Back in Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the films used to overlap a bit more in terms of when a story was taking place. Remember when Nick Fury first approached Tony Stark about his Avengers Initiative in the post-credits scene of Iron Man? And then, just a little over a month later (real world time), Tony Stark appeared at the end of The Incredible Hulk, and later, in Iron Man 2, we see footage of Hulk’s rampage at the college campus playing on a screen when Stark and Fury are discussing the larger world of superheroics. Or what about when S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson mentioned that he had to take care of something down in the Southwest Region at the end of Iron Man 2 and then he appeared in the following year’s Thor at the location where the God of Thunder’s hammer fell?
These types of things established that these films were set roughly around the same period of time. That kind of interlocked storytelling doesn’t really happen as much these days in the MCU. Sure some characters pop up here and there in each other’s movies, but for the most part, the films roughly take place in the MCU timeline around the time when the films actually come out, leaving huge gaps of undiscovered country in between.
“I think people like to talk about our long term plans, which we certainly have. But very rarely do those long term plans dictate the specificity of any individual film. It’s usually the opposite. It’s focusing on a story, and focusing on the individual movie that we’re making to do what’s best. And then, if something changes that we weren’t quite expecting down the line because it was made for a better movie, then we deal with it down the line. I think that’s what happened in Phase One. We were telling those stories and having the crossover of Nick Fury talking about the Southwest Region, when the hammer fell…”
While I certainly think it would be cool to see the stories of these films crossover a bit more like they used to, I can easily see Feige’s point here. While that would be fun, making sure each film is as good as it can be on its own should be Marvel’s top priority. I kind of enjoy the fact that the Guardians of the Galaxy films take place off in their own little bubble, at least, they do for now.
Here’s the official synopsis for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy sequel:
Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters May 5, 2017.