We have a trailer and a title. The trailer for Avengers 4, aka Avengers: Endgame, dropped Friday morning to reveal our heroes just as — if not more — desolate as we left them at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
Before we get into what it all means, let’s watch the trailer one more time (though we know you’ve already watched it at least 20 times):
No surprise that we open on Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), drifting through space in the remains of what looks to be the Milano. After the Guardians of the Galaxy faded to dust in Infinity War, it seems fair to assume they don’t care too much about Stark borrowing their ship. Tony has run out of food and water and has one more day of oxygen. The recording he leaves behind is addressed to “Miss Potts.”
This is gut-wrenching and sad, but it’s not where our plot lies, friends.
The next images are all there to set the mood.
Thanos (Josh Brolin) wanders through the fields, having mounted his armor like a fallen warrior. The Infinity Gauntlet, once so important to this world, is still burned and looking a bit useless.
The remaining Avengers — Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), The Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) — have returned to the Avengers facility in upstate New York to mourn and lick their wounds. They're also trying to fight through tears and think of a plan.
And though you might not expect it from such a grim group of pensive super-sads, they do indeed come up with a plan.
First, they’ll need a slightly bigger team than the one they have now. Enter Ronin, aka Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner). Barton has been dancing in and out of the Avengers for a while now in the MCU, claiming retirement and citing the need to take care of his family (they saw some stuff during Age of Ultron). Rumors of Renner taking on Barton’s Ronin persona have been circulating since 2017, though the context of the identity shift was up for grabs. Some fans have assumed that Barton’s family was lost to Thanos’ snap and, alone and grief-stricken, Barton would take up the darker, more violent Ronin mantle.
Whatever the reason, Natasha finds Ronin and brings him into the fold.
More, importantly though, is Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), who shows up at the Avengers’ front gate with a crappy van and chipper attitude in tow.
It’s unclear exactly why Steve and Natasha are so thrown by Scott’s appearance at their front gate. He didn’t accompany them to Wakanda, so they didn’t see him disappear before their eyes. But, it’s likely they learned about the rest of the Ant-Man team (Hank Pym, Hope van Dyne, and Janet van Dyne) getting Thanos-d at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, and given that Scott was sucked into the Quantum Realm… they probably assumed he shared the same fate. Scott's picture is featured alongside Princess Shuri's (wow) and Peter Parker's (it still hurts) as one of the supposed dead, so that adds up.
But he didn’t die. Scott found himself stuck in the Quantum Realm, a mysterious place where the rules of time and space don’t necessarily apply. Anything can happen; Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) spent years trapped there and now has strange, Quantum Energy healing abilities.
So, what does this mean for our plot? We didn’t really get that much, right? We just got small, foreboding speeches about Steve and Natasha having a plan, right?
Kinda, yeah. But also, this trailer supports the most popular theory for how Endgame is gonna go.
Ready for it? Time travel.
Fans have been presuming a time travel plot for Avengers 4 for a while. Some sneaky set photos of the cast in their original 2012 Avengers getup with Ant-Man present for the Battle of New York have led fans to believe that the Avengers will somehow travel back in time to try and undo what Thanos wrought.
Using the Quantum Realm’s powers seems like a good bet.
It would also explain why Steve stares longingly at an old picture of Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) from back in the day. Is there a chance he’ll see her again? Might he have more time with her?
Will everyone be okay? Who’s going to die? Will anyone die? Will Steve Rogers die? Will Spider-Man live? Will Shuri live?
We’ll (hopefully) find out more in future trailers. And when Avengers: Endgame premieres in theaters in April 2019.