A new “special look” from Avengers: Endgame dropped on Tuesday, coinciding with the start of pre-sales for tickets for the film. The brief video package raises some very specific questions about the Avengers: Endgame timeline – and has us looking over our shoulders wondering exactly which parts of the new footage we can actually trust.
See, there are a few bits in this new clip that don’t seemingly line up with previous trailers (or even within this specific teaser). And given the Russo Bros.’ stated penchant for digitally altering footage in the trailers in the name of misdirection (see: Hulk, Wakanda, Infinity War), we’re left wondering if the potential discrepancies we’re spotting are clues for the plot, or if Marvel is wielding the Reality Stone on some of the trailer scenes to keep us guessing.
So what do we mean specifically? Strap in to find out – and be warned, potential spoilers for Avengers: Endgame lie ahead.
The Captain Marvel/Ant-Man Conundrum
Digging through this latest Endgame special look, one of the first things that stands out is the presence of Captain Marvel, who gets more screen time in this trailer alongside the Avengers, even co-piloting a ship into space alongside Rocket (more on that in a moment).
But one Avenger she never seems to cross paths with is Ant-Man – another key player in the Endgame equation. Though both characters appear alongside the same groups of Avengers at various times, Ant-Man and Captain Marvel never seem to be in the same scene.
What’s more, when Captain Marvel is alongside the team, Black Widow has her blonde Avengers: Infinity War hairstyle – but when Natasha is in the scene with Ant-Man, her hair is red again. And of course, in that scene with Ant-Man, Tony Stark and Nebula are also present, hinting even further at the sequence of events.
Similarly, Hawkeye appears to be another timestamp character. Above he appears with Ant-Man, Nebula, Iron Man, and red-headed Black Widow, but also is not on the ship with Captain Marvel.
Remember, according to the Captain Marvel mid-credits teasers, Carol shows up at Avengers HQ seemingly very soon after the conclusion of Infinity War. And given the time that seems to have passed when Ant-Man is seen in front of an abandoned home in San Francisco in the last full trailer, his arrival at Avengers HQ as seen in the first trailer appears to happen later ... maybe much later.
Whew, got all that?
Does this mean that there are maybe two tries to get to Thanos – one (a failed attempt?) with Captain Marvel early without Banner because he still can't change into the Hulk, and then another with Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Iron Man, and Nebula later involving the white suits? Or perhaps even diverging timelines featuring slightly different teams and outcomes?
A three-hour run time sure would allow for any of these possibilities.
Remember, Captain Marvel isn't given a white suit in the Hasbro toys whereas most other characters have them and/or have figures in both costumes, including the Hulk although he's never seen in any footage.
Many fans have speculated Carol is being placed in Endgame to save the Avengers' bacon at the end, but is it possible she's not even there for the climax/final battle with Thanos - and if not, why not?
As opposed to savior, could she be a casualty of a first, early failed mission?
Or could the answer be as simple as a little bit of digital shenanigans removing or altering the characters in the trailer?
Back to the Ship!
Speaking of that ship the Avengers are on, that appears to be the Benatar, the Guardians’ ship from Infinity War. What’s particularly interesting about that is, the last time we saw it, it was on Titan with Tony Stark and Nebula.
And, it appears to be the ship Tony Stark is on adrift in space in previous trailers, waiting for death (though this clip makes it clear he’ll make it home one way or another). So how does the Benatar get from Titan to Earth?
Well, the simple answer has to be, Tony and Nebula pilot it home. But that then begs the question – why aren’t they on the ship when the rest of the Avengers jet off with Captain Marvel? It’d be completely unlike either character to ditch the mission no matter how beat up they were. And in fact, they don't appear alongside Carol at all either - hinting even further at a complex timeline of events.
So again, that makes us question, could Tony and Nebula simply have been digitally scrubbed from the scene of the Avengers on the Benatar for the trailer? Or is the journey of the Guardians’ latest craft even stranger than we realized?
The Final Battle
Remember Ant-Man pushing off on the pencil in the second trailer? That's sort of an odd product placement if that scene took place on Titan or Xandar or some cosmic location. The new teaser appears to show the Avengers 'Big Three' - Iron Man, Cap, and Thor - approaching Thanos, which would be a fitting showdown considering the entire 22 film MCU macro-narrative.
And they appear to be in similar wreckage.
Add that to the fact LEGO is currently selling an "Avengers Compound Battle" playset, seemingly suggesting Thanos takes the fight to them. Is that where this (final?) scene takes place, at Avengers HQ?
In the longview, it could help to rationalize the somewhat never-really-explained move from Avengers Tower to the headquarters in upstate New York. Was that move intended all along to allow for a massive, destructive battle on Earth that would be neither a redo of the battle of Wakanda nor have to involve wholesale destruction of midtown Manhattan... again? Particularly if the Battle of New York is revisited in Endgame?
Tony, Tony, Tony
Here’s one of the big hanging questions for Endgame, which we touched on a moment ago: how does Tony Stark get home? Here, he’s seen embracing Pepper Potts – potentially in the same exterior night scene from the first trailer where various Avengers (and one blank space where someone was seemingly removed) look up into the sky on the Avengers HQ lawn.
Later, Tony is seen apparently wearing the same clothes and blonde(ish) hair he was caught sporting in paparazzi set photos while Endgame was still filming, having a conversation with Captain America in which the two apparently reconcile.
In those set photos, Steve Rogers is seen wearing his Avengers-era Captain America uniform, with brighter colors and a solid white star on the chest. But in this scene, it appears to be the contemporary Captain America from earlier in this very trailer. And of course, even Tony Stark has a different look in other scenes, with his usual dark hair.
But even that leaves big question marks. See, the shot of Steve and Tony together sure looks a lot like it takes place during the Battle of New York from 2012’s Avengers (notice the rubble and skyline in the background). That lines up with those previously mentioned paparazzi photos which also seemed to place Steve and Tony back at the fabled site of the Chitauri invasion – but there’s one part that doesn’t actually line up.
So does this mean there could be more than one version of Steve Rogers in that same scene? Or multiple visits to that moment in time? Or, again, some kind of misdirection/alteration? Don’t forget, Ant-Man was also spotted in those set photos – and with the Quantum Realm and Infinity Gauntlet in play, anything is possible.
After all of that, what can we trust? We’ll find out when Avengers: Endgame opens on April 26.