SPOILER ALERT: Potential SPOILERS for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ lie below.
Fanboys can be a bloodthirsty lot. With ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ coming up in the spring and the untitled ‘Avengers 4’ due the following year, Marvel’s Phase Three is coming to a close. So naturally, the question arises: which of our favorites are ending with it? Will this really be the last we see of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark, Chris Evans as Captain America/Steve Rogers and Chris Hemsworth as Thor? It wouldn’t be surprising as most of the big stars have fulfilled their contracts with Marvel Studios and several have expressed a desire to move on. But keep in mind that some of the stars, including Tom Holland as Spider-Man/Peter Parker, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther/T’Challa and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange/Stephen Strange are just getting started. We haven’t even see Evangeline Lilly in action as The Wasp or Brie Larson as Captain Marvel yet. So it’s not as though Marvel seems to have any plans to completely reboot their franchise after ‘Avengers 4’.
Of course, in the past few years, Marvel Comics has set things up by allowing other characters to assume the mantles of these legendary heroes. Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier adopted the guise of Captain America, which was then taken over by Sam Wilson/The Falcon. Tony Stark recently took on a protegée Riri Williams, who goes by Iron Heart and Jane Foster assumed the identity of Thor. Could similar switcheroos occur on the big screen?
Plus, there are rumors of a funeral scene being shot, so someone may perish. But keep in mind the same thing occurred while ‘Captain America: Civil War’ was shooting and that death ended up belonging to the elderly Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell).
Now, Robert Downey Jr. may have leaked a spoiler on Instagram, revealing that four cast members are at least returning for the now-shooting ‘Avengers 4’. (You may recall him leaking another potential spoiler via Instagram this summer.)
While the stars aren’t depicted, we now know (or do we?) that RDJ himself will return as Stark/Iron Man along with Evans as Cap, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man. So those four make it out of ‘Infinity War’ intact. (Rudd’s Lang was kind of a given, as he has his own ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ arriving in July, after ‘Infinity War’.)
Granted… they’re just chairs. But it would seem likely that at least three of Marvel Studios’ biggest stars– Downey Jr., Evans and Johansson– will be there for the capper to Phase Three. What happens after that, though is a bit of a mystery and one which Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige would like to keep that way.
Are you glad that Stark, Cap, Black Widow and Ant-Man will be back for ‘Avengers 4’?
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ arrives in theaters on May 4, 2018. ‘Avengers 4’ arrives on May 3, 2019.