It’s been a long held assumption among large parts of the Marvel fanbase that time travel will play a central role in the upcoming Avengers 4, and given the evidence available – from the leaked set photos, to that time vortexes line in Ant-Man and the Wasp – this prediction certainly seems reasonable. Still, part of you might wonder if there’s something a little too ‘easy’ about this solution to the concluding genocide of Avengers: Infinity War.
Putting aside the messy continuity complications that the plot device usually brings, time travel can be a pretty hard move to pull off without leaving the audience feeling at least a little cheated. With that in mind, you could certainly argue that there are more satisfying ways of concluding the fight against Thanos, and according to one Reddit theory, all the evidence we’ve been seeing to suggest that Marvel will be taking the time travel route is a mere distraction from what they’re really planning.
User Thatdudeiknew opens their post with the following thesis:
“The “leaked” pictures of Avengers 4 may be fake, and time travel is either not in Avengers 4 or it is used in ways we have not seen yet.”
The Redditor then goes on to explain that such elaborate deception wouldn’t be unprecedented for the studio.
“Now initially that theory may seem far fetched, as Marvel would never try to fool its audience right? Well, certain actors have been given fake scripts and the trailers have been altered some, so I would say it’s not unreasonable that Marvel could have taken a few pictures and leaked them intentionally. Marvel has been pretty good about keeping its secrets so far, and it would seem strange that something like that would be leaked unintentionally. Perhaps Marvel leaked these photos to prevent actual spoilers from being leaked.”
We can also add here that Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed has already hinted at potential red herrings in the film’s post-credits sequence, suggesting that the reference to time vortexes could also be part of this daring hoax.
Thatdudeiknew then lays out why they think time travel wouldn’t be the best fit for next year’s movie, saying:
“Time Travel is a dangerous thing to bring into a fictional universe. It is confusing to viewers and can create massive plot holes.
There are two ways we have seen time travel can work in the MCU (quantum realm and time stone), and both seem unlikely. The first way time travel could be used is through Ant Man, and this is unlikely to me because he’s not that popular. It would be a strange creative choice to have him play a significant role in A4 after having no role in A3, especially because a solo Antman movie was released AFTER Infinity War. The last we saw of him was in the quantum realm, so an opening scene would have to involve him in some way if he is to play a significant role. The other alternative to Antman playing a significant role is through the use of the time stone.
There is a theory that Tony will receive the time stone at the beginning of A4 and use that to stop Thanos. There are two problems with that theory. The first is that Tony has no way to get back to Earth currently, as he does not know how to fly a spaceship nor does he have access to one. The other issue with that theory, and it is a significant one, is that this theory has nothing to do with Ant Man. If the set pictures are real, then this theory is incorrect, as Stark is using Antman to time travel instead of the time stone.”
Finally, the user wraps up their theory by suggesting that the Avengers’ much-needed assistance could instead take the form of a certain superhero teased in the final shot of Infinity War.
“So what’s the missing piece to this puzzle? Captain Marvel. I expect her to play a much more significant role than people are talking about.”
Honestly, while none of the arguments presented here are sufficient for us to rule out time travel as a distinct possibility, the post certainly makes enough strong points to suggest that this sci-fi twist isn’t as inevitable as many fans are assuming. In any case, we’ll find out if Marvel’s pulling a fast one on us when Avengers 4 comes out on May 3rd, 2019.