At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, the credits promised “Thanos will return.” But while Josh Brolin’s purple-tinted, gigantic villain will be back in 2019’s Avengers 4, who else will? If you’ve seen Infinity War (and a lot of you have by now), you know it’s a bit of a mystery. Here come the spoilers! In his quest to balance the universe, Thanos acquired all the infinity stones and zapped half the universe’s population, just as he threatened. Many of Marvel’s major heroes were among the vanished half of the population that just kind of … turned into piles of sand that then blew away. So Avengers 4 has a major situation: No way are all those money-making Marvel heroes gone for good. But some of them probably have to bite the dust for sheer dramatic reasons (and because a few actors have talked publicly about moving on). We’ll have to wait to see exactly who’s taking early retirement, but for now, we can sum up what we know.At a special event on Oct. 25, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that we’ll see an Avengers 4 trailer before 2019. But then, in a live Q&A on Instagram on Nov. 8, director Joe Russo teased that might or might not happen. Thanks a lot, Marvel. Cover all your bases.Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll get a title if recent teaser posts on Reddit are to be believed but it’s in line with what we’ve come to expect from the MCU timeline of movies.
Screenshot by CNET
What’s the title of the Infinity War sequel?
The film is still being referred to as Avengers 4, or Untitled Avengers Movie. And there may be a spoiler-y reason why the title is being protected. When a fan on Twitter mentioned being scared about the title because it spoils Infinity War, directors Joe and Anthony Russo ominously said fans are right to be freaked out.The first title guess we heard was Infinity Gauntlet, which would give away the fact that Thanos acquired all the magical infinity stones in Infinity War. But it’s fun to speculate on a more creative option: “Avengers 4: Black Panther Goes Bye-Bye Forever” (not happening). “Gee, The World Is Really Less Crowded These Days, Maybe Thanos Was Right”? “Avengers: Some Of Us Were Left Behind After The Rapture”? The possibilities are as infinite as the stones.
Ready for yet another title rumor? In late June to early July 2018, fans began to speculate that the film will be called Avengers: End Game. Website Omega Underground found that title on the site of Avengers movie cinematographer Trent Opaloch. After the supposed title was reported, it was changed to Avengers 4 on Opaloch’s site. To get really geeky about it, it’s interesting that the initials EG as in End Game are alphabetically just one letter apiece removed from the FH rumor (see below) that was going around earlier. If the next rumor claims the film title is Avengers: D__ F___, we’ll know someone is having fun with us. (Avengers: Dead Forever? Avengers: Done Fooling? Avengers: Darn Funky? That last one should get a soundtrack from the late lamented Prince.)And in September 2018, a Reddit user surmised that the film will be called Avengers: Eternity War, in a kind of parallel to Infinity War. Because the film is believed to feature time travel, eternity could be a fitting word choice, as it refers to all of time. But are the two titles just too similar? We’ll have to wait and see.This all comes after news began to trickle out early June 2018 about the totally possible title Fallen Heroes. This is according to a user on Reddit, but, I mean, it’s on the internet so you know it’s true, right?
When will Avengers 4 come out?
Officially, Avengers 4 is scheduled for a May 3, 2019, release in the US and April 26 in the UK, with no Australia release date known yet. But remember: Avengers: Infinity War was scheduled for a May 2018 date, and then Marvel moved it up one week for a late April global release. Maybe keep all of late April-early May 2019 free, just in case. And as of late July 2018, rumors circulated that the film’s release date had been moved up. CBR notes that IMAX’s quarterly report lists the film’s release date as April, not May. While Disney and IMAX didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, this would fit in with last year’s schedule juggling.Need a super-specific countdown? Marvel launched a countdown clock in November 2018, in case you want to just sit there and watch it tick down to the release date.The film was shot back-to-back with Infinity War, beginning in August 2017 and with principal photography ending in January 2018. Filming was done in the Atlanta area. According to the Scottish newspaper The Daily Record, more scenes were filmed in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, in July 2018. In November 2018, director Joe Russo said the film is “currently sitting at 3 hours,” but admitted he doesn’t know if it’ll stay that way.The film is the fourth in a series, so if you want to watch all three previous Avengers films, check out 2012’s The Avengers, 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. Done with that? There are plenty of other Marvel movies to watch to soak up the various heroes’ backstories. Here’s our suggested order to watch them in. And what about the trailer? In September 2018, MCU Cosmic suggested that because the first teaser for Avengers: Infinity War came out in late November 2017 for a late-April film release, Avengers 4 might follow that same pattern. Of course there’s no confirmation on this — it’s just an educated guess. But if true, it could mean a trailer coming the week after Thanksgiving, something to be thankful for indeed.Click here to sign-up for our biweekly newsletter about all things Marvel.
What we know about the plot
Well, Thanos will be back — the credits promised. He seemed pretty satisfied with his balancing of the universe, last seen resting at a nipa hut (the scene was shot at Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines), so it would seem the remaining Avengers will have to take the fight to him. Some think we could look to the comic book version of this story for how things might work out, but there are always deviations between the comics and the movies, so don’t expect an exact copy. Still, if things fall that way, expect major roles for Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Remember, Strange made an odd decision in Infinity War, handing over the time stone he said he’d always protect. Is it because this was required for the one scenario in which he saw our heroes winning? He likely has the best idea of what’s about to go down. It’s for sure a movie that’ll matter. In an Instagram Q&A on Nov. 8, director Joe Russo was asked if the stakes would be higher in Avengers 4 than in previous movies. “Absolutely 100 percent the highest of any of the films to date, without question,” he said. Did you remember to stay in your seats after Infinity War ended to watch the post-credits scene? We break it down here, but it looks as if Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) successfully sent a message to Captain Marvel, based on the symbol shown on what looks like Fury’s pager. Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel in a March 2019 solo movie, and since that’s just a month or two before Avengers 4, it’s expected to set up some plot points. In May 2018, ComicBook.com found a supposed synopsis for Avengers 4 in License Global. It seems to have been translated from the magazine’s native Italian, and it doesn’t exactly give away any huge spoilers, but it’s fun to read. “A culmination of 22 interconnected films, the fourth installment of the Avengers saga will draw audiences to witness the turning point of this epic journey,” the summary says. “Our beloved heroes will truly understand how fragile this reality is and the sacrifices that must be made to uphold it.” Naturally, it doesn’t say exactly what (or who) those sacrifices will be, but we have ideas.In June 2018, Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, told Esquire that Avengers 4 is “even more shocking” than Avengers: Infinity War. While he didn’t reveal any spoilers, the God of Thunder said that the film was another step forward in the series. “Each step we seem to take with these films, I’ve loved the fact that there’s been growth and evolution and it continues to surprise people,” he said.If Mark Ruffalo, who plays Bruce Banner/Hulk, has anything to say about it, his character’s two sides will somehow battle each other. On The Marvelists podcast in September 2018, he said, “I always thought it would be great to see them in some sort of subspace where they get to battle it out with Banner’s brains as some sort of his own superpower, like psych weaponry or psi weaponry against Hulk’s brute strength.”And some fans are speculating that Avengers 4 will have to deal with the power of the Infinity Gauntlet and possibly send the heroes traveling through time, with Thanos possibly performing his deadly “snap” over and over again with different results.
Who’ll be dead to stay?
Here’s a list of who vanished, melty-sand style, thanks to Thanos eliminating half the population:
- Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan)
- Drax (Dave Bautista)
- Groot (Vin Diesel)
- Mantis (Pom Klementieff)
- Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)
- Spider-Man (Tom Holland)
- Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)
- Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)
- Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)
- Falcon (Anthony Mackie)
Remaining to fight another day (as far as we know — we didn’t see these heroes vanish) are:
- Captain America (Chris Evans)
- Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)
- Thor (Chris Hemsworth)
- Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)
- M’Baku (Winston Duke)
- Okoye (Danai Gurira)
- Rocket (Bradley Cooper)
- War Machine (Don Cheadle)
- Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
- Nebula (Karen Gillan)
Any of the vanished heroes are likely to return, at least for a while. Marvel would no sooner keep them all dead than let an intern feed hundred-dollar bills into a paper shredder — too much money to lose. Some we KNOW will be back — Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy have additional movies planned, so T’Challa and Star-Lord aren’t going anywhere, though not all of the Wakandans and Guardians may make it through. Dave Bautista, who plays Guardian Drax the Destroyer, told Den of Geek he’s returning for both Avengers 4 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, though he confirmed he doesn’t know how Drax will be back. (So technically, he could still die and be seen in flashback.) And he confirmed it again in September 2018 on the UK television show Good Morning, Britain, saying he felt a little guilty for sharing, but that “nobody told me not to say anything.”The future might not be so bright for the big three — Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. Chris Evans has said he’s moving on after this film, and Downey and Hemsworth have also hinted at it. But we won’t know till we know, and besides, Marvel is famous for rebooting characters who’ve died/been frozen/hung up the uniform.Many fans saw a possible spoiler on Oct. 4, when Chris Evans, who plays Captain America, tweeted that he’d finished his work on the film, and went on to say that playing this role over the last eight years “has been an honor.” That sure sounded to many fans like Cap had breathed his last, at least in this go-round of films, and at least with Evans playing him.”In other words Cap’s dead,” wrote one fan bluntly. Responded another, “No, he’s just gonna marry Sharon Carter and move to a farm upstate with old yeller. Right?”
Officially wrapped on Avengers 4. It was an emotional day to say the least. Playing this role over the last 8 years has been an honor. To everyone in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the audience, thank you for the memories! Eternally grateful.— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) October 4, 2018
As Infinity War watchers know, some characters died — or seemed to be dead — before Thanos did his thing. Heimdall (Idris Elba), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and the Vision (Paul Bettany) are on a different level of death than the others, though again, dead doesn’t always mean forever in Marvel-land. Actor Benicio del Toro, who plays The Collector, told Cinema Blend his character is still alive, though it’s unclear if he’s joking. But he later seemed to confirm this belief on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.And some characters are anyone’s guess. We didn’t see the fates of Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke) and Wong (Benedict Wong). Plus, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd).Hawkeye, who wasn’t seen in Infinity War, is returning for Avengers 4. Jeremy Renner posted a photo in early September declaring that it’s “good to be BACK!!!” and then followed up with another one with a batch of Avengers-related hashtags. At least one fan theory suggests Hawkeye’s family, or part of it, disappeared during the big Thanos snap, and the archer is now out for revenge. Also, for nearly a year now, there have been rumors that Hawkeye is taking on another super-identity, that of masked ninja Ronin, one of Hawkeye’s comic book identities. This could mean we see Renner’s character put arrows and bows aside for martial-arts skills in Avengers 4. And in late September 2018, leaked photos seemed to show Renner in what appears to be traditional Japanese armor, and holding a sword. More evidence for the Ronin theory?On Sept. 17, Renner shared a photo of himself wearing a face full of bruised-up makeup, which would seem to indicate Hawkeye does get into some hand-to-hand in the upcoming movie. “Not everyday begins the same … but always finish with a smile,” Renner wrote.
And remember what we said about Gamora’s death being different from those affected by the snap? That doesn’t mean she’s gone for good. One Reddit user poses an intriguing theory about Gamora’s spirit being trapped in the Soul Stone, a plot that has roots in the comics. In this theory, she wouldn’t be freed in Avengers 4, but in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which is, as we all know, in production limbo. This theory has legs — it’d create a huge quest for GOTG3, as Star-Lord and crew would certainly be fighting to the last breath to get their team member back.Leaked photos from the reshoots emerged in September 2018, and lent more credence to the idea that time-travel will play a large role in the plot. (Note Captain America’s clean-shaven look, and Black Widow, peeking out of a diner, seems to have the red hair she sported in earlier Avengers’ films.) And hey, there’s Paul “Ant-Man” Rudd!John Slattery, who played Tony Stark’s father Howard in Iron Man 2 and Captain America: Civil War, reportedly has a role in the film. Howard Stark was killed by the Winter Soldier in a disturbing scene shown in 2016’s Civil War. While he could be seen in flashback or simply one of Tony Stark’s memories, perhaps time travel could play a role in bringing him back too.And let’s talk about Valkyrie, the Asgardian hero played by Tessa Thompson. In late September 2018, a fan on Twitter asked Thompson if her character disintegrated in the snap, and she responded, “No, she’s in one piece and THRIVING.”
And some online sleuthing by The Wrap seemed to track Thompson traveling from London to Atlanta on the same private jet as Chris Hemsworth (Thor). Nothing’s guaranteed, but this kind of photo evidence would make it seem as if Valkyrie has a decent-size role to play in Avengers 4.On Oct. 24, a photo of Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays Tony Stark’s love interest, Pepper Potts, was posted to Instagram by the Uncanny Comic Quest podcast. It’s completely unofficial and unconfirmed, but it seems to show Paltrow in what looks like her own personal version of an Iron Man suit, posing in front of a green screen. “Does Tony die and Pepper takes her revenge out on Thanos?! Let us know in the comments below,” the post reads.Where does that suit come from? Insider points out that the suit looks like one Stark builds for Potts in the comics, one which she wears under the hero alias Rescue. It’s not the first time the suit has surfaced recently. A week before this photo was shared, a photo showing toys from Avengers 4 also featured a similar armor suit.It’s yet another juicy rumor for fans to chew over as the long wait for Avengers 4 continues.
Latest update: On Oct. 26, The Wrap reported that Katherine Langford, who starred as Hannah in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, has filmed scenes for a role in Avengers 4. Langford was nominated for a Golden Globe for her part in the Netflix series. There’s no word yet on who she’ll be playing.
Fans have theories
With a year between movies, fans have plenty of time to think about what’s going to happen. Here are a few ideas, some more serious than others:
captain marvel and valkyrie are coming to save everybody’s ass in avengers 4— nadine | iw spoilers (@vaIIkyrie) April 30, 2018
Avengers 4: Great Lakes, is just Squirrel Girl making friends with Thanos and convincing that people are all just the best. Then SG, Thanos, and (probably) Galactus have a picnic.— Andrew Thaler (@DrAndrewThaler) April 30, 2018
Every character that dies in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ should return in ‘Avengers 4’ with a black costume and a mustache.— Christopher Campbell (@thefilmcynic) April 30, 2018
Meet the cast (we think)
With death not likely to mean goodbye, here’s who you can expect to see in the next movie.
This piece was originally published on April 30, 2018, and is updated as news of the sequel rolls in. How to watch every MCU property in the perfect order: From Marvel films to the shows on Netflix, here’s the best order to experience the MCU.
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