Good news: if the Avengers: Infinity War box office is any indication, I think they’ll probably make another one. But with a massive cliffhanger at the end of the movie, you’re probably more interested in what happens after Infinity War.
We’ve certainly got a few clues, based on what happened in the first movie (and what’s already planned after it). And there are a few things we can intuit, based on the comics. But first, a refresher — and in case it wasn’t clear, massive spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War after this point.
What happened in Infinity War?
Thanos (Josh Brolin) won. He beat the assembled Avengers, collected every Infinity Stone, snapped his fingers and snuffed out half the life in the universe. At the end of the movie, he finally got to enjoy a sunset, which was very nice for him. He smiled, the movie ended.
Obviously several more things happened; but the thrust of it is that the heroes lost, the villain won. There’s no obvious way for them to get everyone back, unless Tony (Robert Downey, Jr.) has a magic dustbuster. OR IS THERE??? There is, so read on.
Who died in Infinity War?
That’s a surprisingly tricky question to answer… The movie opened with the death of half of Asgard. We saw Thanos snap Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) neck. Heimdall (Idris Elba) was impaled. Gamora was thrown into a canyon. Oh, and there’s that whole “50% of the sentient life in the universe got turned into dust” thing.
That includes Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), most of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Bucky (Sebastian Stan), and even Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). Also a lot of other people. A lot.
But the bigger question is, who will stay dead? The Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man both have movies on the calendar… Nebula and Rocket’s space adventures would be fun, but since Guardians 3 is the conclusion of James Gunn’s trilogy, we can assume most — if not all of them — will be back. And unless Spider-Man is turning into Sandman, your friendly neighborhood web-slinger will be back, too.
My guesses: Loki and Heimdall are done for (though, then again, maybe not). Gamora is a question mark, though we got a glimpse that she was in the soul stone right after Thanos snapped his fingers, which is a plotline right out of the comics. Everyone else will be back. We’re also going to see a lot more deaths before Avengers 4 is over.
What happens after Infinity War?
Captain Marvel vs Thanos, baby! Brie Larson’s hero is rocketing out of the ’90s and into the next movie, which should help turn the tide against the Mad Titan.
That won’t be quite enough to stop him, though. She’ll help, but ultimately we’ll get to see that splash page shot of every single Marvel hero assembled against Thanos we didn’t get in Infinity War. Maybe someone will say “Avengers assemble!” Please?
Oh, and also? This certainly seems to be part of Doctor Strange’s plan. In Infinity War, he tells the heroes on Titan that he looked at over 14 million combinations of the future, and they only beat Thanos once. We never get to find out what that one combination was, and it certainly looks like Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) screwed it up when he punched Thanos out of his Mantis (Pom Klementieff) induced reverie.
Then, after Strange gave up the Time Stone to save Tony Stark’s life, Tony asked him, “Why did you do that?” Strange said, rather specifically, “It was the only way.” Only, as in, the one combination out of fourteen million that would let them win. He also told him, right before he turned to dust that the “end game” was about to begin.
This, in the comics, is usually the key to beating Thanos. You can read a little more about it in our breakdown of what comic Infinity War is based on, but Thanos always beats himself. Since he’s nearly invulnerable, it isn’t a matter of just whaling on him, you have to actually convince him to let himself lose. So Strange gives him the Time Stone, lets him win, and that (somehow) ultimately will lead to his downfall.
Alternately: in the real world, what happens after Infinity War is Ant-Man and the Wasp in July, which takes place before and during Infinity War. Then Captain Marvel next March, which takes place in the 1990s. Then Avengers 4.
When is the next Avengers movie coming out?
Not soon enough, reader. Not soon enough. You can get the complete rundown of what’s next for the MCU here. But short version is, probably the beginning of May, though it’s possible that date may get pushed earlier.
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