How Long Has Hawkeye Been Ronin?
The next potential clue is the appearance of Hawkeye, or rather his new alter ego, Ronin, which fans had been anticipating for months.
Coupled with the new identity, the rage and grief written across his face suggests he's experienced tragedy. Given that Thanos wiped out half of all life in the universe, it's likely that Clint Barton's wife and children among the victims, leading the former archer on a rampage as the mysterious Ronin.
Presumably, Clint wouldn't have taken such drastic actions immediately after Thanos' finger-snap. He would likely take some time before venturing out with a new costume and weapons. However, Natasha Romanoff is there with him in Japan, and because she recapped events earlier in the trailer, it's likely this scene takes place near the middle of the film, after even more time has passed.
Hey, You Remember Ant-Man, Right?
The most curious sequence in the trailer is the very last, when Scott Lang approaches the security camera at the front gate of the New Avengers Facility. As he's trying to persuade Captain America and Black Widow to let him in, he says, "We met a few years ago ... at the airport," which is an interesting choice of words. It leads us to ask, how many is a few years?
According to directors Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War takes place two years after the events of Captain America: Civil War. And the mid-credits scene of Ant-Man and The Wasp takes place at the same time as the climax of Infinity War, leaving Scott temporarily stranded in the Quantum Realm.
It's difficult to imagine Scott could escape the Quantum Realm virtually immediately; it could take anywhere from days to a year, even if, from his perspective within that alternate dimension, it seemed like immediately. Remember, time passes differently in the Quantum Realm. Adding to the curiousness of the scene is Cap's reaction to the security feed. He asks, "Is this an old message?" Because Scott disappeared into the Quantum Realm, Steve and Natasha would have presumed he was among Thanos' victims. Seeing him at the front gate would be a shock, no doubt. But, would they really have reason to think it's an old message if a substantial amount of time -- perhaps years -- had passed?
The MCU films tend to take place in something approaching real time: The events of Infinity War are set two years after those of Civil War, just as the films were released two years apart. There are a few exception, such as the upcoming Captain Marvel, which is set in the 1990s, but Avengers: Endgame probably won't be one of them. It's safer to assume the film takes place between six months to a year after the events of Infinity War. Everything we see in the trailer, from Iron Man's speech to Ant-Man's reappearance, fits into that time frame, even if you do have to rely on suspension of disbelief, just a little bit.
But we're primarily focusing on beginning of this film. If you've been keeping up with rumors and leaked set photos, you'll see there's a pretty good chance the Avengers will employ time travel to undo Thanos' culling. So who knows when the rest of the film will be set? We'll have to wait for the film, or at least the next official trailer.
Avengers: Endgame will release on April 26, 2019. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Marvel’s Avengers 4 stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie.