Captain America: Civil War may hold the key to the plot of Avengers: Infinity War sequel

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Nov 11, 2019, 1:51 PM EST (Updated)

Are the keys to the finale of the two-part saga that Avengers: Infinity War kicks off next month buried somewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s past? Infinity War directors Anthony and Joe Russo seem to be inviting fans to start thinking along those lines for the second installment.

As part of Empire magazine’s current saturation coverage for all things Avengers, the Russo brothers dropped some interesting clues as to what may be in store for the fourth movie in the MCU's flagship series, suggesting that we might learn something about where things are heading by rewatching Captain America: Civil War.

“You should go back and look at clues in Civil War to [see] what’s in that movie," Joe Russo cryptically offered, although he wasn’t specific when it came to exactly where the eureka moment — or moments — can be found.

We’re already half expecting to see Chris Evans’ tenure as Steve Rogers come to some kind of end in the current Avengers cycle, but whether there’s a lingering, carryover plot arc that propels the narrative for the followup movie is still anybody’s guess. Both Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel have already been filmed, with production on the untitled second movie having finished in January of 2018.

Evans himself is being as coy, if lighthearted, as anyone about the whole thing, though. "This is just chapter one," he told Empire. "Just wait until chapter two..."

The Russos have confirmed that we won’t know the followup film’s title until after Infinity War is in theaters, since the title itself would give away a major spoiler for how the first film plays out. But part 2 in the Infinity War cycle is expected to bring to a close the third phase of the MCU, marking a clear path for changes — including character replacements, introductions, and transformations — when things pick up again in future releases.

"Let's frame it this way," Joe Russo offered. "[I]f the last ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a book, these would be the final chapters."

Evans’ contract with Marvel may be drawing to a close, but as we’ve seen with Robert Downey Jr. and Iron Man, Marvel isn’t timid in allowing its story plans to determine how long it keeps an actor inhabiting a franchise character. But the Russos’ hints, coupled with all the buzz over Captain America’s fate in Infinity War, at least points to Steve Rogers as the focus of a major plot point whose narrative may resonate through a two-film cycle. 

Add in Evans’ own resignation for his time in character — “You want to get off the train before they push you off,” he recently explained to The New York Times — and it sounds as if the stars may be aligning for big changes for Captian America’s role, both with the Avengers, and within the MCU.

How that all circles back to Russo’s mysterious reference to Captain America: Civil War is still up in the air, but at least we don’t have too long a wait to make the pieces finally fit. Avengers: Infinity War rolls into theaters on April 27.