With no Marvel Studios movies officially dated beyond summer 2019, there is no greater question mark in the franchise world than what audiences should expect from Joe and Anthony Russo's untitled Avengers 4. As the blockbuster follow-up to 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, there are extreme expectations regarding the various heroes and villains who show up in the capstone project, let alone what to expect the plot to do with all of them. Infinity War gave us our first inkling of what's in store for Avengers 4 thanks to that shocking ending, but Marvel Studios is staying more tight-lipped than usual about story details. Fortunately, the news cycle has provided us some good insight.
Combing the internet for information, we've dug up every confirmation we could find regarding the cast list for Avengers 4 -- including quotes from stars and filmmakers, set photos and more. We'll continue to update this feature as we get closer to the blockbuster's release, but for now read on to find out which characters have been confirmed for the movie so far.
Tony Stark/Iron Man
It's hard to imagine what the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be like without Robert Downey Jr., as the man has served as the face of the insanely popular franchise for about a full decade. As such, it would have been crazy to leave his legendary take on Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man out of the Avengers 4 activities -- and that's definitely a mistake that Marvel will be avoiding. Page Six has posted images of Downey Jr. on the set of the Joe and Anthony Russo-directed blockbuster, seemingly confirming it as the actor's 10th Marvel Studios film. Since he was one of the main characters to survive Avengers: Infinity War, it would have been weird for him not to have shown up.
James 'Rhodey' Rhodes/War Machine
Don Cheadle's James 'Rhodey' Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine hasn't been around since the beginning beginning, as the part was notably played by Terrence Howard in Jon Favreau's original Iron Man -- but he has been a key part of the franchise ever since Iron Man 2 in 2010. The character went through a big shakeup during the events of Captain America: Civil War, having been paralyzed from the waist down, but clearly that's not going to keep him down, as evidenced in Avengers: Infinity War. Comments from Gwyneth Paltrow to The Hollywood Reporter reveal that Cheadle has been hard at work on the Avengers 4 set, though obviously we don't really know what to expect from his arc.
In case you didn't get the hint from the last section, Gwyneth Paltrow has also confirmed her own involvement in Avengers 4, meaning that we will be seeing the return of Pepper Potts. The character's relationship with Tony Stark over the years has seemingly never been on fully stable ground, but at the very least things were good when we last saw her. The events of Captain America: Civil War saw Pepper and Tony going through a bit of a separation, but Spider-Man: Homecoming showed that they were able to reconcile and get back together. Pepper only popped up briefly in Avengers: Infinity War, but she'll be back for Avengers 4 with presumably a bigger role, as it appears she'll be getting her own special suit of armor.
Tony Stark's bodyguard was nowhere to be seen in Avengers: Infinity War (though that wasn't originally the plan), but all signs point to him showing up in Avengers 4, meaning he survived the Thanos snap. If Avengers 4 ends up being Tony Stark's last MCU appearance, It would be strange for Rhodey and Pepper to show up, but not Happy. Those two have been tight for at least two decades, and while Happy doesn't always agree with his boss on things, he still cares about Tony's wellbeing. So it'll be good to have him around, and while Tony's future post-Avengers 4 is still up in the air, it appears that Happy will continue on, as Jon Favreau was spotted on the Spider-Man: Far From Home set.
Steve Rogers/Captain America
As the star of arguably the strongest trilogy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Chris Evans has been a pillar of the franchise playing Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America, and keeping him out of the action in Avengers 4 would be as misguided as ditching Robert Downey Jr. Captain America is obviously an immensely important hero for the world to have, as he is the leader and plan-maker for The Avengers, and Evans has said that he will definitely be back for the third sequel -- even though he actually had to extend his Marvel contract to do it. Steve made it out of Avengers: Infinity War intact, and he'll be back in action with a clean-shaven face and wearing a traditional Captain America costume in Avengers 4. Whether he dies in that movie or makes it out alive, that remains to be seen, and Evans is being careful not to spoil his character's fate for fans.
Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier
The first post-credits scene for Captain America: Civil War featured Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes a.k.a. The Winter Soldier being cryogenically frozen -- but we all knew that he wasn't going to be staying on ice for too long. The reformed Hydra brainwashed assassin was back fighting alongside Wakandan warriors in Avengers: Infinity War, and the actor directly confirmed to CinemaBlend that he will be back for Avengers 4 as well. That said, like many of the characters coming up, Bucky turned to dust at the end of Infinity War, so who knows how he and those other unlucky individuals will be brought back.
Of all the principal cast members in Avengers 4, Paul Rudd had one of the trickiest schedules, as he filmed the 2019 blockbuster at the same time as Ant-Man And The Wasp, which shared facilities at Pinewood Atlanta. A video from the set of the untitled blockbuster urging donations for Hurricane Harvey confirmed that the actor is pulling double-duty, and given that Rudd is one of the most charismatic Marvel stars, this is definitely great news. Scott sat out the events of Avengers: Infinity War, but Ant-Man and the Wasp's mid-credits scene showed him getting trapped in the Quantum Realm right as Thanos erased half of all life in the universe. While we don't know yet exactly how he'll escape this dimension (the best guess is he'll enter a time vortex), Scott eventually will find his way back to Earth and participate in the final Phase 3 film. And given his knowledge of the Quantum Realm, he could end up being the key to victory.
Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp
All that stuff we were just saying about Paul Rudd's Ant-Man? That goes for Evangeline Lilly's Hope van Dyne a.k.a. The Wasp as well. She appeared in the same Hurricane Harvey relief video, wearing her new superhero gear, confirming she will be in Avengers 4. But unlike Scott Lang, Hope won't initially be around in the movie, as she, Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne were erased from existence in Ant-Man and the Wasp's mid-credits scene. Somehow she and her mom and dad will be reconstituted during Avengers 4, but as far as the movie's main action goes, we probably shouldn't expect her to buzz in as Wasp until late in the game.
Thanks to character rights being caught up in an old deal with Universal Pictures, Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner a.k.a. The Hulk hasn't had nearly as many Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances as many of his fellow Avengers, , but that's been changing in a big way. Thor: Ragnarok kicked off a "special trilogy" for the Green Goliath, which took a strange turn in Avengers: Infinity War. Because after getting his ass kicked by Thanos, Bruce Banner's monstrous half refused to come out for the rest of the movie, requiring Banner to join the battle wearing Tony Stark's Hulkbuster armor. Bruce survived Infinity War, but officially, we have no idea what's in store for him or Hulk. However, Avengers 4 concept art leaked showing Hulk back and wearing a purple bodysuit as he charges into battle with his teammates. It's hard to tell what this means for the big picture, but some fans are speculating that Banner and Hulk will merge into one intelligent, superstrong individual.
Fans of Paul Bettany's Vision have been fretting about the life of the character pretty much since his introduction in Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron, and there's actually a pretty good reason: his consciousness was sparked to life by the Mind Stone -- which resides in the middle of his forehead -- and Thanos is going to need that shiny yellow ingot if he's going to complete his Infinity Gauntlet. As such, we were dreading a scene where the Mad Titan rips the stone from the android's head, and sure enough, that's exactly what happened. Granted, Scarlet Witch succeeded in destroying the Mind Stone before Thanos arrived, but with the Time Stone in his Gauntlet, the Mad Titan was easily able to wind back time, undo her actions and kill Vision for the Mind Stone. Bettany let reporters know that he will be involved with the production of Avengers 4, so Vision will return to life. Maybe the Mind Stone will be seized back from Thanos and put back in Vision's head, or maybe a different power source will be used to reanimate the android.
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow is a character we've grown to love more and more with every appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only is her fighting style endlessly fun to watch, but her loyalty to S.H.I.E.L.D. and grey-colored ethics have also made her a wonderful foil to both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers over the years. Hence, we're extremely excited that she will be keeping the fight going in Avengers 4, as set photos have confirmed the character's return (and apparently she'll be sporting a beautiful new tattoo on her back).
After a somewhat rocky start because of his limited role in The Avengers, Jeremy Renner has become an important part of the Marvel family, and Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye has become a legitimately exciting on-screen presence. However, because of the house arrest deal he set up with the U.S. government following his incarceration in Captain America: Civil War, Hawkeye didn't appear in Avengers: Infinity War. Not to worry though, he'll finally be back for Avengers 4, as Jeremy Renner has made abundantly clear through his social media posts. Unfortunately, there's speculation that the reason Clint has picked the bow and arrows back up is because his family was among the unlucky half erased from the universe.
As a way of keeping the aftermath of The Avengers: Infinity War and The Avengers 4 on lockdown, Marvel Studios has kept a tight lid on most "Phase 4" projects -- but one movie we definitely know is coming is the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home. So even though we watched Peter Parker turn to dust in Tony Stark's arms at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, we know with absolute certainty that Peter will return to the land of the living during Avengers 4. And for those of you who counter that Far From Home could be a prequel to Infinity War, it's already been noted that the sequel picks up minutes after Avengers 4.
It has been confirmed that Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury will have a key role to play in Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's developing Captain Marvel movie, and while initially that led to belief that he'd be sitting out Avengers: Infinity War, both he and Cobie Smulders; Maria Hill made a last-minute appearance in the movie's mid-credits scene. Granted, both of them were erased from existence, though before he faded, Fury successfully transmitted a signal from a pager displaying the Captain Marvel insignia. There were already hints that Fury would appear in Avengers 4, and given how Infinity War ended, it's safe to assume that he'll be brought back.
Chris Pratt spent years earning a fanbase playing Andy on Parks and Recreation and small parts in movies like Moneyball and Her, but playing Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord has completely changed his career. He is now unquestionably one of the most popular leading men in Hollywood, and has a nice long future ahead of him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a result -- including a role in Avengers 4. Despite most of the Guardians, including Star-Lord, disappearing at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, by the end of Avengers 4, each of those members (with one possible exception, more on that in a bit) are expected to be be made whole again. From there, they'll be ready to go for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, albeit without James Gunn leading the charge.
Rocket, brought to life by Sean Gunn and voiced by Bradley Cooper, has what looks like a very bright future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as there are not only the aforementioned Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 plans, but also plenty of buzz about a possible spin-off for the character. Rocket's also quite lucky, as he was one of only two Guardians of the Galaxy members to survive Avengers: Infinity War. The good news is he'll be thrust back into the fray for Avengers 4, and I can't blame him, as Rocket will almost certainly do whatever is required to undo what happened to his family.
Remember that Hurricane Harvey relief video mentioned earlier? It wasn't just Ant-Man and The Wasp who made appearances, but also the deadliest woman in the galaxy. Zoe Saldana is seen wearing her beautiful green makeup in the clip, which combined with the timing is evidence enough of he involvement in Avengers 4. Here's where things get tricky: Thanos killed Gamora so he could obtain the Soul Stone. So because her death came about before the Thanos snap, does that mean if that genocidal event is reversed, she'll also be brought back? Or will she remain dead, and Saldana is playing the character in flashbacks?
Dave Bautista has now spent years as the secret weapon of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, providing plenty of big laughs, but soon we will be seeing him take his game to Earth. It has been long known that he will be playing a key role in Avengers: Infinity War, but he will be bringing his game to Avengers 4 as well. So yeah, like has already been said many times with the other casualties of Infinity War, expect Drax to be resurrected during Avengers 4.
A total of four Marvel actors appeared in the on-set Hurricane Harvey relief video, and in case you've lost count we're already discussed Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, and Zoe Saldana. The final member of that little outfit is Karen Gillan, confirming that we will see more of the formidable Nebula in Avengers 4. Nebula was the only other Guardian to survive Avengers: Infinity War, and you can bet that her desire to kill Thanos is stronger than ever now that her "sister" Gamora and half of all life in the universe is dead/gone. Expect Nebula to be a key player in the final act of the story.
Introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Ego the Living Planet's servant, Mantis rebelled against her master and became the newest regular member of the Guardians. Unfortunately, like most of her teammates, she was turned to dust by Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, thus cutting short her time to "kick names and take ass." Fear not, though, we'll be reunited with Mantis soon enough, as long before Infinity War came out, Pom Klementieff informed her Facebook followers that she was back on set for the Avengers 4 portion of the shoot.
It's safe to say that Black Panther was the MCU's 2018 MVP. First T'Challa led his own solo movie, which was met with critical, commercial and cultural acclaim, and then he returned a few months later for Avengers: Infinity War to lead Wakanda's warriors into battle alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes against the Black Order and Thanos' Outriders. Sadly, while helping Okoye back to her feet, T'Challa turned to ash, but he won't be absent for much longer. Baseman was spotted in Avengers 4 set photos last year, and since Ryan Coogler is back on board to write and direct Black Panther 2, the Wakandan king still has a bright future ahead of him.
Shuri's main task in Avengers: Infinity War was to try to safely remove the Mind Stone from Vision without killing the android. Sadly, Corvus Glaive broke into her workshop before she could finish. Like Wong, Infinity War didn't reveal if Shuri survived the Thanos snap, but since Letitia Wright let slip that she enjoyed working with Chris Pratt (Shuri and Star-Lord didn't have any scenes together in Infinity War), we can deduce that she's in Avengers 4. And with T'Challa gone, it's entirely possible that means Shuri has been crowned queen of Wakanda.
Although Wong appeared at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War and assisted Iron Man, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man in fighting Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian, he returned to protect New York Sanctum Sanctorum after Strange was captured. Wong's fate post-Thanos snap wasn't reveal at the end of Infinity War, but since Benedict Wong confirmed he's reprising the character for Avengers 4 in a deeply unsettling photo, we can assume that he's still alive and keeping Earth safe from any threats that make their way to Earth. Although it's hard for anything to compare to the destruction Thanos unleashed.
Avengers: Infinity War foreshadowed Carol Danvers' arrival to the MCU, and in spring 2019, we're winding the clock back to the 1990s to tell her origin story in Captain Marvel. For a long time there was uncertainty about whether or not Carol would appear in Avengers 4, but thanks to comments from both Brie Larson and Kevin Feige, as well as the previously mentioned leaked concept art, she'll definitely be around. With their ranks thinned, the remaining heroes will need all the help they can get, and Carol is definitely someone they'll be glad to have by their side, what with the planet-moving powers and all.
The untitled Avengers 4 used to be known as Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 -- and when the change was made, many questioned what that meant for Thanos. Would the Mad Titan still be facing off against Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the Guardians of the Galaxy in the 2019 blockbuster, or would there be a new foe? Here's what we do know: at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos retired to an unidentified planet after carrying out his mass, random slaughter, content that he'd finally succeeded in his mission of balance. If it were up to him, he'd never fight again, but he'll undoubtedly have to when the surviving MCU heroes retaliate against him in their efforts to undo his genocide. But let's not forget that despite the Infinity Gauntlet being damaged, the Mad Titan still has all six Infinity Stones, so he's still more powerful than all of them.