20 films have come and gone (alongside $17.5 billion) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with three more coming in 2019-- the biggest of which is Avengers: Endgame. Though they’re pretty much all box office juggernauts, it’s the “team-up” flicks that bring the largest crowds.
Ever since we first saw Nick Fury talk to Tony back in 2008, we knew that an Avengers film was inevitable. 2012 brought us Marvel’s The Avengers, a record breaker that was the first film to ever gross over $200 million in its first three days. Three years later came the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron; a sequel that may not have lived up to the hype of its predecessor, but brought in more than enough money to brand it a stellar success. Threeyears after that, we were given Avengers: Infinity War; a captivating, epic, devastating, and lucrative film that stole back the opening weekend record from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and returned it to Marvel hands. Im 2019, viewers will have an end to the first three phases of the MCU, something literally 11 years in the making.
Now these films aren’t just the most popular and ambitious films in the MCU, they’re the most scrutinized, discussed, and of course theorized. Many theories came to fruition, some never did, and others are still up in the air. For the list below we’ll only be looking at true Avengers films. Sorry Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnorak, having more than one MCU character doesn’t make you an Avengers film.
Let the speculation, dissection, and examination commence as we dive into 10 Avengers Fan Theories Confirmed To Be True (And 15 That Still Could Be).
25 Could Be: a funeral
Like many theories, this one has some evidence behind it. As highlighted on Screen Rant, there was a casting call for Avengers: Endgame that called for extras to portray “mourners.” Central Casting Georgia posted the following, “Mourners: Looking for men and women over the age of 18, all ethnicities, to portray mourners. Especially looking for good character looks and expressive faces.”
The Russo brothers did say to expect lasting consequences in these movies and a funeral is definitely an example of that. We know that many of the main cast member’s contracts are up. Will the funeral be for one of them, or like in Civil War, will it be for a more minor character?
24 Confirmed: Tony’s Age of Ultron vision came true
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Scarlet Witch (known then only as Wanda Maximoff) uses her powers and gives the core Avengers a sort of a vision. Tony’s was by far the most heartbreaking. Tony saw all of his superhero friends lying after having just been defeated in battle. He then goes to Steve, whose last words are, “You could have saved us. Why didn’t you do more?”
This is devastating in its own right, but given what Tony had to witness after Thanos defeats the crew in Infinity War, it’s much more affecting. It may have not been the same characters defeated, but the message and desolation remains.
23 Could be: The Quantum Realm Holds The Key
Ant-Man’s absence from Infinity War was quickly explained by a throwaway line, but it was pretty understandable, knowing he and Wasp had their own movie just a few months away. During Ant-Man and the Wasp’s post-credits scene, we see Scott go into the Quantum Realm through a controlled experiment, with Hank, Janet, and Hope waiting to pull him out when the time comes. Unfortunately, Thanos’ infamous snap takes place and the trio of Pyms are dusted with Scott left stranded in the Quantum Realm.
In the comics, the Quantum Realm is a place without rules, and even the Infinity Stones have no impact there. Could this be how our heroes will defeat The Mad Titan? It seems like a pretty obvious way to try.
22 Confirmed: An Alternate Hero For Banner
Ever since we saw Tony and the Hulkbuster beat the heck out of Hulk in South Africa, it’s always been in the back of fans' minds. It’s a powerful suit and would make a great substitute if, oh, let’s say Hulk could no longer come out and play.
This theory had a bit more legs closer to the release of Infinity War. The Lego Company released an action figure showing that Bruce could pilot the Hulkbuster. This came to fruition in Avengers: Infinity War, though viewers were tricked when they saw Hulk running alongside the gang in the battle of Wakanda during the trailer-- something that never happened in the film. It’s assumed that Hulk will return in Avengers: Endgame, but with MCU movies it’s nearly impossible to take anything for certain.
21 Could Be:: Tony Will Head S.H.I.E.L.D In Fury’s Absence
Though he may be tough to get along with, Tony has been known to play ball with his superiors-- just look at his stance in Captain America: Civil War. With Maria Hill and Nick Fury being dusted post-snap, S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to need a leader.
Tony has been affiliated with S.H.I.E.L.D. for a long while and is a close commandant to Fury. Presumably the only thing on Stark’s mind is finding a way to bring back those he lost and if taking over the organization will help him accomplish that, he surely would.
20 Confirmed: Someone Other Than Thor Is Worthy
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, a running gag is that no one is able to lift Mjölnir other than Thor. This leads to some funny gags where the gang tries their best to see who’s worthy while partying at Stark’s, culminating in no one being able to lift the magic hammer.
One of the more epic moments in the series occurs when Vision’s able to lift the mythical weapon, proving himself worthy in an unexpected fashion. Black Widow responded with, “That’s not a question I need answered,” when beckoned to partake in the friendly competition, so who knows if Vision really is the only Avenger who can lift it.
19 Could Be: Thanos' lady love appears
It’s widely known that in the comics, Thanos’ destruction is for the sole purpose of courting Death, a being whom Thanos hopes to one day be loved by. The film adaptation changed Thanos’ motivation and got rid of the her character altogether.
Let’s remember that Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame were originally designed to be a two-part story . There’s still a chance that Thanos' lady love may play a major role in the 2019 Avengers film, but the odds are pretty slim since they were never mentioned in any MCU film, ever.
18 Confirmed: Hawkeye Will Return As Ronin
Hawkeye was absent from Infinity War, but that’s not the case for Avengers: Endgame. The actor has already been confirmed to be in the film and is shown in the trailer looking much like Ronin, a darker hero who trades his bow in for a katana. Reports are that Hawkeye’s family had been dusted and he’s turned to Ronin as a result.
The trailer shows that Hawkeye and Black Widow will travel to Japan at some point in the film; the perfect place for Hawkeye to become the Japanese inspired antihero.
17 Could Be: The New Avengers
It will be hard to say goodbye to actors such as Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans in their respective roles, but it’s a better ending than staying past their welcome. Since no one would be able to portray the characters quite like the original actors did, a sort of “007ing” of different actors isn’t a great idea.
The theory here is that the original gang will perish, retire, go to a different universe, or anything that’ll allow for the newcomers to take up the mantle as “The New Avengers.” These Avengers would consist of Black Panther, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, and the Wasp. Some of these characters already have movies in development and the box office success of the others is evidence the rest could follow suit.
16 Confirmed: Red Skull Lives
One of the eviler people to ever walk the Earth was Red Skull, who assisted HYDRA in World War II, but then aimed even higher and wanted to rule the galaxy.
When Red Skull touched the Cosmic Cube (later revealed to be the Space Stone), he was teleported to a planet in the galaxy that would be his eternal home. There’s an unwritten rule in MCU films: no one is truly gone until you see the body hit the floor. That rule held true for the character (previously played by Hugo Weaving but then by Ross Marquand in Infinity War) and we saw him live once more as the keeper of the Soul Stone.
15 Could Be: Nebula Will Defeat Thanos
The comics go as follows: Nebula has a deep hatred for Thanos as he would constantly replace an injured limb with a cybernetic enhancement every time she lost a bout with her sister, Gamora. This caused Nebula to hunt down Thanos, defeat him, and then use the Infinity Gauntlet to reverse his deeds.
Many fans speculate that this is in fact how Avengers: Endgame will end, though it does come with its own cons. In the comics, Nebula then becomes overridden by the Gauntlet's power and becomes one of the most powerful villains, following directly in the footsteps of her father.
14 Confirmed: Pepper Will Suit Up
No one other than those who worked on the film know why, but all of America now knows that Pepper will at some point don her own supersuit. Gwyneth Paltrow took to Instagram to give a glimpse as to how her time on the set of Avengers: Endgame has been going. The actress is seen wearing some pretty slick armor with a green-screen behind her.
Is the suit for her to use along with Tony, after Tony has fallen, or even perhaps to use against Tony? We can speculate till we're blue in the face, but getting a clear cut answer from Disney prior to the film’s release will be nearly impossible.
13 Could Be: Loki Faked His Passing
The god of mischief hasn’t only deceived his foes and allies a few times, but has pulled this exact move more than once. Loki ends his life heroically in Infinity War by trying to stop Thanos-- or does he?
The popular Reddit fan theory is that the Loki that Thanos choked was just an illusion. Loki is right-handed, but when he stabbed Thanos he used his left hand. The only other time Loki has used his left hand was when he faked his passing in Thor: The Dark World. The evidence may be a bit of a stretch, but one thing is for certain: it's not out of character for Loki, even with Thanos’ “No resurrection this time” line.
12 Could be: Shuri Will Be The New Black Panther
Fans have theorized that in T'Challa's absence, Shuri could take up the mantle of Black Panther. Shuri is more than capable, helping her brother fight for what’s right, not just in Black Panther but again in Avengers: Infinity War.
The remaining heroes are going to need all the help they can if defeating Thanos and bringing back their friends and loved ones is a possibility. Marvel has been much more open to including female heroes-- especially with Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel-- so giving Shuri the chance to shine seems quite fitting.
11 Confirmed: Age Of Ultron Sets Up Civil War
Ultron's destruction of Sokovia was ultimately caused by Tony Stark. This is the one of the main plot points that cause the riff between the gang: Tony believes that oversight will help keep the Avengers accountable and such events from occurring again, while Steve wants to be able to do what’s right, without listening to a government.
If Tony thought Sokovia was hard to cope with, having half of the universe’s population dusted away will certainly be a struggle. The ripples of Civil War are still being felt as Cap and Tony have still yet to reconcile, though we’re pretty sure they’ll meet again in Avengers: Endgame.
10 Could Be: Skrulls Have Come To Play
It’s been reported that Skrulls will have a major part to play in Captain Marvel and it’s also been reported that Captain Marvel will lead directly into Avengers: Endgame. From learning that, one could argue that there’s a chance the Skrulls will play a big role in the next Avengers film.
The theory is that Captain Marvel is going to end with the “Secret Invasion:” a raid of Skrulls who will shape-shit their way into the Avengers without anyone’s notice. Again, this is solely a theory with no hard evidence to back it, but it’s a darn good theory at that.
9 Confirmed: There Will Be A Jump In Time
There’s now evidence that there will be a jump in time. ]Abby Ryder Forston has portrayed Scott Lang’s daughter, Cassie, in the last two Ant-Man movies. The Hashtag Show reported a while back that actress Emma Fuhrmann has been cast in Avengers: Endgame and that she will be playing a Cassie Lang.
People get recast all the time, but not Fuhrmann is roughly 10 years Forston’s senior. This is strong evidence we will see a late-teenaged Cassie at some point in the film, but how that happens is still a mystery.
8 Could Be: Thanos Isn’t The Big Bad After All
Thanos has\ been the villain of the overarching MCU story and is by far the most dangerous foe the gang has faced. What if in Avengers: Endgame, he’s not even the one The Avengers are worries about?
It all stems from a toy that shows Rocket and Thor in snazzy white armor, but the back of the box has a little excerpt: “The Asgardian Thor wields the mighty Stormbreaker in his battle against new foes. Rocket teams up with a new crew to guard the galaxy from an even greater threat.” New foes? An even greater threat? Could these just be henchman or an army of Thanos’, or is it teasing a new enemy in town that eclipses Thanos?
7 Confirmed: Avengers: Infinity War will bring massive destruction
Fans has a feeling that Avengers: Infinity war would bring true destruction to the MCU. Quicksilver and Agent Coulson had bit the bullet before, but there’s a stigma that Marvel doesn’t actually pull the trigger in a permanent way.
This all changed when we saw Loki, Heimdall, Vision, and Gamora all meet their ends. Loki and Heimdall were the first to go, Gamora was sacrificed so Thanos could retrieve the Soul Stone, and Vision had the Mind Stone aggressively and fatally removed from his head. In order to be scary, a major villain, has to show audiences and their nemeses what they’re capable of and Thanos did just that.
6 Could Be: Gamora Is Trapped In The Soul Stone
Post snap, we see an emotional Thanos talking to a younger Gamora. She asked if his plane is done and what it cost him, he responds with, “Everything.” The area in which young Gamora are talking has an orange glow all around it, very similar to the color of the Soul Stone. Fans have speculated that Gamora (and potentially the other dusted folk) are stuck inside the stone.
Visual effects artist for the film Kelly Port said that about the scene, “It just seems like a moment of internal reflection.” The directors have said that the consequences of Thanos' actions will last, so the theory does have its skeptics.
5 Confirmed: We Will Return To The Battle Of New York
The Avengers costumes have all gone through some changes over the years, but rarely have they gone back to their original outfits. Set photos have revealed the gang wearing their original attire from The Battle of New York during the first Avengers film. Does this mean that we will be going back in time somehow, or is this like in Furious 7 where they showed a montage of the crew’s pervious moments as a farewell to Paul Walker?
If the snap is to be reversed, time travel may have to play a pretty important role-- and what better way to go back to the past then with the coveted Time Stone. The only problem is, it’s currently in Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet and he is somewhere retired holding a Mai Thai right now.
4 Could Be: Not Time Travel, But Memories
It’s a widely held belief that Avengers: Endgame will be using time travel at some point in the film. What if it’s not time travel at all, but rather memories?
As seen in The Art of Ant-Man & the Wasp, there was almost a “Nexus” at the heart of the quantum realm which allowed for the user to travel through the past via memories. This actually makes a lot of sense, especially since set viewers have reportedly seen Scott Lang standing next to the original Avengers during the Battle of New York; an event that occurred three years before Ant-Man’s first appearance. For all to end well, someone will have to go back before the snap and fix this whole mess, and maybe this is the key.
3 Could Be: They Will Go For The Head This Time
In the comic Infinity Wars Prime there’s a potential Easter egg, or even spoiler, for fans of the MCU. The comic is not canon to the Cinematic Universe, but does offer a bit of a nod to what happened in the film adaptation of Infinity War.
We all remember when Thor plunged Stormbreaker into Thanos’ chest, to which he responded with, “You should have gone for the head.” Well, in Infinity War Prime, guess where hero Requiem slices her sword? That’s right, across the neck of Thanos. Is the comic theorizing what will happen in Avengers: Endgame or just giving fans what they wished for? Only time will tell.
2 Confirmed: Avengers: Infinity War Will Introduce Captain Marvel
Prior to Infinity War’s release, Anthony Russo had this to say to Yahoo Movies, “We have our hands full trying to tell the story we have with our pre-existing characters, but that’s not to say we’re not going to introduce a new character.” Many fans speculated, correctly, that the director was talking about none other than Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel.
The introduction was nothing more than an Easter egg at the end of the credits where Fury, just as he’s about to be dusted, pages someone on some very old technology. Who did he page? Well, the logo on the pager looked very reminiscent to that of Captain Marvel and, having learned through the second trailer that Nick Fury is an integral part, it all makes sense.
1 Could Be: Captain America Won’t Make It
First off, let’s look at that infamous tweet from Chris Evans back in October, “Officially wrapped on Avengers 4. It was an emotional day to say the least. Playing this role over the last 8 years has been an honor. To everyone in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the audience, thank you for the memories! Eternally grateful.”
He made a statement to clarify: “Regardless of how Avengers 4 ends, I would have tweeted the exact same thing. That last day of filming was a very emotional day, and it was the culmination of almost 10 years of filming and 22 movies...” Many see this as distinct evidence that Cap will perish in Avengers 4, but once again, only time will tell.
Which Avengers theory do you think is most likely to come true? Let us know in the comments!