Viewers leave Avengers: Infinity War feeling overwhelmed with questions about where the story will go next. And now, the film’s co-director has given us a huge hint about Avengers 4.
He did so by confirming a major aspect of a fan theory that started going around after the film opened; this theory concerns the way that a dead character may return to life, and so the co-director weighing in on it has significant implications.
Here’s a look at the way that a huge Infinity War fan theory was just partially confirmed. Warning: This article will contain major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.
1. Thanos kills Gamora in order to get the Soul Stone
As a quick recap, in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos kills Gamora during his quest to assemble all of the Infinity Stones. This occurs after he finds out that he must sacrifice something he loves in order to get his hands on the Soul Stone. As Red Skull tells him, the stone can only be achieved at this great cost.
Thanos clearly did truly love Gamora; not only does he cry when he throws his daughter off a cliff to her death, but killing her ultimately gets him the stone.
Next: What is this scene meant to represent?
2. Thanos wakes up in a mysterious location after killing Gamora
The scene that takes place immediately after Thanos throws Gamora off the cliff is fairly enigmatic. Thanos wakes up in some sort of mysterious location and gets the Soul Stone, placing it into his gauntlet. The area around him is orange, but it’s unclear where he is, exactly.
The orange color suggests that this location has something to do with the Soul Stone, but the film moves on before making clear where Thanos was during this scene.
Next: We see this realm during another sequence in the movie.
3. Thanos speaks with a young Gamora in this realm at the end
We seem to return to this realm at the very end of Infinity War. After Thanos snaps his fingers, he immediately finds himself in a mysterious location, which is again orange and looks the same as the earlier one.
The place is almost completely empty, but Thanos looks ahead to see young Gamora; she’s the age she was when Thanos took her off her home planet. Gamora asks Thanos if he did it, and Thanos says yes. “What did it cost?” Gamora asks. “Everything,” Thanos replies.
The movie then cuts back to Thanos, who is in Wakanda just where he was when he snapped his fingers. So what was that Gamora scene, exactly? Was Thanos imagining that? Was it a vision? Did he actually physically travel somewhere?
Next: Could this be where Thanos went?
4. In the comics, there exists a realm called Soul World
One theory that fans had coming out of the movie had to do with the source material. In the comics, there’s a realm known as Soul World, which is a purgatory-like environment located inside the Soul Gem. The gem has the power to send people to this pocket dimension; it’s as if the gem is actually capturing their souls and storing them.
So some fans theorized that this scene with Gamora at the end takes place inside Soul World. That would make sense, as Thanos seems to be in another realm that is orange, the same color as the stone.
Next: The film’s co-director reveals where this final scene takes place.
5. Joe Russo confirms that this last scene takes place inside the Soul Stone
Recently, Joe Russo, the co-director of Infinity War, participated in a Q&A at a high school, and he gave a surprisingly revealing answer about all of this.
According to a transcript of the event posted on Reddit, a student asked about where that last scene with young Gamora is taking place, and Russo said, “it’s implied it’s the Soul Stone. It’s all orange around, then he’s inside the Soul Stone with the amount of power that it took to snap his fingers.”
Later, Russo said the same thing in an interview with Comicbook.com, explaining that when Thanos snaps his fingers, he is sent into “this ethereal plane inside of the Soul Stone.”
Next: Why this confirmation is such a big deal.
6. This could be how Gamora returns in Avengers 4
So is that really Gamora inside the Soul Stone? Or is it just Thanos imagining things? Well, it does seem like what Thanos is seeing is real, although it might not really be Gamora that he’s talking to. Russo told Comicbook.com that “it’s a spiritual representation of her and obviously that’s something that the Soul Stone has power to do.”
Either way, this would seem to suggest that the Soul Stone has captured Gamora’s soul, and if the movies are keeping the idea that there’s a plane inside the stone full of souls, this could explain how Gamora will return.
There’s already been a lot of evidence that Gamora will come back, including Zoe Saldana herself saying she will be in Avengers 4.
Next: This could also reveal how all of those other dead characters will return.
7. Are all of the other dead characters trapped in Soul World too?
The Soul Stone could also be the way that Avengers 4 brings back everyone who disappeared at the end of Infinity War. We know that all of the characters who disappear when Thanos snaps his fingers will return, as many of them have sequels lined up. So how will they come back, exactly?
Well, if Gamora was banished to Soul World, perhaps all of the characters who disappeared did too. This could mean that the plot of Avengers 4 involves the Avengers trying to find Thanos, steal his Infinity Gauntlet, and get the Soul Stone, at which point they could free the souls of half of humanity.
This may require a sacrifice, though; and since Chris Evans has been suggesting he won’t return after Avengers 4, perhaps Captain America will give up his life for the good of the universe.
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