One of the big selling points of the Marvel Cinematic Universe—and something that other studios have attempted to replicate—is how interconnected everything is in its shared world. What hasn’t worked so well is determining just when different parts of the story happen. But Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige revealed that Marvel will eventually have an official timeline of events for fans.
For the most part, fans probably assumed that the movies took place in the MCU the same year that they debuted in theaters. And that mentality worked—at least until Spider-Man: Homecoming. In the first minutes of the film, we meet Adrian Toomes, who’s unceremoniously dismissed by the Department of Damage Control (a venture between Tony Stark and the government) in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of New York. Soon after, Toomes turns to a life of crime, and the movie flashes forward eight years.
If The Avengers took place in 2012 like people assumed, did that mean that Spider-Man: Homecoming was set in 2020 instead of 2017? Or did Marvel mess up?
In an interview with CinemaBlend, Feige debunked the idea that a movie’s release date determines its place in the timeline and said that Marvel would release a timeline at some point. He didn’t provide details of what it’d look like or when it would appear, but Feige stressed it was something Marvel was thinking about.
“All of that debate has made us go, ‘Okay, at some point, I’m not sure exactly when, we’re going to publish a timeline and see what it all is,’” Feige said. “It wasn’t meant to flummox anybody exactly, and I’m not sure I’d do it again the same way, but it does all connect to where we placed it.”
Marvel has a particular way of looking at it thanks to how timelines were established in Star Wars.
“I’ve loved timelines, I love the Star Wars timeline, with the Battle of Yavin, everything is either After The Battle Of Yavin, Before The Battle of Yavin,” Feige explained. “We’re doing that, and the origin point for us is Tony saying, ‘I am Iron Man.’ So everything will be years after that, years before that—to the Big Bang, which is where it starts! It will look very cool and complex like Doc Brown on a chalkboard by the time it’s published.”