The hype around superhero movies seems ever-present, but other films pale in comparison to the anticipation of Avengers 4. While fans are still digesting the events of Avengers: Infinity War, its sequel is right around the corner and the world is rabid for details about it. Who will return? What happens next? Which Avengers will make it out alive? Everyone wants answers.
The film's events will conclude a story arc that has taken ten years to unfold and will set the course for an entirely new set of heroes, films, and fans alike. Naturally, Avengers 4 is the most secretive Marvel Studios project to date. Don't worry, though, because we're keeping track of everything Avengers 4-related so you don't have to. This list will compile all of the major details we know so far, as well as the plentiful and popular Avengers 4 rumors.
We're going to be talking set photos, fan theories, plot rumors, and so much more. With that said, we will be talking about some unverified "leaked" information that has made its way around the internet. While we have no exclusive "spoilery" info, we cannot speak for the sources that we'll be discussing below. If you want to know absolutely nothing about Avengers 4 — or if you're simply afraid that some of the unconfirmed leaks will prove true — you might want to proceed with caution.
With a light spoiler warning out of the way, it's time to dig into the juicy details. What awaits us after the snap? Here are 9 Avengers 4 Theories Confirmed To Be True (And 21 That Aren't).
30 Theory — Avengers: End Game
It's so secretive that nobody even knows the title yet! Tentatively referred to as Avengers 4, the name of the film still has not been released to the public. It was first known as Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2 when the story was envisioned as a two-parter, but eventually this was dropped. At one point, a cast member referred to it as "Gauntlet," leading many to believe it would be called Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet until this was denied by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
Since then, several titles have been thrown around — "Avengers Assemble", "Avengers Forever", "Avenge Us" — fans are even seeing "Avengers: Endgame" in cryptic set photos.
29 Theory — Captain Marvel Will Defeat Thanos
In the comics, Thanos' reign was finally undone by a cosmic character named Adam Warlock, who uses the Infinity Gauntlet to end the battle. He was referenced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but he probably won't appear in Avengers 4. It looks like Captain Marvel might appear in his place.
Kevin Feige has confirmed that Captain Marvel will be the most powerful hero in the MCU.
Will she use the Gauntlet and beat Thanos? Many believe so, with viral fan art already depicting the heroine winning the day. While the other Avengers will all get their shots, Captain Marvel may reenact Adam Warlock's iconic moment and end the battle for good.
28 Confirmed — The Battle Of New York Returns
Many of the Avengers 4 set photos point to an event fans have already seen — the Battle of New York from 2012's The Avengers. Several images show the heroes in their 2012 outfits on recreated sets of their fight in front of Grand Central Terminal. However, the scenes are altered — Ant-Man appears despite not being in The Avengers, and Tony Stark appears out-of-armor as his present-day self.
How and why this event is being revisited is anyone's guess (more on that later), but the Chitauri invasion of Manhattan was an event that shaped the first decade of the MCU, and there is likely a very good reason to come back to it.
27 Theory — Time Travel
Between the leaked set photos, the prevalence of the Time Stone, and the quantum "science" in Ant-Man and the Wasp, time travel is likely appear in Avengers 4.
Some leaks go even further, comparing it to dimensional travel.
One plot leak in particular states that the decisions made during time travel will create new timelines that retcon the MCU as we know it. For example, what if the Avengers were to travel back in time to get the Power Stone, so that the Guardians of the Galaxy never meet? If this is true, the Marvel universe will experience some massive changes.
26 Theory — Quantum Time Vortex
As an extension of the time travel theory, some fans believe that Ant-Man is more integral to the MCU's future than anyone realizes. If time travel plays a role in the film, the concept will have already been hinted at in both Ant-Man films through the introduction of the Quantum Realm.
Hank Pym makes it clear that time and space work differently in the Quantum space. Janet Van Dyne even warns Ant-Man about the dangers of "Quantum time vortexes" in Ant-Man and the Wasp. That may sound like nonsense, but could Ant-Man's trip to the quantum realm be the key to turning back time?
25 Confirmed — Hawkeye Becomes Ronin
Fans were shocked when Hawkeye didn't show up in Avengers: Infinity War. This core member of the team was totally absent, with his whereabouts only mentioned in throwaway dialogue explaining his life after Captain America: Civil War. Now, with Avengers 4 on the horizon, we know more. Hawkeye has become Ronin.
Ronin is a suit and moniker adopted by a handful of Marvel characters, but set photos seemingly confirm that Hawkeye will wear the suit next.
Whether he'll be called "Ronin" is total speculation, but he's certainly donned the ninja-inspired suit (or one that looks just like it).
He'll likely take the name too, but more on that later.
24 Theory — Shuri Is The New Black Panther
Breakout star Letitia Wright won audiences over in Black Panther by introducing them to Shuri, a lovable genius and younger sister to Black Panther himself. While she already has tons of fans, she may become even more of a sensation if she becomes the next Black Panther.
With T'Challa among Thanos' victims, the Wakandan throne is vacant. Although Wakanda usually has a ceremony to appoint the next Black Panther, perhaps the rules are different in the aftermath of a tragedy. The throne and title could easily fall to Shuri, if only for the interim. Of course, she'll probably become a Black Panther eventually, but why not in Avengers 4?
23 Theory — A Stark Industries Infinity Gauntlet
Rumors surrounding Iron Man's future are as confusing as they are frightening. One such rumor comes from a fan theory on Reddit, which suggests that Tony will beat the Infinity Gauntlet by creating one for himself. His arc reactor technology is capable of containing a massive energy source.
Theoretically, it could be used to contain the power of the Infinity Stones, albeit with great physical risk.
This fan theory also mentions something several plot leaks have mentioned — Tony will be the one to undo Thanos' snap and sacrifice himself by expending the Gauntlet's energy. What do you think? Could Tony harness the Infinity Gauntlet's power with a better arc reactor?
22 Confirmed — Hawkeye And Black Widow Head To Japan
Where has Hawkeye been all this time? Well, we're not sure just yet, but Jeremy Renner and Scarlet Johansson have been spotted on a set designed to look like Tokyo, Japan. The theory is that the duo have gone international in an attempt to combat the Yakuza, Japan's most dangerous crime syndicate.
This is in line with a casting call that asked for "Japanese gangsters and café patrons," but it also adds weight to the theory that Hawkeye has earned the name Ronin — the Japanese term for a wandering samurai. Maybe Clint gave Natasha a call and asked for some help with a personal vigilante mission.
21 Theory — The Hunt For The Skrulls
The Hawkeye rumors don't stop at "fighting the Yakuza" alongside Black Widow. While they've both been spotted on the Tokyo set, they might not just be fighting crime. They might be fighting Skrulls.
Skrulls are an alien race of shapeshifters bent on taking over Earth from within human society.
They're set to be introduced during Captain Marvel, which releases next year only months before Avengers 4. Will the aftermath of that film clue the world in to the existence of the Skrulls? If this is true, the Skrulls could be posing as Yakuza gangsters while the Avengers are trying to hunt them down. Is that what Hawkeye has been doing all this time?
20 Theory — The Guardians May Not Survive
Now that director James Gunn has been fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, rumors suggest that everyone's favorite space misfits are in jeopardy. Not only was the film subject to an indefinite delay, but said delays may impact Avengers 4.
The Guardians were meant to play a huge role on the next phase of MCU films, but now that it won't be coming out anytime soon, the Guardians may have their roles minimized, if not written out of the spotlight all together. It's possible that the Guardians won't survive Avengers 4 and that the cosmic side of the MCU will be explored through films like Captain Marvel instead.
19 Confirmed —Rocket and Nebula Join The Avengers
This might seem obvious, but seeing as Nebula and Rocket Raccoon are the only Guardians to survive Infinity War, they will both be joining the Avengers in the next film. Leaked concept art shows the two in the surviving Avengers' lineup, alongside team newcomers Ant-Man and Captain Marvel.
Since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is still up in the air, Rocket and Nebula probably aren't official Avengers.
It's safe to assume that they'll return to the cosmos when the Infinity Gauntlet story is over and the Guardians are resurrected. In the meantime, they're just honorary draftees.
18 Theory — Pepper Potts Will Suit Up
Tony Stark's other half has always hated his vigilante career, but perhaps Pepper has made a compromise. Gwyneth Paltrow made an Instagram post last year that may or may not have spoiled her role in Avengers 4. She appears on set getting a massage, but she also happens to be wearing a motion-capture outfit
Motion capture is precisely how Robert Downey Jr. imbues the Iron Man armor with his performance, so could Pepper Potts be getting a suit of her own? This has happened in the comics (and briefly in Iron Man 3), so it's possible. Regardless, Pepper must be involved in a scene aided by CGI. An action scene, perhaps?
17 Theory — Defenders Cameo
The dream for Marvel fans is to have every Marvel-owned character exist in the same universe. Unfortunately, the films do a poor job of acknowledging the television heroes (and vice versa). Seeing as Avengers 4 is the biggest event in the franchise's history, many fans still hope that this will be the chance for some film and TV crossovers.
The Defenders are the most likely candidates from TV, being the most popular named heroes outside of the movies.
How this can be done is anyone's guess — though it would be nice to finally see some acknowledgment of the rest of the Marvel universe. With that said, don't bet on it. Avengers 4 crowded enough as it is.
16 Confirmed — New Looks
The Avengers will receive redesigned outfits for the next installment, as shown in recent concept art. While some characters look more or less the same (Thor and Iron Man aren't getting major upgrades as far as know right now), Captain America is getting a new suit and Hulk is getting clothes.
Aside from a haircut and a shave, Cap will be receiving his iconic scaled body armor and a brighter color scheme. Hulk will likely wear an armored onesie as well, much like Amadeus Cho in the comics. It's a refreshing change from ripped pants — and while we'll miss the beard, it's nice to see Cap looking smooth again.
15 Theory — Loki Lives
Avengers: Infinity War makes a statement by choking Loki out within the first ten minutes, but he's survived worse before. As a matter of fact, he may have survived Thanos, because he is heading to Disney's new streaming service.
Tom Hiddleston will reprise his role as Loki in his own spin-off series, leading many to believe that Loki is alive and well.
If this is true, he'll probably show up in Avengers 4 in some capacity before sneaking off for more mischief. Loki will likely appear in the film's various "flashback scenes" like the Battle of New York, but this news seems to indicate that Loki survived anyhow.
14 Theory — Red Skull's Freedom
Red Skull's cameo in Avengers: Infinity War was a huge surprise, especially since it has been nearly ten years since he last showed his face. He's one of the best villains in the franchise and managed to be absent for most of it. Fortunately, he might return even sooner than expected.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have confirmed that the Red Skull is free now that he's no longer guarding the Soul Stone. It's safe to assume that he could reappear as early as Avengers 4. Between the suspected time travel, the events of the last film, and his potential role as a major villain in the next set of films, it wouldn't surprise us.
13 Theory — Valkyrie Returns
Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie was last seen at the end of Thor: Ragnarok, but she was nowhere to be found in Infinity War — even though the films only have mere minutes between each other. However, she may be back for Avengers 4, as she was spotted on the set in Atlanta with her Thor costar Chris Hemsworth.
She could have a role in Avengers 4, a quick cameo, or maybe she was simply visiting her Marvel Studios coworkers.
Thompson also may have been present for Creed 2 reshoots, though none of these explanations have been confirmed. The Avengers need all the help they can get though, so some help from Valkyrie makes perfect sense.
12 Confirmed — Cassie Lang Will Appear
Ant-Man's daughter Cassie has featured in two MCU films so far, but it seems she'll be recast for her Avengers 4 appearance. Her new actress, Emma Fuhrmann, is 17 years old. Why is Cassie so much older?
This suggests two things — either Avengers 4 takes place several years after Infinity War, or the film involves time travel after all. It also suggests that a Young Avengers film could be in the works, as Cassie Lang is known for becoming Stature, a young size-changing hero like her father. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has already confirmed his interest in a Young Avengers film starring Stature, so is this simply setup for a future film?
11 Theory — X-Men and Fantastic Four
As cool as it sounds, it's highly unlikely that the X-Men and Fantastic Four can be worked into Avengers 4. It's definitely possible now that Disney has acquired the rights to the characters, but the movies are filmed on such tight schedules that it would be extremely difficult to include them.
We can dream, can't we?
Don't expect any major characters to show up, but it would make sense for Marvel to set up these properties somehow in Avengers 4, especially as the next round of films begin to take shape.
10 Theory — Doctor Strange Knows It All
Seeing as Doctor Strange experiences millions of possible futures in Avengers: Infinity War, it's safe to say that he knows exactly what comes next. It's not clear how big of a role he'll play in Avengers 4, but rumors indicate that he will be integral to stopping Thanos.
Another leaked plot summary describes Strange's role in detail. If true, he'll be the one to revive most of the fallen heroes by using magic in the Soul Realm. This particular leak claims that Strange will work closely with Hank Pym on getting Ant-Man out of the Quantum Realm, and even says that he'll cage Thanos in a "dimensional prison" or sorts.
9 Theory — Professor Hulk
While his angry personality has become more manageable, lately Bruce Banner cannot transform into the Hulk when he desperately needs to.
The two personalities are at a stalemate in Avengers: Infinity War, but rumors indicate that this won't be the case for much longer.
The anonymous plot leak for Avengers 4 indicates that Hulk and Banner will come together as Professor Hulk, a version of Hulk from the comics that retains the intellect and personality of Bruce Banner. Despite the shaky source, it seems like the films have been setting up Professor Hulk's appearance for years now. Could Banner finally take control of Hulk in Avengers 4?
8 Confirmed — Tony Stark's Successor?
The MCU has so many characters in it that you likely forgot Harley Keener, the young boy that Tony Stark befriends in Iron Man 3. Ty Simpkins is reportedly reprising his role in Avengers 4, so why is this minor character returning in an already crowded film?
It's possible that Harley will reappear in a cameo, though the prevailing theory is that he will become a member of the Young Avengers in the next phase of the MCU. His aptitude for science makes him a perfect candidate for Iron Lad, though most fans aren't eager for an Iron Man replacement. Let's hope his casting isn't a bad omen for Tony Stark.
7 Theory — Tony Stark, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Fans of the comics won't be too surprised with this rumor — a plot leak claims that Tony Stark will be the new head of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Avengers 4. Using the Iron Legion from Avengers: Age of Ultron and the spy organization's considerable resources, Tony will help rebuild the world after the events of Infinity War.
Tony Stark was briefly the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. after Marvel's Civil War comic series.
If this plot leak were true, it would fit well into the context of the MCU. Now that Nick Fury is no more (along with at least half of S.H.I.E.L.D.), it would make sense for the world's premiere Avenger to take over.
6 Theory — Thanos Loses His Head
With an Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos basically has unlimited power. How can the heroes possibly defeat him? Although his defeat won't come until next year, one theory suggests a poetic ending for the villain. In Avengers: Infinity War, Thor manages to stab Thanos in the chest. Of course, it isn't enough and Thanos casually remarks "You should have gone for the head!" before snapping his fingers.
What if Thor gets a second chance in Avengers 4 and decides to go for the head? The Infinity Wars comic series just had Gamora put Thanos to rest in the very same way, and it would seem like a clever and satisfying end to the MCU's big bad.
5 Confirmed — The Civil War Ends
Captain America and Iron Man still aren't on speaking terms. The events of Captain America: Civil War have left them bitter and angry.
Although they didn't share any scenes together in Infinity War, they will finally settle their differences in Avengers 4.
Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely revealed that Infinity War was supposed to feature Cap and Tony's reunion. The sequence was removed for the sake of pacing and is instead going to appear in Avengers 4, with their relationship being the focus of the movie. This will resolve their conflict and pave the way for assembling the Avengers at the height of their powers-- finally.
4 Theory — The Fate Of Tony Stark
Earlier on the list, we discussed the rumor that Tony would be creating his own Infinity Gauntlet to fight Thanos. A related fan theory suggests that Tony will reverse Thanos' snap and sacrifice his life in the process.
Wouldn't it be dangerous for Tony to use his arc reactor to contain the Infinity Stones? When Thanos snaps his fingers, his Gauntlet hand gets charred as if it had caught fire. What would happen if a normal human being channeled that same power? This theory states that Tony will contain it, but lose his life after using it. To be fair, saving the universe isn't a bad way to go out.
3 Theory — The Fate Of Captain America
Cap's fate has been a hot topic ever since Civil War. Will he be replaced? Will he survive the Thanos saga? A leaked plot summary suggests a noble end for the star-spangled man. This leak states that Cap and Thor will team up against Thanos in a climactic action sequence where time travel will have restored Thor's hammer, Mjolnir. The action scene will have Cap wield Thor's hammer against Thanos.
Cap doesn't survive the fight, but he buys time for the Avengers to escape.
While the leak is vague, it describes the heroic sendoff that Cap deserves. What better way for him to go out than becoming worthy of the hammer?
2 Theory — There Will Be A Funeral
Nobody wants to hear this, but an Avengers 4 casting call specifically asked for "Mourners" almost a year ago. This indicates that there will be some sort of funeral scene — or at the very least, that the world may lose an Avenger.
Seeing as many original cast members' contracts are finally up, it could really be any of them. Cap and Iron Man are the most popular choices – and since they're the supposed focus of the movie, they could very well be the ones to go. It'll be a mystery until it hits theaters, but we'd all better brace ourselves now.
1 Confirmed — The Big Scene
No footage of Avengers 4 is available yet, but cast members have hinted at a scene that will blow fans minds.
This massive scene took months to plan and will feature nearly every character in the MCU.
Sebastian Stan first mentioned the scene earlier this year. It has remained shrouded in secrecy ever since — spare a few character confirmations that can be inferred from various interviews. Nobody knows what will take place within the scene, but if the entire cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is involved, it has to be the franchise's biggest endeavor yet. It sounds like Avengers 4 is truly shaping up to be a celebration of all things Marvel.
What do you think should happen in Avengers 4? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!