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Marvel Studios Stands at Crossroads, Changing of the Guard

Vanity Fair spotlights what's next for studio after 'Avengers 4' ends an era.

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The Avengers assembled — along with just about every other major actor to don a spandex costume in a Marvel movie — for a historic Vanity Fair cover shoot.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary since Robert Downey Jr. blasted across the screen in his Iron Man armor to herald the beginning of the independent film studio, the magazine wrangled 83 actors and filmmakers to grace it’s cover story on where Marvel at a very important crossroads.

Marvel’s first 17 films have grossed more than $13 billion at the global box office, and five more are due out in the next two years. But after 2019’s “Avengers 4,” the studio’s shared cinematic universe, the gold-standard of a film industry eager to mimic the Marvel model, will look markedly different. That’s because the contracts of franchise mainstays Chris  Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Downey (Iron Man), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) will expire.

Given the cost of renegotiations, there is a strong likelihood most will not be back, with their characters potentially killed at the hands of the movie’s big bad, Thanos (Josh Brolin). Most likely it will mean a passing of the baton to a new guard, including Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange).

“There will be two distinct periods. Everything before Avengers 4 and everything after. I know it will not be in ways people are expecting,” studio head Kevin Feige told Vanity Fair.

Read full story at Vanity Fair