'Thor 3' confirmed: Will 'Agents of SHIELD' now go to Asgard?

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Three is slowly taking shape. In addition to the previously announced "Ant-Man," Marvel Studios is planning a third "Thor" film and third "Captain America" film to add to the lineup.

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige broke the news to Empire about the new "Thor" film, saying "Thor: The Dark World" scribes Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost are returning to co-write "Thor 3." Meanwhile directors Joe and Anthony Russo will be returning for "Captain America 3," per Variety. It makes sense that the studio would want to carry over two of its most powerful superhero franchises, especially since Robert Downey Jr. won't be making an "Iron Man 4."

This begs a certain question though: What does this mean for "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD"? While the ABC TV series has yet to have its first "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" crossover, "Agents of SHIELD" has now had several "Thor: The Dark World" tie-in episodes, and its getting an even bigger one soon.

Jaimie Alexander's Lady Sif will be appearing in episode 15 to take down Asgardian villainess Lorelei. With Asgard spilling out into Earth, it seems like only a matter of time before the series' SHIELD agents will return the favor. And with the MCU heading farther into space with "Guardians of the Galaxy," it makes sense that "Agents of SHIELD" would start to visit other Marvel realms as well.

When Zap2it visited the "Agents of SHIELD" set recently, showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon admitted that they've discussed taking their SHIELD agents to fictional Marvel worlds. It won't happen until farther down the road, though, as they want the characters to fully exist in their own world first.

The pair said they're gong to roll out new universes slowly, and considering that "Thor 3" will likely come out 2016 at the earliest, that's pretty slow. "Agents of SHIELD" would hypothetically be in its third or fourth season by then, which would be a prime time to start exploring other parts of the universe for multi-episode arcs.

So why a "Thor" crossover into Asgard instead of a "Guardians of the Galaxy" one? First of all, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is coming out too soon for it to make sense for these SHIELD agents to head out into space. But also, "Agents of SHIELD" will have formed a very strong bond with the "Thor" franchise by the time "Thor 3" comes out. As this upcoming Lorelei/Sif episode proves, the TV show doesn't need a movie excuse to cross-pollinate. Chances are viewers will see more of Asgard and its people as "Agents of SHIELD" continues on.

Speaking of crossovers, a "The Winter Soldier" one will happen before the end of Season 1. Chances are "Captain America 3" will get similar "SHIELD" tie-in treatment, but since that series is based on Earth, it's the "Thor" crossovers that are really exciting. Who else would love to see "Agents of SHIELD" visit Asgard in future seasons?

Photo/Video credit: ABC