The 'Avengers: Infinity War' Ending Was Almost The Beginning Of 'Avengers 4'

It's been just over a month since Avengers: Infinity War hit theaters and shook fans to their core. Even though everyone knew that the villain Thanos was going to end up getting all of the Infinity Stones and dishing out some serious pain to The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, the ending of the movie was still shocking. However, we almost didn't get to see that ending play out exactly as it did in theaters and would have had to wait another year to experience that jaw-dropping conclusion. That's because it was originally intended to be the beginning of Avengers 4.

Due to the major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, we'll talk about this more below.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you likely know now that Avengers: Infinity War ends on quite of a bummer note. After collecting all six of the Infinity Stones, a quest that already resulted in the deaths of characters like Loki and Heimdall from the Thor franchise, Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy, and Vision, Thanos snapped his fingers and ended the lives of half the beings in the universe, all so he could bring what he called balance to civilization.

The snap of Thanos' fingers resulted in the deaths of Black Panther, Spider-Man, Falcon, Bucky (AKA The Winter Soldier), Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Groot and Mantis. Plus, both Nick Fury and Maria Hill disintegrate in a post-credits sequence. It's a body count that fans were not expecting, and they almost didn't experience it.

The New York Times recently spoke with co-writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and the former talked about how the movie almost ended with the snap, and audiences wouldn't have seen a bunch of their favorite Marvel superheroes bite the dust. Markus said, "But what we realized is, it would feel more like a cliffhanger than we intended. It would be a continuation of exactly what you were watching before."

Instead, they opted to go for that huge ending by letting the movie "be as big as it wants to be, and as sprawling." So we got that movie that leaves us with a huge cliffhanger anyway, albeit in a much bigger way. And that sets the stage for Avengers 4, which Markus says is a movie "where mysterious things happen that I can't tell you about."

It's rather interesting that Markus and McFeely specifically chose to end with the death/disappearance of a bunch of our heroes because they didn't want to pick up Avengers 4 as "a continuation of exactly what you were watching before." That would seem to imply that Avengers 4 might pick up after some significant time has passed following the events of Infinity War.

Considering the interesting tidbit that Gwyneth Paltrow offered up about Pepper Potts and Tony Stark having a kid, not to mention the rumors of possible time travel based on certain set photos, I could see Avengers 4 being a movie that takes us ahead in time a year or two after Infinity War when the world has started to move on. But that's just speculation on our part.

What do you think?