The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films are a series of American superhero films produced by Marvel Studios based on characters that appear in publications by Marvel Comics. The MCU is the shared universe in which all of the films are set. The films have been in production since 2007, and in that time Marvel Studios has produced and released 23 films, with at least nine more in various stages of development. It is the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, having grossed over $22.5 billion at the global box office. This includes Avengers: Endgame, which is the highest-grossing film of all time.
Kevin Feige has produced every film in the series, alongside Avi Arad for the first two releases, Gale Anne Hurd for The Incredible Hulk, Amy Pascal for the Spider-Man films, and Stephen Broussard for Ant-Man and the Wasp. The films are written and directed by a variety of individuals and feature large, often ensemble, casts. Many of the actors, including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner signed contracts to star in numerous films.
Marvel Studios releases its films in groups called "Phases". Their first film is Iron Man (2008), which was distributed by Paramount Pictures. Paramount also distributed Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), while Universal Pictures distributed The Incredible Hulk (2008). Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures began distributing the series with the crossover film The Avengers (2012), which concluded Phase One. Phase Two comprises Iron Man 3 (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Ant-Man (2015).
Captain America: Civil War (2016) is the first film of Phase Three, and is followed by Doctor Strange (2016), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Captain Marvel (2019), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019). The first three phases are collectively known as "The Infinity Saga". The Spider-Man films are owned, financed, and distributed by Sony Pictures.
Phase Four will include Black Widow (2020), The Eternals (2020), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021), a third Spider-Man film (2021), and Thor: Love and Thunder (2021). The phase will feature these films, as well as eight announced television event series for the streaming service Disney+. Black Panther II (2022) is also in development, along with two additional films for 2022.