Thanos proved himself the villain to beat in Avengers: Infinity War, though a new theory claims Avengers: Endgame won’t be about Thanos at all. Doctor Strange saw over 14 million possible outcomes and, in an attempt to prevent a much more threatening villain from destroying Earth, letting Thanos win might have been the only way.
Redditor u/redstar6486 suggests that a “much more powerful villain is coming,” and Thanos snapping half of Earth’s population out of existence was the only way Doctor Strange saw fit to prevent a far worse fate.
The theory banks on the fact that those who disappeared in the Decimation aren’t actually dead but are alive in another realm. Doctor Strange’s plan would then be to transfer the remaining population to the new universe by way of a portal, similar to the one Loki used in The Avengers before the new big bad destroys Earth.
“And that’s where Ant-man comes in. Ant-man gets out of the quantum realm. But not to our current universe. He ends up in the new one. And Dr. Strange waited for him. So Ant-man will be the messenger. He comes back to the current universe and they all start working on this plan,” writes u/redstar6486.
But for them to create the portal, Ant-Man and Iron Man (who has to survive space long enough to get back to Earth) must enlist the help of Erik Selvig, who helped Loki with the portal in The Avengers. This turn of events would help to explain the behind-the-scenes photos of Ant-Man standing alongside the team in a scene from the 2012 film. After all, Thanos himself visited another dimension briefly after the snap, indicating that the Infinity Stones could possibly hold more than their size suggests.
The theory is definitely plausible and fits in with certain speculations about time travel and the use of the Quantum Realm. This theory also works because it’s contained and wouldn’t mess with the original timeline. Plus, there’s no reason to believe that Thanos will come back to Earth following his snap, which is why some of the Avengers, including Captain America, War Machine, Captain Marvel, Bruce Banner, and Black Widow, will be going after him instead. While the user doesn’t suggest any options as to who the villain might be, another theory claims that the true villain of Endgame could be Kronos, a powerful entity with god-like powers.
It would make sense for Endgame to introduce a new villain to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a way to usher in the next phase of films. The potential is also there for a new villain to be revealed during the post-credits scene. Anything is possible. However, given that Marvel Studios hasn’t announced any films beyond Spider-Man: Far From Home, how the MCU will move forward after Endgame is still up in the air.
Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26, 2019.