Avengers 4 would end the phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thus wrapping up the Thanos storyline. Fans are still reeling after the shocking ending of Avengers: Infinity War, the third film in the series. Using the infinity gauntlet, the Mad Titan Thanos wiped off half the universe’s lifeforms in his quest to restore balance. In the purge, about half the superheroes and other characters — all of them introduced in phase 1 and onwards — also perished.

In Avengers 4, fans hope the dead superheroes will be resurrected. The directors Joe and Anthony Russo have been teasing subtle hints about the movie from their social media accounts. Actors are pranking fans by pretending to give hints to film’s title and hapless fans are falling for them.

So what do we know about Avengers 4?

Not much, really, since Marvel has released nothing officially. Everything you have seen so far — posters, photos, art — is created by fans and artists or somehow leaked. We know the third and fourth Avengers movies were first titled Avengers: Infinity War — Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War — Part 2 respectively, but things changed in the creative process. The third film was retitled Avengers: Infinity War and fourth… we don’t know yet, and many believe the title will be the first thing Marvel will release about the film.

What would happen in the movie? Well, we hope the fight against Thanos would continue. The hulking genocidal tyrant may have achieved his objective but he also pissed off a team of powerful superheroes… or what remains of it. The interesting thing is major superheroes like Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America lost people close to them. So they have a personal reason to loathe Thanos now, and not just their responsibility to protect the world.

We know Captain Marvel will arrive to join the fight. Portrayed by Brie Larson, the character would get its own movie a couple of months before Avengers 4, introducing her to MCU. Captain Marvel brings the knowledge of the universe, interstellar travel and aliens with her, making her an important ally to the Avengers. She is even rumoured to be the leader of the Avengers once the old guard retires. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige called her the most powerful superhero in the MCU yet, which means she is more powerful than Thor and Hulk. Her power is going to be of particular significance.

Ant-Man and Hawkeye will also return. The two heroes were notably absent in Infinity War. In the fallout after the Civil War, they were kept under house arrest by the US government. We know Ant-Man is currently stuck inside the quantum realm, but Hawkeye’s fate is now known. The two characters will most likely return in Avengers 4. Hawkeye posted photos from the set on his Instagram account and Paul Rudd (the Ant-Man actor) was spotted on Avengers 4 sets.

Who will die? Infinity War saw death and destruction on a scale never before seen in MCU, which had been relatively light and irreverent in tone before. With Avengers 4, contracts of actors like Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, and others expire. Of course, contracts can be renewed, but many think characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and so on will either die or retire to live the rest of their days as a civilian. Newer Avengers like Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel will then take over the mantle.

Will the dead characters be resurrected? Looks like it. At least most of them. Spider-Man: Homecoming’s sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home will release soon after Avengers 4 and it would almost certainly be set after the Thanos storyline. Then there is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (though James Gunn’s dismissal requires the hiring of a new director) and Doctor Strange 2, not to mention Black Panther 2 for which Ryan Coogler has been confirmed to return. The fate of Loki and Gamora is not so clear.

Avengers 4 will release on May 3, 2019.

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