Marvel's The Avengers is a force of nature in film right now, crossing over $300 million domestically this week and projected to take #1 at the box office for the second week in a row. Disney is reporting that it will cross $1 billion globally today, there's been a lot of speculation as to what's next for the franchise. Most of it has been pretty reasonable and measured, but what about bringing some crazy theories to the fore? Be forewarned that there are spoilers ahead, and if you're one of the fourteen people who haven't yet seen The Avengers, you should really go watch it before reading on. Well, we've got a few...! The Avengers sets us up for Clone Thor Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has said that Civil War is a candidate for a presumptive third Avengers movie, but were there any clues leading into that story in The Avengers? Well, there was a lot of in-fighting but that doesn't really count. Oh, but there is that fight scene. Atop the Stark Tower, Thor and Loki throw down. At one point in the fight, Loki stabs Thor and manages to stun his brother and clearly pierce the skin. On Stark Tower. Where Tony has access to everything. Imagine if you will a scenario where the second Avengers or third Thor film should "kill" Thor, or at least send him off to another realm. If Civil War should be in the cards--or even if they just wanted a really powerful enemy for the team, this opens them up to the idea that Tony Stark has Thor's DNA. And, like the hair from which the Clone Thor was made in the comics, Thor would be totally unaware that Tony had kept it. This could set up some nice conflict when and if the "real" Thor ever saw Iron Man again, and that's a good thing becuase in the first movie, those two had great chemistry when they were at odds. Phil Coulson as The Vision This one's been in the ether for a while, and I'm not sure where it started, but it's not mine. Without Wonder Man in the movie continuity (and, let's face it, it's as unlikely they'd ever release a character by that name into the marketplace as it is that DC would call Billy Batson "Captain Marvel," since it's effectively advertising for the other guy), whose brainwaves could be imprinted upon The Vision, The Avengers' popular android? Well, Phil Coulson comes to mind. Ultron would be a movie unto himself and unless we get four or five films deep, the idea of his building The Vision and then the Avengers turning him good and all of that stuff is probably not likely to be something we ever see on the big screen. Tony Stark, though, is pretty good with cybernetics and AI (see also: J.A.R.V.I.S.), and was the Avenger most clearly shaken by the loss of Coulson, with whom he had a more substantive relationship with anybody else. What if we were to find out that Stark was able to "map" Coulson's brain during one of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent's visits to Stark Enterprises and that he was able to either approximate or even actually copy the information into Vision?
What about Secret Invasion? Okay, so the Chitauri are basically the poor man's Skrulls. We knew this going in, but nobody used any Skrull-like traits in the film. Treated as disposable storm troopers, the only time they're threatening is when they swarm. But what if that's not the case? What if they covertly replaced one or more Avengers or allies in the chaos of the film? There were several points when things are moving so quickly that the narrative could easily support a "then the aliens took this guy away and replaced him" moment in the narrative. And it might explain, if that was meant to be the original post-credits scene, why IMDb (which generally gets its information directly from studios or actors) reported at one point that Cobie Smulders would pull double duty as both Maria Hill and a Skrull princess. Infiltration. Speaking of people who may not be what they seem, what if Hawkeye and/or the professor are still secretly in Loki's thrall, "programmed" to appear to come out of it in case things started to look hopeless for the god of mischief? Without Mephisto (who, let's face it, would be kind of silly on film), it seems likely that Marvel would prefer to have Loki standing by Thanos' side should they choose (as most are currently predicting) to make the second film an adaptation of The Infinity Gauntlet. He serves the purpose well, being a godlike being with "insider information" on the workings of the universe who's incapable of taking down the good guys on his own and could be manipulated by Thanos fairly easily (remember our interview with actor Tom Hiddleston, where he talks about that issue?). There's some speculation that Loki could "go good" in Thor 2, but what if he were only good for long enough to gain back Odin's trust and ultimately obtain the Infinity Gauntlet for Thanos, which we've seen in Asgard? If that was the backup plan, would it not be reasonable to assume that Loki and/or Thanos would have liked to still have a chance to dangle Hawkeye from a string at a key moment in the future? Guardians of the Galaxy It's already been said that Guardians of the Galaxy is a property Marvel (and particularly Feige himself) are interested in seeing taken to the big screen, but it seems difficult to do that on the tight timetable offered by the current crop of movies. That said, what if the second movie weren't Infinity Gauntlet at all? What if the whole post-credits tease were setting up for Guardians of the Galaxy, not Avengers 2, and everyone is looking at Thanos all wrong? He's got more history with Drax and Warlock than anyone on The Avengers, after all, and if you were to use what may just become the highest-grossing movie of all time as your springboard it seems more likely you could launch a new property to prominence.0comments