With the snap of his fingers, Avengers: Infinity War villain Thanos dramatically changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe, leaving the future of many popular characters in doubt and bringing the 2018 film to a close on one of the greatest cliffhangers of all time. In doing so, he also made the still-untitled 2019 sequel to the film one of the most-anticipated movies to date in the MCU.
With Infinity War directors Anthony and Joe Russo set to return behind the camera and a lot of uncertainty about which characters will find their way back — and if so, for how long — the film currently known as Avengers 4 is expected to be a major turning point in the studio’s live-action universe.
Here’s everything we know about Avengers 4, the sequel to Avengers: Infinity War, so far. (Note: Spoilers for Infinity War will be discussed below.)
- Title: Avengers 4 (not official)
- Release date: May 3, 2019
- Cast: TBD
- Director(s): Anthony and Joe Russo
The list of characters expected to appear in the Infinity War sequel ranges widely, with Marvel keeping the identity of who’s gone, who’s back, who really lived, and who definitely died a closely guarded secret. Josh Brolin’s cosmic villain Thanos is certain to return, but the cast list on the film’s IMDb page currently includes almost every hero character who’s played a featured or supporting role in one of the Marvel movies to date, as well as some villains, too.
One character we know for sure will appear is Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, who appeared in a series of photos taken on the set of Avengers 4 in January 2018.
— Page Six (@PageSix) January 25, 2018
After being conspicuously absent from Infinity War, Jeremy Renner’s sharpshooter hero Hawkeye is also expected to return, and the actor seemingly confirmed he’ll be back in some photos posted to Instagram in early September. Whether he’ll be appearing as Hawkeye or as a very different, masked alter ego — as some rumors have suggested — remains to be seen.
Also glimpsed on the set of the film was Paul Rudd, whose size-changing superhero Ant-Man was — like Hawkeye — absent from the events of Infinity War. It’s reasonable to expect that Rudd’s co-star in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Evangeline Lilly, will be joining him in the film.
Some leaked promotional art for the film also seems to offer an indication of who will be in the fight against Thanos when Avengers 4 hits theaters. The art that found its way online is reportedly official promo art for the film, and features an ensemble of characters who — from the initial look of it — are all among those that weren’t erased by Thanos in the film.
— Aj Designs (@ajdesigns0220) June 29, 2018
Marvel has kept the title of the Infinity War sequel a secret, likely due to the potential for spoiling the events of its predecessor. In fact, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that rationale in an interview with Cinema Blend, indicating that the title for Avengers 4 had been decided, and “yes, for sure,” it’s a spoiler for Infinity War.
Given that half of Marvel’s cinematic universe was erased at the end of Infinity War, and that many of the characters who “disappeared” are still scheduled to appear in upcoming films (i.e., Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Guardians of the Galaxy), the plot of Avengers 4 will likely focus on bringing those characters back in one way or another.
Actress Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula in the MCU, has also hinted that a showdown between herself and Thanos is on the way, posting an image in September showing the alarms she set for her Avengers 4 filming schedule. “Nebula has some unfinished business with Daddio,” she captioned the photo.
Another theory regarding the plot of Avengers 4 involves the likelihood of time travel, with one or more characters going back in time to undo some of the changes Thanos made in the timeline.
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Leaked photos from the set of the film showing a clean-shaven Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) and a red-haired Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow have been submitted as proof of this particular theory.
Another potential plot point involves some reconciliation between Mark Ruffalo’s scientist character Bruce Banner and his green-skinned alter ego, Hulk. Ruffalo has indicated that he hopes to see Banner and Hulk battle for control at some point and finally reach a compromise, so this could play into the story arc in the Infinity War sequel, given Hulk’s reluctance to get involved in Thanos’ initial invasion of Wakanda in the first film.
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