Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Avengers: Endgame.
Joe and Anthony Russo confirm that the Infinity Stones still exist in the main MCU timeline following the events of Avengers: Endgame. Opening with a surprisingly quick confrontation with Thanos (Josh Brolin), the latest Marvel blockbuster establishes that the elemental crystals can no longer be used by the heroes to bring back all those dusted by the snap. As a cautionary move, the Mad Titan reveals that he destroyed the gems using the stones themselves, plunging the heroes' to their lowest point. However, despite their current state, the Russos explain that the Infinity Stones do still exist in the main universe.
The MacGuffins of the MCU's The Infinity Saga, the six Infinity Stones - Tesseract/Space Stone, Scepter/Mind Stone, Aether/Reality Stone, Orb/Power Stone, Eye of Agamotto/Time, and Soul Stone popped up at different points in the franchise's more than a decade of history. They all came together in Avengers: Infinity War, with Thanos using them to execute the Decimation. Endgame picks up after the tragic events of its predecessor, with the heroes living through the repercussions of their failure. Eventually, the Avengers turn to time travel to reverse the Decimation, but had they known this latest tidbit from the Russos, they may have been able to resolve the issue fairly quickly.
During a Q&A session in Washington, DC shared on Reddit by user zachzhou630, the Endgame directors were asked about the status of the stones and how their destruction affects the time continuity in the main MCU universe. And according to the Russos, the Infinity Stones aren't actually lost: "Thanos only reduced the stones to the atomic level. The stones are still present in the universe."
Due to the heroes messing with time, there are a couple of splinters created along the way. This is despite the fact that Captain America (Chris Evans) brought all six Infinity Stones back to their original locations (although that may have caused some issues when he's reunited with the Red Skull in Vormir). But based on the Russos' answer here, it doesn't seem like Thanos destroying the gems created a brand new timeline because they remain in existence - they're just no longer easy to find.
Knowing this may have helped the Avengers in their quest to resurrect everyone who was affected by the Decimation, especially with science bros. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). There is actually a good chance they could restore the Infinity Stones, especially with the likes of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) around. It's also curious what this means for the future of Doctor Strange since the Time Stone is a pivotal artifact for him to properly do his responsibility. Just when everyone thought that the Infinity Stones weren't important to the franchise following Avengers: Endgame, it turns out they might actually continue shaping the universe going forward.
Source: Joe and Anthony Russo (via zachzhou630)
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019