As the Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps busting its own all-time records and expanding to unforeseeable heights, one thing has remained the same: fan speculation.
Fans are not shy about letting their imagination loose when it comes to the MCU. Every frame is an opportunity to find an Easter egg. Every line is a potential motive for bringing characters back to the franchise. Thinking back, many of these fan theories turned out to be correct, while others were squashed ruthlessly by newer Marvel installments.
As Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe nears its ending with Avengers 4, fan theories regarding the franchise have reached an all-time high. But to be honest, not everything makes sense. However, the theories that do make sense only yield more excitement and hope among fans. At this point, the MCU seems to have become unstoppable and inimitable. Regardless of what movies such as Captain Marvel and Avengers 4 bring in 2019, it is hard to imagine that fans will be upset or give up on the franchise as a whole.
As if there wasn’t already so much to watch out for, the recent talks surrounding the Disney-Fox deal could mean that even more iconic heroes are going to make their way to the MCU. With the possible introduction of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four to the franchise, fan theories have gone wild, and there is certainly no stopping Marvel now.
These are the 10 Weirdest Fan Theories About The Marvel Cinematic Universe (And 10 That Make Sense).
20 WEIRDEST: THE PUNISHER IS IN THE WINTER SOLDIER
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Nick Fury appears to be gone after he gets struck by a truck. Speaking about the matter, director Joe Russo said that the person who was driving the truck was a “high-skilled” person with a “very specific skill set.” After hearing such a thing, several fans jumped to the conclusion that this sounded a lot like a description of The Punisher.
If that were to be true and The Punisher was indeed involved in the happenings of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, that would have been the first time a Netflix-MCU character would have had an effect on the actual MCU movies.
However, to be fair, there was never any confirmation of this fact, and virtually any Marvel character could have been driving that truck.
19 MAKES SENSE: STAN LEE IS UATU THE WATCHER
Stan Lee is in every single Marvel Cinematic Universe film and show at some point. He is always in a different place and role. In a franchise that prides itself so much on continuity and interconnectivity, is it fair to believe that maybe Stan Lee has been playing one character all along?
According to certain fan theories, Lee has been portraying the same character this entire time: Uatu the Watcher, whose mission is to watch over the world and record everything that happens there.
Judging from the fact that Lee always seems to be present in very important locations in the MCU, watching over the heroes as they are saving the world, it certainly makes sense for him to be Uatu.
18 WEIRDEST: WOLVERINE GAVE THANOS HIS SCARS
As the possibility of the Disney purchase of Fox looms – and with it comes the possibility of adding the X-Men and the Fantastic Four to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – fans have begun to speculate about how the franchise will add all of these new characters to the fold.
One particular theory suggests that the reason why Thanos has three claw marks in Avengers: Infinity War is because Wolverine who wounded him.
As of yet, there have been no mentions of any X-Men in the MCU, but even with the behind-the-scenes news about the Disney-Fox deal is, it certainly seems a little weird that Marvel would already be teasing Wolverine in such a manner.
17 MAKES SENSE: THE SCARLET WITCH WILL HELP INTRODUCE THE X-ME
As it seems more and more likely that Disney will purchase Fox and that the X-Men and the Fantastic Four will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans have pointed out that the Scarlet Witch would be the perfect person to introduce mutants to the franchise.
The MCU has done a great job at not necessarily describing the Scarlet Witch as a mutant, because as of now, Marvel Studios does not own the movie rights to the X-Men characters. However, when it comes down to it, the Scarlet Witch is a mutant through and through, which puts her in a unique position if the X-Men do end up joining this franchise.
Overall, the theory that she will introduce these new characters definitely makes sense.
16 WEIRDEST: ANT-MAN IS IN EVERY MOVIE, WE JUST CAN’T SEE HIM
On the heels of Ant-Man and the Wasp, it certainly seems like Ant-Man, who was one of the original Avengers in the Marvel comic books, has earned his place as a standalone superhero franchise on the big screen. But what if that didn’t just happen in 2015, when the first Ant-Man movie was released?
What if Ant-Man had been fighting alongside the Avengers all along, but we just couldn’t see him because he was shrunken?
Despite the fact that this is a fun theory, it is pretty clear that the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Ant-Man was only granted access to his powers during a very specific part of the MCU timeline, which was way after The Avengers, and certainly after Avengers: Age of Ultron.
15 MAKES SENSE: HAWKEYE WILL BECOME RONIN
It came as a shock when Hawkeye was not seen in Avengers: Infinity War at all. Jokes have always made their rounds online about how he is the weakest of the Avengers and, to some degree, unessential to the team. However, it certainly seemed odd that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would literally leave him out during such a landmark film, particularly after he had been one of the main characters in the first and second Avengers installments.
Well, according to some fan theories, the MCU may be leaving Hawkeye out in order to tease audiences about what comes next: Hawkeye will become Ronin.
If that does happen, this character will represent a much larger menace to Thanos, and will be a much more significant addition to the Avengers lineup.
14 WEIRDEST: THE REALITY STONE WILL ALLOW ACTORS TO BE RECAST
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth have been respectively playing Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor for the entirety of their run in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the release of Avengers 4, the contracts between Marvel Studios and these actors is coming to an end, and fans have begun speculating what will happen to these characters after these actors are relinquished from their contracts.
According to one particular theory, the MCU may use the Reality Stone to recast its lineup of heroes.
Because this gem alters reality, it is conceivable that it could change the appearances of Captain America, and Thor.
Therefore, there would be room for Marvel Studios to recast these characters with fresh faces.
On the other hand, this theory sounds incredibly unlikely, and it is almost certain that this is not going to happen.
13 WEIRDEST: GROOT IS A GOD
Speaking of unlikely connections, one fan theory signals to the fact that Groot is actually a god. This theory came out right after the character was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Guardians of the Galaxy, and was in the height of its popularity.
Fans describe how Groot is able to create light and always aims to protect the Guardians at all costs, even if he has to sacrifice himself.
While those traits certainly do sound like godlike characteristics, it is a stretch to think of Groot as a god, particularly in a franchise that already has other gods, such as Thor.
Groot is just an alien, like most of the other characters in Guardians of the Galaxy.
12 MAKES SENSE: STAR-LORD STILL HAS CELESTIAL POWERS
The fact that Peter Quill (also known as Star-Lord) has celestial powers in introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, as it is revealed that Ego the Living Planet happens to be his father. Then, in the very same movie, the Marvel Cinematic Universe made sure to strip the hero away from those powers, seemingly driving audiences to believe that Peter went back to being his average human self.
According to fan theories, however, Star-Lord has retained some of those celestial powers, and they will make a return to the franchise just when Peter Quill has a need for them.
With the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 set for 2020, maybe we will see those powers yet again.
11 WEIRDEST: NICK FURY AND JULES WINNFIELD ARE CONNECTED
Samuel L. Jackson has portrayed a myriad of powerful men on the big screen. The actor, who brings Nick Fury to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, played Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and Frozone in The Incredibles.
One of Samuel L. Jackson’s most iconic characters came in Pulp Fiction, where he portrayed Jules Winnfield.
What does any of that have to do with the MCU? Well, during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Nick Fury’s tombstone read "Ezekiel 25:17," which was the exact fake Bible verse that Jules Winnfield quoted in Pulp Fiction. Thus, a fan theory surged, connecting Nick Fury and Jules Winnfield.
While it is unlikely – to the say the least – that these two characters are connected in-universe, it is certainly fun for the MCU to reference movies outside of its own scope.
10 MAKES SENSE: THE ANCESTRAL PLANE WILL COME BACK IN AVENGERS 4
Black Panther introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe a concept that had already been explored time and time again in the comic books: the ancestral plane.
In the MCU version of this realm, T’Challa was able to communicate with those who were no longer present on Earth, such as his father, T’Chaka.
As certain fans have begun to point out, the MCU may use the ancestral plane concept in Avengers 4 as a way for the heroes who vanished in Infinity War to communicate with the lineup of heroes that were left alive.
This theory certainly makes sense given that Black Panther was such a massive success, and T’Challa knows how to access that realm.
9 WEIRDEST: THE BATTLE FOR NEW YORK ALLOWED THE CHITAURI TO INVADE EARTH
The so-called “Battle for New York,” which took place during The Avengers, is constantly referred back to in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In particular, the Captain America trilogy and the Netflix television series regularly mentioned that event by name, often deeming it an unfortunate cause of destruction where superheroes ultimately prevailed.
What if the “Battle for New York” was never actually won, and was never the real fight?
One fan theory suggests that, in reality, that battle was simply a distraction for the Chitauri to invade Earth. And guess what? They succeeded.
With the upcoming release of Captain Marvel and the possible proper introduction of the Skrulls to the franchise, maybe this Chitauri theory will finally be debunked for good.
8 MAKES SENSE: CAPTAIN MARVEL WILL DEFEAT THANOS IN AVENGERS 4
The timing of the release of Captain Marvel – just before Avengers 4 – certainly seems curious even to the most disconnected fans. However, many believe that the reason Carol Danvers will be introduced right before the next Avengers installment is because she is coming to save the day and defeat Thanos.
In Avengers: Infinity War, it became clear that not even the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are able to overcome Thanos while he wears the Infinity Gauntlet. Thus, a new hero must rise, and it has to be someone who is particularly powerful.
To hardcore MCU fans, it seems clear that Captain Marvel will be that hero, which is somewhat of a similar role that Vision occupied in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
7 WEIRDEST: ADAM WARLOCK WAS STAR-LORD’S FATHER
As we now know thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ego the Living Planet is the father of Peter Quill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, there was a time when fans were genuinely convinced that there was only one major suspect for being Peter’s father: Adam Warlock.
Well, Adam Warlock indeed was in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but it only felt like a shout-out. Instead, Ego was revealed as Peter Quill’s father, which also justified how Peter had celestial powers and was able to withstand the strength of holding an Infinity Stone in the first Guardians installment.
In hindsight, the Adam Warlock theory seems weird. But to be honest, we were all pretty convinced back then.
6 MAKES SENSE: SCARLET WITCH AND QUICKSILVER DIDN'T GET THEIR POWERS FROM THE MIND STONE
We all know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe backstory for the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver was introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron. According to that movie, these siblings volunteered for experiments Hydra was doing with the Mind Stone, hidden in Loki's Scepter. However, why would the Mind Stone give them those precise powers?
One fan theory suggests that maybe they were both exposed to different stones, which are the real sources to their powers.
This theory particularly suggests that Quicksilver gained his powers from the Tesseract, a tool that carried the Space Stone. Conversely, the theory goes on to say that the Scarlet Witch was subjected to leftover pieces of the Reality Stone, which were found during the events of Thor: The Dark World. These make much more sense, given their specific powers.
5 WEIRDEST: TONY STARK IS PART OF THE ILLUMINATI
Marvel has a group of superheroes called Illuminati. Despite being a Marvel property through and through, this group shares a lot of similarities with the real-world mythos of the Illuminati: it is a secret society that works behind the scenes to provoke change.
Well, according to fans, the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Tony Stark is part of the Illuminati.
Moreover, Tony was actively responsible for sending the Hulk to space after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
It was all part of a plan that was developed by this secret society to get rid of the green hero.
Despite the fact that Tony Stark is indeed a rich guy who loves to be in a position of power, it seems unlikely that he is occupied with yet another group that is not the Avengers.
4 MAKES SENSE: THE SOUL STONE WILL SAVE THE MCU HEROES IN AVENGERS 4
Before Avengers: Infinity War, there was a lot of talk surrounding the Soul Stone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the most part, that was because this gem was the only one that still hadn’t been identified in the franchise. Thus, many fans initially speculated that the Soul Stone was going to be introduced in Black Panther or Thor: Ragnarok. It wasn't.
After the events of Infinity War, new fan theories now circulate that the Soul Stone will play a large role in the bridging of a gap between the third and the fourth Avengers installments.
However, one must wonder how this gem will actually manage to play a big part in the MCU, as the stone is comfortably sitting alongside the other gems on Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet.
3 WEIRDEST: HAWKEYE IS SECRETLY JUST SPYING ON THE AVENGERS
What if Hawkeye wasn’t necessarily on par with the “good guy” image that he has projected throughout the many Marvel Cinematic Universe films? In the comics, Marvel has toyed with the idea of Captain America always having been evil, which started an uproar among fans.
However, a particular fan theory suggests that maybe Hawkeye was just spying on the Avengers during this entire time.
It does not mean that Hawkeye is evil - just that he was secretly working with Nick Fury and keeping an eye out for the Avengers.
On the other hand, it certainly would put a crack in the squeaky-clean image that the MCU's Hawkeye has always presented to his team.
To be fair, this theory makes very little sense, particularly because if anyone has had a close relationship with Nick Fury, that would be Black Widow.
2 MAKES SENSE: BUCKY WILL BECOME THE NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA
Bucky Barnes has been one of the most important figures in Steve Rogers’ life, ever since the characters where introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. In The Winter Soldier and Civil War sequels, their friendship took a turn. However, by the time Avengers: Infinity War came out, it was clear that Bucky was once again ready to be on the good side of things.
As Steve Rogers’ demise in the MCU now seems more imminent than ever, fans have begun to speculate that maybe, just maybe, it would make sense for Bucky Barnes to become the new Captain America.
Throughout comic book history, Bucky has been known for filling in for Steve Rogers in the role of Captain America. Thus, this is certainly a theory that makes sense.
1 WEIRDEST: AGENT COULSON IS THE VISION
Phil Coulson, otherwise known as Agent Coulson, has been arguably the most important and present S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Moreover, he is the protagonist of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which remains the MCU most successful television show ever.
Among fans, a theory surfaced that Agent Coulson is actually Vision, and that is how he survived the events of The Avengers, which seemed to leave him deceased. He reappeared inAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D., seemingly fine, but there were hints that something was amiss.
Fans theorized that Coulson had become an android and would join the Avengers films as Vision, but it was debunked by top Marvel brass.
What's your favorite MCU fan theory? Let us know in the comments!