Last week Marvel Studios announced via Twitter that the release date for Infinity War was moving up a week from May 4th to April 27th. Along with the naturally expected fanfare, tons of speculation about why the change came about set the internet ablaze.
While I’ve seen everything from concepts about breaking records in April to Disney making space for both Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story, I think the real story here is about the tweet itself and how it was delivered.
Through a series of tweets, Robert Downey Jr. asked Marvel Studios if he can see the movie earlier than May 4th. In turn, the studio replies with “Anything for you, Mr. Stark! How’s April 27th?”. After asking if he can see it with friends and then asking if he can see it with the entire world, Marvel Studios respond’s with “That’s a FANTASTIC idea! Done.” before listing the new date with a new poster. The capitalized “FANTASTIC” caught my attention right away. Why did they do that? Could that be tied to the new date?
Time for a theory! It would appear that the new date is indicative of a world wide release. Why does this matter? Because traditionally, MCU films have had a staggered release allowing for spoilers to trickle out to regions where the films have not yet debuted. A world wide release helps to prevent that. If the Fantastic Four are coming in some manner to the MCU and being introduced in Infinity War, Marvel Studios may want to keep that info fresh for as long as possible.
Why the FF and how could they be involved? Let’s start with Spiderman Homecoming. Yep, Homecoming. In the film, Happy Hogan is too busy dealing with moving out of Avengers Tower and in to their new facility to put up with Peter and his constant phone calls. It seems like a simple side note that actually turns into a plot point at the end of the film. But what is happening to the tower? Could it become the Baxter Building, home of the Fantastic Four?!?
How could the FF be involved in the larger MCU? The simple answer… Skrulls! The Kree have already been introduced in the MCU via the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D tv show and the war between the Kree and the Skrulls is well documented in the comics. So if the Kree exist, the Skrulls easily could and Kevin Feige has stated that the MCU is heading in a more galactic direction following the current phase which is not only perfect for the kind of stories that work for the Fantastic Four but also provide the perfect opportunity to make a Super Skrull the main villain in a stand alone film for the heroic quartet.
How do we get to a Super Skrull in the first place? Secret Invasion. While Infinity War was once going to be a two parter, it’s currently a single film (at least in title) leaving Avengers 4 with no subtitle.
Could it be Secret Invasion?
Leaked photos from the set of Avengers 4 show Captain America wearing his uniform from the first Avengers film with Tony, Bruce and Ant-Man nearby. Speculations about the photos question whether Cap dies in Infinity War and the team has to use the Time Stone to go back and get the younger Cap. However, what if when Cap dies he turns into a Skrull, the team finds out that this happened during the original Chitari invasion and is attempting to go back and prevent it.
Now clearly this is all just conjecture but considering that Fox only appeared to have a deal with Constantin Films to distribute/ co-produce and did not own the rights to produce Fantastic Four movies on their own, Disney would not necessarily need to wait for their deal to go through to negotiate the rights to use the FF. They could have dealt directly with Constantin long beforehand which may just align with rumors that Marvel was working on a deal to regain control over their first family from a couple of years ago.
What do you think? Is the Fantastic Four coming to the MCU? If so, will it be in Infinity War? What do you suppose is happening to the old Avengers Tower?