After 10 years and 18 movies, Avengers: Infinity War finally ripped into theaters. The film's dark, depressing conclusion only made audiences even more excited for the sequel expected out in May 2019. But what will Avengers: Endgame entail? What predictions can be made without ever having seen a trailer? Well, there are a few educated guesses we can make based on the events in Part 1.
Despite the death of dozens of characters, and ultimately half of the entire universe, we know the MCU won't allow this to stay forever. No matter what happens, we know Peter Parker, for example, has another movie coming out. It technically could be a prequel of some kind, but it's more likely that the world will be restored to some kind of order. But what will the new world look like and how might it come about? There are several theories about how this all may go down.
Along with Ant-Man, Hawkeye was noticeably missing from all Infinity War promos and the film itself. When Thanos snaps his fingers at the end of the film, audiences do not see all of the casualities he caused. Many speculate that the normal family life for which Hawkeye left the Avengers are among those who were turned to dust. If this is true, it would act as an excellent incentive for Hawkeye to return to the remaining Avengers.
Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye, was spotted on set for Avengers: Endgame, which makes this theory rather likely.
In any normal superhero film, this would be considered a given, but Infinity War was no such movie. Thanos has managed to wipe out half the universe, kill a massive amount of superheroes, and we still don't technically know what the future of the MCU holds beyond 2019. Even a cosmic reset wouldn't objectively destroy Thanos, maybe just change his nature or set him back a few years.
All that said, it seems pretty clear Marvel intends to destroy Thanos once and for all. The anticipation for the climactic showdown with Thanos has been coming for decades now. After the fourth Avengers, it's likely that Thanos will be entirely defeated, and the universe will turn to a new threat and enemy.
Many thought that Tony Stark would die in Infinity War as some sort of extra motivation for the team in Endgame. That did not happen. Even though we thought Stark might die there for a second, Dr. Strange realized that the only way they could win was if Stark survived - even if that meant losing the Time Stone.
It seems likely at this point that Iron Man needed to live so that he could sacrifice himself later. He says to Spider-Man that fighting Thanos was a "one-way trip", and even though that's exactly what happened to Spider-Man, it's still likely true that Stark doesn't make it out of this thing alive.
Near the end of Infinity War, after the snap, Thanos appears to travel to a strange, orange world. There he talks with Gamora as a little girl, and he tells her that he's had to sacrifice almost everything. The sequence is set up to look like a dream or a vision, but what if it's an actual place? What if Thanos was inside the Soul Stone?
Joshua Yehl over at IGN pointed out that in the comics, the Soul Stone actually "desires" the souls of the living and possesses an entire "soul world" inside of it. That could explain why Gamora was in there, since she was killed by/for the Soul Stone.
What if everybody that died at the end of Infinity War isn't so much dead as trapped inside that world? Presumably the plot of Endgame would then revolve around the "survivors" finding a way into the soul world and finding a way to free everybody from within. That could lead to some truly strange and epic visuals a la Dr. Strange. Kevin Feige has suggested Endgame is a different genre from Infinity War, and a fantastical romp through a soul world would certainly fit that bill.