Now that the cheerful, feline-friendly, ’90s-obsessed Captain Marvel is out of the way, the Marvel Cinematic Universe would like to remind you that your loved ones are dead. Similar to the first teaser for Avengers: Endgame, which dropped in December, our latest look is heavy on the melodrama, as Earth’s mightiest heroes—and a CGI space raccoon voiced by Jackson Maine, because this franchise is really weird—reflect on their pasts, the mistakes that have led them to this point, and all the people they lost when Thanos snapped his fingers at the end of Infinity War.
With so much of the Endgame trailer footage focusing on the past rather than the heroes’ immediate and very traumatic present, it’s quite likely that Marvel is withholding a great deal about the studio’s biggest movie to date. This is not a complaint—I’m all for being pleasantly surprised in April. But it does make the mind wander and theorize about what, exactly, will go down in Endgame, since we know several of these raptured heroes are coming back for their own stand-alone movies. (How else can Spider-Man have a new movie drop this summer, and who the hell would let Black Panther stay dead after he messed around and got himself a Best Picture nomination?)
So, provided with the little hints in this latest Endgame trailer, we’re making four bold predictions for the next Marvel movie. Just to stress: These are bold predictions, and I’m sure we’ll look back and laugh at most, if not all, of them come April. But if by some miracle one of these things actually comes true, please don’t finger-snap the messenger.
Endgame Will Spend Roughly Two-Thirds of Its Run Time Being Super Mopey
What’s been most jarring about the teasers for Endgame versus its Infinity War predecessor is just how many shots we’ve had of superheroes literally crying, looking really sad, or coping with the loss of family members in really questionable ways. (Looking at you, Hawkeye!)
It’s more likely than not that Marvel just doesn’t want to risk showing off any of the juicy confrontations between the Avengers and Thanos—nowadays, even a few frames can be unpacked by eagle-eyed fans in blog posts and YouTube videos, so it’s better not to give them any ammunition. But what if the somber tone of these trailers actually reflects the majority of the movie? We know all the familiar beats of the MCU at this point: There’s a hero, some plucky sidekicks, an arsenal of dorky one-liners, and some grand CGI-heavy battle that often sees the good guys prevail. Wouldn’t it be wise for the MCU, especially because Thanos so recently killed off half its crew, to lean more into the morose tone that such a cataclysmic event would inspire?
If Endgame wants to be taken seriously—and to follow up Black Panther’s Best Picture nomination with one of its own at the 2020 Oscars—it should spend a lot of its run time showing its heroes fully spiraling before moving on to the requisite Fighting Thanos With the Power of CGI stage of the movie. The longer the film spends mourning and being Really Serious, the greater its chances of critical acclaim. And wouldn’t it be one hell of a flex if Marvel were to wrap up its biggest MCU movie to date with some serious Oscars hardware next year? What if the Russo brothers spent hundreds of millions of dollars just having people look sad? What if the first 30 minutes of the movie were just Hawkeye mourning his family and getting a really bad haircut? Bring on Earth’s mopiest heroes.
There Will Be a Bigger-Than-Expected Time Jump
Though it would behoove the Avengers to find a way to quickly undo the damage Thanos has done, I suspect it will be a very long time before the survivors come up with a viable plan to fix everything. For starters, if they need to fight Thanos again, he isn’t even on Earth anymore, having retired to some distant planet littered with space opium fields.
I’m not saying they won’t fix the finger snap—obviously, for the MCU’s future, they eventually will—just that, with all the time that may be dedicated to heroes moping about, it might be literal years before a solution is found. (And before Tony Stark manages to get from a busted-up spaceship in the middle of the galaxy back to his home planet.)
So there will be one big time jump—if not several. Need more proof? Well, unless Thanos mercifully spared all the good hairdressers on Earth—or, for some reason, the apocalypse inspired new breakthroughs in the grooming industry and people kept getting haircuts every other week—then Black Widow’s hair styles could serve as evidence we’re doing a good deal of time-hopping.
Who would’ve thought the key to unlocking Endgame was hair styles?
The Avengers Will Be Traveling—Just Not to Space
That shot above, those cool suits? It certainly looks like our heroes are planning to board a spaceship, find Thanos, and beat him to a pulp. But while I do think they’re going on an arduous journey, I don’t believe it’s taking them to space. Instead, they’re headed for the quantum realm.
The quantum realm is that place in the Ant-Man franchise, unstuck from space and time, where lots of psychedelic shit goes down. Ant-Man himself is trapped in the quantum realm at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, because he rather inconveniently went into it just when Thanos finger-snapped half the universe. Considering the quantum realm’s vaguely defined ability to mess with space and time and potentially feature multiverses, it’s long been theorized that it could be the key to undoing what Thanos did. It’s no small wonder that Ant-Man seems to be an important cog in Endgame, with a respectable amount of trailer screen time.
Why else should we believe these heroes are jumping into the quantum realm rather than space? Well, their suits look quite similar to the outfit Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) wore in Ant-Man and the Wasp to rescue his long-lost wife:
So the key to unlocking Endgame isn’t just down to hairstyles—costumes matter, too.
Captain Marvel’s Cat Will Kill Thanos
If you’re an MCU fan, and also have a pulse, you were probably thrilled that Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers showed up at the end of the Endgame trailer and, like, flirted with Thor in a family-friendly way. (Additional, non-related bold prediction: I’m shipping Thor and Captain Marvel.)
But you know who we didn’t see? Goose, Captain Marvel’s pet cat who isn’t actually a cat. He’s a Flerken, an alien species that looks just like a domestic cat, except for the fact they have giant tentacles in their mouth that make them a formidable foe. With respect to Hawkeye and Black Widow, who are extremely competent and strong humans with no powers, if Thanos is gonna be stopped, we need an Avenger with super strength. Why shouldn’t it be Goose?
We saw Goose beat the hell out of some Kree with its tentacle-mouth in Captain Marvel, and there’s nothing to suggest the Flerken wouldn’t give Thanos a run for his money. Also, consider this suspicious exchange from a Vulture interview with Goose’s official cat wrangler, Ursula Brauner:
Goose kills Thanos, confirmed.