(In an unsurprising turn of events, HUGE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON SPOILERS may just lie below. Proceed with caution...)
Now, when it comes to the kind of rumors that emerge, there are a few broad categories into which most movies fall. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, for instance, seems largely to bleed speculation about its villain(s), Game of Thrones tends to lend itself to rumors about changes from the source material, and for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a surprisingly large amount of the rumor-mill's energy is spent on Aquaman.
For Marvel's soon-to-arrive Avengers: Age of Ultron, though, there are two key kinds of rumors floating around - that someone is going to die, and that Civil War is about to begin - and as it happens, the latest potential leak might just directly address both of them.
Y'see, it looks as though...
We've Just Had Our Post-Age of Ultron Avengers Line-Up Confirmed
Or, at least, that's what the folks over at Superhero News are reporting, with a source from within Disney apparently having revealed that by the end of Age of Ultron, the Avengers line-up will consist of:
And, perhaps most intriguingly of all:
Which, on the face of it, would actually all make a decent amount of sense. The Vision and Scarlet Witch will have only just been introduced, so it'd make sense that they'd stick around. Cap and Black Widow have been shown by Captain America: The Winter Soldier to be buds, so it makes sense that they'd stick around - and that Cap'd invite The Falcon to join to. Even War Machine makes a lot of sense - since those rumors that Tony Stark'll be giving up his armor before Captain America: Civil War have never really gone away. Add in the persistent talk of Thor and Hulk ending the movie off-planet, and you have yourself a pretty plausible rumor.
The things is, though, it'd also mean a whole lot for those rumors relating to the death of a hero or two - and the start of Civil War.
Quicksilver is Notable By His Absence
Which, combined with the following line from Superhero News, apparently from the same source...
"Also, you may have read a Quicksilver rumor over the past couple of days. Superhero News can confirm that it’s true. It happens while he’s protecting a fellow Avenger."
...sure seems to suggest that, as rumored, he's not going to make it out of the movie alive...
The presence of War Machine, though, suggests that:
Civil War Might Not Begin in Age of Ultron
After all, that long-rumored post-credits scene showing Cap forming a new team of Avengers doesn't seem to fit with the presence of Iron Man's old friend War Machine, and his indirect invention The Vision.
Could we, then, not really see the beginnings of Civil War until Captain America: Civil War itself - or a post-credits scene attached to Ant-Man?
Alternatively, Could This Mean We DO See Spider-Man?
Is it possible, for instance, that the team above could be a government-authorized group of Avengers? They are, after all, all publicly known figures, with a heavy emphasis on ex-military professionals - suggesting that this could be the team put together by Tony Stark to act as an official, regulated superhero team - with Hawkeye presumably being retained as his personal body-guard...
And would that then, in turn, mean that we could see Cap form his own, Secret Avengers, in a post-credits scene? With, perhaps, Falcon, Black Widow, Daredevil and, just possibly, Spider-Man?