After Thanos’s infamous snap-heard-ground-the-multiverse in Infinity War, a bunch of Avengers were turned into dust. But now, the absence of certain heroes in the new Avengers: Endgame trailer — which aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday — has fans wondering if Marvel is pulling an IRL Thanos and digitally erasing characters from certain shots in the trailer. Presumably, Marvel would do this to avoid spoiling the presence of these mystery characters in the final film. Here’s the thing though: even if this theory is true, there’s no reason to believe anything you see in a trailer for a Marvel movie ever, because, at this point, it’s not just that shots are tampered with for the purposes of a trailer, some shots are manufactured entirely.
The big obvious gap occurs when Black Widow, Captain America, Bruce Banner, and Rhodey are all standing in a field somewhere in the trailer. From the look of the shot, it certainly appears that a whole person should be standing in-between Banner and Rhodes, but who? Most fans are leaning toward Captain Marvel or Shuri from Black Panther, both of which make a lot of sense. Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel opens one month before Endgame, and Shuri (Letitia Wright) is a no-brainer addition to the Avengers squad simply because her tech know-how in Infinity War so clearly surpassed the brainy Bruce Banner.
— Ash Crossan (@AshCrossan) February 4, 2019
However: While guessing who might be edited out of the two shots in question is fun, for sure, it might also be a little fruitless. And that’s because it’s possible that, like 50 percent of these shots — digitally altered or not — might not end up in the final film. Want proof? Remember that awesome part where Captain America, Black Panther, the Hulk, and everybody ran at the camera in the Infinity War trailer? Yeah, it straight-up DID NOT HAPPEN in the movie.
To be clear, it’s not like a modified version of this shot happened in that movie either, the shot itself is impossible because Bruce Banner never becomes the Hulk in Wakanda in the film. Meaning, that heroic shot was made for the trailer only. This is also true of several other shots not only in Infinity War but in Thor: Ragnarok, too. In that film, the backgrounds of several shots were altered to make it look like Cate Blanchett’s Hera was breaking Thor’s hammer in NYC, but in the final movie, it happens in Norway. Loki also flipped his knives around in a way that never happens in the film, too.
This brings up the larger point. When we all saw the trailers for Avengers: Infinity Warand Thor: Ragnarok, no one was saying “Hey, I bet Hera will break Thor’s hammer in a different location in the final movie.” Or “That awesome shot of the Avengers running at the camera is probably a fake-out!” We all just took what we saw in the trailer for granted; scenes from an awesome movie we were going to love. But, these fake-outs have made everyone “savvy” to the point that we’re now looking for digital gaps in the new footage. Which brings us to the latest Endgame trailer.
Sure, heroes might be missing in those spaces between characters, but then again, based on what Marvel has pulled very recently, it’s also possible some of these shots won’t be in the movie at all or could have totally different backgrounds and locations.
In other words, Marvel could be lying to us about all sorts of things, and these “missing” gaps where characters might be hiding, could mean absolutely nothing. Because the real lesson we should have learned from Marvel trailers the past few years is this: We won’t see the twists so clearly, because we don’t even know what we’re looking for in the first place.
Avengers: Endgame is out everywhere on April 26, 2019.