Even before Avengers: Infinity War came out, there was speculation that its sequel Avengers 4 would feature time travel.
And now that we know Thanos was successful in unleashing his Infinity Snap, wiping out half of the universe’s population, it’s looking even more likely that Avengers 4 will revolve around time-travel – and not just because it’s unlikely that the deaths of the likes of Spider-Man and Black Panther will be permanent.
There have been plenty of clues since to support the time-travel theory, and we thought we’d round up every major one so far.
1. Chris Hemsworth’s long hair
One of the earliest clues to some time-travel shenanigans was in November 2017 when Chris Hemsworth was seen on set sporting his luscious long locks from Thor movies of old, rather than the cropped version he got in Thor: Ragnarok.
Alongside Hemsworth was Tom Hiddleston’s Loki wearing a muzzle and apparently holding the Tesseract, something we saw in the very first Avengers movie. So unless it was a flashback scene, then Avengers 4 would be going back in time.
However, in early January, Infinity War co-director Joe Russo hinted that what we were seeing wasn’t time travel, but instead potentially another use of Tony Stark’s BARF – the Binarily Augmented Retro-Framing technology used in Civil War to project a memory.
Are the surviving Avengers just searching for clues in the past to defeat Thanos? Or are they actually in the past?
2. Tony’s gone blonde
Look, maybe Tony just needed to change things up after half of his mates disintegrated, but his new blonde hairdo (there are clues that don’t feature hair, don’t worry) has been spotted in a scene with Captain America and Ant-Man.
That’s nothing, we hear you say, as they all survived the Snap, even if Ant-Man is trapped in the Quantum Realm. But what IS interesting is that Cap is wearing his old uniform from Avengers, so if Tony was just using his BARF technology, Ant-Man wouldn’t be there (in full uniform) and Tony would look the same as he did in Avengers.
And he definitely wasn’t blonde in Avengers.
Oh, and it also looks like he’s returning to the time of Loki’s imprisonment as well.
3. Gamora’s outfit
Talking of uniform choices, a Reddit user uncovered a behind-the-scenes snap shared by Zoe Saldana in December 2017 of her in costume as Gamora, which fits in with the filming of Avengers 4.
What stands out that is Gamora’s costume looks remarkably similar to the one she wore in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. One theory about the time-travel plot is that it’ll see the Avengers go back in time and space to claim the Infinity Stones before Thanos does, so that would explain the retro uniforms if they were picking up the Power Stone.
4. Time vortex
“Don’t get sucked into a time vortex, we won’t be able to save you,” Janet van Dyne warns Scott Lang in the Ant-Man and The Wasp post-credits scene, a seemingly throwaway but potentially very significant line.
The fact that it comes in the scene that directly links to Infinity War shouldn’t be overlooked, as you can’t accuse Marvel of just making its universe up on a whim. There are connections during every movie and it feels a pointed line, especially as we know that Scott is in the Quantum Realm when Avengers 4 starts.
There is no elaboration on what time vortices are, but we can assume that they have some effect on the passage of time or a person’s place in it – and that could equal time-travel.
5. Black Widow’s hair
During the recent reshoots for Avengers 4, another hair-based clue (yay!) came from Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow going back to the character’s classic red locks.
Again, like Tony, she could have just fancied a change and this was from a scene post-Snap where some time has passed and she’s just catching up with her old pal Steve Rogers. But there’s also a chance that it’s a scene from something like Civil War.
Not that Black Widow changing her hairstyle between movies is anything new of course.
6. Dead characters are back
This is more of a rumour than cold, hard evidence, but it’s long been suggested that the likes of Frank Grillo’s Crossbones and Maximiliano Hernández’s Jasper Sitwell – who are both very dead in the MCU – are making a comeback for Avengers 4.
If that proves to be the case, then it further suggests that the sequel is heading back in time to either The Winter Soldier or Civil War era.
Avengers 4 will be released in the UK on April 26, 2019, and in the US on May 3, 2019. Avengers: Infinity War is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download.
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