The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films are an American series of superhero films 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 20 films, with 11 more in various stages of production. It is the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, having grossed over $17.5 billion at the global box office.
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, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, and Scarlett Johansson signed contracts to star in numerous films.
The first film in the series was 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 films with the 2012 crossover film The Avengers, which concluded Phase One of the franchise. Phase Two includes 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 in the franchise's 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), and Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), with Captain Marvel (2019) and Avengers: Endgame (2019) still scheduled for the phase. Spider-Man: Far From Home has also been scheduled for 2019, beginning Phase Four. Two untitled films are scheduled for 2020, three for 2021, and three for 2022. Sony Pictures distributes the Spider-Man films, which they continue to own, finance, and have final creative control over.