WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, in theaters now.
In the months leading up to Avengers: Endgame's theatrical debut, fans scoured trailers, posters and any sort of promotional material in general to find clues as to the direction of the movie. The same detective work has now been applied to the film itself, as audiences watch and rewatch the movie, hoping to glean for hints regarding the direction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's mysterious Phase 4.
One such fan theorist has latched onto a scene from Endgame's finale they believe holds a clue indicating that the MCU's long-rumored take on the 2008 Skrull event known as Secret Invasion may actually be a reality.
TALOS MAY Have A CAMEO IN ENDGAME
The film's climax shows all the surviving heroes reuniting with their loved ones after Tony Stark's universe-saving death. In the scene where Tom Holland's Peter Parker returns to high school, he reunites with his best friend Ned in an emotional moment as they soak in how good it feels to be alive again following both of them being dusted by Thanos.
But where most of us simply saw a happy reunion as their schoolmates scurry around, Reddit user "teegrez" believes the school administrator seen corralling the students is none other than Ben Mendelsohn's Talos from Captain Marvel in human form.
The actor seen here does appear to have the suit, hair and overall look of Talos when he took the shape of Nicky Fury's S.H.I.E.L.D. boss in the '90s. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it-moment, and while we're not convinced it's him (Mendelsohn isn't listed in the film's credits), a lot of speculative and hopeful fans online believe it is.
The potential exists for Marvel to have pulled a quick one, slipping Mendelsohn's Skrull character into the background to slyly plant seeds for a covert alien invasion. After all, according to studio president Kevin Feige the infiltration of the shapeshifters somewhere down the line is still a possibility.
BUT... WOULD SKRULLS ACTUALLY INVADE THE MCU?
It's difficult to see this being the case, however, because the MCU's Skrulls are rather different form their comic book inspiration. In fact, the alien refugees on Earth became allies to Fury and Brie Larson's Captain Marvel. In the end, Carol Danvers left our planet to escort the Skrulls to a whole new world, so there really is no reason at all for them to head back to Earth. Talos made it clear they wanted a home away from here, and he joined as part of that contingent leading them to another beginning, making it unlikely for him to be back on the planet.
Thus, if this is indeed someone else hijacking Keller's look, it's more likely either be another Skrull impersonator on Earth who thinks Talos' disguise over 20 years later is worth using. Of course, it might be that Talos has turned into a villain as well. We don't know what happened since Captain Marvel ended, apart from Carol going on galactic missions, so there would have to be some epic backstory as to why he's back sneaking around in the wake of the snap.
If this does turn out to be an early Secret Invasion tease, there's going to have to be a really detailed Phase 4 story to explain it. After all, a Skrull with Keller's form in Peter Parker's high school won't go unnoticed by Fury, who's clearly playing a major role in the young hero's life moving forward. But as it stands, let's just chalk this down to a case of wishful thinking and mistaken identity of an actor who could double for Mendelsohn.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos. The film is in theaters now.