Directors Just Hinted At A Major Return From Endgame
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Now that Avengers: Endgame is finally out in theaters, directors Joe and Anthony Russo have been able to freely expand on some of the movie's plot details. One of these, which came to light at a recent Q&A session for Endgame, has even hinted that future Marvel movies could be the setting for a major comeback.
According to Slashfilm, someone in attendance at the Q&A asked the Russos to run through exactly what happened with the Infinity Stones at the start of the movie. The directors confirmed that, three weeks after his initial snap, Thanos utilized the Infinity Stones once again but this time to destroy them, preventing them from being used to reverse his work.
Thanos using the Stones to destroy themselves was one of the major inciting incidents of Endgame, but there's one little issue with it: time doesn't function correctly without them. While the heroes are snatching up the Infinity Stones in the past, the Ancient One explains to Professor Hulk that you can't just pluck a Stone from a certain place in time and not return it, as that would create a branch alternate timeline overrun with disorder. Just...not the kind of disorder shown in Back to the Future. Time travel!
The Ancient One tells Hulk that the Infinity Stones are "essential to the flow of time," and that they must be replaced at the exact moment in time from which they are taken. So if the Stones are so important to preserving a properly functioning timeline, why didn't the universe devolve into complete chaos after Thanos destroyed them? Well, as the Russos explained, Thanos didn't actually wipe the Infinity Stones out of existence he just reduced them to atoms. The Russos indicated that this means the Stones are still out there, floating around on "an atomic level." Though they may not be tangible or fit for use in their current state, the Infinity Stones remain a part of the universe and will continue to keep things in order.
This would suggest that the Infinity Stones could appear again in a future Marvel movie. Plenty of characters have wielded the Infinity Gauntlet throughout Marvel's history so there's a ton of source material for writers and filmmakers to use if they wish to bring back the Stones.
If anyone's going to be the key to the Infinity Stones' return, there's a good chance it's going to be Adam Warlock, who has been tied to the Stones since their print debut. For some time, Adam was the primary bearer of the Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet, but what's more important is that he has a pretty messy history with Thanos and has served as the Living Tribunal, a cosmic entity that preserves equilibrium amongst all realities in the Marvel Comics Multiverse. The kicker here? Both Avengers: Endgame and its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War, were meant to include the Living Tribunal, and Adam himself was close to being included in Infinity War.
So could Marvel be saving Adam for Phase 4 of the MCU, in the hope of folding him into the franchise off the back of these atomic Infinity Stones? It seems plausible. Marvel could even bring the Stones back and introduce Adam all in one movie. Infinity War and Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have previously mentioned that the character can't just show up from nowhere and Marvel would have to, quote, "practically make an Adam Warlock movie" to bring the character into the universe. But, if it happened, that would be an ideal moment to revisit the Infinity Stones. Keep watching the video to see how the directors just hinted at a major return from Endgame!
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