With the snap of his fingers, Avengers: Infinity War villain Thanos dramatically altered the Marvel Cinematic Universe, leaving the future of many popular characters in doubt and bringing the 2018 film to a close on one of the greatest cliffhangers of all time. In doing so, he also made the still-untitled 2019 sequel to the film one of the most-anticipated movies to date in the MCU.
The latest update on the film suggests that the rumors of one particular character’s demise might have been greatly exaggerated.
Here’s everything we know about the sequel to Avengers: Infinity War so far.
(Note: Spoilers for Infinity War will be discussed below.)
It’s long been rumored that some of the original Avengers heroes could meet their end in Avengers 4, but the final moments of Infinity War created some uncertainty as to which characters will find their way back — and if so, for how long — in the sequel.
In an October 4 update on Twitter, franchise veteran Chris Evans offered up some thoughts on his final day of filming on Avengers 4 that seemed to be, well … fairly final.
“Officially wrapped on Avengers 4. It was an emotional day to say the least,” wrote Evans, who made his debut as Marvel’s star-spangled superhero in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. “Playing this role over the last 8 years has been an honor. To everyone in front of the camera, behind the camera, and in the audience, thank you for the memories! Eternally grateful.”
However, in a November interview with The Associated Press, co-director Joe Russo indicated that Avengers 4 might not be Evans’ final bow as Captain America.
“I think [the end of production on Avengers 4] was more emotional for him than us, only because, you know, he’s not done yet,” said Russo. “And I won’t explain what that means, but the audience will soon understand what I’m talking about.”
Filming on Avengers 4 occurred back-to-back with Avengers: Infinity War, and cameras officially began rolling on the film August 10, 2017. Both films were shot entirely on IMAX digital cameras — the first feature-length films shot with the large-format cameras.
Production initially wrapped on January 11, 2018, but reshoots commenced in September. The reshoots officially concluded October 12, with the Russo brothers posting a photo on Twitter to commemorate the end of filming.
Who will be in it
The list of characters expected to appear in the Infinity War sequel ranges widely, with Marvel keeping the identity of who’s gone, who’s back, who really lived, and who definitely died a closely guarded secret. Josh Brolin’s cosmic villain Thanos is certain to return, but the cast list on the film’s IMDb page currently includes almost every hero character who’s played a featured or supporting role in one of the Marvel movies to date, as well as some villains, too.
One character we know for sure will appear is Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, who appeared in a series of photos taken on the set of Avengers 4 in January 2018.
After being conspicuously absent from Infinity War, Jeremy Renner’s sharpshooter hero Hawkeye is also expected to return, and the actor seemingly confirmed he’ll be back in some photos posted to Instagram in early September. Whether he’ll be appearing as Hawkeye or as a very different, masked alter ego — as some rumors have suggested — remains to be seen.
Also glimpsed on the set of the film was Paul Rudd, whose size-changing superhero Ant-Man was — like Hawkeye — absent from the events of Infinity War. It’s reasonable to expect that Rudd’s co-star in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Evangeline Lilly, will be joining him in the film.
Some leaked promotional art for the film also seems to offer an indication of who will be in the fight against Thanos when Avengers 4 hits theaters. The art that found its way online is reportedly official promo art for the film, and features an ensemble of characters who — from the initial look of it — are all among those that weren’t erased by Thanos in the film.
The movie’s title
Marvel has kept the title of the Infinity War sequel a secret, likely due to the potential for spoiling the events of its predecessor. In fact, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that rationale in an interview with Cinema Blend, indicating that the title for Avengers 4 had been decided, and “yes, for sure,” it’s a spoiler for Infinity War.
What’s going to happen
Given that half of Marvel’s cinematic universe was erased at the end of Infinity War, and that many of the characters who “disappeared” are still scheduled to appear in upcoming films (i.e., Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Guardians of the Galaxy), the plot of Avengers 4 will likely focus on bringing those characters back in one way or another.
Actress Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula in the MCU, has also hinted that a showdown between herself and Thanos is on the way, posting an image in September showing the alarms she set for her Avengers 4 filming schedule. “Nebula has some unfinished business with Daddio,” she captioned the photo.
Another theory regarding the plot of Avengers 4 involves the likelihood of time travel, with one or more characters going back in time to undo some of the changes Thanos made in the timeline.
Leaked photos from the set of the film showing a clean-shaven Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) and a red-haired Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow have been submitted as proof of this particular theory.
Another potential plot point involves some reconciliation between Mark Ruffalo’s scientist character Bruce Banner and his green-skinned alter ego, Hulk. Ruffalo has indicated that he hopes to see Banner and Hulk battle for control at some point and finally reach a compromise, so this could play into the story arc in the Infinity War sequel, given Hulk’s reluctance to get involved in Thanos’ initial invasion of Wakanda in the first film.
Updated on December 3, 2018: Added comments from Joe Russo regarding the fate of Chris Evans’ Captain America.