For a while, the biggest mystery in the Marvel Cinematic Universe didn’t concern who would die in Avengers: Infinity War. Rather, it concerned what the heck Avengers 4 even is.
Marvel had been building up Infinity War as the end of everything, yet they had an untitled fourth film on their schedule for just one year later. Going into Infinity War, we knew virtually nothing about this movie, including what the title is.
Now that Infinity War has come out, there’s still a lot about Avengers 4 that we don’t know. But the film does give us a much better indication of what’s in store, including how some of those seemingly dead characters could still be alive (page 5). Warning: This article will contain major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.
1. It will have a much smaller cast than Infinity War
A lot of fans predicted that Infinity War would end with Thanos snapping his fingers and wiping out half the universe. However, they figured this would result in the original Avengers dying. The complete opposite ended up happening; all of the newer characters were the ones to disappear. So we now know that Avengers 4 will focus largely on the original lineup of heroes, i.e. Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, The Hulk, Hawkeye, and Thor.
All of the following characters will apparently be absent from the film, or at least from the vast majority of it: Bucky Barnes, Black Panther, Groot, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Mantis, Drax, Star-Lord, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man. It’s no coincidence that these are all characters who become Avengers after the original 2012 film.
So clearly, Marvel’s aim with Avengers 4 is to have it be the swan song for the original lineup of heroes, with the newer ones being pushed aside.
Next: This is what those heroes will likely do in Avengers 4.
2. It will likely involve the original Avengers trying to save everyone who disappeared
Before Infinity War came out, nobody had any clue what the plot of Avengers 4 would be. It wasn’t even clear whether it would be a direct continuation of Infinity War; Marvel kept insisting that they are two separate movies. However, that was clearly not entirely accurate, since Infinity War ends on a massive cliffhanger.
We can now deduce that the plot of Avengers 4 will be that the original Avengers have to come together in order to save their friends who disappeared when Thanos snapped his fingers.
Next: This character is apparently key to rescuing the Avengers who disappeared.
3. Captain Marvel will be a big part of the plot
The post-credits scene of Infinity War gives us another big clue about the plot of Avengers 4. In it, Nick Fury sends out a distress signal right before disappearing in the snap. Based on the logo that appears on his device, we can see that he was calling Captain Marvel for help.
That’s a character who hasn’t been introduced on screen yet, but she’s being played by Brie Larson and will make her debut in the March 2019 film Captain Marvel. We already knew that Captain Marvel would appear in Avengers 4.
However, it now seems that she will not just appear but will actually be a crucial part of helping rescue the disappeared Avengers. So Avengers 4 won’t consist entirely of the original lineup, with Captain Marvel being one of the recent additions who is going to help out.
Next: This other character is apparently going to be key.
4. Hawkeye will return
Hawkeye is the only one of the original Avengers who doesn’t appear in Infinity War at all. There’s one brief line about the fact that he is under house arrest after he was broken out of The Raft, but that’s about it.
However, Hawkeye is going to be a key part of Avengers 4. We know that because the Russo Brothers had previously said that Hawkeye will have a role in this story, with Joe Russo saying that they have a “very specific story with him that, as I’ve said before is a long play, not a short play. Audiences just need to be patient.”
It seems likely that the Russos have something big planned for Hawkeye to make up for the fact that they kept him out of an entire Avengers movie this time.
Next: This is how the massive cliffhanger ending might be resolved.
5. Could the characters who “died” in the snap be in Soul World?
How exactly are our heroes going to rescue those who “died” when Thanos snapped his fingers? Well, it’s worth noting that in the comics, the Soul Stone has the ability to actually capture people and keep them trapped in a purgatory-like pocket dimension called Soul World.
We actually saw Soul World in the movie itself when Thanos talks to young Gamora; the Russo Brothers have confirmed that that’s what’s going on in this scene. The Soul Stone is a part of Thanos’ gauntlet, so one theory is that all of the characters who disappeared in the snap are trapped in Soul World.
If that’s the case, the Avengers could theoretically rescue these people if they are able to get their hands on the Infinity Gauntlet. So Avengers 4 could involve the original heroes going after Thanos, defeating him once and for all and using the Infinity Gauntlet to bring back their friends. They could also try to make a gauntlet of their own.
Next: The movie also hints that this widespread fan theory could be true.
6. It might involve time travel
Another possibility is that Avengers 4 involves our heroes going back in time in an attempt to prevent Thanos from unleashing destruction in the first place. This is something that had already been speculated before Infinity War came out, as leaked set photos showed the filming of a scene that clearly took place in the past; the characters are at the Battle of New York, but it’s obviously not a flashback since Ant-Man is there.
Then, in Infinity War itself, we see some time travel shenanigans on a smaller scale. When Wanda and Vision destroy the Mind Stone, Thanos reverses time in order to get it back. So if the Avengers can get the Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers 4, they could theoretically do something similar, reversing time to save their friends from being killed.
Another possibility is that the Avengers travel back in time — or to alternate dimensions — in an attempt to get all the Infinity Stones and assemble a gauntlet of their own, which they can use to reverse the snap.
Next: This character will return.
7. Thanos will still be the main villain
Fans were pretty sure before Infinity War came out that Thanos was going to be the main villain of Avengers 4.
But Infinity War finally, officially confirmed that this is the case. In addition to the fact that Thanos is still alive at the end, the film concludes by telling us that “Thanos will return.”
Thanos probably won’t have quite as much of a presence in the fourth movie, though, just because his goal is fulfilled; it will likely more be that the Avengers have to find and defeat him, as opposed to Thanos himself actively doing something. Then again, it could be that as the Avengers try to assemble their own gauntlet, Thanos has to stop them from doing so, so the Infinity War roles could be reversed
Next: Some characters will return, but others probably won’t.
8. Some of the deaths will be reversed, but others will likely be permanent
It’s pretty safe to assume that everyone who “died” during Thanos’ snap will come back. After all, Spider-Man and Black Panther have both been confirmed to return in movies beyond Avengers 4. So just how much of Infinity War will Avengers 4 reverse?
This would seem to depend on whether the film involves time travel. If the Avengers merely free their friends from Soul World, it would make sense that they aren’t able to save those who died normal deaths, i.e. Heimdall, Loki, and Vision (though Gamora could be in there too). However, if they’re using time travel, there’s no real reason they couldn’t bring back those characters, too.
But one thing worth considering is that before Infinity War came out, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said that some permanent deaths are on the way in these movies, which might imply that characters like Loki will stay dead.
Next: Marvel probably isn’t done killing characters.
9. There will probably be more deaths
Another way of interpreting Feige’s quote is that although the deaths of Infinity War will be reversed, there will be new permanent deaths in Avengers 4. This is something the Russo Brothers have hinted at; when talking about the possibility of the ending of Infinity War being reversed, they said, “Yes, this is a fantasy world, and yes, remarkable things can happen in a fantasy world, but they come at an incredibly high cost.”
That sure sounds like they’re saying that sacrifices will be required in order to bring the dead characters back. So fans have come up with this theory: The Avengers who survive Infinity War are actually the ones who will end up dying in Avengers 4, and the ones who “died” will be the ones who ultimately survive.
The specifics are unclear, but maybe a sacrifice must be made once again in order to free everyone from Soul World — and maybe, since there are so many souls in there, more than one sacrifice is required. So Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye, and The Hulk can all die while saving half of humanity.
At the very least, it seems like a safe bet that at least one hero, either Captain America or Iron Man, will die in the process of bringing everyone back. This would seem to be the only way that reversing the deaths isn’t a total cop-out.
Next: We thought this would happen in Infinity War, but Marvel wanted to save it for Avengers 4.
10. Tony and Steve will reunite
Steve Rogers and Tony Stark aren’t on speaking terms after Captain America: Civil War. Fans thought they the threat of Thanos would force them to put aside their differences in Infinity War.
But actually, Tony and Steve never even cross paths in the movie; their storylines remain completely separate. So we now know that the reunion of Captian America and Iron Man won’t happen until Avengers 4.
Because the Russo Brothers have been building to this for so long, it will likely be one of the big, emotional moments of Avengers 4, a film that will focus heavily on these classic characters’ relationships before putting them out to pasture and moving on to the next phase of the MCU.
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