Avengers: Infinity War brought about the destruction of Marvel's beloved superhero team.
With Thanos looming large and half the Avengers turned to dust, anticipation for Avengers: Endgame has reached fever pitch. Will Iron Man, Captain America and the remaining crew be able to put a stop to the Mad Titan? Can they bring back Spider-Man, Black Panther and Doctor Strange?
Disney and Marvel have kept remarkably quiet on the upcoming sequel, but small details have emerged thanks to trailers, chatty actors and the occasional leaked set photo. Here’s everything we know about the fourth Avengers movie.
Avengers: Endgame reaches cinemas on 26 April 2019, just over a year after Infinity War was released.
The first official trailer for Avengers: End Game was released last year and featured Iron Man stranded in space, Captain America searching for a way to defeat Thanos, and Ant-Man hoping to get into the Avengers' facility. Watch the trailer at the top of this article, and click through our breakdown of it below.
During the Super Bowl, a second trailer – only 30 seconds long – was released, featuring a very empty world and some very sad Avengers. Some fans believed that some members of the superhero group have been removed from the trailer, as to avoid spoilers...
Those fans were proven right following the release of Captain Marvel, when another new trailer dropped. Interestingly, Tony Stark is pictured back on Earth and Brie Larson's Carol Danvers facing off against Thor (not in a fight, but a stare off).
Soon after, one final trailer was released, featuring the superhero team heading off to fight Thanos, as well as a first look at the Mad Titan post-The Snappening. The events depicted seem to still be from early in Endgame, as the team are not wearing their white Quantum Suits (more on those later).
A clip from the film, showing Captain Marvel, Captain America and Black Widow coming up with a plan to defeat Thanos has also been revealed – much of the footage was previously seen in the trailer.
For quite some time, no-one knew what the fourth Avengers movie would be called. First, the Russo Brothers – who directed Infinity War and return for the sequel – confirmed that the movie would not be given the subtitle Infinity Gauntlet.
They initially claimed that the title was not said during Infinity War, which ruled out the title Endgame as the phrase was used during Infinity War. As we now know, the brothers were hiding the real title all along.
Speaking during a live-streamed Q&A, Joe Russo revealed: “The running time on Avengers 4 is currently sitting right at three hours. We’ll see if that holds.”
Asked later about the length of the film, the Russo brothers said that the run-time was still around the three-hour mark, with reports later claiming Marvel were considering having an interval in the film.
The film was listed as three hours and two minutes long on AMC theatres’s official website, with the time later being removed from the webpage for the film. That length has since been confirmed by Marvel.
Thanks to License Global magazine – the same publication that offered the world first synopsis for Infinity War – we have a short, very non-spoilery summary of what to expect.
“A culmination of 22 interconnected films, the fourth instalment of the Avengers saga will draw audiences to witness the turning point of this epic journey. Our beloved heroes will truly understand how fragile this reality is and the sacrifices that must be made to uphold it.”
The only real pointer there is the fact “sacrifices will be made” which hints that a couple of big character deaths could be around the corner. Which brings us nicely to our next point...
Who will die?
Chris Evans has confirmed that he’s hanging up the shield after the next Avengers, strongly implying that Captain America may die. And while the actor has said that his character’s death is not a sure-fire thing, fans are expecting the honourable Captain to perish at some stage.
Another possibility is Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr has been demanding increasing pay for each Avengers outing, with some estimates putting his salary for Infinity War and Endgame at around $200 million. Can the studio afford to keep paying the actor such massive amounts? Considering Infinity War grossed upwards of £2 billion, they certainly can – but do they want to? Nonetheless, fans are still expecting Iron Man to kick the iron bucket at some stage in the near future.
There's also Thor. Chris Hemsworth has heavily hinted that the character will not be returning, saying: "Who knows what the future holds and whether they do prequels and sequels or whatever, I'd be open to anything. But right now, this is where we finish up."
Of course, with Thanos still around, there’s a chance any of the beloved characters who survived the snap – Hulk, Ant-Man, Rocket, and Hawkeye – could perish. The only survivor with a future solo movie currently in development is Black Widow, but her movie will likely be a prequel to her Avengers days.
Will the dusted Avengers come back?
Somewhat bizarrely, those who actually died during Infinity War are more likely to survive Thanos’s anger. Why? Because those superheroes who were dusted are the ones with sequels already lined up. Black Panther, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy all have sequels lined up (Black Panther 2, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Doctor Stange 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, respectively). Other future projects include The Eternals, with The Rider’s Chloe Zhao attached to direct, plus a film centred on Black Widow (though this could be a prequel).
Speaking of people coming back, one actor has let slip that his villain returns for Endgame; Frank Grillo revealed on a podcast that he will be back as Captain America nemesis Crossbones in a flashback.
The comic-book writer passed away at 95-years-old, leaving behind a huge legacy. Many fans have wondered whether the icon filmed his Avengers: Endgame cameo before passing away. This has previously been confirmed by The Russo Brothers, who said the cameo was filmed alongside his Ant Man and the Wasp cameo.
Will Hawkeye be back?
“Hawkeye’s on his own journey in this movie,” the Russo brothers said of the missing Avenger. What journey exactly?
Well, some comic-book fans are speculating that Clint Barton may have undergone some serious changes since the snap – something which has since been confirmed by the movie’s first trailer. In the comics, once his family gets brutally killed, Hawkeye takes on the vigilante identity of Ronin. Considering the trailer sees Jeremy Renner wearing clothes very similar to what Ronin is depicted as wearing, these theories seem very likely.
Who else survived?
A brand new tie-in book from Brandon T Snider, titled Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War: The Cosmic Quest, Volume 2: Aftermath, has revealed that Thanos’ finger-snapping destruction left two Thor side-kicks alive: Dr Erik Selvig (played by Stellan Skarsgård) and his associate Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings).
Theorists believe Selvig’s survival will prove key to defeating Thanos. They argue that the scientist knew Thanos’s destructive snap was going to happen – thanks to being hypnotised by the Mind Stone back in Avengers: Age of Ultron – and so created a fault which will see the destruction reversed. Other confirmed survivors include Valkyrie, Aunt May and Howard the Duck.
With Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) returning for Spider-Man: Far From Home, there’s been some fan speculation about how SHIELD may once again become important in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And thanks to a new Agents of SHIELD trailer, that certainly looks to be true.
The trailer features the SHIELD team fighting crime in broad daylight once more, having gone into hiding following the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Witht the team no longer underground, many fans believe Endgame will conclude with SHIELD once again working at full capacity and as the world once more needing a specialised task-force to deal with otherworldly threats. With that in mind, expect a large nod to the future of SHIELD in Endgame.
Captain Marvel post-credits scene
During the post-credits scene to Captain Marvel, we see Nick Fury’s pager – that same pager established during Captain Marvel and pictured during the Avengers: Infinity War post-credits scene – now at the Avengers facility with Captain America, Black Widow, Bruce Banner and War Machine.
Fury had been attempting to contact someone and the gang are keeping the pager powered, hoping someone responds. Suddenly, the pager goes blank.
“I thought we bypassed the battery,” Steve Rogers says, to which Rhodey replies: “Well, we did. It’s still plugged in, just stopped.”
Black Widow responds: ”I want to know who’s on the end of that thing.” Then, BAM, Captain Marvel appears behind Natasha, and asks: ”Where’s Fury?”
Turns out Captain Marvel was – surprise - at the other end of the pager all along and she survived Thanos’s snap. Fans believe this scene could have been taken directly out of Endgame and may explain why a character was seemingly missing from on the second trailer.
Have there been any leaks?
There have not been many leaks, although photos from the set of Avengers 4 have been posted online including one hinting that perhaps Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts will have a bigger role to play. There’s also been a new casting – 13 Reason Why‘s Katherine Langford.
Marvel, being secretive as they are, have not revealed who she will be playing, although fans believe the 22-year-old could play an older version of Cassie Lang, the daughter of Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man originally portrayed by Abby Ryder Fortson, who is 10 years old.
The Independent has previously dived into what these photos could mean for the Avengers here – including how time-travelling and the quantum realm will likely play a major part. Read our spoiler-filled in-depth look at the speculation surround the plot here.