Avengers 4's Shooting Schedule Hint at a Mass Resurrection
We know that the "snap" will either be undone or averted; Marvel has openly discussed sequels to Black Panther and Doctor Strange, production is already underway for Spider-Man: Far From Home, and despite the firing of James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is still in the works as well. The question of "how" is yet to get a satisfying theory, although we do have a better idea of "when".
Related: What Is Vision's Future In The MCU?
Looking at the shooting schedule of Avengers 4, there's a clear point when both the "snap" victims and survivors were on set - December 2017. Going by Instagram and other social media posts, it looks like Anthony Mackie, Dave Bautista, Elizabeth Olsen, Evangeline Lilly, Pom Klementieff, Tom Holland and Samuel L. Jackson - all killed by Thanos - were in Atlanta around the same time. It certainly seems to indicate a major "return" scene: a mass resurrection of the dead heroes.
But note that this scene was shot relatively late in filming, after over four months where the main actors on set were the survivors (as well as new additions Brie Larson and Scott Lang). That in itself hints at the structure of Avengers 4; the bulk of the movie will be about how the heroes are restored, only coming back towards the end of the film. It seems likely this is tied to the famous "every character scene" teased by Sebastian Stan.
So, what role will the returning heroes play? There are really two possibilities. The first is that their restoration is at the climax of the movie, with the Avengers triumphant and the world put to rights. The second - which would definitely be more satisfying - is that they return to participate in one final battle against Thanos. That would certainly be a perfect way to celebrate the end of the MCU's Phase 3, with every hero we've seen to date united against the Mad Titan.
Potential Snap Victim Team-Ups In Avengers 4
Whatever the case of a return, we know some details about how the snap victims will interact with each other; there have been a number of comments about potential team-ups that failed to materialize in Avengers: Infinity War. All the way back in 2016, Benedict Cumberbatch talked about the difficulty of aligning his schedule with "those of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany." While Doctor Strange shared some scenes with Iron Man in Avengers: Infinity War, he never interacted with Thor, Vision, or Scarlet Witch at all. That suggests some pretty important scenes - and, significantly, they involve characters who were killed by Thanos.
A couple of other oddball team-ups appear to be on the cards as well. Letitia Wright, for example, hinted that her character Shuri will share a scene with Chris Pratt's Star-Lord. Evangeline Lilly noted how much of a pleasure it was working with Brie Larson, suggesting Wasp and Captain Marvel work together at some point. Those comments are currently bereft of context, so we have no idea how they'll play out. Some may be a result of time-travel, with alternate reality versions of the "snap" victims working alongside the surviving Avengers. Others, though, may well be after the resurrections.
We don't know exactly how things are going to play out in the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4, but it's clear the "snap" victims will return - and, most likely, play a role in the last battle against Thanos himself. Perhaps the most exciting promise is that there's a scene in which every MCU hero to date gathers together. It's possible that will involve them standing united against Thanos, with Captain America finally getting the chance to utter that famous cry: "Avengers Assemble".
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019