The Marvel juggernaut rolls on! Doctor Strange may still be out at the cinemas, but filming for next year's slate is currently underway. In fact, fans are currently thrilling to trailers for both Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming! For all that's said, though, every eye is looking beyond even that - to Avengers: Infinity War, the crowning glory of Marvel's Phases 1-3!
Filming Begins in 2017!
With fan excitement building, Omega Underground have confirmed that Marvel has booked the studios at Pinewood, Atlanta from January 23rd. That means filming at Pinewood is now confirmed to begin mid-January, and will then move to London at an as-yet-undisclosed date.
So far, #Marvel has been extremely wary of giving us information about Infinity War. We haven't even had any official confirmation on which #MCU characters will appear in the movie, although a number of actors have dropped comments. By January 23rd, we can be expecting that to change!
Did 'Infinity War' Film in 2016?
Here's the interesting thing, though; some parts of the movie may already have been filmed. In a since-deleted tweet, @AtlantaFilming stated: 'I think I forgot to post this, but #AvengersInfinityWar started filming two weeks ago'. This tweet has since been deleted, but his follow-up posts are still live:
'Atlanta Filming' is a photographer who has a good relationship with the film industry. In fact, he has a history of getting good set photos from Marvel movies. If he said Infinity War had started filming in November — the odds are very good that it had.
But this is pretty strange behavior from Marvel. Normally the company makes a song and dance about starting filming, but Marvel hasn't even begun the process of officially announcing which superheroes will be in the film yet!
What's Going On?
We know that Joe and Anthony Russo were in Atlanta for most of November working on pre-production, and that they even called in Josh Brolin to begin motion-capture for Thanos. We also know that one of the Russo brothers' biggest challenges is negotiating the schedules of the many different actors who are going to play a part in Infinity War. That, I think, is our clue; at the very same time, the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 were assembled in Atlanta for reshoots.
Significantly, the Guardians were the only major Marvel actors in Atlanta at the same time as the Russos. In fact, several of the mainstay actors were currently working on different projects, and comments from Jeremy Renner suggest that the Avengers actors have cleared up their 2017 schedule for Infinity War.
To me, then, it seems likely that the Guardians of the Galaxy are going to be appearing in Infinity War (that much has already been hinted), and that the Russos took advantage of the reshoots to get a few Guardians-only scenes filmed. That explanation would fit with the fact that Marvel hasn't followed their usual strategy in announcing filming — because technically, this was only loosely planned, and isn't part of the main bloc of filming.
It's worth noting that this tweet wasn't the first hint we've had in recent weeks that something's going on in Atlanta. In early November the Russos shared — and then deleted — a mysterious image showing the archway of a stone castle (you can see the image itself over on ComicBookMovie). The mystery, of course, is why the Russos deleted it! Some fans, more hopeful than realistic, have speculated that the castle is set in Latveria and that Marvel has regained the film rights to the #FantasticFour (and, of course, the villainous Latverian monarch Doctor Doom).
My suggestion is a different one: that this set isn't just associated with Infinity War, but rather is one from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with the Russos planning to revisit the location during Infinity War. Realizing this wasn't just tied to Infinity War, they deleted it. We know that Pom Klementieff is playing the character of Mantis, a warrior-woman who was brought up in the Temple of the alien Priests of Pama. It's possible that the photo was actually from the set of the Kree Temple, and that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ends with at least some of the Guardians based there.
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I freely admit that I'm only theorizing that Infinity War initially began filming in November 2016, but the reliability of the source convinces me that I'm right. Whatever the case may be, main filming is set to begin partway through January, so we can expect to hear more news next month!
Do you think the Guardians of the Galaxy will appear in Infinity War?
(Source: Omega Underground, Poll Image Credit: Marvel Studios)