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'Avengers 4': The Russos Say They're Done With Marvel Until 'Secret Wars'

The Russo Brothers' love for Marvel's Secret Wars crossover is pretty well-documented at this point, but during a screening and Q&A tonight, Joe and Anthony Russo joked that following Avengers 4, the only way to get them back in the superhero movie business would be to give them Secret Wars.

Of course, don't count the possibility entirely out. At one point, Mark Hamill "retired" from being the voice of The Joker, saying that he would only return for Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's The Killing Joke -- which Warner Bros. Animation then made as an R-rated feature film.

The Russos, who made their name on projects like Arrested Development and Community before heading to the Marvel Universe, are already associated with a number of other comics projects, including Quantum & Woody and Deadly Class.

You can see a tweet from the event below.

One thing this does is remove the possibility (or at least greatly diminish the likelihood) of Secret Wars as the premise or title for the forthcoming, fourth Avengers movie.

Secret Wars was Marvel's first company-wide crossover, in 1984, and then the title was used again for a line-wide 2015 event. Based on the interview linked above, it seems likely that the movie they are talking about would adapt the 1984 series.

“Hopefully they’re about to get their hands on a few of [Fox's Marvel characters],” Russo said. “Listen, my second favorite character growing up, and one of my prized possessions in my comic book collection is Incredible Hulk #181, which of course is the first appearance of Wolverine. I feel like the mission of the Marvel Universe is to keep expanding and surprising people. Surprise them with casting choices, surprise them with story choices. If we’re moving into this world of crossover events, certainly that affords opportunity for other large-scale stories from the books like Secret Wars — which was another favorite comic of mine as a kid. There’s big potential moving forward if the Fox/Disney deal closes.”

The fact that Russo remembers the story so fondly from his childhood indicates that he must be talking about the original 1984 Secret Wars. That story saw the all-powerful being known as the Beyonder teleport several of the Marvel Universe’s greatest heroes and villains to Battleworld where they could decide once and for all whether good or evil was the greater force.

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The more recent Secret Wars event created a new Battleworld out of the remnants of several alternate reality timelines in the Marvel Comics multiverse. Some fans believe this story presents the perfect opportunity to fold Fox's X-Men cinematic universe, and perhaps the Fantastic Four, into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, and the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019.