We might have a while to go until [The Avengers: Infinity War](tag:738027) Part 1's 2018 release date, but anticipation is already high for the team's third team up outing. And they've got an epic villain to fight: the much-foreshadowed Thanos. First appearing in The Avengers in 2012, we've had 4 years of build up to Thanos' confrontation with the Avengers themselves.
So just what is Thanos' plan? And how do the Guardians of the Galaxy factor into all of this. Well, here's everything we know so far...
68 Characters... Maybe
The two-part conclusion to Marvel's Avengers trilogy will be released in 2018 and 2019, meaning that the Earth's Mightiest Heroes we know and love will be joined by some fresh-faced newbies. Most notably, Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel will join the gang, along with Black Panther and Ant-Man (and maybe even Evangeline Lilly's Wasp).
Because of this epic cast list, the Russo brothers (who are directing Infinity War) have made a few tongue-in-cheek comments in responses to pre-emptive criticisms.
"We have so many characters we're dealing with. We're breaking ground on Avengers: Infinity War. We have a board with 67 characters on it."
So said Joe Russo at Wizard World Comic Con.
After the internet erupted in uproar and excitement, Joe Russo clarified his comments - there would be 68 characters, not 67. But this might not be such an outrageous task as you'd expect! We tried to guess which MCU characters the Russos could use, and there were only 8 spare characters left over. So although Joe Russo was probably kidding, it looks like it is possible that Infinity War really will feature an army of Avengers.
It's All Coming Together: Thanos' Plan
From what we can tell, Thanos plans to achieve ultimate power over the galaxy (or possibly the universe) by collecting all 6 Infinity Stones. These will fit in his ready-made Infinity Gauntlet, but Thanos has yet to get his hands on any of the stones. Here's a breakdown of what they are...
- Mind Stone - embedded in Loki's Sceptre and now in Vision's forehead.
- Space Stone - a.k.a. the Tesseract from The Avengers.
- Reality Stone - a.k.a. the Aether from Thor: The Dark World.
- Power Stone - a.k.a. the Orb from Guardians Of The Galaxy.
We don't know where the remaining 2 stones are, and it's possible Thanos already has them. But the 4 we know of are all in reasonably safe custody.
Infinity War will probably deal with Thanos' acquisition of these Stones, as the Avengers try to stop him from taking control of the galaxy.
So Who's Confirmed To Appear?
The Earth's Mightiest Heroes we know and love will be joined by some fresh-faced newbies. Most notably, Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel will join the gang, along with Winter Soldier, Black Panther, and Ant-Man... and maybe even Evangeline Lilly's Wasp. Many fans are expecting the Guardians of the Galaxy to team up with the Avengers as well, and there's a possible crossover with Netflix's Defenders.
So far though, only the core Avengers actors have Infinity War on their Marvel contracts. That would be Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jnr. (though his contract is movie-to-movie).
Interestingly enough, Sebastian Stan (Bucky / the Winter Soldier) has also mentioned that he has a 9 picture deal with Marvel, which means he's also likely to appear in Infinity War. Of course, a lot of this will be affected by the outcome of [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409)...
Civil War Will Change The MCU Forever
Or so the Russos, directors of both Civil War and Infinity War would have us believe. They're looking to "shake the foundations" of the MCU with Civil War, and intend to use it to set up the situation for Infinity War.
"We wanted Winter Soldier, Civil War, and the Infinity War films to have a strong through line. We look at this movie as setting the stage for Infinity War, how it starts and what condition everybody is in." (h/t Comicbook)
It's unlikely that Infinity War will feature a fractured team, as they'll need all their strength to defeat Thanos. And with newbies like Black Panther and Captain Marvel potentially joining the team, the Avengers will probably come out of Civil War stronger than ever. Hopefully. Maybe.
But as much as Civil War is setting the stage for Infinity War, don't expect [Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2](tag:1081113) to do the same...
Guardians 2 Is NOT Setting Up Infinity War
James Gunn categorically stated that his aims in creating Guardians of the Galaxy 2 did not include anything to do with Infinity War.
"I’m a lot more concerned with Vol. 2 than I am with Infinity Wars. The way the movie [Vol. 2] is structured and made – it really is a story unto itself. It’s not about leading up to anything else. It’s about the Guardians and their lives."
So it looks like Guardians 2 is more of a character driven story, focusing mainly on the mystery of Peter Quill's father.
And that's pretty much all we know, and all we don't, for Avengers: Infinity War. Be sure to check back here soon - we'll update with any new information we get. But until then it might be a good idea to glance back through any comic books you have lying around, as there's several Marvel might choose to adapt in Infinity War.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 is set for release on May 4, 2018. Part 2 is scheduled for release a year later, on May 3, 2019.