 83 actors and actresses came together in Atlanta to celebrate Marvel’s 10th anniversary of moviemaking history. Vanity Fair was there to shoot the assembled cast and talk to them about the future of the franchise moving forward.

Avengers 4
Source: Vanity Fair

Out of the 83 stars, 17 of them appear on 1 of the 4 magazine covers. Marvel fans are understandably stoked about getting the first look at “Avengers: Infinity War”; even the stars themselves are equally excited.  “I had a pretty surreal photo shoot while filming #Avengers #InfinityWar. We also shot a ‘Marvel 10th Anniversary Class Photo’ which included just about anyone that’s ever been in the 22 Marvel movies made in that time!” Chris Pratt wrote in his Instagram post.

He continued, “I kept looking around, flabbergasted. So many big stars. So many awesome actors. It was a real ‘pinch me’, moment. So naturally I pinched Benedict Cumberbatch and he was so in character he literally opened up a portal to the astral plane! I was like ‘whoa’! And then he pushed me in! At first it was cool. But now I’m starting to get concerned. I’ve been here for hundreds of years. As you know from seeing Dr. Strange time is kinda tricky in the Astral plane. I’m hoping he’ll contact me soon to let me out? I don’t know if he has Instagram. Someone tell him? I know @tomholland2013 follows me. Can you tell him Tom? Hope he didn’t forget about me. I love being in Marvel movies. I’d hate to miss the premiere of #InfinityWar next summer.”

Avengers 4
Source: Vanity Fair

Marvel is “22 movies in, and we’ve got another 20 movies on the docket that are completely different from anything that’s come before – intentionally,” MCU boss Kevin Feige told the publication.

The as-yet-untitled “Avengers 4”, he said, will “bring things you’ve never seen in superhero films: a finale. There will be 2 distinct periods. Everything before ‘Avengers 4’ and everything after. I know it will not be in ways people are expecting.”

It’s no secret that many of our beloved heroes won’t make it out alive when they face the big bad Thanos in the upcoming “Avengers” movie. We can also assume that the original 6 – Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye, and Thor – won’t be returning for future films after “Avengers 4” once their contracts expire.

Avengers 4
Source: Vanity Fair

To recap, the 22 MCU movies are as follows:

Phase 1:

1. “Iron Man” (2008)
2. “The Incredible Hulk” (2008)
3. “Iron Man 2” (2010)
4. “Thor” (2011)
5. “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)
6. “Marvel’s The Avengers” (2012)

Phase 2:

7. “Iron Man 3” (2013)
8. “Thor: The Dark World” (2013)
9. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)
10. “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)
11. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)
12. “Ant-Man” (2015)

Avengers 4
Source: Vanity Fair

Phase 3:

13. “Captain America: Civil War” (2016)
14. “Doctor Strange” (2016)
15. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017)
16. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017)
17. “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)

Phase 4 (Future films):

18. “Black Panther” (2018)
19. “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)
20. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018)
21. “Captain Marvel” (2019)
22. “Avengers 4” (2019)

Avengers 4
Source: Vanity Fair

For us old-timers – me and Robert and Gwyneth and Kevin – it felt like we were the upper-classmen,” Jon Favreau (who directed the first 2 “Iron Man” films and stars as Happy Hogan) was quoted as saying. “We were emotional thinking about how precarious it all felt in the beginning.”

Scarlett Johansson, who plays Black Widow, is more than happy to pass on the torch. “I feel a lot of joy for the next generation. It’s a bittersweet feeling, but a positive one,” the actress said.

Sources: E! News, Coming Soon, Polygon / Featured image: Vanity Fair.

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