Though studio head Kevin Feige admits they might’ve gone a bit overboard with the secrecy, Marvel has gone to great lengths to keep the title of Avengers 4 under wraps. So what could it be? Well, we have a few guesses.
Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War!
To this point, the Avengers films have followed a trend of paying homage to the comic arcs that inspired them — though that line of thinking gets a bit looser when it comes to the solo films. But still, it stands to reason the mystery title of Avengers 4 might bare at least some resemblance to a comic arc or event series at some point down the line. The finger snap hear round the galaxy that wiped out half the Marvel Cinematic Universe at the end of Infinity War makes it fairly clear Avengers 4 will be tied closely to that event. So, a title lifted from a comic arcs that deals with Thanos could certainly be a possibility.
It also stands to reason Marvel might lift a title and a few story elements from any number of other comic arcs, many of which could certainly be adjusted to fit into the narrative the Russo brothers are unspooling. Of course, there’s every chance the studio could go with a wholly original title at this point. The studio will have more that a decade of work and 20+ films under its belt — Marvel has certainly earned the leeway to call the film Avengers: Just Shut Up And Give Us Your Money by this point.
Here are some of the better theories for what the real title of Avengers 4 might be.
Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet
The 1991 miniseries from Jim Starlin was one of the most ambitious comic events ever conceived at the time, and set the stage for pretty much every major Marvel event to follow. it also served as the biggest inspiration for the big screen Infinity War, telling the story of Thanos’ quest to obtain the Infinity Gems — and even features that iconic finger snap scene that was brought to life on the big screen. Marvel borrowed a lot from this one, and it’d certainly make sense to just use the name. Star Zoe Saldana also seemed to slip up and reveal it last year. Put simply: This potential title is easily the most obvious answer to the Avengers 4 question. Though Feige has already gone on record saying it will not be the title of the next sequel. There’s always the chance he’s simply fibbing to keep the title under wraps, but that’s not usually Feige’s style. So, probably not? But still a hard maybe.
Comic writer Brian Michael Bendis’ work has inspired quite a bit of the MCU’s style up to this point, so it stands to reason the studio could always turn to one of his biggest Avengers events for Avengers 4. Plus, ahem, the title certainly makes some sense (you know, with the team literally “disassembled” by that finger snap). The story of Disassembled wouldn’t really fit much of where the MCU is at this point (it involved Doctor Doom mind-controlling Scarlet Witch), though a grieving Scarlet Witch could certainly cause some chaos if Vision remains dead. The most obvious part of Disassembled that could fit the MCU is the event’s aftermath: It led to the formation of new Avengers teams, featuring new heroes, once it was over. We don’t know exactly where the MCU will go after Avengers 4, but it stands to reason it’ll need a new team (or teams) of heroes to keep it safe.
This is one of those titles that sounds a bit on the vague side when it comes to any potential comic inspiration, but with half of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes dead/erased from existence, the remaining Avengers will almost certainly be working hard to “resurrect” their fallen comrades in 2019. This option also fits the theory that revealing the title of Avengers 4 too early would’ve spoiled the endgame of Infinity War. Had fans known there were folks in need of “resurrection,” it would’ve made it pretty clear Infinity War would be following the comic story and snuffing out a whole lot of heroes (at least temporarily). It’s vague, but it certainly fits.
Avengers: United We Stand
This Ultimate Universe comic arc finds Captain America stepping up to help save a fractured America, eventually being elected as the literal president of the United States in the process. The final scene of Infinity War makes it clear the OG Avengers will play a key role in Avengers 4 (if only because most of the team’s newbies are gone), and the creative team has confirmed Cap will have a lot more to do in the sequel. becoming president might be a stretch, sure, but the world will be in chaos (as we peeked in that post-credit scene) and need heroes to right the ship. Thematically, the title could also serve as a good fit, with the remaining heroes making a literal stand to reverse Thanos’ actions.
Thanks to sneaky set pics, theories abound that Avengers 4 will feature some massive flashbacks (or flash-forwards) or even time travel to different eras of the MCU. We know the time stone makes that all possible, and heck, there’s ample comic examples of time machines being used. Sure, Reed Richards typically builds them, but Tony Stark is a smart guy and could certainly figure it out, too. So if Marvel is telling a time traveling adventure to reverse Thanos’ finger snap — while also revisiting key MCU moments for a nostalgic romp through the past decade of movies as a sendoff — this title could provide a bit of inspiration. The 2000 Avengers Forever story has a lot of moving parts, but the crux of the story is that a team of Avengers are assembled from across time to stop a major threat. In the comic its Immortus, but hey, Thanos is certainly a worthy baddie, too.
Avengers: The Thanos Imperative
This one is a bit wordy, but hear us out. This 2010 cosmic miniseries found the main Marvel universe under assault by a literal Cancerverse on the other side of a rift in spacetime. If it’s not closed, it could consume all of existence. Thanos is right in the thick of the action, and a few of Earth’s mightiest heroes (Nova and Star-Lord) actually sacrifice themselves to stay behind in the Cancerverse to keep Thanos trapped upon closing the rift. Looking to how that could translate into the MCU, we already know a whole lot of major actor contracts are wrapping up in Avengers 4, so could a few of those flagship heroes (i.e. Iron Man, Captain America?) make the ultimate sacrifice to eventually trap Thanos in some alternate universe (it’s worth noting Ant-Man and the Wasp will be introducing a whole lot of intel on the quantum realms in a few months, too) to save the world in the final hour? It could certainly work.
Avengers: Secret Wars
This one is a bit far out there, and it’d be a lot to cram into a film already dealing with the fallout of Infinity War, but it’s still a decent option for a future Avengers sequel — and its reality-warping components. The original 1984 event sent most of Marvel’s A-listers to a “Battleworld” to duke it out with a ton of A-list baddies. But it’s the 2015 Secret Wars event that might be a better fit for the MCU. That universe-breaking story found the entire multiverse crashing into itself, with only a few surviving pockets held together in a makeshift reality. It’s a wild tale, and ends with a fresh reboot of the Marvel Comics universe, which could be a through line for Marvel Studios as it looks to a new generation of heroes (and possibly actors) to anchor the next few phases of the MCU. Plus, the name has a lot of recognition with comic fans.
Avengers: The End
This could go a few ways — just a couple years ago, Marvel used the Ultimate End event to wrap up its Ultimate Universe, merging a few components into the mainline reality. Which, yeah, could make some sense to create a "new" MCU when it's all over.
There's also this: in the early-to-mid-2000s, Marvel put together some “What If” series looking ahead to how the lives of some of the publisher’s biggest heroes might eventually end. The future set one-shots or miniseries, dubbed “The End,” were mostly character-focused and told all kinds of stories. So, it’s doubtful Marvel Studios would lift too much from these specific storylines — though the title itself could certainly put some finality on the first three phases of Marvel’s grand plan. If Marvel wanted to make it explicitly clear that Avengers 4 was the end of an era, putting one exclamation mark on it (so to speak) with the subtitle could certainly set that tone.
It’s obviously hard to say if Avengers 4 will use this title, but it stands to reason Marvel will eventually pull this one out for a big screen release. The 2006 reboot of Marvel’s flagship team, led by legendary writer Brian Michael Bendis, brought a ton of new heroes to the roster and started Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on a new path in the wake of several flagship heroes hanging up their capes and tights. Bendis had a knack for blending his roster with new and old heroes, with folks like Spider-Man, Wolverine (hey, that Fox deal is still looming), Luke Cage, a new-look Captain America (Bucky Barnes) and Ronin (a sword-wielding Hawkeye) holding the line. The end of Infinity War sets up the original roster of the Avengers to save the day, but when it’s all over, it stands to reason the MCU will be a very different place. It wouldn’t be much of a shock for Avengers 4 to play into that theme of new beginnings. Who knows? Maybe they'll even tap the TV side of things to round out the roster with folks like Cage? Regardless, if not Avengers 4, there’s certainly a decent change the eventual Avengers 5 could lift this title.