From its moody monochrome tones to the appearance of a certain Captain Marvel, the latest Avengers: Endgame trailer has got us seriously hyped about a second showdown with Thanos. But it may have also handed a lot more weight to a leading fan theory: Earth’s Mightiest will reverse Thanos’ dusting from Infinity War with the help of time travel.
It’s an idea that rests on the Quantum Realm, the micro-universe that featured heavily in Ant-Man and the Wasp. In the film, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) traverses to this topsy-turvy dimension where he comes across Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet van Dyne, who hints the place is riddled with “time vortexes”.
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Although we don’t see it on screen, it’s likely Lang fell into one such vortex just after the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp. After all, in the previous trailer for Endgame we see him banging on the doors of the Avengers facility in a video seemingly from 1983, according to a timestamp in the top left corner of the screen.
While this date is slightly blurred, it seems very significant that Captain America asks “is this an old message?” when watching Lang.
In other words, it looks like time travel is possible thanks to the Quantum Realm. And that’s what the remaining Avengers could use to reverse the dusting.
The new trailer also gives us a lot of teases that this will happen. Firstly, the new Avenger uniforms. During the latest sneak peek we see our favourite heroes striding across a hanger sporting bulky white and red outfits that look very similar to the suit Hank Pym used to shrink to the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Will Captain America and co make the same jump?
The suits are Quantum Realm suits. Back in Ant-Man and The Wasp. Hank went looking for Janet in a suit similar to the ones seen in the trailer. The concept design even looks close to what the avengers were wearing. pic.twitter.com/nKWr3qlrd0
— The Geeks Core (@TheGeeksCore) March 14, 2019
And then there’s all the black and white footage from previous Marvel films packed into the new trailer, from the very first Iron Man to shots of Thor’s Asgard. At first this might seem like a nice reminder how far these heroes have come over the MCU’s ten years, but it could also be a massive tease that the Avengers will look to the past to undo the dusting.
Plus, during this old footage we hear a voiceover from Captain America that again points towards this temporal theme: “The world has changed. None of us can go back.” Now doesn’t that sound exactly like the kind of claim that could be satisfyingly contradicted during the film?
In our books, it’s a pretty convincing theory. But it’s not completely watertight. For instance, it’s not clear how (and if) Doctor Strange fits in somewhere/time.
In Infinity War, Benedict Cumberbatch’s cosmic hero apparently uses the Time stone to explore the possible futures in the fight against Thanos. But did Strange also set foot in the past, too? If time travel has such an important role in Endgame, as the hints above suggest, then it’s likely Strange has a larger role.
And what about Captain Marvel and Thor? Arguably the most powerful Avengers, many fans are expecting the pair to be instrumental in taking down Thanos. But they don’t appear to be among the heroes wearing the suspected Quantum suits.
Will the duo be battling Josh Brolin’s big bad in the present for an unknown reason while the rest of the team travel back in time? Would they have any need to confront him in the present if the Avengers plan to overcome him in the past?
The answer in short: we’ve got no idea. However, we can be fairly sure the battle against Thanos is set to be absolutely epic – but by no means simple.
Avengers: Endgame is released in UK cinemas on 25th April