Ever since Thanos wiped out half of the universe’s population in Avengers: Infinity War, the fans have been mobilized in concocting a range of methods in which Earth’s Mightiest Heroes might undo this genocide in Avengers 4, and one idea that the internet simply refuses to leave alone is time travel.
Sure enough, the body of evidence to suggest this route just keeps on growing, the latest example being an excerpt from the new artbook Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War – The Art of the Movie. While reflecting on the difficulties of creating a sense of tension and uncertainty around a villain who can basically do anything, writer Christopher Markus made a couple of potentially telling observations, saying:
“[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.”
A key line here just might be the one about the Mad Titan being able to reset events. While this phenomenon could be seen briefly at the climax of Infinity War, when Thanos undoes the death of Vision before killing him again, this still seems like a curiously specific factor to bring up, and you can see why some fans are interpreting the quote as a sign that we could be in for some time-loop action in the sequel.
At the very least, Markus has shown that he’s well aware of the possibility that a fully-stoned Infinity Gauntlet has the potential to undo any progress that the Avengers make in fighting back, so you can bet that the writers have tried to find some way around this issue when devising next year’s story. One newly emerged theory has even sketched out a Groundhog Day-style scenario of our heroes traveling back to prevent the snap only for the Mad Titan succeed over and over again, which would tie in well with Doctor Strange’s line about 14,000,605 futures, while also bringing the time-loop logic of Strange’s own standalone movie to an extreme.
This is largely speculation for the time being, of course, but all will be revealed when Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019.