We're so busy getting hyped for Captain America: Civil War that it's easy to forget the biggest of Marvel bads lurking just around the corner. But however Civil War turns out, our heroes have got a much bigger challenge ahead of them soon, as they're due to (finally) face Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.
Expectations for the third Avengers team-up movie are already high, which is unsurprising, as the entire MCU has been building towards this for four years now.
Although he first appeared in The Avengers (2012), Thanos has been pulling the strings of many a Marvel movie. His grand plan? To assemble all the Infinity Stones and bend the entire universe to his will. Oh, and he has a cosmic army ready to battle anyone who stands in his way (a.k.a. the Avengers).
The MCU's Epic Climax
Obviously the two-part Infinity War plot is going to be epic, operating on a much larger scale than anything we've seen in the MCU before. It'll also feature the long-awaited team-up of the Avengers with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and a bunch of other characters who will also come along for the ride (68 of them, to be precise).
And according to the Russos, our hopes for the movies will definitely be fulfilled. Speaking to Comicbook.com, the directors discussed the scope of Infinity War, and teased the inclusion of even more new characters.
"It’s a culmination of everything that’s occurred in the Marvel Universe up to the point where the Marvel Universe is released. Some of those films haven’t even hit yet. We’re going to be dealing with some of the characters from those movies who are going to be in Infinity War. They’re massive in scope and scale but that’s the point. The point is for them to be as ambitious as they possibly can be."
So who could these new characters be? We've got a few films to go before Infinity War, so it's safe to say that Doctor Strange and Black Panther will definitely join the gang for their showdown against Thanos.
There's also Thor: Ragnarok, which is rumored to introduce the hero Valkyrie. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is sure to feature new characters who could be included, and of course there's Captain Marvel's solo movie between Infinity War Parts 1&2.
That's a lot of characters. So how are the Russos going to juggle all of them?
"[Infinity War Parts 1&2 are] going to be multi-perspective films. They’re not called 'Captain America: Infinity War,' they’re called 'Infinity War.' You’re going to be moving around through different perspectives of the characters. It’s like 'Nashville' for superheroes."
Essentially, there won't be a clear protagonist: Infinity War is an ensemble story, so the action will flick between different characters' perspectives — which is exactly what the previous Avengers movies did.
And as for how Avengers 3 compares to Civil War, well, the Russos have already spoken about why it's important for Marvel's next movie to operate on a smaller scale (to remind viewers of Thanos' grand plan would, at this stage, just undermine the stakes). But we can rest assured that Infinity War really will be the grand finale of Phase 3 — when asked if Infinity War was bigger than Civil War, Anthony Russo immediately responded: "Oh yeah! I mean, it has to be." Which is awesome.