Avengers 4 is fast-approaching, yet directors Joe and Anthony Russo and Marvel seem intent on maintaining a thick shroud of secrecy around the project, building even the reveal of the official movie title into an event unto itself. Desperate fans have latched onto any chance at a title reveal, putting cryptic images under a microscope in order to piece together elaborate theories about a possible title and the implied meaning that lies within. Luckily for those desperate for information, a new leak has arrived to add to the speculation and conversation regarding the storyline for Avengers 4. According to a reliable source at MCU Cosmic, the latest rumored title for the follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War is Avengers: Annihilation.
In some ways it makes sense, and in others not so much. Annihilation certainly fits thematically, as the Avengers will be struggling after suffering substantial losses at the end of Infinity War, with more to come if this is the end of the road for several iconic MCU heroes. Plus, if they are to take down Thanos and reverse the damage done by the snap, a no-holds-barred annihilation of Thanos’ forces (and the timeline in general) will be in order. And who better to aid in this annihilation than Captain Marvel, the most powerful addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe seen thus far.
When the Russos teased fans a few weeks ago with a set image and implored fans to “look hard,” eagle-eyed enthusiasts noticed two A’s outlined in the photo. This led some to interpret the title as Avengers: Assemble, though that would be tricky since the first Avengers flick held that moniker when it released in the U.K. Then others speculated that the second A stood for ‘Annihilation,’ a title that matches a 2006 crossover storyline published by Marvel Comics. Would Marvel ‘steal’ a title from an unrelated comic story (well, mostly unrelated, as Drax does get to kill Thanos in this) for part 2 of their cinematic Infinity War saga? That seems unlikely.
Throwing more doubt onto the Annihilation speculation is famous spoiler-machine Mark Ruffalo, who appeared on the Tonight Show and ‘let slip’ the official title of the movie, only to get bleeped out. Intrepid spoiler-hawks took their computers to resolve the situation, determining that he announced the title as The Last Avenger. It’s entirely possible (and indeed plausible) that he’s just goofing around, maybe even strategically so to cast doubt onto the Annihilation leak, as aside from connecting to the first Captain America film title (The First Avenger) it doesn’t seem to make much sense in the context of Infinity War. Even if the focus in the film is on Captain America’s last outing as an Avenger, how would it make sense to call him The Last Avenger unless they completely disband following the climactic battle?
Whether the title is Avengers: Annihilation, or The Last Avenger, or Avengers: End Game, or some other combination of words that create perfect clarity when placed in sequential order, the Marvel hype machine is certainly operating at the peak of its powers when it comes to building anticipation for their next big team-up event. Avengers: Captain America Dies at the End and Then Iron Man Drinks Himself to Death hits theaters on May 3, 2019, and it will almost certainly be preceded by a title and trailer reveal sometime before that.