Possible spoilers below if you don’t want to know about potential plot spoilers and unexpected character appearances!
After hours of speculating, the real reason behind those Avengers-era set photos from Avengers 4 was revealed to be none other than a case of Tony showcasing his hologram technology from Captain America: Civil War codenamed BARF. Originally designed by Tony to help him cope with the tragedies in his life and the lives of others, it’s seeming inclusion in an ultra busy film like Avengers 4 felt a bit out of place. But thanks to a user on Reddit who claims to have been on the set for the scene at hand, we may have some real context on what this hologram presentation is for. He/she says:
This is for a B.A.R.F. simulation like the one in Civil War, Tony is showing Harley Keener what happened during the Battle of New York while figuring out how to use the Tesseract against Thanos.
I saw the guy who plays Crossbones earlier today on set, it was pretty crazy.
There are a lot of things to take note here. If the claims are indeed real, we finally have a sense of what’s going on in Avengers 4. Tony is brainstorming ways on how to defeat Thanos with Harley (reported to be cast in film weeks back), analyzing what went wrong in the Battle of New York. The claims also strongly hint that the Tesseract will be at the hands of the Avengers come Part 4. The Frank Grillo sighting is also very interesting. Up until recently, Grillo has publicly expressed his distaste with his character’s demise in Captain America: Civil War. But in a recent interview, he was more than glad to tease that there was exciting news about Crossbones that no one had heard of yet. We don’t know if his appearance on the Avengers 4 set is connected to these BARF sequences or is separate from it but the timing of his interview and on-set sighting align really well with the help of loansgreen. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.