Having Spider-Man: Far From Home be Marvel’s last Phase 3 film, after the colossal Avengers: Endgame, is even weirder now that there’s such a gap.
Spider-Man: Far From Home being the last MCU film after Avengers: Endgame feels weird. 2019’s colossal Endgame was not only the highest-grossing film of all-time, but it was the culmination of the MCU to date – over a decade worth of interwoven storytelling. The film concluded several major character arcs and wrapped up the 21 films preceding it, but it wasn’t actually the last movie in Phase 3.
The official final chapter in Marvel’s Phase 3 was actually Spider-Man: Far From Home, which released three months after Endgame. The story saw Tom Holland’s Peter Parker dealing with the aftermath of the snap as he went on a globe-trotting school trip. It wasn’t only a sequel to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, it also had to deal with the post-Endgame world and generally set up where the MCU was going to next. While many people may have expected it to kick Phase 4, Kevin Feige revealed it ends Phase 3. It makes perfect sense, as every Phase has ended with a ‘softer’ film after the giant Avengers installments. If there was one way to explore (and set-up) the post-snap world, it was Far From Home. It’s the expected palette cleanser. However, after the stakes of Endgame, it did seem somewhat weird that Marvel didn’t want to let the world just sit on the film for a while.
Looking back, it’s even weirder now to think that Far From Home followed Avengers: Endgame. Now that some time has passed since both films released, most fans look back at the latter and forget entirely that Far From Home came out afterward. Whilst the Spider-Man sequel was a lot of fun, it was mostly forgettable – especially in comparison to Endgame. So much of Endgame feels definitive and final. It even had Stan Lee’s final cameo. The film was so conclusive in so many ways. Spider-Man: Far From Home is technically a Sony film, but it still lives within the MCU – it even deals with Iron Man’s legacy post-Thanos. However, it’s still a Spider-Man film at its heart and, despite pulling on these story threads, the focus was primarily on Peter trying to move on from those events and the snap so it often downplays the significance of Endgame’s finale.
With Marvel’s recent shakeup of Phase 4 release dates due to the coronavirus pandemic, the gap between Spider-Man: Far From Home and Black Widow will be around a year and a half by the time it releases. The Eternals was also set to release in 2020, but now Black Widow will be Marvel Studio’s only 2020 film. It’s good in one way as it allows a bit of a break between Phase 3 and Phase 4. Considering Endgame completely changed the landscape of the MCU, a breather between the last chapter and the next seems like a good idea. But it’s weird to consider that Endgame wasn’t even the last word in Phase 3.
Whilst a gap between Avengers: Endgame and Black Widow makes more sense, as the flagbearers of each Phase, a gap between Far From Home and Black Widow just seems more bizarre to think about. If the MCU’s momentum was maintained into Black Widow it may have felt more natural, but thanks to this disruption caused by coronavirus delays, Spider-Man: Far From Home is sitting on audiences’ minds as the last major MCU release longer than Marvel originally intended, highlighting how when the finality of Avengers: Endgame would have been a more natural breaking point.
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