Avengers 4 has been quite the mystery, and its biggest question mark yet –– you know, aside from the plot –– has been who exactly will be involved in the story. We've gotten some hints here and there thanks largely to leaked set pictures throughout the past few months, but overall, the Avengers' lineup for this new adventure has been a bit of a mystery to figure out.
Fortunately, we now have confirmation about one new hero who'll aid Earth's Mightiest Heroes in their efforts to defend the universe: Captain Marvel. #CarolDanvers is expected to make her highly-anticipated #MCU debut in next year's Captain Marvel, but so far, we weren't sure when she'd appear alongside the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Not only has she never even been referenced in #Marvel's timeline, but her solo film is set in the good ol' '90s, which presents a decade-long gap between her and the setting for the rest of the franchise's super-powered players. But that apparently won't prevent her from joining the Avengers for what looks to be their greatest battle yet.
Avengers, Get Ready To Meet Captain Marvel
IndieWire recently put out a report focusing on the importance of female superheroes in the MCU, and #KevinFeige joined the discussion. After addressing the talent involved in Captain Marvel –– which includes Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck as directors, and Geneva Robertson-Dworet as writer –– the article revealed a surprising bit of trivia: Carol Danvers is officially part of Avengers 4:
"'Captain Marvel' doesn't start shooting until March, but Larson will appear in that untitled fourth 'Avengers' film."
Back in September, it was reported that #BrieLarson was spotted arriving on the Avengers 4 set alongside Chris Evans. The update was exciting at the time, but unconfirmed, so it's great to know Carol's involvement in the superhero epic is official.
Captain Marvel's Storyline Will Tie Directly Into 'Avengers 4'
#InfinityWar will presumably bring an end to Thanos, leaving the villain slot empty for its untitled followup. Fans have been struggling to figure out who would take that coveted spot, but we may have an answer now. IndieWire's article went on to reveal that Captain Marvel's plot will tie directly into Avengers 4, with Feige elaborating: "The focus now is on delivering 'Captain Marvel' and then bringing Captain Marvel's story into the finale of everything we’ve started thus far."
Oh my God, this is actually happening. So, how is that important? Captain Marvel will explore the Kree-Skrull war, a pivotal comic book conflict in the history of the Marvel Universe. Seeing how Danvers' solo film will link to #Avengers4 –– and I'm merely speculating –– this is probably our biggest hint at the fact that the Avengers will have to deal with a Secret Invasion for their fourth big screen outing.
For non-comic book geeks, the 'Secret Invasion' arc dealt with the shapeshifting Skrulls coming to Earth and masquerading as known superheroes, creating mistrust among the crime-fighting community as well as the world. I know, I know, going from the Kree-Skrull war to a covert invasion by shape-shifting aliens may seem like a stretch, but it's a definite possibility.
We've already seen the Kree as villains, but not the #Skrulls. The treacherous aliens are some of Marvel's most powerful and prominent baddies, which probably means the House of Ideas doesn't want them to be one-off characters in its big screen saga. Taking that relevance into account, what would be their next logical big screen appearance? Avengers 4, a film where they can cause major damage among a large group of do-gooders, and equal (or even surpass) Thanos' danger levels.
In fact, now that we know that Captain Marvel will tie to the superhero epic, it's quite clear that the films' close release window was no coincidence. The most likely scenario? Marvel Studios wants the deceiving race of aliens for something big...
A Secret Invasion Movie Could Be A Clever Way To Retire Some Characters
There's little we know about the MCU past Avengers 4, but the common consensus is that the franchise's status quo will experience a major shift in dynamic. #ChrisEvans, #ChrisHemsworth, and #RobertDowneyJr. have been very vocal about their contracts expiring after Avengers 4. Evans, for example, confirmed during an interview with The Telegraph that he signed up for the film because it would close out the superhero universe as we've come to know it:
"I had six films in my Marvel contract [...] but they wanted to make the third and fourth 'Avengers' films as a two-parter. They said they had so many other characters to fit in –– Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Ant Man –– and couldn't get them all into one movie. [I agreed] because it made sense. It's going to wrap everything up."
Longtime fans may be disappointed by these players parting ways with Marvel, but that's where 'Secret Invasion' could come in. The #comicbook storyline served as a turning point for the comics. It changed the company's status quo, as several of their signature heroes either went away or reinvented themselves with new identities (cough, Ronin, cough).
While this is mere speculation, I have a strong feeling that that's Marvel is aiming for to keep the MCU going after its biggest heroes step away from crime-fighting.
Captain Marvel will fly into her solo big screen adventure on March 8, 2019. She'll then join Earth's Mightiest Heroes when Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3, 2019.
What do you think about Captain Marvel finally being confirmed for Avengers 4? How do you feel about her story being connected to the superhero ensemble? Will the MCU tackle Secret Invasion? Let me know what you think in the comments!