Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has, by and large, been well known for its meticulous timeline. While supporting many different franchises taking place over multiple decades, it’s all fit into a neat little package that makes perfect sense. That all went out the window when Spider-Man: Homecoming came out this past summer, where a title card at the beginning of the movie claims Homecoming took place eight years after The Avengers. The problem? It was widely assumed The Avengers took place in 2012, the year the movie was released.
This nugget of information has been driving superfans of the MCU crazy since the summer, causing Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, to finally weigh in on the issue. As he told CinemaBlend:
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.’ 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. Other than very particular instances where there’s a newspaper, or verbal reference to years, we never date the films. And I think there’s a presumption, ‘Well if the movie came out in November 2017, it must take place in November 2017’ — which is not the case.
Okay, that’s all well and good, but does The Avengers take place in 2012 or not? Feige was evasive of that question, but he did go on to say:
The specifics of the timeline, looking at… 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. 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.
Feige also mentioned that though eagle-eyed viewers spotted a newspaper in Netflix’s Daredevil series referencing the “Battle of New York” dated 2012, that date is not canon.
Marvel has released a timeline in the past, but given there have been several movies out since then, it’s time for an update.