While doing the publicity rounds for Ant-Man and the Wasp, Marvel chief Kevin Feige spoke about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, specifically Avengers 4, billed as a ‘significant conclusion’ to the series.
In an interview to i09, Feige talked about why certain characters survived the events of the film, and certain others were ‘killed’. “I think for a film series that is going on 10 years and is gearing towards a conclusion with Avengers 4, which you don’t usually have in these kind of movies, you can sort of do the math. And realise it’s the original Avengers that are left,” he said.
At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, the villainous Thanos comes through with his threat of snapping his fingers and eviscerating half the universe’s population. Characters such as Spider-Man, most of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther are the ones who perish. Fans noticed that the surviving characters – Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk and Thor – are also the original members of the superhero team.
Leaked set pictures and an unofficial synopsis for Avengers 4 suggests that the film will involve a time travel plot that will take the Avengers back to the Battle of New York from the first film, considered to be a major turning point in the story when the heroes were introduced to the power of Thanos for the first time.
“A culmination of 22 interconnected films the fourth installment 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,” read the synopsis published in License Global Magazine.
Images from the sets of the film show Iron Man, Captain America and Thor joined by the likes of Ant-Man, who wasn’t a part of the battle in the first Avengers film. Each of the characters seems to be wearing a gizmo on their wrists, which has been rumoured to be the new technology that allows them to travel through time.
“In the new photos, it seems almost certain the scene isn’t a flashback, as Downey Jr. can be seen wearing a S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform, which he wasn’t wearing in The Avengers.The tweet releasing the newly leaked photos remarks, “this has to be time travel and not a flashback because there are two Tonys in the same place??” one fan wrote on Twitter, according to Express.co.uk.
Ant-Man star Evangeline Lilly confirmed the time travel element when she said in a 2017 interview, “You want me to tell you about the flash-forwards and flashbacks and flash-sideways? When I heard about Infinity War (and Avengers 4) and the direction that they’re heading, I did have this moment of realizing, oh, wow, there’s a bit of a déjà vu for me with the Lost franchise.”
The Lost series famously involved multiple timelines and time travel.
The directors of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 have been adamantly denying that character deaths will be reversed. “If we say goodbye to some characters, we will say it permanently,” writer Stephen McFeely told Huffington Post. But an unofficial plot synopsis for the film, published in a magazine that also (accurately) revealed the first synopsis for Infinity War, teased time travel and alternate dimensions.
Marvel’s next film is Ant-Man and the Wasp, due out on July 13. It will be followed by Captain Marvel in early 2019.