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New Avengers 4 Theory Claims Thanos And Tony Stark Met Before Infinity War

When the intergalactic megalomaniac Thanos (Josh Brolin) came face to face with the quick-witted, nanotech suit-fitted Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in Avengers: Infinity War, their conversation didn't quite play out how fans may have expected it to. Rather than watching as the hulking purple villain questioned who the Armored Avenger was, viewers saw Thanos instantly recognize Tony Stark as the man inside the red-and-gold get-up. 

Marvel fans have already come up with more explanations as to how Thanos knew Tony prior to Infinity War than we can count, and, as We Got This Covered first noticed, another intriguing idea has just been added to the speculation stockpile. 

Reddit user AVigz theorizes that Thanos and Tony Stark met before the events of Infinity War — a notion that builds off what the film's co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo previously said about the character's relationship — and that their encounter was, well, less than awesome for Tony. 

But before anyone jumps the gun and rattles off a list of reasons as to why that's impossible given what has already happened on screen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, wait until you hear the other half of AVigz's theory. 

AVigz proposes that Thanos and Tony actually met and fought in Avengers 4, in an encounter that happens in the past. 

AVigz prefaced their theory presentation by mentioning what the Russo Brothers stated about Thanos and Tony on the commentary track of Infinity War: Thanos recognized Tony "from the original Battle of New York as the person who undid the plan." because both men are "cursed with knowledge," the same way Tony had an inkling that a massive threat was about to ravage Earth back in 2012's The Avengers, Thanos immediately knew who Tony was in Infinity War

"I know what the Russos said about Tony and Thanos' meeting in Infinity War, but this theory could also still make sense," AVigz wrote. "What if the real reason Thanos knows who Tony is is because they already previously fought? An encounter that happens in Avengers 4 back in time. Something that Thanos has already experienced and 'won' in that timeline, but could potentially lose in another."

"I know a lot of moving pieces, but I understand pretty much anything is possible with dimensional time travel," AVigz concluded, adding that the "too long, didn't read" and "still didn't make sense" version of the theory is that "Thanos knows who Tony is because he already fought him back in time in a timeline where Tony had already fought him in Infinity War ... Thanos knows Tony because they fought before, in Avengers 4."

This theory is attention-grabbing for sure, but when you take a step back and look at the Avengers 4 rumor mill as a whole, you'll realize that AVigz's theory sounds pretty familiar. 

Back in June, not long after Infinity War opened in theaters in late April, Screen Rant's Thomas Bacon crafted conjecture about Thanos, Tony, and time-travel as well. Bacon hypothesized, "What if Thanos has actually met Tony Stark before? There's strong evidence that Avengers 4 explores the idea of time-travel, with the surviving Avengers traveling back to the past. As such, it's entirely possible that Thanos could have met a future Tony Stark ... Going one step further, this may well explain why Thanos snarls, 'I hope they remember you.' Perhaps he already knows when Stark will finally die — because he's seen it happen?"

It would be easy to brush aside Bacon's theory since it came out before Infinity War did on DVD, Digital, and Blu-ray, and he wasn't been privy to the Russo Brothers' statements about Thanos and Tony. But, as AVigz pointed out in their hypothesis, the villain and hero meeting thanks to time-travel could still be true, despite how popular or surface-level the theory seems. 

Marvel is one of the most secretive studios out there, so fans shouldn't expect anyone involved with Avengers 4 to rock up to the proverbial mic and start spitting truths about this time-travel-focused theory — or any other Avengers 4 theory for that matter. For the time being, the Marvel-loving masses can either immerse themselves in the weird and wonderful world of fan theories, believing a new possible storyline for Avengers 4 every week, or take the Russo Brothers' words at face value and get on with their lives. 

All shall be revealed when Avengers 4 opens in theaters on May 3, 2019.