Right now, Avengers 4 is very much a mystery. In fact, Marvel won't even reveal the movie's title; they claim it's something of a spoiler. So far, leaked photos from the movie's set have indicated that Avengers 4 will include time travel elements, but haven't revealed much beyond that. According to Joe Russo, however, there's an important sequence in Civil War that connects to this particular aspect of the fourth Avengers installment.
Speaking on MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast, Joe Russo suggests that Marvel knew Avengers 4 set photos were going to make their way online, saying "It's interesting because photos always leak, and there's lots of conjecture about what those photos mean." Indeed, it has already come to light that some of the leaked Avengers 4 set photos may be fake and were taken by a photographer for the purpose of misleading fans.
Perhaps more intriguingly, however, Joe Russo then adds that fans would be wise to rewatch Civil War:
"Certainly, there is a five minute sequence in Civil War around a piece of technology that was laid in for a very specific reason. If you go back and look at that film, you may get a hint as to the direction."
The most likely candidate is Tony Stark's so-called "B.A.R.F." tech. The initials stand for "Binary Augmented Retro-Framing", a virtual-reality system shown at the beginning of Civil War. This seemed to be a touching character moment, revealing Tony's guilt over the deaths of his parents all those years ago. It seems the scene may have served a twin purpose, establishing technology that would be vital to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Significantly, other Avengers 4 set photos have suggested the B.A.R.F. technology will figure into the film's storyline.
Of course, Russo's comment may be another piece of misdirection. It's clear Marvel is now at a stage where they're deliberately toying with fans, working hard to ensure nobody knows what's coming next. That's why they're holding the title back, too. As Russo explained, "We're gonna sit on that until we feel the time is right and when people have absorbed the first movie enough."
It doesn't sound as though the title of Avengers 4 will be revealed anytime soon. Meanwhile, with fans settling on the idea that time-travel is a core part of the film, Marvel appears to be deliberately muddying the waters. The Russos are clearly pleased that fans aren't sure about what's real and what's fake at this stage.
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019