In the beginning of Marvel movies, there were three phases. Marvel Phase I introduced the heroes for the series and ended with the crossover film The Avengers. Phase II expanded the universe and ended with Avengers: Age of Ultron. Phase III was supposed to end with Avengers: Infinity War, but then that movie got split in two, Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 & 2. Since then, directors Joe and Anthony Russo have renamed that second half, saying Infinity War Part 2 was "misleading," but have not yet revealed what the new title is. What is the Avengers 4 title? Should we be concerned we haven't heard it yet?
According to the Russo Brothers, the answer to that second question is yes.
Does that mean the title is going to be a spoiler? To some extent, all the titles of the movies are spoilers if you know the comics series. Captain America: Civil War, for instance, gave away that the Avengers "Civil War" storyline, which ran during 2006-2007 in print, was coming to screen. It was such a big deal to name it as such that when the movie was first announced back in 2014, it was introduced as Captain America: The Serpent Society, complete with fake logo.
Even so, it's highly doubtful that the Russos are hiding away a title along the lines of Avengers: The Death of Captain America. What is far more likely is that the title spoils a major plot point, such as the highly-theorized time travel arc that explains why some of the actors have been spotted filming for Avengers 4 in their 2012 era costumes and haircuts.
The fact that the Russos kept the title "Infinity War" at all was a bit of a surprise. The team did not take over the director's chairs for that film until 2015, a full year after the films had been announced. Within a few months, the Russos were talking as if they planned to change the titles for both films, saying "the movies are two very different movies" and having them titled "Part 1 & Part 2" was misleading. They told Uproxx,
The intention is we will change it, we just haven’t come up with the titles yet. But, yes, we will change it. And, yes, that is a scoop: we will retitle them.
Obviously, this was not quite in line with the Marvel vision, which in 2014 really did mean for it to be one film that they were splitting in half because the there was too much to squash into a two-hour run time. And there was a compromise that happened because the Russo Brothers accepted that the first film would be called Avengers: Infinity War.
Since then, the Russos have simply been hedging that they'll let fans know the title "when the time is right." During a talk with MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, they hinted we might not even learn it until after Avengers: Infinity War has been out a while.
It is certainly part of the concept of the title is that it’s advancing the narrative. So, we’re gonna sit on that until we feel the time is right and when people have absorbed the first movie enough.
Personally, I don't see Marvel accepting that sort of dragged-out song and dance, especially since they moved up the release date for Avengers: Infinity War in the states by a week to avoid spoilers from the UK. Doing that spoiled their plan to have the 20th film in the MCU arrive exactly ten years to the weekend as the original 2008 Iron Man. Whatever it is the Russos are keeping under wraps, it must have been big enough for Marvel to give that marketing symmetry up.
Once Avengers: Infinity War is out in theaters, it's a sure bet the title for Avengers 4 will follow close behind.
Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters April 27, 2018.