The fourth Avengers film will mark the end of the current version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige referring to it as the conclusion of a 22-movie arc. It’s only about a year away, but even though Marvel usually details its projects years in advance, we still don’t even know the name of the movie. Marvel is still officially referring to the film as Untitled Avengers Film.
So why exactly has Marvel been so secretive about the title, and what do fans expect it will be? Here’s what you need to know about this movie’s mysterious title and some of the best theories fans have about what Marvel is hiding from us.
1. The fourth Avengers film was originally called Infinity War Part 2
Back in 2014, Marvel Studios announced that they would be releasing an Infinity War film in two parts, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War Part 2. The first was set to come in 2018, with the second following in 2019. Even back then, though, Kevin Feige said that this wouldn’t be like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where it really feels like one movie that’s split up into two parts. Instead, these would feel like separate movies.
“I wouldn’t call it one story that’s cut in half,” Feige said in 2015. “I would say it’s going to be two distinct movies.”
But after a while, Marvel apparently started having second thoughts about calling the fourth movie “Part 2,” and in 2016, the Russo Brothers announced that they would be retitling the second film, telling Uproxx that they felt that calling the movies “Part 1” and “Part 2” was actually misleading. They also said at the time that they hadn’t come up with the title for the second part yet, and so Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 just became Untitled Avengers Film.
Next: This is why we don’t know the title yet.
2. Kevin Feige has suggested that the new title is a spoiler
In the months following the Russo Brothers’ announcement that they would be retitling the fourth Avengers, fans waited to hear an announcement about what the new name would be. But no announcement came. Earlier in 2017, Kevin Feige was asked if the title was being withheld because it’s a spoiler, and he said that that is correct.
This immediately caused fans to go wild with speculation, wondering what the title could possibly be that it would be considered a spoiler. Later, Feige did go back on this a bit, saying that they’re mostly holding the title back because they want people to focus on Infinity War.
“Yeah, I think some of that has been blown out of proportion,” Feige said, referring to his quote about the title being a spoiler. “We do want the focus to be on Infinity War for now.”
Still, he didn’t exactly retract his statement about the title being a spoiler; it sounds like the title still might give something away, even if it’s not something completely blatant like Avengers: Iron Man Dies.
Next: Here’s what it could be named.
3. It could be called Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet
One common theory is that the title will be Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet. It would, therefore, be named after the glove that Thanos wears that, when infused with the six Infinity Stones, allows him to become extremely powerful. That’s also the name of the comic book that this arc is based on. According to this theory, Thanos won’t actually get his hands on all six Infinity Stones until the end of Avengers: Infinity War. The third film would be all about trying to stop him from getting the stones, and it would end with Thanos finally obtaining them. Then, the fourth film would be Thanos unleashing massive destruction with the Infinity Gauntlet.
Announcing ahead of Infinity War that the fourth movie is called Infinity Gauntlet would, therefore, be a mild spoiler because it suggests that Thanos is not defeated by the end of the third Avengers film and that he actually does obtain all the gems. Of course, hardcore fans already feel confident that that is the case. But casual moviegoers going to see Infinity War would not be in as much suspense wondering whether Thanos will accomplish his mission.
Back in April, actress Zoe Saldana made reference to shooting scenes for “Infinity Gauntlet” during an interview, and fans freaked out thinking that she accidentally revealed the title. Director James Gunn soon came out and said that he was pretty sure Saldana just misspoke and that she meant to say “Infinity War.” He also flat out said that Infinity Gauntlet is not the title, but that could just be a lie on his part.
Next: This subtitle relates to Captain Marvel.
4. It could be called Avengers: Secret Invasion
Another theory is that the movie will be called Avengers: Secret Invasion. This would be based on a 2008 storyline in which it is revealed that a group of shapeshifters called the Skrulls have invaded Earth and have even replaced members of the Avengers.
We already know that the Skrulls are being introduced into the MCU soon, with the creatures being brought in during the upcoming movie Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel happens to be one of only two films that Marvel is releasing between Infinity War and Avengers 4. So the theory goes that the whole reason this Captain Marvel movie is being released right before Avengers 4 is because it’s a way to set up the presence of the Skrulls before they become important in that latter film.
The only real question here is how exactly Thanos would factor into this. We know that Josh Brolin is returning for the fourth Avengers film, and it seems that Thanos will still be the villain in it. So if this were to be the title, perhaps Marvel could shock everyone and reveal that Thanos himself is actually a Skrull as well. Alternatively, Thanos could send an army of Skrulls to invade Earth as part of his plan, or perhaps the Skrulls are fighting against Thanos.
It seems that Secret Invasion is inevitably going to happen in the MCU, but it’s probably more likely to occur in Phase 4 after the threat of Thanos has been dealt with. Secret Invasion is something that needs a lot more buildup than it would have as part of Phase 3. So some people think it will instead be the final storyline of Phase 4.
Next: A similar subtitle with a very different meaning
5. It could be called Avengers: Secret Wars
Some fans think that the fourth Avengers movie will not be Secret Invasion, but will rather be Secret Wars. This would be based on another Marvel comics storyline but one that’s completely unrelated to Secret Invasion. In Secret Wars, a villain named Beyonder teleports characters in the Marvel universe away from Earth and to another planet.
While there, they have to fight an extensive lineup of villains that they’ve faced in the past, including Ultron and Doctor Doom. There was also another version of the Secret Wars storyline in 2015, with this one involving characters from different alternate universes coming together on Battleworld under the threat of Doctor Doom.
If Marvel were to base Avengers 4 on either of these storylines, it would be very different on screen than it was in the comics. The theory is that Thanos will take some dramatic steps at the end of Infinity War now that he has acquired the Infinity Gauntlet, potentially banishing the Avengers to another planet and forcing them to fight the villains who survived the first three phases of the MCU. Thanos could also begin destroying all of the alternate universes, causing the fragments to come together as in the more modern Secret Wars storyline.
Another version of the theory imagines Thanos at the end of Infinity War obtaining all the stones, only for Lady Death to grow bored with him because he is so powerful. That then leads him to teleport the Avengers to Battleworld so they can find someone worthy of defeating him. This will allow the classic characters to go up against foes from the past. Meanwhile, on Earth, a new team of Avengers would operate on their own, setting the stage for the group that will continue on after Thanos is defeated.
If this were all true, calling it Secret Wars would definitely give away a big surprise about where the Avengers end up after Infinity War. So it makes sense to hide the title until after that film is released.
Next: This title is a little haunting.
6. It could be called Avengers: Disassembled
Seeing as Avengers 4 is expected to end the MCU as we know it, an appropriate title could be Avengers: Disassembled. In addition to this mirroring the international title of the first film, which was called Avengers Assembled, this name would be coming from the 2004 comic series.
The movie definitely wouldn’t be a direct adaptation of that comic, as the villain in that is Doctor Doom. But there are some plot points in it that could happen in the fourth Avengers, including the death of Hawkeye and Thor. It also sees Tony Stark retiring from being Iron Man.
In addition, Disassembled involves Wanda being mind-controlled by Doctor Doom. This is something fans can imagine happening with Wanda and Thanos in Avengers 4. It would be a natural continuation of her subplot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe of feeling anxiety over her own powers.
If Marvel took the title Avengers Disassembled, they’d mostly just be adapting the idea of the Avengers team as we know it ending and changing the details, similar to the way they adapted Civil War. Not to mention, the negative nature fits with the Russo Brothers’ comment that the title should scare us.
The only flaw with this theory is that the title Disassembled doesn’t exactly give anything away about Infinity War as Feige suggested. But perhaps he just doesn’t want to give us any indication of when the team will be broken up so we worry that it will happen in the third movie instead.
Next: This title would likely mean a lot of our old favorites will die in Infinity War.
7. It could be called The New Avengers
Perhaps the most popular theory about the title of Avengers 4 is that it will be called The New Avengers. This was the name of a comic book series beginning in 2005 in which the Avengers roster has been changed from the roster readers got to know previously. The first time the name was used, the roster consisted of Luke Cage, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Spider-Woman. The title “New Avengers” was used three more times after that.
There are a few different versions of this theory, one of which suggests that several members of the original Avengers will be dead by the end of Infinity War, with Iron Man being the most likely candidate. The fourth film would, therefore, be about this new team struggling to take out Thanos without the leadership of Iron Man and maybe even Captain America. The new team would probably be a mix of newer members like Black Panther and Doctor Strange, as well as one or two classic members, like The Incredible Hulk and Thor.
Another version of the theory suggests that the original Avengers team will exist heading into the fourth movie, but they’ll be dead by the end of it. So the title would be ominous and force viewers to wonder about whether their favorite character will make it onto the new team.
It would be awkward to call the movie Avengers: The New Avengers. If this theory is correct, the title would probably just be The New Avengers. And if that’s the case, it definitely makes sense to hide this title, as it would suggest that at least one of the Avengers would probably die by the end of Infinity War.
Next: This theory is unlikely, despite Disney’s acquisition of Fox.
8. It could be called Avengers 4 and feature the Fantastic Four
One of the craziest theories is that the actual title of the movie is Avengers 4. That’s not just a placeholder title. Why? Well, because the movie is going to introduce the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Back when this theory was first proposed, Disney did not have the rights to the Fantastic Four, so fans were speculating that Marvel had secretly worked out a deal to get the characters like they did with Spider-Man. Since then, Disney has announced a purchase of 20th Century Fox, giving them the rights to the Fantastic Four and making this theory more plausible.
But it’s still fairly improbable, seeing as production on Avengers 4 was already underway long before the Fox deal was announced. Plus, just because the deal was announced doesn’t mean it’s complete; it will take over a year to actually go through. So for this to be the case, Marvel would have had to make a separate, unrelated deal over the Fantastic Four rights in order to get them in a movie by 2019, which seems very unlikely.
Next: But we probably don’t know what it is yet.
9. It could be a completely new title
These seem like the most likely candidates for a title if Marvel is going to lift a name directly from the comics. But there’s always the possibility that they won’t do so and that the title of the fourth Avengers movie will be completely original (and won’t be Avengers 4).
After all, Marvel has on several occasions made up their own titles for their movies. The films of theirs that have titles not directly lifted from the title of a comic book series are Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnarok.
A lot of fans think the title will have the word “infinity” in it so that it connects in some way to Infinity War. This way, audiences are clear on the fact that Avengers 4 continues from Avengers: Infinity War rather than being completely separate in the way that Age of Ultron and Infinity War are. But if it’s just something generic and made up, that really wouldn’t be a spoiler, suggesting that the title is either based on a comic book or is somewhat revealing in another way.
Regardless, it sounds like Marvel Studios probably won’t reveal the name of the movie until after Infinity War is released, possibly giving it away in the movie’s end credits. We’ll find out when Infinity War hits theaters on April 27.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!