Avengers: Infinity War shook up the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a pretty major way, and fans are waiting with bated breath to find out just how Avengers 4 is going to carry the story forward.

Marvel has been so secretive about the film that even though it's out in less than a year, Marvel hasn't even announced its title - let alone any posters, photos, or trailers - so right now all we have is an awful lot of speculation, a release date, and a few bits of confirmed casting. That's never stopped us before though, has it?

Release date

Here's basically the only thing we know for sure about Avengers 4: when it's coming out. The big day is 3 May 2019 in the US, but right now the UK is set to get it a week early on 26 April. Marvel tends to shift its release dates around by a few days here and there though, so don't be surprised if things change a little before 2019 rolls around.

It'll be preceded slightly by the next Marvel movie, Captain Marvel, in early March. Check out our guide to every other big film coming out in the next year to see what else we have to look forward to.

Cast and crew

Just like with the most recent Avengers film, Avengers 4 is set to have a massive sprawling cast - so here are most of the actors we're expecting to see when the film arrives next year:

Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man/Tony Stark
Chris Evans Captain America/Steve Rogers
Chris Hemsworth Thor
Scarlett Johansson Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff
Mark Ruffalo The Hulk/Bruce Banner
Jeremy Renner Hawkeye/Clint Barton
Josh Brolin Thanos
Benedict Cumberbatch Dr. Strange/Stephen Strange
Chadwick Boseman Black Panther/T'Challa
Tom Holland Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Paul Bettany The Vision
Elizabeth Olsen Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff
Paul Rudd Ant-Man/Scott Lang
Evangeline Lilly The Wasp/Hope van Dyne
Brie Larson Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers
Chris Pratt Star-Lord/Peter Quill
Zoe Saldana Gamora
Dave Bautista Drax
Bradley Cooper Rocket Raccoon
Vin Diesel Groot
Pom Klementieff Mantis
Sebastian Stan Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes
Tom Hiddleston Loki
Anthony Mackie Falcon/Sam Wilson
Don Cheadle War Machine/James Rhodes
Karen Gillan Nebula
Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts
Samuel L. Jackson Nick Fury
Stan Lee ???

We've almost certainly missed a few names off there, so let us know if there's anyone we should add - though we have made a point of including a few characters who didn't make it to the end of Infinity War, just in case they somehow turn up again next time around...

There's also speculation that Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie from Thor: Ragnarok may make an appearance, fuelled in part by this tweet.

Behind the camera, brothers Joe and Anthony Russo are directing again, after calling the shots on Infinity War, and both Winter Soldier and Civil War before that.

Their regular cinematographer Trent Opaloch is also along for the film, and he's shooting a script written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who wrote those same three films, along with an assortment of other bits and pieces across the MCU.

Acclaimed composer Alan Silvestri is also back, bringing his fourth Marvel score, after Infinity War and each of the first Avengers and Captain America films.

Title and plot rumours

It's pretty unusual for a movie to be coming out in less than a year and not even have an official title, but here we are. While Avengers 4 started out as Infinity War Part II, that changed when directors Joe and Anthony Russo decided that the two films were really separate entities, rather than two parts of the same movie.

That came with a price for fans though: the Russos and Marvel decided that the Avengers 4 title was too much of a spoiler for Infinity War for them to announce it prior to that film's release. Naturally, we all thought it would be dramatically revealed at the end of Infinity War, but that didn't happen either, with Marvel explaining that they wanted to give the film's dramatic finale time to settle in with fans.

So, we're left to try and guess at what the film will be called - which naturally means speculating about what might happen in it, and spoiling Infinity War - so stop reading now if somehow you haven't seen the third Avengers film yet.

Let's run our spoiler discussion through a few of the potential titles for Avengers 4.

Avengers: Infinity Guantlet

This title was a fan favourite because a) it's drawn from a comic series of the same name, b) it follows directly on from the end of the last film (Thanos completing the guantlet), and c) Gamora actress Zoe Saldana accidentally said it was the title once.

Seems straightforward enough, right? Well, yeah, except it's not even slightly a spoiler for Infinity War - any comics fan knew the guantlet would crop up in that film - and also producer Kevin Feige said it's "definitely" not the title.

Avengers: Secret Invasion

This is perhaps a bit more likely. It hinges on the fact that between now and Avengers 4 we have Captain Marvel to come, and we know that film, set in the '90s, will tackle alien races the Kree and the Skrulls.

Their most famous comic book arc involved a secret invasion of Earth in which people across the world, including plenty of superheroes, were secretly replaced with alien shapeshifters. Since the post-credit scene in Infinity War confirmed that Captain Marvel has a big role to play in Avengers 4, that's fuelled speculation that the Secret Invasion plot could be in the works.

We're a bit sceptical though - with no setup at all in Infinity War, the Skrulls would be a left-field addition to the fourth film, and it's not entirely clear how it could all be tied into Thanos - or used to resurrect all of the dead heroes that we just know are getting resurrected, because they have sequels on the way.

Avengers: House of M

OK, it's a bit of a crummy title, but this is lifted straight out of an infamous comic arc where Scarlet Witch changes the entirety of reality to create a happier world (which turns out to have a few downsides of its own, unsurprisingly).

Before Infinity War came out this was a popular bet, but since Scarlet Witch was one of the heroes taken out by Thanos and the Infinity Guantlet in that film's finale, we can't really see how she's going to pull off the biggest magic trick of her life from beyond the grave.

Then again, a possible official synopsis from a licensing magazine claims that "Our beloved heroes will truly understand how fragile this reality is and the sacrifices that must be made to uphold it," which sounds an awful lot like the House of M plotline.

Avengers: The Quantum Realm

Again, bear with us - that might not be the exact phrasing. But alongside Captain Marvel we also have Ant-Man and the Wasp as one of the only two MCU films out between the two Avengers movies. Careful: spoilers for Ant-Man and the Wasp to follow.

That film leans heavily on the Quantum Realm - the subatomic universe that exists between particles - and given that Ant-Man was conspicuously missing from Infinity War, it's very possible that Ant-Man's biggest secret could hold the power to bring back the Avengers, and, well, 50 percent of the universe.

The Ant-Man and the Wasp post-credit scene reveals that it's the Quantum Realm that saves Ant-Man himself from the Thanos snap, which kills the rest of the Pym/Van Dyne family. That in itself doesn't reveal much about what's to come, but there is one potentially interesting element: he's in the Quantum Realm to collect 'Quantum Healing Particles' - we wouldn't be shocked if they're somehow used to fuse Hulk's personalities, or somehow bring back the snapped characters.

This could also somehow tie into the rumours of a time travel plotline in Avengers 4, thanks to set photos of the main cast back in their Phase 1 outfits, which would be a very neat way to undo all of Thanos's damage.

Avengers: Annihilation

This rumour comes courtesy of blog MCU Cosmic, which claims to have intel from a source that the film will be called Avengers: Annihilation.

That fits with an image the Russo brothers posted teasing the new film, which appears to show two 'A's, and also fits the Avengers pattern of naming movies after major comic events: Annihilation was a 2006 crossover story which spanned multiple 'cosmic' Marvel characters - including Thanos.

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Avengers: The Last Avenger

In the wake of MCU Cosmic's 'leak' of Annihilation, Mark Ruffalo appeared on Jimmy Fallon's show and promised to reveal the new title. In fact he did nothing of the sort though, with the show bleeping out his audio and using a black box to cover his mouth on the footage.

One enterprising sort used a bit of audio knowhow to try to remove the bleep effect though, with the result that Ruffalo can be heard saying 'The Last Avenger'.

Of course, just because Ruffalo said it, doesn't mean it's the real title of course: it may have just all been part of the joke. It would, however fit the rumours (and fan expectations) that this could be a farewell for Captain America, as it mirrors the title of his first movie, Captain America: The First Avenger.

Chris Evans has often hinted that he'd soon be done with the part, and his tweet after wrapping production on the new film sounded a lot like a farewell to the character.

Other rumours

To throw an extra bit of chaos into the mix, Ruffalo has revealed that the film's reshoots are a little more than just reshoots, and that in fact the film's finale hadn't yet been shot - and hadn't even really been written.

“We don't even know what it's gonna be yet. We're not just doing reshoots. We're going to finish the movie, which we really didn't get to finish totally when we left it last year," said Ruffalo on The Marvelists podcast.

“I don't even know that [the Russos] really know exactly. Some of it is happening while we're there. It's pretty amazing. And we'll shoot some stuff and a few days later come back and reshoot it 'cause we wanna take it in another direction. It's a very living organism; even as we approach it being a locked picture, we're still working on it.”

Whatever's happening, one of the few specific plot details the screenwriters have revealed is that Captain America and Black Widow both “have a much bigger role to play in that second film,” whatever that means.

We've also seen what might be our first look at the new team in action, thanks to a piece of supposedly official leaked concept art:

If it's real, the concept art offers a few interesting hints to the film. For one, note the inclusion of both Ant-Man and Hawkeye (missing from Infinity War), along with the first appearance of Brie Larson's Captain Marvel - in a costume that has since turned out to be pretty accurate to what she'll be wearing in her solo film.

There have also been a few costume changes. Captain America is back in his patriotic duds, War Machine has had some major upgrades, Hawkeye looks to have shifted towards his Ronin persona from the comics, and most interestingly Hulk is in a unitard - suggesting he may have adopted the Professor Hulk persona, a fusion of Hulk and Bruce Banner that boasts the strength of one and the intellect of the other.

We were a little sceptical that this was legit, but another leak makes it look more likely. Images shared on Twitter show art of some of the separate characters from the above poster in the exact same poses (along with some extra glimpses of Captain Marvel), showing the art that the poster as a whole was built out of. Of course, these could just be the files used to mock a fake up in the first place, but the extra Captain Marvel images make us think not - so we reckon this is how our heroes are going to look next time around.

Avengers 4 Concept Art

Those might not be the only new costume designs though. The back of a supposed toy set featuring Rocket Raccoon and Thor has also appeared online, showing the pair of them in some spiffy new white duds that are pretty unlike anything we've seen in the films so far: