Avengers 4 could be the greatest cinematic mystery since 'Rosebud'*. Back when it was 'Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2' we figured it would just continue on the battle with Thanos (Josh Brolin) after the climax of the previous film. But we've grown increasingly uncertain as time goes on.
A popular theory of late has been that the film will be some sort of time-travelling adventure – supported by the appearance of set photos featuring a long-haired, hammer-wielding Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a young, not-dead Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell) and other anachronisms.
But new comments from Joe Russo (who is directing with his brother Anthony Russo) hint that we may be barking up the wrong tree.
"It's interesting because photos always leak, and there's lots of conjecture about what those photos mean," Russo told MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast.
"Certainly, there is a five-minute sequence in Civil War around a piece of technology that was laid in for a very specific reason," he added. If you go back and look at that film, you may get a hint as to the direction."
Screen Rant theorises that Russo was referring to Tony Stark's BARF – the Binary Augmented Retro-Framing technology that was used in Civil War to project a memory featuring a moderately creepy de-aged Robert Downey Jr bidding farewell to Iron Man's parents for the last time.
Leaked set photos have indicated that BARF might play a role in Infinity War/Avengers 4. Could it be that the appearance of MCU characters in their old guises are projections of memories rather than an indication that time travel will be involved? Are the Avengers searching their memories for clues to defeating Thanos (or whichever threat they find themselves facing in Avengers 4)?
The title of the still untitled Avengers film might give us some clue as to what to expect, but it looks like we won't learn it until after Infinity War is released.
"We're gonna sit on that until we feel the time is right and when people have absorbed the first movie enough," said Russo.
Avengers: Infinity War will be released in the UK on April 27, 2018, and in the US on May 4, 2018, with its untitled sequel coming to the UK on April 26, 2019, and the US on May 3, 2019.
*(Or was it 'Who are Rey's parents'?)
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