While Disney has deep pockets, and the ‘Avengers’ franchise should be able to pay for the cast’s new demands and then some, creating ‘Avengers 3, Part 2’ (which I still argue is technically ‘Avengers 4’) does create a whole sea of complications. Stars with demands, agents fighting Marvel, etc. Things that could lead to replacement casting like James Rhodes going from Terrance Howard to Don Cheadle or Edward Norton handing over the Hulk to Mark Ruffalo.
The politics of Hollywood do make the idea of ‘Avengers 3, Part 1 & 2’ a very difficult prospect indeed. It’s not as easy as paying the actors their ‘Avengers 3’ salary for ‘Part 1 & 2.’
Now, I do have a solution.
‘Avengers 3’ is, to the best of our knowledge, the battle against the Mad Titan, Thanos (who we saw at the mid-credit sequence of ‘Avengers’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’). Marvel Studios even announced at one point that the 2nd film would be called ‘Avengers: The Thanos Imperative’ (a name borrowed from the 2010 6-issue mini-series that followed a mini-reboot of the Marvel deep-space galaxy including the Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, the Skrull, Ronan, Thanos, Silver Surfer, Galactus, and the like).
Why not use ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ as your part 1 to the final ‘Avengers’ film? After all, ‘Avengers 3’ is likely to have these two great Marvel teams…well… team up, in order to defeat the Mad Titan.
Drax has a score to settle with Thanos, as does Thanos’ “daughter.” In the comics, the Guardians are often tied deeply to the Infinity Gems, as hinted at in the first ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ film with “The Orb.”
‘Guardians 2’ could focus on Thanos traveling the galaxy to collect all the Infinity Gems for his legendary Infinity Gauntlet. But that really wouldn’t give the Guardians much room to breath. It would be a film all about chasing Thanos, something that would not play to that franchise’s strengths. Plus, ‘Guardians 2’ comes so early in the MCU’s Phase 3, that it would not make sense for Thanos to acquire the Gems that early.
Rather, I propose that ‘Guardians 2’ will most likely introduce one or both of the final Infinity Gems. Besides, who has time to chase Thanos around the galaxy when there are still mysteries to solve, like finding out who is Peter ‘Star-Lord’ Quill’s real father? (Kinda sounds like an episode of ‘Maury…’)
So far, we have the Tesseract (cosmic cube from ‘Avengers’), the Mind Gem (Loki’s staff from ‘Avengers,’ also seen to be held by Hydra during ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s mid-credit sequence), the Aether (from ‘Thor: The Dark World’), and “The Orb” (from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’). And there are two more to reveal in Phase 3, if I am keeping count correctly. I think we’ve only seen the four Infinity Gems, but I may have forgotten one (which would really hurt my geek cred).
Thanos may need his own movie to acquire all six of the Gems, scattered all across the Galaxy. Unless these sequences are somehow weaved into other Phase 3 movies like ‘Dr. Strange’ (who deals in the fantastic and mythical world shared with Thor and the expanded MCU galaxy) or the post-credit sequences of sequels like ‘Captain America 3’ (which would seem forced) or ‘Ant-Man.’ ‘Thor 3’ does seem the perfect place to introduce another Gem, so maybe we find the last two in ‘Guardians 2’ and ‘Thor 3.’
Or maybe Thanos has one or two already.
Even so, to get his hands on all six Infinity Gems, Thanos must first stop at Asgard for the Tesseract (the last time we saw it, Thor and Loki used it to go home in ‘The Avengers’), which is likely back in Odin’s treasure room where it belongs. After all, Red Skull did say it was ‘the jewel of Odin’s treasure room”.
The Aether is at Knowwhere, held by The Collector (as seen mid-credits in ‘Thor: The Dark World’).
The Mind Gem, is still on Earth, albeit in Hydra’s hands… for now.
And Nova Corp has “The Orb” in their vaults on Xandar.
So, unless we see a little Thanos all over the films that make up MCU Phase 3, he needs a feature to allow him to traverse the galaxy and take all the Infinity Gems, by force of course.
I’m not saying a Thanos feature would be good; making a movie about his quest may be hard to pull off, especially when several of the MCU films have already felt like chapters in the larger story and not independent films as they should (‘Iron Man 2’and the first ‘Thor,’ anyone?).
So there you have it, splitting ‘Avengers 3’ into two movies would be a nightmare for Hollywood agents, stars, and executives, but ‘Guardians 2’ or a solo ‘Thanos’ feature would eliminate the need for a super-long third act for The Avengers. After all, Marvel Studios has the entirety of ‘Phase 3’ to set up ‘The Avengers 3’ (‘Avengers: The Thanos Imperitive?’).
Just don’t make any of those films feel like a chapter and not a whole movie, Marvel. Please. All these universe building movies like ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ are damaging to the franchise because thry feel incomplete.