In the new artbook Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War – The Art of the Movie, writer Christopher Markus reflects on his process for devising the story of the MCU megahit. But while he may not think that he’s saying anything about next year’s Avengers 4, fans are already coming up with theories around his potentially telling comments, and perhaps with good reason, too.
The quote in question sees the scribe discussing the challenge of creating the necessary obstacles for a villain as powerful as Thanos:
“[The Infinity Stones have] been misused by people who didn’t understand their true power. And now that the real master of them, Thanos , has shown up we can see what they actually do. The problem is, as you can imagine, as you gain control over these things, your story just goes haywire because why are there any stakes for the man who can control time, space, reality, your mind, your soul and power? He can reset as many times as it’ll take. So you have to build in a lot of bumps in the road or maybe keep one stone away from him for long enough in order for the thing to have any dramatic structure at all.”
One of multiple lines of speculation inspired by this text is the theory that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes may try to combat Thanos by taking away one of his Infinity Stones. In doing so, they’ll limit the Mad Titan’s power enough to go through with their plan of undoing his genocidal finger-snap, while also preventing him from simply carrying out this universe-wide purge a second time. It’s a fairly reasonable idea to take away from this quote, even if Markus could simply be referring to the story of Avengers: Infinity War, which was, after all, based entirely around our heroes trying to keep the tyrant away from the stones.
Another intriguing interpretation we’ve heard of this statement is that the scribe is unintentionally teasing a little time-loop action in the sequels, suggesting a Groundhog Day-style scenario of the team repeatedly traveling back in time to prevent the snap, only for the Mad Titan to triumph once again. Obviously such ideas should be taken for the speculation they are, but it’s clear that the upcoming release will somehow have to account for the fact that Thanos was practically a god by the end of his last flick. Perhaps there’s even something to the old theory that the snap caused permanent damage to the Infinity Gauntlet, limiting its owner’s powers in the process.
Whatever path to victory the writers have planned, you can expect some heavy losses on both sides when Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019.