The first promo video for “Avengers: Endgame” (aka “Avengers 4”) is finally here, and the obvious question has presented itself: Wakanda trailer is this?
On the surface, the teaser offers a quick summary of where the superhero megafranchise stands after “Infinity War”: Thanos (Josh Brolin) wiped out half the universe, and now it looks like the other half has fallen into a deep depression. Meanwhile, Thanos is just out there farming.
Like any Marvel offering, there’s always more to learn from the scenes at hand after a second (or third, or 20th) watch. Throughout its two minutes and 25 seconds, the “Endgame” trailer tosses out sad reveal after sad reveal. If you weren’t bummed enough after watching it once, here are a few things you might’ve missed ― including another possible devastating off-screen death.
In the promo video, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) is gazing at some floating photos of what we can assume are people believed to have been dusted by Thanos. “SCOTT LANG: MISSING,” reads the text under a picture of the Ant-Man himself (Paul Rudd). That’s when the trailer seems to drop a “Black Panther” bombshell. If you look to the right side of the screen ― right before Spider-Man (Tom Holland) appears ― we see the face of Shuri (Letitia Wright).
Back in May, I asked directors Joe and Anthony Russo about the fates of certain off-screen characters after “Infinity War.” When it came to Shuri, they wouldn’t comment, telling me any answer would constitute a “spoiler.”
It was a weird response at the time, because the Russos had previously teased Shuri as someone who could take up the mantle of Black Panther after T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) met his dusty end. Angela Bassett, who played Ramonda in “Black Panther,” also suggested Shuri, her character’s daughter, would survive “Avengers 3.”
Alas, if the photo means what it appears to mean, then that’s not the case.
Now, the trailer isn’t exactly confirmation that Shuri’s been vaporized. Scott Lang is among the floating faces too, and we know he was just stuck in the Quantum Realm. So it’s possible that Shuri’s still around. It just seems unlikely.
Her survival would also mean that whoever put together the floating-faces presentation made not one, but two mistakes ― since both she and Scott survived. That would be super embarrassing for the office worker who has to correct those slides. The Russo brothers wouldn’t do that to someone. They had Thanos wipe out half the universe, but they’re not monsters.
So Hawkeye’s family died too, right?
Hawkeye’s back! And he looks bummed as hell.
In a voice-over right before Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) appears in the trailer, we hear Captain America (Chris Evans) say, “We lost family.” The line seems to suggest that, yes, Hawkeye’s wife and children, who we met all of once in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” disappeared in the snap.
R.I.P. to Linda Cardellini and those random kids.
But don’t fret for Hawkeye. The disappearance of his family has long been predicted. Fans have speculated that their departure would be a catalyst for Clint Barton to take up the alias we’ve been waiting for: Ronin.
“We’re in the Endgame now.”
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) called it.
In “Avengers: Infinity War,” Strange uses the time stone to experience alternate futures, all the possible outcomes of the story. And he finds one ― just one ― in which the Avengers win. Later in the film, despite saying he’d never trade the stone for someone’s life, he gives it up to Thanos so Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) can survive.
“We’re in the endgame now,” he says, later disappearing before he can probably say, “This is all part of my plan, dude, and the name of the next movie.”
I recently asked Cumberbatch, who was at the time promoting “The Grinch,” why Strange didn’t reveal his plan right then. “Maybe he just forgot to tell anyone,” Cumberbatch said. “Maybe he just forgot. He was quite busy.”
Sure, there was a lot going on. The obvious answer is that in the one possible outcome where the Avengers win, the one way they’d get to the “Endgame,” Strange didn’t tell anybody, not even me during the “Grinch” press tour.
That theory everyone’s been predicting? Yeah, it looks even more likely now.
At the end of the “Endgame” trailer, Scott Lang shows up at what looks like Avengers HQ in upstate New York, having apparently escaped the Quantum Realm (where we last saw him trapped at the end of “Ant-Man and the Wasp”). And it looks like he’s got the van that holds the mini-quantum tunnel in it.
Though we don’t know how Scott got out of that subatomic dimension — “Ant-Man” director Peyton Reed confirmed to HuffPost that he didn’t have his enlarging Pym Particle with him, which allowed him to escape the Quantum Realm in the first “Ant-Man” film — the theory all along has been that the Avengers would use time travel via the Quantum Realm to reset everything.
I’d also like to point out that the end title looks a lot like dust particles coming back together again, which seems like what would happen if things were reset.
All is going according to plan, as long as Captain America opens the door. And for an update, we go to live footage of Ant-Man, who’s still outside waiting.
“Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters April 26.