Avengers: Infinity War was spared from getting too heavy with the metaphysical aspects of the Infinity Stories, which are designed to control space, time, power, mind, soul and reality itself. It's one of those sci-fi MacGuffin concepts that seems pretty simple at first, until playing around with the concept quickly leads down rabbit hole of contradictions and storytelling problems.
Well, Infinity War may have been able to skate by, but Avengers 4 will actually have to deal with the deeper powers of the Infinity Gauntlet, and Thanos' godly abilities with it. As screenwriter Christopher Markus explains in the new Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War - The Art of the Movie art book, the issue of the Infinity Gauntlet's power and Thanos' ability to cause "The Snap" are actually a major hurdle to get over in the Avengers 4 storyline:
"[The Infinity Stones have] been misused by people who didn't understand their true power. And now that the real master of them, Thanos , has shown up we can see what they actually do. The problem is, as you can imagine, as you gain control over these things, your story just goes haywire because why are there any stakes for the man who can control time, space, reality, your mind, your soul and power? He can reset as many times as it'll take. So you have to build in a lot of bumps in the road or maybe keep one stone away from him for long enough in order for the thing to have any dramatic structure at all."
Markus is too much of a pro to drop any direct spoilers about Avengers 4, but let's read between the lines. It's already been heavily speculated (and suggested in set photos) that the Infinity War sequel will involve bit sci-fi concepts like time travel, with the surviving Avengers heroes attempting to intercept some key Infinity Stones before Thanos ever got them. A scenario like that would fulfill the challenge and solution that Markus alludes to: if the Avengers use time travel to grab one of the stones, it would possibly start a storyline where Thanos (protected from timeline changes by the other stones) would have a chance to chase down the Avengers through the timeline.
If the Russo Bros are going as far out sci-fi as has been teased in the past, then we could be in for a Groundhog Day-type scenario where Thanos could indeed cause "The Snap" over and over in different ways, before The Avengers finally find a way to break the tragic cycle.
What do you think Avengers 4's storyline will bring? Let us now in the comments!
Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp are now available as a digital download as well as on Blu-ray and DVD. Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universemovies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, Avengers 4 on May 3, 2019, and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019.