Warning: This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.
Marvel just dropped perhaps the most-anticipated movie trailer in recent history. After (again, spoiler alert!) Thanos snapped his fingers and disintegrated half of all life in the universe in April’s Avengers: Infinity War, fans have been desperate to figure out how the remaining Avengers will bring back their fellow heroes back to life.
The sequel will be called Avengers: Endgame, a reference to a scene involving Doctor Strange and Iron Man in Infinity War. Doctor Strange had looked ahead at all the possible futures and determined that there was only one in which the Avengers beat Thanos. He then gave up the Time Stone, one of the Infinity Stones, to Thanos and told Iron Man, “We’re in the endgame now.”
The trailer for Endgame finally gave fans a better idea about what will happen, though the footage offers more questions than answers. Plenty of heroes that fans already know will play a major role in the movie were absent from the trailer, like Captain Marvel. Here is everything you need to know about the Avengers: Endgame trailer, including a second-by-second breakdown of the teaser.
Avengers 4 will be called Avengers: Endgame
The title suggests the Avengers will enter a mental rather than a physical battle with Thanos (Josh Brolin). An endgame often refers to the final stage of a game like chess where players must make certain sacrifices in order to win. It also calls back to Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) line in Infinity War, “We’re in the end game now.”
Strange uttered those words after giving up the Time Stone to Thanos. Iron Man was baffled by his actions, but Strange tried to succinctly explain before he disappeared that giving up the Time Stone was a strategic move. Looks like we’re finally going to find out Strange’s plan.
Avengers: Endgame will premiere on April 26, 2019
The heroes will probably use time travel and the Quantum Realm to defeat Thanos
Ever since Thanos destroyed half of all life in the universe, fans have been floating theories about how the Avengers could reverse his actions. Most have focused on the Quantum Realm or time travel. The trailer suggests we’ll get a little bit of both.
The only way to restore the universe to the way it was is to prevent Thanos from ever snapping his fingers at all. That will require going back in time. Leaked photos from the set show the Avengers in old versions of their uniforms, suggesting we’ll either see flashbacks or time travel. The title “endgame” also suggests that the plot will revolve around a plot conceived by Doctor Strange, the master of the time stone, before he died.
The trailer shows Steve Rogers (Captain America, played by Chris Evans) looking at an old photo of Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), his love interest during World War II who died of old age in Captain America: Civil War. Maybe he is reminiscing over an old love. Or maybe he’s about to see her again. Over his shoulder, Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff, played by Scarlett Johansson) says, “This will work.” That probably means that Cap (and maybe some of the other Avengers) are traveling back in time.
But how? The Quantum Realm may hold the answer. Those who saw Ant-Man and the Wasp will recall that the post-credits scene shows Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) getting stuck in the subatomic space during an experiment when the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) and her family, who were supposed to pull him out, disintegrated. In the trailer, we see Scott Lang back to his normal size. He seems to have figured out a way to get out of the Quantum Realm on his own.
His escape could link a time travel plot: The Wasp’s mother Janet Van Dyne warns Scott in Ant-Man and the Wasp not to get stuck in a “time vortex” while traveling in the Quantum Realm. It’s unclear what that means, but maybe Scott has figured out a way to use it to his advantage to jump through time. The final teaser scene shows Scott showing up at the Avengers campus. But if you look closely the video is labeled “archive,” which means that Scott could have accidentally traveled back in time and visited the Avengers years before the snap.
Clint is alive and has dropped the Hawkeye identity for Ronin
Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton—whose absence from Infinity War was much discussed—shows up in the trailer. However, he seems to have dropped the name Hawkeye in favor of the darker Ronin identity from the comics. More on that later.
Thanos is not heavily featured
The titan has established enough of an ominous presence by now that he doesn’t even need to show his face in the trailer to present a threat.
Breaking down every second of the Avengers: Endgame trailer
0:06 Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) finds his damaged helmet, turns it on and makes a call to his fiancée Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow). He’s been adrift in space with no hope with rescue and his oxygen is going to run out tomorrow. Presumably this is happening immediately after Thanos’ snap—though Nebula (Karen Gillan) was with Iron Man after all the other heroes faded away, so they may be stuck in space together. Ominously he says that “part of the journey is the end.” Okay, lots of people are dying. Probably Tony.
0:23 This is probably the ship that the Guardians is the Galaxy used to fly to Thanos’ planet since Nebula and Iron Man both crash landed their ships in the last film. Presumably Iron Man and Nebula are stuck on it together.
0:51 Tony says, “When I drift off, I will dream about you. It’s always you.” Remember that Tony and Pepper were planning their wedding when Infinity War began. This line sets the stakes for the Avenger who jumpstarted this massive franchise: His story is either going to end happily ever after or tragically with his death. Tony’s fate—happy or sad—will set the tone for the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward.
But don’t despair yet. Many fans have speculated that Pepper will save Tony using the “Rescue Armor” from the comic books. Pepper has already shown off her superhero skills in Iron Man 3. Leaks from the set of Avengers: Endgame teased Pepper in her own Iron Man suit. Here’s hoping Pepper will receives this message and saves her fiancé.
0:59 A disintegrating Marvel Studios logo, just to hammer home the point.
1:03 Thanos’ armor set up like a scarecrow on what looks like an earth-like planet (but is definitely not earth).
This imagery may seem strange, but in a 1991 series of Marvel comics called Infinity Gauntlet—which has provided much inspiration for Infinity War and Endgame—Thanos retires from villainy at one point and becomes a farmer (yes, a farmer). He tends to the fields and uses his armor as a scarecrow. Presumably that’s the moment we’re seeing in this film.
Now, in that comic storyline Thanos becomes somewhat ashamed of his own hubris and his ultimate loss to the Avengers. Could the image in the movie suggest that Thanos will feel some level of regret about his actions?
1:07 It’s hard to make out behind the lens flare, but this looks to be Thanos walking either in a new realm or an old Titan, restored to its former glory using the reality stone.
1:13 The remaining Avengers have made it back to Avengers headquarters. Remember, Captain America was persona non grata on the compound just a few weeks before when he and Iron Man were still feuding. The fact that he can now waltz into the Avengers headquarters without consequence means the U.S. government has bigger problems than a rogue superhero. Natasha confirms in a voiceover that Thanos accomplished his goal: Half of all life in the universe has disappeared.
1:13 No more beard! Captain America is officially out of retirement. Also look at that one single tear.
1:16 We see Bruce Banner (a.k.a. the Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo) reacting to the news. Presumably, the Avengers are trying to figure out who is alive and dead. We see pictures of Scott Lang (Ant-Man) and T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright). Scott Lang has been stuck in the Quantum Realm and likely presumed dead, though he will show up later. But the tragic news is that Shuri didn’t survive the snap.
1:17 Shuri’s pictures swaps out for Peter Parker (Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland), who we already saw disappear in Infinity War.
1:23 We don’t learn much from this shot of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) except that he’s definitely in this movie and definitely still has the glass eye that Rocket gave him in the last film. Yay Thor! I hope Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) comes and finds you.
1:28 Nebula on a ship, again probably hers and probably with Iron Man. (Remember the ship that Iron Man, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man took to Titan in Infinity War ?) She touches something, probably a uniform. She’s either mourning her sister, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), or maybe even the other Guardians of the Galaxy, all of whom disappeared except for Rocket, who was with Thor in Wakanda when Thanos snapped his fingers.
1:30 Captain America says in a voiceover, “We lost family,” and we get our first shot of a mysterious figure who will turn out to be Clint Barton (a.k.a Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner). So Clint’s family, or at least one of his family members, must have died in the culling.
1:35 Clint Barton, wiping a weapon off after presumably killing someone with it, turns around and looks at Black Widow. She seems surprised to see him—or at least to see him giving off a very Batman “they killed my parents” (or in this case, his kids?) vibe.
Black Widow has either run across him by accident or tracked him down to try to recruit him to join the team. But Clint looks to have taken a darker turn. He may think, fairly, that if the Avengers couldn’t stop Thanos before, why would they think they have a chance of reversing his actions? Maybe the only recourse left is vengeance. Clint is likely dropping the name Hawkeye taking on the Ronin identity, and his suit reflects the transition. In the comics, he becomes Ronin, a lone warrior, after a traumatic event.
1:40 This looks like a sentimental moment, but it may actually be a huge clue. Captain America looks at a picture of his former love, Peggy Carter. Is he thinking about Peggy before he goes into battle? Maybe. But more likely he’s reckoning with the idea that he’s about to see her again because he’s about to travel back in time.
1:41 Black Widow assures Captain America, “This is going to work Steve.” Again, that suggests they’re not entering a battle but taking on a mission, puzzling out some way to outmaneuver Thanos and undo the past: time travel. But how?
2:01 Cap replies to Black Widow, “I know it will because I don’t know what I’m going to do if it doesn’t.” Cut to the reveal of the title card: Avengers: Endgame. The stakes are high: This is their one and only chance to stop him. If it doesn’t work, it will be the end of the Avengers universe.
(So, yeah, it’s going to work. Black Panther and Spider-Man are both coming back for solo films so they can’t be gone forever. But it will still be worth the price of a ticket to find out what other superheroes may have to sacrifice themselves along the way. Based on this trailer, Cap and Iron Man seem to be the least likely to survive Endgame.)
2:10 Ant-Man lives! Better yet, he has found a way out of the Quantum Realm. Scott Lang visits the Avengers headquarters and rings the doorbell. “Is this an old message?” Captain America asks, confirming that the Avengers thought Scott was dead.
“It’s the front door,” Black Widow replies. Note that she doesn’t reply about the time. If you zoom into the upper left hand corner of the screen, you can also see that this video is marked as “archive footage.” So it’s possible that Ant-Man did indeed get stuck in a time vortex, traveled through time and then visited the Avengers compound years, maybe even decades, before Thanos’ snap took place. (Audiences learned in Ant-Man that before it was Avengers HQ, that building used to be an old Stark storage facility, so the video footage could still exist in the Avengers archives from that time.)
Hopefully, Ant-Man will be sharing his knowledge of the Quantum Realm and time travel with his fellow superheroes—even if he’s doing so as a much older self.