To make a long story short, if you’ll pardon the cliché, it’s a series of movies and television series that tie one aspect of an alternative universe together. While it would have been nice to have all the Marvel movies included in the MCU, there are a lot of them that aren’t.
I’m sure they’re the results of mistakes made over the years about movie rights.
The MCU kicked off with the first Iron Man movie. There were non-MCU movies before that and there’s been non-MCU movies produced since then. Here’s a list of the movies that make up the MCU so far:
I haven’t seen Ant-Man yet. Here’s a list of the television series that make up the MCU so far:
And then there are other forms of media I won’t get into. Visit the Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki for more on all of that.
Well, obviously any Marvel movie produced before the first Iron Man movie isn’t part of it. Also, any television series produced before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t part of it. Most people are aware of the Spider-Man and Hulk television series from the last millennium.
None of the Spider-Man movies are part of the MCU. Neither are the X-Men and Fantastic Four movies (the latest one was horrible and I wish I could “unwatch” it). The first Hulk movie wasn’t part of it either. If I look hard enough, I can probably find more movies outside of the MCU. I don’t want to look that hard.
I have a copy of almost every Marvel movie ever made. The only reason I keep them around is for the dry periods when I have nothing else to watch and nothing else to do. It rarely happens but it happens.
When I re-watch them, I start with the first “Iron Man” and then watch every movie in sequence. Although I’ve seen every episode of all the MCU television series, I won’t keep copies of them.