After 10 long years and 18 amazing action-packed movies, it all comes down to Avengers: Infinity War and its still-untitled sequel (for now, let's just call it Avengers 4). And judging by Infinity War, it was worth waiting for.
Not only did Infinity War get great reviews and completely dominated domestic and global box offices (the movie already made over $640-million), the film also sent the audience through a rollercoaster of emotions. We're happy that it was so well done, and sad because of what had actually happened in the movie.
Now we, the audience, are left wondering what's to come next. There are many theories about what we can expect to see in the sequel, but also in other movies set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I decided to find the best 20 theories out there so that we can all prepare ourselves for what's to come.
But be aware, there are a lot of SPOILERS in this article, so if you haven't seen Infinity War yet, then I suggest you bookmark this article until you've seen it, and come back to check these theories.
For those who have seen the movie, enjoy the article and share some of your own theories in the comment section if you have any!
20 The outcome of 'Infinity War' was part of the plan
It's pretty safe to say that every person who watched Infinity War was surprised by the ending. I mean, we all knew what was supposed to happen but it is still hard to process. I saw the movie on the first day of the release, and believe me when I say that the whole cinema was sitting in complete silence when the credits started rolling.
We waited 10 years for this movie and boy was it worth the wait. I am not too happy about all the character's who met their end in the movie, but at the same time I'm glad that we finally got a villain that we deserve.
Now back to the ending of the movie... The fact that most of our favorite superheroes were eliminated in Infinity War doesn't mean that they will actually stay that way. Just remember that Doctor Strange said that he saw all possible outcomes of confrontation with Thanos and that there was only one scenario in which the Avengers win. According to many fans, the ending of Infinity War is part of a bigger picture, where Thanos collects all the stones and does what he's always wanted to do: remove half of all life in the universe (which will eventually lead to his defeat, perhaps?).
Unfortunately, we will have to wait another year before seeing how this plan unfolds... Or if you really want to know now, then just read the comics!
19 Avengers 4's title is...
If you're a Marvel fan, then you already know that the untitled Avengers sequel is going to be released in May 2019 (which means we only have to wait one year before we find out what happens next with Thanos and whether some of the characters that got snuffed out in Infinity War will somehow be revived). But did you know that Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 were supposed to be titled Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2, respectively?
But for some reason, they made some changes. The first part was just titled Avengers: Infinity War, while the second one has been left untitled for now.
After the release of Infinity War, some new theories about the title of Avengers 4 came to be. The most believable theory is that the next Avengers movie will be called Avengers: Endgame. Why Endgame? Well, it's got something to do with Doctor Strange.
You see, Strange is one of the characters who got wiped from existence. Right before he turned into dust, he looked at Tony Stark and told him, "There was no other way." This implies that giving the Time Stone to Thanos was necessary in order to create the only future where the Mad Titan can be defeated. And at the very end of the movie, while still on Titan, Doctor Strange told the other superheroes, "We’re in the endgame now."
18 'Avengers 4' will feature time travel
Considering how Infinity War ended, I think it is safe to say that the sequel will feature a lot of time traveling. But, how will they travel in time considering the Time Stone is with Thanos and none of the Avengers have time traveling abilities ? Well, we don't know that yet. Perhaps they will find a way to remove the Time Stone from the Infinity Gauntlet, or maybe some other heroes will help with that (perhaps the X-Men? They had a whole movie that was about time travel).
Anyway, it's unlikely that all the deceased Infinity War characters will stay like that, so going back in time to fix that is definitely bound to happen.
Also, some of the Avengers were seen on the set of Avengers 4 wearing some of their older costumes; the ones they were wearing back in 2012. For example, Chris Hemsworth's costume features his long golden locks, while Captain America is wearing his old-fashioned costume. This could also mean that the sequel will have a lot of flashback scenes instead of time traveling, but at the same time that would mean that all the characters that were eliminated won't come back to life (which can't be true, because some of them, like Black Panther, are already confirmed to have a sequel).
17 Ant-Man and Hawkeye will travel through the Multiverse
One of the very first things the fans noticed when the trailers and promotional posters for Infinity War were released was that neither Hawkeye nor Ant-Man were featured in them. Of course, this left some fans upset, but according to Joe Russo, the co-director of the movie, Hawkeye will be back in the sequel and will have a big role.
"As we were working on both films, we were thinking about story real estate," said Russo. "We had the luxury of cracking both scripts at the same time and we wanted to give each character, especially the original Avengers, their moments. It led us to certain choices, especially considering the events of Civil War where [Hawkeye’s] included in this group of insurgents and has to deal with the ramifications of siding against the U.S. government. So that led us to 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."
One of the theories on why Hawkeye and Ant-Men didn't appear in Infinity War is because they were on a very big, top-secret mission which might involve traveling through time and space. According to this theory, these two heroes are traveling from universe to universe, in order to recruit alternate versions of the Avengers to join in the fight against Thanos. Is it possible that Doctor Strange somehow told them what to do, after he saw all the possible scenarios of fighting against Thanos? Maybe they already travelled to another universe, so they weren't affected by Thanos' actions?
16 Captain Marvel will have a big role in 'Avengers 4'
Every Marvel fan knows that it is very important to wait until the movie credits have rolled because there's always another extra scene or two after waiting for them, and that scene is usually a sneak peek of what to expect next. So, if you're one of those people who leaves the cinema right when the credits start rolling, then you're missing out on a lot. The post-credit scene in Infinity War features S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Nick Fury and Maria Hill. They're driving when suddenly people start crashing into each other and turning into dust. Just as Maria Hill turns into dust, Fury takes out a small devices and activates it.
And the next thing we see is Captain Marvel's symbol.
What we can expect, based on that Easter egg, is that Captain Marvel will show up in the Avengers sequel and help defeat Thanos. Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, described Captain Marvel as the "most powerful hero by far… If you had the collector cards of the Marvel characters and you could see the power levels, she would be off the charts compared to anyone that we’ve previously introduced in a film." But before we see Captain Marvel team up with the Avengers (or what's left of them), we'll have the chance to see her on the big screen in March 2019, when her solo-movie is being released.
15 The X-Men will also be in 'Avengers 4'
I am sure that every comic book fan would love to see a crossover between the Avengers and the X-Men. I mean, these two groups have had their crossovers only in the comics so far, but it seems like we might get a live-action crossover as well in the near future. (Just to remind you, Marvel bought Fox earlier this year, and the merger has yet to happen).
You also probably know that the new X-Men movie was supposed to come out later this year, but was postponed for reshoots. Well, a lot of fans think that the reshoots are happening in order to introduce the mutants to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (in other words, to make them a part of the MCU. Because up until Marvel's acquisition of Fox, mutants had nothing to do with MCU).
Making the X-Men a part of the MCU before Avengers 4 would actually be a good thing to do, because one of the mutants in the X-Men movies, Kitty Pryde, can kind of send other people back in time. So this is actually the perfect opportunity to stop from Thanos getting all of the stones. Even the directors of Infinity War agree that it would be interesting to see that.
"We’ll say that if that Fox deal goes through with Disney there’s a lot more characters to work with all of a sudden. It would be interesting to do something like Secret Wars…" said the Russo brothers during one interview.
14 'Avengers 4' will serve as the intro to Secret Invasion
As I have mentioned earlier, we've all known that the third Avengers movie would be titled Infinity War, and we also thought the fourth one would be Infinity War Part 2. But Marvel changed their mind, and as of now we still don't know what the title of the sequel is. In 2017, the head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, was interviewed for Cinemablend. During this interview, he was asked whether the title of Avengers 4 is actually a spoiler and if that's why they haven't disclosed the title to the fans yet. According to Feige, that is correct.
Of course, this led fans to start coming up with new theories about the title and the plot of the fourth Avengers movie.
One of the theories is that it will be titled The Secret Invasion and will follow the events of the comic book storyline of the same name. This storyline involves a shape-shifting alien race known as the Skrulls who secretly replace many superheroes with impostors and who later invade Earth. If this turns out to be the case, then that means that it could turn out that Captain America was actually replaced by a Skrull imposter right after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, and everything you think you know about him is basically a lie.
13 Captain America will be leaving us in 'Avengers 4'
Ever since we first saw him in Captain America: The First Avenger back in 2011, Steve Rogers has been a lot of folks' favourite Avenger. Not only is he super good-looking, but he's also a fantastic fighter with a great personality. That being said, Captain America is probably going to get offed in the Infinity War sequel. How do we know that? Well, it's simple: Chris Evans' contract is ending after Avengers 4, and according to him, this could be it for the star-spangled man with a plan.
"Well, the contract is done. A lot of our contracts are through. Myself, [Robert] Downey, [Chris] Hemsworth, we all kind of started roughly at the same time. I mean, I think we all through Avengers 4 kind of wrap it up. But at this point I don’t know what’s next, but yeah by 2019 that’s it… Well, we’ll see," said Chris Evans in one interview.
More contracts ending could also mean more terminations in the MCU. Does this mean Iron Man and Thor will also go in Avengers 4? I have a feeling Iron Man could actually be eliminated, but Thor, I'm not so sure about that. I guess we have to wait and see.
12 Bucky will become Captain America
As I already said before, Avengers 4 will be the end of the franchise as we know it. That doesn't mean that there won't be any Avengers movies in the future; we'll probably see many more but with different a cast and characters. For example, Steve Rogers, the current Captain America, will probably stop with his Avengers career. He will probably either retire or get eliminated in the next movie. But that doesn't necessarily mean we've seen the last of Cap. One of the theories implies that Bucky Barnes (aka Winter Soldier aka the White Wolf), will take over the mantle of Captain.
Sebastian Stan, the actor who plays Bucky, addressed this at a panel he had at Wizard World St. Louis.
Stan said, "I mean, yeah I would love that one day, absolutely. I don’t know when that day would be, and I just think…it would be a very different Captain America you know, you wouldn’t be able to have the same Captain America as you have right now because he’s a different guy. Again, there’s this issue where we’ve got to get him to be trustworthy enough for them to give him that responsibility, you know, to fill those shoes, and those are hard shoes to fill. So I think it’s possible, I really do, but it just has to make sense and we might need a little more time."
11 Nova will join the Guardians of the Galaxy
Even though Thanos hurt A LOT of our favorite superheroes in Infinity War, his actions may have created a new superhero that will become a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Nova.
"Nova is… if we have a big board with a bunch of characters that have more immediate potential, Nova is on that board," Kevin Feige said to Comicbook.com. "Because of the connection to the Guardians universe, there are more than one examples to pull from in the comics that are interesting. And you’re absolutely right, he was in the earliest drafts of the [Guardians of the Galaxy]."
With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 coming out in 2020, and the fourth Avengers movie hitting the theatres next year, it is very possible that we will see Nova in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before getting a standalone movie. And considering that the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be even more cosmic, I'm sure his standalone movie isn't the only movie we'll see him in. In other words, expect a lot of crossovers.
The last time we saw the Power Stone, it was on Xandar guarded by the Nova Corps, after the Guardians of the Galaxy stopped Ronan the Accuser. Fast forward to the beginning of Infinity War — there we see Thanos already in possession of the Power Stone, which means he went to Xandar, took the stone, and dominated the planet, which was later confirmed by Thor. This plot is closely related to the origin of the superhero Nova, whose real name is Richard Rider. I could write a whole article about this superhero, but let's leave that for later. For now, all you need to know is that Nova is joining the MCU sooner than we think.
10 Quicksilver will be revived
It's safe to say that we were all surprised to see Quicksilver come to an end in Avengers: Age of Ultron. His last words, "You didn't see that coming" are still echoing in our heads. I mean, Quicksilver was a fairly new character and the latest addition to the Avengers, and fans loved him! Not only because he was funny and pretty cool-looking with that silver-y hair, but also because of his amazing relationship with his sister, Wanda (aka the Scarlet Witch). But they still decided to kick him off.
Recently, a Spanish fan site announced that Quicksilver was spotted on the set of Avengers 4.
The site reported that "more witnesses from the filming in Atlanta report that they saw Aaron Taylor-Johnson on the Avengers 4 set." We don't know how or why he's back; it could be just in for some flashback scenes. It could perhaps be thanks to Doctor Strange and the Time Stone (if Strange is able to retrieve it from Thanos), or it could be Thanos using the Reality Stone to create an illusion of Quicksilver to deceive Scarlet Witch. There are so many possible scenarios, so we'll just have to wait another year to get the answers.
9 Stan Lee's cameos are not just cameos
If you enjoy movies that are set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or just movies based on Marvel characters in general, then you have probably noticed that Stan Lee makes a cameo in almost all of them. For those who don't know, Stan Lee is a comic-book writer who created many of our favorite heroes such as the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, the X-Men, and Spider-Man.
Now there's a theory that Stan Lee actually plays a bigger role than we think. According to this theory, Stan Lee is actually Uatu, the cosmic alien known as The Watcher. Uatu is tasked with watching the events of the universe unfold. So is that why Stan Lee is always around? Could it be that he's just observing what's going on?
This theory was actually confirmed by Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios. He said:
"Yes, we always thought it would be fun. Stan Lee clearly exists, you know, above and apart from the reality of all the films. So the notion that he could be sitting there on a cosmic pit stop during the jump gate sequence in Guardians was something very fun – James had that idea and we shot that cameo and loved it so much, you know, you see it a couple of times in the movie. It wasn’t in for a long time and we put it back in towards the end of the process where he references that time he was a Federal Express agent – we thought it would be fun to put that in there because that really says, so wait a minute, he’s this same character who’s popped up in all these films."
8 The Fantastic Four will arrive in New York
As you already know, Disney's acquisition of Fox will change the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it (in a good way, of course, as it will allow many other Marvel characters to be a part of the MCU). This landmark merger could also solve one mystery that is related to Spider-Man: Homecoming, but also related to the Avengers in general: Who exactly bought the Avengers tower in Homecoming? One of the theories is that it was actually bought by the Fantastic Four and will be renamed to the Baxter Building.
I mean, I don't see why not.
In the comics (and in those awkward movies), the Fantastic Four have their own building in the middle of New York. The Baxter Building is where they live, where they work from, where they train, and where Mr. Fantastic conducts his science experiments. Considering that this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe where everything is planned to perfection, there must be a reason why they even mentioned Stark selling the Avengers building in Homecoming. The only logical explanation is that Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, knew of Disney's intent to buy Fox, so he dropped a subtle hint about the possibility of the Fantastic Four making an appearance in the MCU.
7 Nebula will play a big role in 'Avengers 4'
Taking into consideration that half of the Avengers and the whole Guardians of the Galaxy squad are gone, it is safe to say that MCU doesn't really stand any chance in restoring the damage made by Thanos. In other words, bringing back to life all the people who turned to ash. However, if the next Avengers movie is anything like the comics, then Nebula, Thanos' adoptive daughter and one of the lucky ones who survived his purge, is the key to his defeat. You see, in the comics Nebula is the one who takes the Infinity Gauntlet off of Thanos' hand. Could it be that she will do the same in the movie as well?
It would make sense because, for now, she's the only person alive who knows Thanos on a personal level, and she probably knows where he went at the end of Infinity War.
Then again, Marvel movies don't necessarily follow the comics all the time. In the comics, Nebula took the Gauntlet and used it herself. That made Thanos join forces with the Avengers to take the Gauntlet from Nebula. And even then they couldn't do it without the help of Adam Warlock. In case you forgot, the arrival of this character to the MCU was teased during the post-credit scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2. However, it wouldn't really make sense for a random dude to come and save the universe just like that, right?
6 'Avengers 4' will feature Hela
We can all agree that casting Cate Blanchett to play Hela, goddess of death and Odin's firstborn daughter, was a good decision. She portrayed the character perfectly, she was fierce, she was cutthroat, and she was rocking that headpiece like no one else could have. I have to admit that I was actually sad when she was defeated at the end of Thor: Ragnarok. But just because Hela was defeated doesn't mean that she's gone for good. She is the goddess of death after all.
In November last year Mark Ruffalo gave an interview on the I am Rapaport podcast with Michael Rapaport.
When he was asked about an actor who had left the best impression, Ruffalo mentioned Joaquin Phoenix, Tilda Swinton, and Cate Blanchett, adding that he had recently worked with the latter two. Of course, it is possible that he was referring to Thor: Ragnarok, but Ruffalo and Blanchett didn't have a lot of scenes together, save for the fighting scene on the Bifrost bridge. And why would he even mention Tilda Swinton, who played the Ancient One in Doctor Strange? Hulk didn't appear in that movie. Could it be that Tilda Swinton and Cate Blanchett will reprise their roles as the Ancient One and Hela respectively in the upcoming Avengers sequel? Most likely yes, but we'll have to wait and see.
5 Hawkeye will become Ronin
Even though he doesn't have any superpowers like most of his fellow Avengers, Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) is still one of everyone's favorite Avengers characters. And it shouldn't come as a surprise that the fans were furious that he wasn't featured in the trailers, posters, or the movie. They asked "why" so many times, and the only answer they could get were, "there's a reason for that" or "it's a part of a bigger story."
What we know for sure, thanks to photos from the Avengers 4 set, is that Barton will be back, but perhaps not as Hawkeye. Photos from the set show Barton wearing a black and gold costume and rocking a new hairstyle and an arm covered in tattoos. And of course, those Ronin boots are instantly recognizable. But the questions is, what happened to Hawkeye and where did Ronin come from?
The theory says that Thanos' actions were the reason for this, implying that Barton's family vanished or got offed in Infinity War, and that's what made Barton adopt the mantle of Ronin and become a rogue hero as the name implies (in feudal Japan, Ronin was a term used for a wandering samurai who had no lord or master).
4 Skrulls will play a major role in the MCU
We all know that the Captain Marvel movie is being released in March 2019 and that it is set in the 1990s, and that the main antagonists of the movie will be the shape-shifting alien race called the Skrulls. However, it looks like we will see more of the Skrulls in the Avengers as well, especially if it turns out that the Secret Invasion theory is true. Also, considering that Captain Marvel will appear in Avengers 4, there's no reason for the Skrulls not to show up as well.
Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, also discussed brining the Skrulls to the MCU.
He said: "Captain Marvel will be our 21st film in the cinematic universe, and we've never seen the Skrulls. How come? We thought it would be fun. There's an entire section of our comics that deal with the Kree/Skrull war, and we haven't tapped into that at all, and we thought that would be an amazing, huge part of the mythology to belong to Captain Marvel." Now, whether they'll have a big role in the Avengers 4 or not we don't know yet. But one thing is for sure: we'll definitely see a lot of the Skrulls in the next phase of the MCU.
3 'Avengers 4' will be 3 hours long
Here's a very good reason for every Marvel fan to rejoice: the sequel to Infinity War might be three hours long! Imagine how much action, drama, and comedy will be packed in that span of time. Just compare it to Infinity War, which was 149 minutes long, so just 31 minutes shorter than the supposed sequel.
When asked if they think Avengers 4 will be longer than Infinity War, one of the producers, Joe Russo, said yes. "I’ll say it could easily be a three hour film, but I think that we’re very hard on the material, we like it to play at a certain pace. I’m sure that we’ll squeeze it, he said in one interview, adding that he definitely thinks "it will be longer than Avengers 3."
I mean, a lot could happen in just 30 minutes — the whole universe could be saved; all of our favourite superheroes could be revived; or those extra 30 minutes could serve as the epilogue to the movie, showing Earth's mightiest heroes (and the Guardian's of the Galaxy) living happily ever after.
Who am I kidding? There's no way that's going to happen! Knowing Marvel, those 30 minutes will probably serve as an introduction to new villains and what to expect in the next phase of MCU. But hey, I'm totally fine with that. As long as we get movies as exciting as Infinity War.
2 Gamora is not really gone
In order to get the Soul Stone, which was guarded by Red Skull on the planet Vormir, the Mad Titan had to sacrifice the thing he loved the most. His adoptive daughter, Gamora, thought Thanos was unable to love, but she was wrong. It turned out that she was the thing he loved the most, which meant she needed to be the sacrifice — a soul for the Soul Stone. But, there's a theory that Gamora isn't really eliminated.
In the comics, the Soul Stone is held by Adam Warlock and the stone has a world inside itself where Adam sometimes resides.
It is very likely that it's the same in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which means that Gamora is not gone, but only stuck in the Soul Stone world. So, if she can get inside that Soul Stone world, then in theory she'd also be able to get out of it. Another theory says that by dying, Gamora herself actually became the Soul Stone. Comicbook.com made a good point when they said that "giving up someone to call on the power of it could suggest it uses the soul of the sacrificed person to create the stone. If that's the case, then Gamora could be the key to depriving Thanos of the stone and setting things back to the way they were."
1 There will be some soul trading in 'Avengers 4'
Now that Thanos has finally collected all the Infinity Stones, he's basically unbeatable. I mean, he kicked off half the universe just by snapping his fingers! That says a lot! But this is a Marvel movie and it has to have a happy ending, right?
The question is how to achieve that. Especially considering that the Time Stone, the only thing that can help the Avengers, is in Thanos' possession. Well, there's a theory that Gamora's soul is the key to Thanos' defeat.
This shouldn't really come as a surprise, as we've seen that he really loved when he got rid of her (the irony, I know). Even the Russo brothers hinted that she's the key. While they said that Thanos doesn't have a weakness, they also added that "you have to find vulnerabilities for characters of that level of strength. Look for their emotional and physical life – that's where we figure out how we make those characters crack."
Now, if Gamora's soul really is stuck inside the Soul Stone, then the Avengers actually have a chance at getting rid of Thanos. However, rumor has it that in order for Gamora to get her soul back, somebody else will have to sacrifice their own soul, and that will most likely be Captain America or Iron Man.