Marvel released the trailer for “Avengers 4: Endgame,” the next installment in the ever-popular “Avengers” superhero series, on Dec. 7, and fans have let their imaginations run wild ever since. The internet is overrun with theories ranging from plausible to almost impossible, and it seems as though these speculations will continue until more information is released or until the movie comes out in April of next year.
If you missed the initial tidal wave of rumors or want to review possible outcomes of the trailer, feel free to read on for a complete review of theories on all the characters shown in the trailer, along with those left out. But be warned — the next 1,500 words are chock-full of spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the previous movie, “Infinity War,” or want to preserve your lack of knowledge on “Avengers 4,” you’ll want to stop here.
Tony Stark, aka Iron Man
The “Avengers 4” trailer opens on Iron Man’s mangled helmet, a reminder of the battle the hero fought, and lost, against Thanos during “Infinity War.” Tony Stark begins to speak into the helmet with a message for his fiancée, Pepper Potts, detailing his love for her and disclosing his soon-to-come death from lack of food, water and oxygen. Although Iron Man claims that he has “zero promise of rescue,” because he is adrift in space in the Guardians of the Galaxy’s old ship, most fans are skeptical that Marvel would kill off one of their favorite superheroes so mundanely.
So, how might Stark survive? There are three prominent theories so far. First, the end credit scene of “Infinity War,” where Nick Fury paged Captain Marvel, implies that Marvel’s newest hero will play a prominent role in “Endgame.” Captain Marvel’s movie comes out just a month before this film, so it’s likely that her role in “Avengers 4” will be revealed then.
Or, as a second option, since Stark is in the Guardians of the Galaxy’s ship, the only surviving Guardian, Rocket, could help rescue Iron Man while searching for his friends. However, it’s unclear what Rocket is doing currently, because he wasn’t in the trailer, or how he would find a ship to get to Iron Man in the first place. Some fans have suggested that Rocket might ask for the assistance of the remaining Avengers, who would then point him in the direction of Potts, the CEO of Stark Industries, who could have a better idea of where to find a ship for the rodent.
And that leads to the last theory for Tony’s rescue: Potts herself. A leaked photo starring Gwyneth Paltrow in armor has rumors circling that Potts will take on her Rescue identity. In the comic books, Potts had her own suit of armor, similar to Iron Man’s, and a superhero identity called Rescue, which could be incorporated into “Avengers 4.” However, other fan sites have pointed out that this photo could be a fake. Fans will have to wait and see.
I won’t dwell on the least popular character in the MCU, but it’s clear that Thanos will play a big part in “Avengers 4.” Based on the trailer, the genocidal antagonist seems to have hung up his armor (literally) and started a more pastoral lifestyle. The scene from the trailer simply shows him strolling through a field, but where?
From the two scenes fans have seen, they’ve theorized that Thanos never left Wakanda after snapping everyone into dust. Of course, when it comes to this Titan, Marvel has given fans very little to work with, so the theories surrounding Thanos are less than concrete.
Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, Thor and Loki
The trailer only has one scene for each of these original Avengers, but from those scenes, it seems as though the Hulk and Thor are at the Avengers facility with Captain America and Black Widow.
Banner’s scene shows him lamenting over screens proving that Scott Lang (Ant-Man), Princess Shuri and Peter Parker (Spiderman) are all missing. Lang was left in the Quantum Realm after the events of “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” Parker was one of the many turned to dust by Thanos and Shuri was never revealed as dead or alive after the snap. Based on Banner’s reaction, most fans have assumed that Shuri was also snapped. However, it’s also possible that she has not revealed herself to the Avengers for another reason, meaning she could be under lockdown in Wakanda after T’Challa’s (Black Panther’s) death.
After the Hulk’s moment, there’s an odd in-between scene with the sun shining through the Avengers facility, before quickly cutting to a grim-looking Thor. Could that moment refer back to Loki’s last words to Thor (“The sun will shine on us again, brother”) and prove that Loki will make a comeback from his death?
Fans of Loki would surely hope so. After all, it’s widely believed that Loki did not actually die in “Infinity War,” despite Tom Hiddleston’s assurance that he is done in the Marvel Universe. Leaked set photos with Robert Downey, Jr., Paul Rudd, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Hiddleston seem to imply that “Endgame” will center around time travel, the means of which I’ll address in a bit, and appear to go back all the way to the first Avengers movie, which featured Loki.
In the images, Hiddleston and Hemsworth are back in their original “Avengers” costumes, while RDJ rocks blonder hair, Evans wears his old, blue suit and Rudd dresses like his normal Ant-Man self. RDJ, Evans and Rudd were also seen wearing strange clocks on their hands — time travel, anyone? These pictures have fans theorizing that Stark and company will go back in time to change what happened in the original “Avengers” film. But, fans can only speculate as to why Stark might want to go back in time to the events of “The Avengers,” though many believe it could be in order to contact Loki directly.
If you thought that fans had little to say about Thanos, you’ll be surprised by how few theories there are surrounding his daughter, Nebula. The trailer shows that Nebula did survive the snap, and it seems that she is on a ship. However, as to whether or not it’s the same ship as Stark, fans don’t know.
Plus, the trailer shows Nebula touching someone’s shoulder — I’m inclined to believe that she’s touching Stark’s shoulder as he is dying, but again, fans have almost no evidence for any theory surrounding this cyborg.
Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, aka … Ronin?
One superhero missing from the “Infinity War” action was Hawkeye, everyone’s favorite archer. He was reportedly on house arrest after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” along with his fellow hero, Ant-Man. So, fans were unsure if Barton had survived the snap or not.
The trailer shows that he did, in fact, survive, but also implies that Hawkeye’s family all died, causing him to take on another, darker identity, Ronin, and trading out his bow and arrow for a sword. In the comics, a multitude of characters took on the persona of Ronin, including Barton, who became Ronin after the death of Captain America. However, it’s likely this backstory will change for the big screens.
Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, and Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man
From the trailer, it seems that Black Widow and Captain America will play the most significant roles in “Avengers 4.” As I mentioned earlier, time travel is expected to be a central theme in this movie, and my theory is that, when Romanoff and Rogers are talking about how “this is going to work,” I think they’re getting ready to jump backward in time. This could relate to the theorized time jump seemingly revealed in set photos, or it could be separate.
Either way, Scarlett Johannson’s abrupt change of hair in the middle of the trailer also seems to imply some sort of time difference. However, fans have no way of knowing who’s jumping, or where they’re jumping to.
Of course, the big question is, how will any of these characters manage time travel when the Time Stone is seemingly out of play? That’s where Ant-Man might prove helpful. After the drama of the first part of the trailer and the title reveal, fans see Black Widow and Captain America watching a clip of Lang waiting for the front gate of the Avengers facility to be opened for him. The clip, based on what Lang says, is from years after “Civil War,” but the video clip also appears to be archived; so, to answer Rogers’ question of, “Is this an old message?” Maybe … not? But, in the clip, Lang has the van from “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which was set around the time of “Infinity War,” so is it possible that Lang went forward or back in time from the Quantum Realm and brought the van with him?
After all, if you remember the end credit scene of Ant-Man’s second movie, Jan Van Dyke warns Lang to avoid the “Time Vortex” just before he enters the Quantum Realm. So, after all of Lang’s friends are turned into dust, did he manage to find the Time Vortex in the Quantum Realm to escape?
If so, Ant-Man and his van could be the keys to allowing the Avengers to go back in time and fix past mistakes to save the world.
Besides the characters mentioned above, everyone else is absent in the trailer, mainly because they were killed by Thanos’ snap. It’s pretty widely accepted, though, that most of those snapped heroes will be returning in “Endgame,” as some of them (namely, Spiderman) have upcoming movies. The most popular theory claims that all those who “died” were actually put into the Soul Stone, which means that they can, hopefully, be retrieved from the Stone.
So, if your favorite character was turned into dust in “Infinity War,” not to fear — although they may not have much screen time in “Avengers 4,” chances are, they’ll return.
Until then, fans will just have to wait until April 26, 2019, when “Avengers 4: Endgame” is released in theaters in the U.S., to see if their theories are correct.