Consider this a belated edition to Morning Spoilers if you'd like, but there are some rumors swirling about Avengers 3 that are shocking to say the least. Potential spoilers ahead...

According to the rumor mill that is Badass Digest, Avengers 3 won't be the end of a trilogy, but instead a vastly different movie in which Tony Stark stars without the other main Avengers, but instead a new wave of heroes such as Ant-Man and Doctor Strange. This Avengers 3 would then potentially lead to a fourth, undetermined movie, in which pretty much everyone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe joins forces against somebody (presumably Thanos) and which could theoretically be called Infinity Gauntlet or somesuch.

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There are various in-movie-world and real-world considerations that make this plausible, if not necessarily probable, including the fact that giving their main stars a year off from Marvel movies could potentially make them more inclined to renew (or least extend) their contracts. Certainly it would be very easy to keep Cap and Thor busy off-screen, while the Hulk could finally star in the eternally rumored Planet Hulk movie — forcing Iron Man to assemble a team of new heroes to battle whatever.

Without knowing the veracity of the rumors, I have to admit this feels like something Marvel Studios would do. It sets up the Avengers as an ever-changing roster of heroes, gives the studio the potential to introduce a whole new group of heroes/franchises, and of course ends with a blockbuster big enough that it could make the first Avengers look piddly in comparison. And that would be the perfect place to end this chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, whether they recast the main roles, reboot the universe entirely, or whatever.

Thoughts? Concerns? Wild speculations?