In an interview with UK’s Telegraph, Captain America star Chris Evans spoke about his contract with Marvel Studios, when it’s up and what that might mean for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Specifically, he spoke about how Avengers: Infinity War and the follow-up fourth Avengers film will wrap everything up. Here is his quote.
“I had six films in my Marvel contract, so I could have said after the third Avengers I was done, but they wanted to make the third and fourth Avengers films as a two-parter. They said they had so many other characters to fit in — Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Ant Man – and couldn’t get them all into one movie … It made sense. It’s going to wrap everything up.”
The interesting part to us in this quote isn’t necessarily that the two films will pretty much wrap everything up. We sort of already knew that. What’s interesting to us is what Evans said in the middle: “They said they had so many other characters to fit in — Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Ant Man – and couldn’t get them all into one movie.” By this accounting, that would imply that these are indeed two distinct parts to one large, overarching story. That is, the story is SO big with SO many characters that they couldn’t tell it all in one sitting.
We have a theory — let’s see if we can crack this case. We’ve heard reports of Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) filming, as well as Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Captain America. We’ve seen footage of Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) all together, heard that they’ve filmed with the Guardians. We’ve also seen behind the scenes pics of what we think is Asgard and know that Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson have been seen on set.
But we’ve heard nothing about Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Brie Larson or Chadwick Boseman being on set. That is, we’ve not yet heard that Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Wasp, Captain Marvel or Black Panther have entered the cosmic fray. Now, we should caution you, that does not mean they haven’t been filming; it simply means by our recollection at the writing of this piece that we cannot recall those names in any headlines or set reports.
With that in mind, here’s our theory.
In Avengers: Infinity War, we see Thanos and his Cull Obsidian arrive on Earth and Asgard to collect the Infinity Stones. The battle is mighty and far-reaching. Thanos doesn’t even have to be there, he could simply send his Black Order and fight from a distance, orchestrating the attack with his closest, strongest, most trustworthy allies. The original Avengers plus Scarlet Witch and Vision all do their best to fight off the attacks, but they are unable to completely push them back.
Unsuccessful in their defense and unable to fully stop Thanos, Chris Evans has to call in the weirder, more cosmic guns, like Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, The Wasp and Captain Marvel to team up with the Avengers who have not been completely taken out of the fight. And why do we say it that way? Because it the studio could keep all of the characters from the first film and add these new ones to it, then there would be no real need for a two-part cinematic experience in the first place.
That is, if we interpret very literally the quote from Evans, in Avengers: Infinity War we can most likely expect some of our favorite Avengers to be taken out of the fight in some way. That is obviously not exclusive to death, but it does not exclude it either. And, with such far-ranging powers as the Space Stone capable of transporting heroes to the other side of the cosmos or the reality stone altering, you know — reality — there are any number of options for the heroes to disappear. We haven’t seen the Soul Stone yet, but that is typically seen in the comics as having a pocket dimension in it, so we could even see our heroes disappear into that, as if imprisoned in the Negative Zone or the Phantom Zone.
Then there’s the release schedule. We’ve just recently met Doctor Strange and can expect to see more of him in Thor: Ragnarok. We’ve met Ant-Man previously as well, but we’ve not yet seen Hope Van Dyne take up The Wasp and we’ve not seen Captain Marvel at all. However, each of those characters has a film between the two Avengers films.
Giving them both their own movies between the two Avengers films could somehow fit into the larger Avengers story, explaining how exactly they get involved as well as explaining who they are and what they can do. In this way, when they show up to kick Thanos’s ass in the fourth Avengers film, it makes that much more sense.
And just what exactly does Captain America call this new team? The New Avengers. Either tagging off of something like the follow-up to Bendis’ Disassembled or Hickman’s take on the team as more like The Illuminati, the New Avengers are called together to take on the even more impossible, the cosmic threat the OG team could not.
So that’s our theory. We’ve very obviously taken a lot of interpretive license with the quote from Chris Evans and it’s entirely possible we’ve missed a bit of information. Also, boy oh boy is this just a theory, but it makes sense to us, at least it does right now. Give us a couple hours and we might change our minds completely.
He has two cats and knows all things about Doctor Strange but little else.