Avengers: Infinity War has finally reached cinemas, Marvel fans leaving cinemas wishing the still as-yet untitled follow-up was already out.
While the directors – the Russo Brothers – have remained tight-lipped about the upcoming blockbuster, there’s now enough information available to have an educated guess at what's to come.
So, what’sgoing to happen in Avengers 4? Let’s take a deep dive into where the sequel could go, including some possible spoilers and lots (and lots) of guess work.
First off, let's talk about how Infinity War finishes. The Avengers loose. Thanks to Thanos accumulating all six Infinity Stones, half the universe's population has perished, including Star Lord, Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange.
Despite such destruction, the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe actually looks relatively certain. With the original Avengers left un-snapped, all of whom do not have sequels announced (unlike Spider-Man and the Guardians), we are looking at a sequel that will see them somehow save those who have perished – but not without losing some OG Avengers along the way.
So, that leaves us asking: how will the Avengers defeat Thanos once and for all during Avengers 4? And how will they bring back those who died? Well, one theory currently regards time travel and entering the quantum realm.
Screen Rant previously published an in-depth article titled ‘Avengers 4 Is Definitely A Time Travel Film’ citing numerous spoiler-y sources, the biggest being set photos of multiple members of the Avengers dressed in their old costumes. These include Captain America in his “old-fashioned” costume, Thor with long hair, and Tony Stark wearing S.H.I.E.L.D. gear, despite them being defunct. There are also multiple characters who have died beforehand who have been reportedly spotted on the Avengers set.
Then there are the movies between Infinity War and Avengers 4 that add greater weight to this theory. First up, we have Ant Man and the Wasp, which will see the duo attempt to traverse the quantum realm to find Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), AKA the wife of Hank Pym who was previously thought dead. The quantum realm has many implications, including the possible use of the Ant Man technology to travel back in time, along with the multiverse (more on that later).
Following Ant Man and The Wasp comes Captain Marvel, a movie that will introduce Brie Larson’s hero and will take place in the 80s. Reports have indicated various characters from other movies – such as Agent Coulson, Nick Fury, and Ronan the Accuser – will appear in the movie. More importantly, a renown real-life quantum physicist who helped Marvel create Ant Man’s quantum realm and Doctor Strange’s multiverse has said he also worked Captain Marvel… although was not at liberty to say how. Considering Larson's hero was teased during the Infinity War post-credit scene, we expect her to save the day somehow, and probably with her knowledge of the quantum realm.
Where does this all leave us? Should Avengers 4 be a time-travelling movie, then we can likely see the Avengers revisit past events to decipher a way to beat Thanos, or perhaps warn their past selves about the impending threat, therefore trying to come up with the one situation where they actually win. The most obvious way they can travel back would be using the Time Stone from Doctor Strange – however, considering Thanos has the stone and Doctor Strange is dead, Ant Man, the Wasp, and Captain Marvel could very well save the day.
Adding heat to this theory comes recent reports that Pfeiffer, along with Michael Douglas, have been spotted on the set of Avengers 4. Chances are, the shrinking team – who, it should be noted, are not present in Infinity War – will end up helping save the day with Captain Marvel. At least, that’s how the theory goes.
There’s only one reason for hesitance regarding the time-travel theory, and that’s because of select comments made by the Russos. “It’s interesting because photos always leak, and there’s lots of conjecture about what those photos mean,” one of the brothers previously said.
“Certainly, there is a five-minute sequence in Civil War around a piece of technology that was laid in for a very specific reason. If you go back and look at that film, you may get a hint as to the direction.”
That piece of technology is almost certainly Binary Augmented Retro-Framing (BARF). For those who need a reminder, you can watch the introduction of BARF below. It’s basically a machine that allows people to augment their memories – could the Avengers be using this, rather than time travel, to discover the key to beating Thanos?
One last idea, which also follows on from the time travel theory. Rather than travel backwards to defeat Thanos, perhaps the Avengers use their new quantum knowledge to somehow traverse the multiverse to discover a way to beat Thanos and bring back those who were snapped. Through this, they can also revisit their former selves (explaining the old costumes) and eventually save the future stars of the franchise (Black Panther has made too much money to be gone for good) from being snapped.
Whatever the case, our Avengers – Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, the ever missing Hawkeye – are not likely going to survive, and everyone who died outside of the snap (including Loki, Gamora) will probably perish for good. A bittersweet ending for the supergroup, but one that would probably appease fans whose expectations are through the proverbial roof.
However, we are just speculating and we should keep in mind these recent comments from Infinity War screenwriter Christopher Markus. “[Avengers 4] doesn't do what you think it does,” he told BuzzFeed. “It is a different movie than you think it is. Also... [the deaths are] real. I just want to tell you it's real, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to move on to the next stage of grief.”
Avengers 4 reaches cinemas 3 May 2019.
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