If you’ve not yet jumped into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, just where have you been? Since Iron Man was released in 2008, Marvel has released 11 more films. Captain America: Civil War is instalment 13 and it sends things in an entirely new direction. With that in mind, the writers of the film have a warning for new fans ahead of its US release.

Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus sat down with TheWrap recently and said first time viewers will be very confused in the MCU going forward. The universe is too big to catch newcomers up, so they’ll have to do their homework beforehand. “We had to make a decision early that we were OK losing virgin audience members,” said McFeeley. “We can’t do a ‘previously in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,’ because it will take 25 minutes.”

It’s hardly surprising that fans should know about previous films before jumping in to a franchise. This isn’t like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was a sequel to a film from 1983. The MCU has taken over the global box office for the last few years, so there’s already an in-built fanbase. Marvel’s previous approach was to create sequels that anyone could walk in and see. While it sounded like a good idea, it rarely worked in practice.

Can you imagine someone picking Avengers: Age of Ultron as their first Marvel movie? Never mind them struggling to work out what Loki’s scepter was, they’d be left wondering what a Loki was. Throughout the film they’d be questioning Jarvis, HYDRA and they’d be as dismayed as the rest of us by Thor’s swimming pool dream sequence. This seems like a good time for the MCU to admit that new fans need to get themselves caught up first. By the time we get to Avengers: Infinity War, any new fan will feel as out of place as a fish up a tree.


Image via Walt Disney Co.