The first clip from Avengers: Endgame suggests the plan by Earth's Mightiest Heroes to save their friends, and the universe, is precisely what fans have long speculated.
At more than a minute long, the scene depicts the surviving Avengers and Captain Marvel quickly arriving at the decision to take the Infinity Stones from Thanos, and use them to bring back the victims of the so-called Decimation. While the footage doesn't spoil anything, it confirms the central element of any number of fan theories, at least in broad strokes.
'Yeah, Just Like That'
That Captain America, Captain Marvel & Co. would somehow undo the effects of Thanos' devastating finger-snap, which wiped out half of all life in the universe, is a no-brainer. After all, the trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home shows Peter Parker and Nick Fury back among the living, and Marvel Studios has sequels to Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy in the pipeline.
Likewise, making use of the Infinity Stones, the six inconceivably powerful artifacts the Mad Titan has spent much of the past eight years collecting, is the most obvious approach. The question was how the Avengers would get their hands on them. The clip doesn't provide the answer, but Carol Danvers and Steve Rogers seem to think it's as simple as defeating Thanos, and taking the Stones. "Yeah," Steve says, "just like that."
When Bruce Banner questions how they can be sure that this confrontation with the Mad Titan won't end the same way that the previous one did, Carol points out that, "before, you didn't have me." It's a good point, particularly considering that Captain Marvel has been heralded as the strongest character in the MCU. So, yes, the Avengers now have Captain Marvel, but the team in this scene is also missing some key surviving players.
Those Not In The Room
An obvious issue is the absence of Tony Stark, Nebula, Clint Barton, Rocket Raccoon and Scott Lang.
Presumably, that's because Tony and Nebula have yet to return to Earth, and Scott hasn't made his way back from the Quantum Realm to the New Avengers Facility, as seen in an earlier trailer. While the plan appears to be "Take the Infinity Stones and undo the damage," it's highly likely that something will go wrong, which will require the help of those additional heroes. We know from the previous trailer that the heroes head into space aboard the Guardians' Benatar, so they'll have to wait at least until Tony finds his way home, and Scott comes knocking.
That leads to the elephant in the room.
Leaked set photos suggested the Avengers will travel back in time, which was seemingly confirmed by the trailer released last week. In the post-credit scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp, it was stated the Quantum Realm is pocked with time vortexes, which many have speculated will be central to the plan to defeat Thanos.
It might turn out that the only way to undo the damage is to travel back in time and change events so that they lead to a different, more hopeful future -- a cosmic retcon of sorts. That might require the Quantum Realm or the Time Stone. Or both, maybe.
The point is this clip is an early indicator that fans are right about components of Avengers: Endgame's plot. But let's not forget that most of the marketing is said to draw from the first 20 minutes of the more than three-hour film. It's highly improbable that nothing complicates their simple plan of pile-driving Thanos and seizing the Infinity Gauntlet.
But it sure appears that fans have narrowed down the early events of the film. Now all we need to know is whether they're able to take down Thanos and set to work fixing the universe, or if he complicates matters. And, even more disturbing, if the Avengers are able to beat the Mad Titan in the first half of the film, what colossal force is going to keep them from finishing the rest of their task?
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Jon Favreau and Bradley Cooper, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Josh Brolin. The film arrives April 26.