The name that dare not be spoken may have been uttered by one of Marvel's stars -- or was it?
A little context first: In a recent interview during the press junket for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige confirmed that the studio was not yet revealing the title of the fourth Avengers film -- which was originally Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2 -- because the name itself was a spoiler.
But speaking to the BBC at the premiere of Guardians Vol. 2 a few nights later, actress Zoe Saldana -- who plays Gamora in the Guardians series and will also don her green makeup for the two Avengers films -- appeared to inadvertently spill the name.
The clip is below. But since it's a potentially huge spoiler (even in the caption), we're going to stick this now familiar photo of Thanos here first as a buffer if you don't want to read any further:
Still with us? Here's the clip, in which Saldana is asked where things are at with the third movie, Avengers: Infinity War. Again, major spoilers from here on out:
In you case you couldn't make it out, she responded:
"We’re in the middle of it, I think that the Guardians just shot their part when it comes to Infinity War’s, like, the first part. And we all have to go back for Gauntlet later this year."
If Saldana is right and did not misspeak or blurt out bad intel, it sounds like Avengers 4 will be called Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet.
The Infinity Gauntlet in the comics was the famous story in which Thanos (played now in the movies by Josh Brolin) obtains the six Infinity Gems (called Stones on the screen), mounts them together on a glove, and proceeds to wipe out half the universe and remake it as he sees fit. We won't get into his motivations for now; you can look it up yourself or, better yet, read the story.
The Infinity Gauntlet comic book arc was actually followed by a sequel called Infinity Wars, but don't let that fool you: the published Infinity Wars plot will most likely have very little to do with the movie coming out in 2018.
But from what we can surmise, Avengers: Infinity War will likely detail Thanos' quest to obtain all six of the Stones as the Avengers regroup and try to stop him. If the title of the fourth movie is Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet, it seems just as likely that our heroes will fail in their mission.
We can then make a reasonable assumption that the fourth film will follow Thanos as he proceeds on his path of cosmic destruction, until somehow he is finally defeated.
However, as we were finishing this story, a video from Yahoo! UK popped up in which Guardians director James Gunn -- who is involved with the other Marvel projects as well -- said that Saldana had it wrong:
Gunn: "It's not the title ... My guess is that Zoe just misspoke. I'll talk to Zoe today, but I would imagine that is just Zoe misspeaking and saying Infinity Gauntlet instead of Infinity War."
So did Saldana have wrong info, was she using a code name for the film (often used during production) or is Gunn trying to cover up for her slip? We have no way of knowing yet.
As Slashfilm and our own Trent Moore have both noted, the power of the Infinity Gauntlet is such that it can literally rewrite reality. And with Kevin Feige also saying last week that the Marvel Cinematic Universe "will be very different" after the smoke clears from the two Avengers film, using that aspect of the Infinity Gauntlet story -- even if that doesn't end up being the title of the movie -- may provide Marvel with the perfect opportuntity to perform a "soft" reboot of the entire MCU -- new heroes, possible recasting of older ones, fresh stories and so on.
What do you think? If Saldana really did give away the title of Avengers 4, or even if she didn't, are we possibly looking at a universe-wide revamp of the Marvel film franchise like we've seen in the comics every few years?