17 Marvel Cinematic Universe Fan Theories That Never Panned Out, Despite The Fact That Some Of Them Are Genius

    Shoutout to the folks who break down trailers frame-by-frame. You're not always right, but damn it, you're dedicated.

    With its vast amount of source material, relentless release schedule, and committed legion of fans, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has all the right ingredients to produce a lot — a lot — of fan theories.

    the original avengers during the battle of New York

    But no matter how well-considered or galaxy-brained, not every prediction can come true. So there were a lot — a lot — of responses when Reddit user r/jodlad04 asked, "What were some popular MCU theories back in the day that turned out wrong?"

    Let's take a lil' walk down memory lane and revisit some of the destined-to-be-debunked ideas the MCU fandom came up with in between release dates.

    Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Also, there are *definitely spoilers* ahead, so please proceed with caution!

    1. "I saw one saying Wolverine was in Infinity War and Endgame because Thanos had three scratches on his face."

    Thanos with his face scratches next to Wolverine

    2. "There was this period of time where people theorized that everything supernatural is of Asgardian origin. Like that the Mandarin's rings in Iron Man 3 were gonna be Asgardian relics."

    The Mandarin with his rings highlighted

    3. "Red Skull was alive and was Alexander Pierce in Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

    Red Skull and Alexander Pierce

    4. "I don't know if it's popular, but I read some theories back then about the Vulture before Spider-Man: Homecoming came out."

    The Vulture and Sam Wilson in his wing suit

    5. "Oh, that the Snap actually split the universe's population in two, creating two mirror-image universes with the other snapped half existing in their own world where the other 50% disappeared. I think the theory was that...Endgame was going to involve the forces on both sides fighting Thanos to remerge their respective universes."

    the avengers before the infinity war battle

    6. "After it was pretty clear Endgame would have time travel, there was a theory that Captain America would go back in time to be with Peggy (which happened) and that the Stan Lee cameos would be revealed to be an aged Cap checking in on his friends through the years."

    Stan Lee as the security guard in Captain America

    7. "All of the theories that Thanos was a red herring and that the true final boss of Endgame and the Infinity Saga as a whole would be someone else, Annihilus being the most popular name thrown around."

    Thanos punches

    8. "I still laugh that people were theorizing that Thor was going to die early in Endgame because he was barely in the trailers."

    Thor in Endgame

    9. "Captain America was gonna die in Endgame 'because he has to in order to complete his arc' and Tony would survive and retire because it 'fits his character.'"

    Tony Stark and Captain America talk

    10. "Everyone going nuts about the meaning of 'I love you 3000.' Everyone seemed to think it was some hidden message about the total runtime of the MCU up to that point, even though it didn't add up. Some even went so far to argue that it had to include Far From Home's runtime, which then went over. It all finally died when Robert Downey Jr. said he added it because he says that to his own kids. Nothing to do with the MCU or the runtime."

    Tony on the battlefield in the Avengers

    11. "My favorite was that the Soul Stone was in the meteor that hit Wakanda. The reason why I thought this was credible was that the Soul Stone could've affected the landscape, which led to the Heart-Shaped Herb. I mean, a plant that lets you visit the Astral Realm and talk to the dead? I'd believe it if the Soul Stone was responsible for that."

    T'Challa talking to his father in the afterlife

    12. "The whole T.H.A.N.O.S. thing for the stones’ location (Tesseract, Orb, Necklace, etc.)."

    Loki holding his scepter and walking amongst kneeling people

    13. "The search for the Soul Stone was wild. Here's the theories I heard: Heimdall was the Soul Stone because he could see everyone in the 9 realms, and his eyes were orange. The Soul Stone was in Wakanda, and it's what created the Heart Shaped Herb. The Soul Stone made vibranium. It was in the Quantum Realm, and Janet van Dyne was going to have it running her tech and keeping her alive."

    Idris Elba as Heimdall

    14. "The notion of Heimdall having given his eye to Thor during Infinity War. Rather than that robot eye Thor has now, it would’ve been incredible for him to have gotten one of Heimdall’s and been able to use its powers."

    Thor with his eye patch

    15. "That in Endgame, right before Black Widow dies, she goes back in time to right her wrongs, and that that would be the plot of Black Widow."

    Black Widow in her origin movie

    16. "I remember when the set photos leaked of Paul Rudd in the Battle of New York. They were saying that using time travel, he would go back and become a founding member of the Avengers and essentially retcon the first movie's roster. Their reasoning was that Ant-Man was a founding member in the comics."

    Paul Rudd preparing to time travel in Endgame

    17. And finally: "Thanos's destruction via Ant-Man climbing inside Thanos’s anus and growing giant."

    Ant-Man looks upset while holding his costume