(WARNING: The following contains theoretical SPOILERS for future movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and in particular Avengers: Infinity War - Part I. Proceed with whatever level of caution your innate sense of SPOILER aversion — and confidence in my guessing abilities — suggests is wise.)
When Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War - Part I directors the Russo brothers casually dropped into conversation that Infinity War would feature a whopping-great 67 named characters, the internet was abuzz with a curious blend of shock, awe and suspicion. The number seeming awfully high, even for a movie split into two parts.
Never fear, though, for the latest interview with the directing duo has revealed that there will not, in fact, be 67 main characters in Avengers: Infinity War — there'll be 68.
And, because that's clearly a far more sensible number...
Here's A List Of The 68 Characters We'll (Probably) See In Avengers: Infinity War
With the two obvious caveats being that: a) Theoretical SPOILERS begin now, and b) I'm choosing to assume that no character is going to die between now and Avengers: Infinity War (despite that being deeply unlikely), so as to avoid more immediate SPOILERS and the fact that a single wrong guess could throw the whole thing out of whack.
First up, then?
The Main Gang, a.k.a The Avengers
Who, needless to say, are likely to turn up en masse, suggesting that we will almost certainly see:
- Captain America
- Iron Man
- Black Widow
- The Hulk
- Scarlet Witch
- War Machine...
...all turn up in Infinity War at some point or another. What's more, we're also likely to see...
...A Whole Lot of Other Movie Superheroes (Who May Or May Not Be Avengers)
- The Wasp
- Black Panther
- Doctor Strange
- Captain Marvel
- Bucky Barnes, a.k.a Winter Soldier
And assuming the Netflix series hold up:
- Jessica Jones
- Luke Cage
- Iron Fist
- The Punisher
In addition to which, we're likely to also see:
The Cosmic Side Of The MCU Meeting The Earthbound Side
Which means we're likely to see the Guardians of the Galaxy, a.k.a...
- Rocket Raccoon
- (The soon to be introduced) Mantis
As well as other previously introduced cosmic adventurers, including, but not necessarily limited to:
- The Collector
- Nova Prime
Which, in fact, brings up another obvious subcategory:
The Other Guys, a.k.a Some Past Villains
With the most obvious (re-)appearances being from:
- Baron Zemo
With either cameos or small roles being entirely possible for the likes of:
- Baron Mordo
- Yondu Udonta
- Ulysses Klaue
- Trevor "The Mandarin" Slattery
- Justin Hammer
And, just maybe:
- The Kingpin
To which we should probably add:
The Likely Civilian Assistants
Which may well include (most likely largely in cameo form):
- Nick Fury
- Maria Hill
- General "Thunderbolt" Ross
- Everett Ross
- Sharon Carter, a.k.a Agent 13
- Pepper Potts
- Harold "Happy" Hogan
- Aunt May Parker
- Agent Phil Coulson (and let's say three more of the Agents of the S.H.I.E.L.D. cast)
- Laura Barton
- Claire Temple
- Dr. Helen Cho
- Dr. Erik Selvig
- Dr. Hank Pym
Which only leaves us with eight characters before hitting that magic number of 68.
Who Are The Final Eight, Then?
Well, this is where things get a little more speculative. My personal — largely comic-book-inspired — picks for the final octet of characters?
- J. Jonah Jameson
- Norman Osborn
- Whoever Captain Marvel's secondary lead turns out to be
- Adam Warlock
- Lucky the Pizza Dog (Hawkeye's comic book pet)
And, of course:
- Stan Lee
From which list of 68 — yup, that was 68 — it's most likely a good idea to take away five or so characters whose pre-Infinity War activities will preclude them from appearing; 10 or so characters who'll simply be too expensive to bring back; and five or so characters who would be completely unnecessary to whatever plot Marvel has planned. At which point we can likely add back in the five or so characters we haven't yet met who'll end up with small roles, the 10 or so "Police Officer No. 2"-style characters who'll just be one-line background cast members, and the five or so characters that I've inevitably forgotten.
But in the meantime, that there list up there might just do as a basic framework from which to gauge just what to expect (and to guess just how much money Marvel is going to have to spend on cast wages).