Massive spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War. If you haven't seen the latest Marvel blockbuster, don't read on!
This weekend is a major one for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 10 years of filmmaking and 18 movies came to a head with The Russo Brothers' Avengers: Infinity War, and ended the shared universe as we know it. The film followed Thanos' complex journey to accrue the Infinity Stones and wipe out half of the galaxy's population, and the shocking cliffhanger ending showed him actually succeed. Half of the surviving heroes turned to dust before our eyes, leaving a handful of Avengers (and Rocket) to try and save the day. But which characters were saved seems very purposeful, and likely teases how Avengers 4 will honor Joss Whedon's original movie.
While Marvel fans were left to watch in horror as characters like Spider-Man and Black Panther disappeared, the original Avengers roster was miraculously left unharmed. Iron Man, Cap, Black Widow, Hulk, and Thor all survived Thanos' finger snap of death. While Hawkeye was completely MIA throughout the course of the film, the Russo Brothers have teased he'd have a significant arc in the next film. Could this mean teaming back up with the OG Avengers and taking care of business old school?
Thanos' finger snap seemed random and cruel, as we watched half of the MCU's characters fade away into nothingness. Fans expected major players like Tony or Steve Rogers to perish in Infinity War, although the Russos flipped the script. Instead we'll see as what's left of the MCU team up with the original Avengers, likely giving the original stars a chance to truly shine before their contracts with the studio end. The likelihood of Iron Man and/or Cap dying remains high, but we'll get to see the old team back together one last time before it happens.
Of course, the OG Avengers won't be alone. Nebula is with Iron Man on Titan, while the battle on Wakanda left War Machine, Rocket, Okoye and M'Baku kicking. We aren't sure of the fate of Shuri, Wong, and Ant-Man, but it certainly seems like Avengers 4 will put a ton of focus on the original lineup. With Wakanda's king gone, the technologically advanced country may be put into chaos once again as a new leader is found.
Overall, it should be interesting to see how Avengers 4 plays with time travel, and if/how it eventually brings back dead characters. While those heroes who faded into dust will likely return, will the myriad other dead characters also pop back up? The Russo Brothers pulled no punches when it came to killing off characters, but those deaths might not mean anything if everyone is simply revived in the end.
Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters now. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip the movies.