WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
There was a fear that Avengers: Infinity War might deliver a Star Wars: The Last Jedi-like fury in its aftermath. You see, expectations were exceptionally high for what's Marvel's biggest movie to date.
Fans had speculated for ages about what may and may not happen in the movie, and we've seen what happens to a fanbase after all of their theories are disproved-- they turn on you quicker than a politician in a disposition.
Despite the obvious cop-out of an ending (don't deny it, because it's true), the Russos left a lot of possibilities open for the future.
In fact, there's a good chance that many popular fan theories might turn into a reality in Avengers 4 and Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Although, we'd recommend tempering your expectations if you think Superman will save the Avengers from Thanos.
Some of these fan theories are entirely believable and based off of the source material, while others are plausible internet whispers and rumors. That said, we do advise you from getting too caught up in them, as it's likely that things won't pan out exactly as predicted.
So, let's get to it, shall we? Here are the 15 Insane Fan Theories That May Be True After Avengers: Infinity War.
15 The Quantum Realm
One of the most disappointing aspects of Avengers: Infinity War was the absence of Ant-Man (and possibly Hawkeye). There was a throwaway line to explain his absence in the movie, but it's mostly due to him having his own movie (with Wasp) coming out in the next few weeks.
Nonetheless, we'd bank on him appearing in Avengers 4, in a role that might be a bigger (or smaller, if you want to get technical) than expected.
In an interview with the Independent, Sebastian Stan said, "There was one scene, I think, we had where everybody was there. I can't really talk about that scene, but I knew it took them three months in planning this scene to have everyone there. You look around and you just saw everyone from Samuel L. Jackson to Michael Douglas to Michelle Pfeiffer. Everybody was there."
The names of Pfeiffer and Douglas allude to the presence of Ant-Man, who might be the key to the Quantum Realm here.
This realm is an alternate dimension that can be accessed through magic or by shrinking to subatomic levels. When in this dimension, the notions of time and space don't matter, and could be the solution to bringing back the Avengers who disappeared.
14 The Soul Stone Harbors Those Who Were Lost
It's safe to say that not one single person believes that the vaporized Avengers are really gone forever.
Seriously, Spider-Man has a movie coming out next year and there's no way that Marvel would destroy its billion-dollar superstar Black Panther right now. These heroes will find a way to return in the next movie, and the children will finally get over the trauma and tears of this past movie.
One possibility mooted is based on the comic-book premise of the pocket dimension known as the Soul World, which exists within the Soul Stone (or Soul Gem if you're talking about the comics).
First created by Jim Starlin, also the co-creator of Thanos, it's depicted as a type of purgatory, with rolling hills and mountains. In other words, it's a lovely little vacation for the superheroes to recharge their batteries.
Avengers 4 could present us with two possibilities here. The first revolves around the "living" Avengers figuring out a way of releasing their trapped friends from this dimension.
The alternative is a break-free mission for those stuck there to find a way back to Earth. With Doctor Strange part of this purgatory-based team, we wouldn't be surprised if he plays a part in helping them piece together how to escape.
13 Enter Adam Warlock
The moment we saw that The Infinity Gauntlet would be the inspiration for Avengers: Infinity War, the name of Adam Warlock was on everyone's lips.
Many fans had expected him to pop up in a big way in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 but he only appeared as a cameo of sorts, so this led to speculation that he'd form a part of this story where he should, by all means, receive a starring role.
Christopher Markus, one of the screenwriters for Avengers: Infinity War, confirmed to Entertainment Tonight that Warlock didn't make the cut along with other characters.
"We didn't introduce Adam Warlock, because it's a massive backbend and you practically have to make an Adam Warlock movie to introduce him. He just can't walk onscreen," he said.
Markus, though, could be intentionally misdirecting us, and we might've been looking at it wrong all along in the first place.
Warlock's purpose is to lead Earth's heroes against Thanos, which he did in the comic storyline, after the Mad Titan already had all the Infinity Stones and wiped out half the universe.
From a narrative point of view, it makes sense that Warlock would be the MVP for part two of this tale, and not the first.
12 Wong To The Rescue
In Doctor Strange, we witnessed the true power of magic in the MCU when the Ancient One chucked Strange through all the different universes.
We've already discussed the possibility of the Quantum Realm and Soul World being relevant to Avengers 4's plot, but what if there's another multiverse to consider? Also, no, not 52 Multiverses, because DC would sue the pants off Marvel for that.
There could be a different spectrum of universes out there, which require magic to enter or escape them.
Even though a host of characters bit the dust (or became it), we never saw what happened to Wong.
This leads us to believe that he survived and is still around somewhere – undoubtedly ready to surface when he's needed in the next movie.
We already know what Strange is capable of doing with magic, but Wong is an equal master of the art, too. In fact, he could be the right person to find the vaporized heroes and bring them back to Earth.
While it's highly probably that the likes of Iron Man or Captain America will end up saving the day, it would be welcome to see someone different receive the glory and be the catalyst for success.
11 Shuri And Vision
Sheesh! Thanos really did a number on Vision, and the signs aren't looking good for his return to action any time soon. He wasn't vaporized-- he was pulverized by the Mad Titan.
While it's likely that this might be the end of the road for the synthezoid Avenger, Shuri could hold the power for his return (or rebirth).
The young genius wasn't able to split Vision from the Mind Stone, mostly due to time constraints, but there's no way that she didn't make backups of what she was doing.
As such, it's entirely possible that she has all of the information required to bring Vision back to life, or even give him a new body.
Apart from that, who's to say that Vision's consciousness isn't living in her computer already? She could reveal in Avengers 4 that she actually succeeded with her experiment, and he wouldn't require the Mind Stone anymore-- thus, all that would be required is a new "shell" for him.
Additionally, with T'Challa hanging out with Peter Parker and Star-Lord in who-knows-where, the stage is set for Shuri to shine in the next movie. Her first major move could be putting Vision back together and perhaps even improving him.
10 The Introduction Of Death
To date, the MCU has largely been a family-friendly franchise. It tries to avoid venturing towards the dark storylines and prefers to stay in its lane and be accessible to the whole family.
As such, the character of Death has been absent – probably because she'd freak out all of the children in the audience with her appearance.
In the comic-book storyline, Thanos did everything to impress Death, including trying to become a dictator of the galaxy. He had a little crush on her, and wanted to show off – much like those guys who flex their biceps when their love interest walks by.
Additionally, there's heat between the Mad Titan and Deadpool, since Wade Wilson had a fling with her and likes to rub it in Thanos' face when he can. It's like Days of Our Lives, but a cosmic version of it, which is weirdly more plausible.
If Thanos' relationship with Death is introduced in the MCU, it could bring another plot into the equation. The Avengers could barter with this entity to bring back their friends.
Considering that Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans could be calling time on their superhero careers, it's possible that Iron Man and Captain America could trade their lives for those of their friends. It'd be sad, but a probable outcome.
9 Captain America And Iron Man Pass Away
Many of us expected Captain America or Iron Man to meet their demise in Avengers: Infinity War. After all, their deaths have been teased by the actors for a while, and it's no secret that both Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans are wanting to spread their wings outside of the MCU.
Downey has claimed that he's been semi-retired since Iron Man. However, that doesn't mean he wants to do it forever.
He told News: "Everyone says to me it's like a glove that fits so well. I have to start over every time but I am starting over with a pretty solid base. I just never want to blow it for the last six or seven (MCU movies) I have done by dropping the ball because I decided to go do it one more time. I just want to hang up my jersey before it's embarrassing."
In an interview with The New York Times, Evans made headlines for revealing that his time in the MCU is coming to an end. He said, "You want to get off the train before they push you."
Additionally, Evans expected the planned reshoots for Avengers 4 to mark the end of his run as Steve Rogers.
Such statements lead us to believe that it's possible that both actors will call it a day after the next movie. Whether there's room for a future return or not, we don't know.
8 The Other Gauntlet
An inconspicuous scene in Avengers: Infinity War might reveal the main plot device for Avengers 4.
When Thor arrives on Nidavellir in search of a new weapon, he encounters the weapon-making dwarf Eitri. We then spot a forged prototype for the Infinity Gauntlet lying around. Out of all of the other items here, this is the one that the directors chose to focus on, so keep that in mind.
At the end of the movie, Thanos' gauntlet is burnt to a crisp. Yet, there's no mention of him having a spare one lying around or back at home.
However, he doesn't need it anymore, since he's achieved what he wanted to.
The heroes are the ones who require it now. This makes you wonder if Eitri's gauntlet will come into play in the future.
A Captain America action figure, which is set to be released by Hot Toys, might confirm this theory as well. Unlike Lego, the company has decided to keep its cards close to the chest and not spoil everything for everyone.
The figure is meant to be released in June 2019, while its images show that there's a mystery weapon included. What could it be? The Infinity Gauntlet.
An Infinity Gauntlet-powered Cap might duke it out with Thanos for the fate of the universe in the next movie.
7 Those Who Lost Their Lives Don't Return
We were promised game-changing moments in Avengers: Infinity War, which most of us presumed to be major characters losing their lives.
Still, we didn't expect as many as we saw once the movie decided to go full Game or Thrones on us – even if a few of these are dicey and may not be quite as permanent as we're being led to believe.
The destruction of Heimdall, Loki, the Collector, the Black Order, and Gamora, though, could be final.
After all, these characters met their demise before Thanos' infamous finger-snap and shouldn't technically be reversible. So, unless necromancy is introduced in the universe soon, this could very well have been the last we've seen of these characters in the MCU.
Speaking to BuzzFeed, Markus confirmed that the demises in the movie are permanent, which leads us to believe that the vaporized Avengers aren't really gone but "stuck" somewhere else.
"[Avengers 4] doesn't do what you think it does. It is a different movie than you think it is. Also… [the demises are] real. I just want to tell you it's real, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to move on to the next stage of grief," he said.
6 Scarlet Witch Keeps The Reality Stone
You have to feel sorry for Scarlet Witch. Out of all of the Avengers, she's lost so much since she's been introduced to the MCU.
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, her brother, Quicksilver, ended up as Hawkeye's human shield, while in Avengers: Infinity War she lost her new love, Vision.
It's easy to see how so much sadness has given her the emotional range of Kristen Stewart, but you have to believe that there's something more around the corner for her. She can't just be the piñata for the MCU and the one who loses everyone.
One proposed theory by Rotten Tomatoes' Erik Amaya sounds pretty good – for Wanda Maximoff and the MCU as a whole.
The suggestion is that once Thanos is defeated, the Infinity Stones will need to be dispersed again, and Scarlet Witch could end up with the Reality Stone.
Considering how her color motif matches the stone's red color, it's likely that she'd be the candidate since it would look cool on screen.
If the powers of the stone were combined with her current ones as well, she would effectively mirror her comic-book counterpart.
Moreover, she could use the stone to bring back the love of her life, Vision.
5 The New Avengers
Just like your favorite sports team and your teammates at work go through alterations, the only constant is change. Yes, you get used to the people around you and you'll miss them if they leave, but that's life and things need to evolve.
In the same way, the Avengers team will change, too.
We've seen a host of new members join Earth's Mightiest Heroes over the past few movies, but the core of the team (Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye) has been constant.
The comic-book series have taught us that no superhero team ever stays the same for too long-- there will be different lineups and new members.
Did you notice how all of the Avengers who "perished" were the newer members? Perhaps this is all a ruse for them to learn how to work together as a team and come back to replace the old guard.
We could be seeing the formation of the New Avengers in Avengers 4.
After all, Kevin Feige has promised that this movie will close a chapter on the MCU, and that Spider-Man will be a main part of the next one, so this could be the time to cement the status of the new breed.
4 The Living Tribunal
In The Infinity Gauntlet, the Living Tribunal – a cosmic entity – decided that the Infinity Gems would not be allowed to be used again in unison after Thanos' heinous actions.
As the story goes, the Gauntlet won't work unless the Living Tribunal allows it. He's like the school principal who'll throw you in detention if you defy his orders.
In the sequel, The Infinity War, it was Eternity – another cosmic entity – who had to convince the Living Tribunal to allow the Gauntlet to be used to undo the mistakes made by Adam Warlock.
While it sounds totally gnarly and confusing right now, the MCU has confirmed its interest in going in a cosmic direction, so we wouldn't rule out the appearances of these two entities in Avengers 4.
With Silver Surfer and Galactus imminent once the Fox and Disney deal is finally signed, sealed, and delivered, we'd imagine the studio would want to introduce all of the major cosmic players sooner rather than later.
Considering Thanos' godly power at the moment, it'll take some intervention to turn the tide. Maybe it could be the Avengers appealing to the Living Tribunal to step in and do something. If so, it'll be interesting to see what the trade-off is.
3 Time Travel
Okay, this isn't Flashpoint, but it's the same sort of principle here. It's not like the DCEU and MCU haven't stolen each other's ideas before, so we wouldn't put it past anyone to mimic the other studio (or do it beforehand). Thus, a crucial part of Avengers 4 might be the time-travel element.
In a way, the previous movie showed us why we shouldn't write off this idea.
Before Thanos could get to Vision, Scarlet Witch destroyed the Mind Stone with her powers. That didn't stop the Mad Titan, though, as he used the Time Stone to go back in time and get what he wanted.
It was a moment that spoke volumes, as it legitimized a potential theory for the next movie.
The Avengers wouldn't need to get back all of the other stones. All they'd need to do is get the Time Stone to take a few steps back and stop Thanos before he snapped his fingers.
There's already a rumor doing the rounds that the promo image of Captain America and the other Avengers (including the Hulk) running towards the screen (as seen above) might actually be an Easter egg from the next movie.
While we all thought that the Hulk in the picture was a clever diversion tactic, maybe it's a sign of things still to come.
2 Doctor Strange's "Only Way"
There's a scene in Avengers: Infinity War where Doctor Strange is ominous about the team's probability of success.
In fact, he states that he only sees one chance of them being successful against Thanos out of the millions of possible outcomes. Such odds aren't great, yet they could also explain why he asked the Mad Titan to spare Iron Man's life when he'd earlier said that if it came down to Stark, Spider-Man, and the Time Stone, he'd have to choose the latter.
What changed for Strange in this time? It's not like he built a brand-new relationship with Stark and Parker, and they were slamming beers and singing Springsteen together.
The only thing that occurred was his view of the possible futures. Perhaps the sole future where they survived featured the Mad Titan getting his grubby paws on the Time Stone – hence his words of "it was the only way."
The vision that Strange saw, which he conveniently didn't tell anyone about, must've required Iron Man's presence in it somehow.
It probably would've helped had he used his final words better before turning into dust, but hey, that would've destroyed all of the anticipation and excitement for the next movie, right?
1 Captain Marvel's Appearance
After seeing the success of Wonder Woman, it should come as no surprise that Marvel wants to fast track Captain Marvel into its movies.
Honestly, it would be dumb if they didn't. As soon as the name of Carol Danvers' character was first mentioned, many presumed that she'd be a lock-in for Avengers: Infinity War.
The Russo brothers teased the possibility of it for months. At the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, however, Joe Russo told ComicBook, "She's not in Avengers 3."
He didn't lie, even if the full truth wasn't revealed. In the post-credits scene of the movie, we see Nick Fury send out a distress signal. The logo on the phone looked familiar, signifying the imminent introduction of Captain Marvel.
Of course we'll see her, as portrayed by Brie Larson, in the eponymous solo movie being released in March 2019.
Once that's done and dusted, don't bet against seeing her appear in Avengers 4 and playing a huge part in it.
Speaking to ComingSoon, Anthony Russo practically confirmed it, saying, "We may be depicting Carol Danvers. It's interesting when you get to play with characters in this universe, because you are dealing with actors who have been playing parts for almost a decade."
"It's interesting to bring new energy into the mix, especially when you're doing this massive mosaic of a story. There will be massive surprises in these stories, we won't confirm or deny, but there's certainly going to be some curveballs thrown at the audience," he said.
Are there any other fan theories that you think might come be after Infinity War? Let us know in the comments section!