Captain America could be headed for a "natural" end, director Anthony Russo has revealed.
The filmmaker said it was "a hard question to answer" when asked by MTV News whether the third Captain America movie would provide some sense of closure to the character, played by Chris Evans.
"I will say this: yes, for satisfying storytelling, you want a beginning, middle and end. That's the natural arc that we all thrive off of in narrative," he continued.
Anthony, who directed the second instalment with his brother Joe, cryptically added: "The great thing about the Marvel universe, just like the publishing, it's a very vast, interconnected universe, where characters will have their rise and fall, so to speak, and hand off to other characters.
"As the cinematic universe moves forward, you may start to see the cinematic universe adopt that same pattern."
He also revealed fans would be surprised by some of the guest stars in the third film. Robert Redford and Hayley Atwell appeared in the second film, and Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye alter-ego has been tipped for the follow-up.
"I can't divulge who is going to be in the film, but I think fans are going to freak out when they hear about it," he told Movies.com.
"We wanted to push the character forward into the modern age with The Winter Soldier, and we want to keep pushing the character forward. We always want to be true to who Captain America is, but we want to surprise people about where he can go and what he's capable of. That's about as specific as I can get about where we might take him," he added.
Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr claimed that the existing Marvel films help set up Guardians Of The Galaxy's success.
"Galaxy in some ways is the best Marvel movie ever. We're talking about how the Iron Mans and the Thors and the Captain Americas and the Avengers movies have afforded Marvel the opportunity to essentially take what was a third-tier, minor, kind of upstart bit of potential from one of their comic books series and say: 'Look!'" he told the Toronto Sun.