What Is Marvel’s Movie Act 2?

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What comes after Marvel Entertainment’s Avengers movie in 2012? Well, we know that there’re movies lined up for Runaways, Iron Fist and Doctor Strange, as well as a third Iron Man, but what if there’s something larger going on behind the scenes? When I spoke to Clark Gregg, AKA the Marvel movies’ Agent Coulson, the other week, he referred to The Avengers being the end of “Act One” of the Marvel movie epic, and according to this Advertising Age interview with Marvel’s President of Consumer Products, Paul Gitter, he may not have been entirely wrong. At the end of the interview – in which Gitter says that Marvel is more concerned with the brand than the movie, and promises to blanket the world with “Avengers Assemble” merchandise in advance of the 2012 movie – is this interesting little tidbit:

Whatever Marvel learns in its efforts, expect to see lessons learned applied well beyond the release of “The Avengers” film, said Mr. Gitter. He alluded to a plan in development pegged to 2017, but declined to offer details.

So what happens in 2017? A second Avengers movie? A more concentrated crossover between movies, similar to both The Lord of The Rings‘ multiple movie storyline structure, or Marvel’s own crossover event comics? Only seven years – and, of course, the continued success of Marvel’s movie program to the extent that Disney allows the company to stick to its long-term plan – before we find out.

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