What do Marvel Studios have planned for after The Avengers? Assuming Whedon's uber-crossover is a success, I can't imagine they'll turn back towards individual, disconnected franchises. So what will the next big junction point be? And when can we expect it?
Marvel's President of Consumer Products, Paul Gitter, has been speaking to Advertising Age and Rich has already discussing his attitudes towards branding, but I feel there's a key point worth clearly highlighting by itself. A key date, really.
There's no direct quote in the piece, but Ad Age say that Gitter alluded to another big Marvel plan, this one to come to a head in 2017. Pressed for details, her refused to yield, but the date's the thing.
So, what will 2017 bring? The next team up of the same Avengers line-up? It's possible that it could take that long to align schedules again. Or Marvel might already be resigned to how tricky a feat that could be and might instead see the need for a new five year plan, new threads to be pulled together for a new big finish. Whatever it is, I'd bet Ant Man is involved.
They're taking their cues from the comics, so how about a Civil War picture? It would need a lot of fiddling to sit comfortably with a wide audience/step around the characters who currently reside at other movie studios, but that was already true with The Avengers.
Any other ideas?