On Thursday, directors Joe and Anthony Russo teased Avengers 4 by posting a quick image on Facebook even though Avengers: Infinity War has yet to even hit theaters. But this is Marvel we’re talking about, where the next big thing is always the next big thing.
It’s unknown who the glove belongs to, but a quick scroll through the post’s comments on Facebook reveal a few fun fan theories that suggest Steve Rogers or even Kang the Conqueror (though the latter character’s movie rights belong to 20th Century Fox). Avengers 4 has yet to receive an official title, but some rumors have hinted that that is because the movie will adapt the popular Secret Wars/Secret Invasion storylines that saw shape-shifting aliens body snatch some of the Avengers (comics, right?).
But what is known about Avengers 4 is that it will mark the end of the contracts for many of the franchise’s main stars such as Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and others. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has noted that the film will be a closing chapter of sorts for this current roster.
“Certainly as we get to Infinity War, there is a sense of a climax, if not a conclusion to, by the time we’re at untitled Avengers 4, the 22 movies that will have encompassed the first three phases of the MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe],” Feige told Collider. “And what happens after that will be very different. I don’t know if it’s Phase 4, it might be a new thing.”
So who will populate this “new thing?” Marvel has made it a point to introduce a handful of new characters in recent years. While the studio could easily recast the original heroes (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, etc.), it seems more likely that these new characters will take up the Avengers mantle going forward.
Between Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man and Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, the MCU has more than enough star power to keep soldiering on.
Avengers: Infinity War will hit theaters on May 4, 2018, while Avengers 4 is scheduled for release on May 3, 2019.