Marvel fans were left scratching their heads this summer when Spider-Man Homecoming revealed itself to be taking place eight years after the Battle of New York.
With the climactic showdown of The Avengers ostensibly happening in May 2012, this leap put Homecoming (and thus, Civil War) in 2020, causing all manner of confusion that seemingly broke the MCU timeline.
The timeline of the movies has often appeared to be in a slight state of flux - much of Phase One supposedly happened in the space of one week; the Guardians of the Galaxy movies were released three years apart, but the events of the sequel are just a few months after the first - and now Marvel are going to clear the whole thing up. Speaking to Screen Rant, Kevin Feige confirmed they're aware of the issues, and will be taking steps to resolve them:
"All of that debate has encouraged us. We are going to be publishing an official, and I’m not sure when, or in what format, an official timeline. It’ll probably be apart of ah, I don’t know, apart of an in print that you can fold out and look at.
"But suffice to say, only in limited cases do we ever actually say what the actual years are because we never want to be tied down to a particular year and I think people assume that whenever the movie is released is when is when the movie is taking place, and that is not the case."
While the timeline problems don't exactly ruin the films, having it more nailed down in an official capacity will help with continuity and connectivity, and mean no more headaches like the one Homecoming caused. In terms of when the timeline will start, Feige told CinemaBlend he'll be taking a leaf out of the Star Wars playbook:
"I've loved timelines, I love the Star Wars timeline, with the Battle of Yavin, everything is either 'After the Battle of Yavin,' [or] '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."