One of the biggest events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes place this year when Avengers: Infinity War brings together many of the heroes and villains introduced across 18 movies to do battle with the mad Titan Thanos. Infinity War hits theaters April 27, and Marvel is keeping fans’ excitement high with a new clip from the film featuring an encounter between Tony Stark and Stephen Strange.
Avengers: Infinity War is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Captain America: Civil War) from a script by Captain America franchise screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. The film will bring back a long list of Marvel movie-verse stars, including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pratt, and many, many more.
When Stark met Strange
Just a few days before Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters, Marvel released a full clip from the film featuring Tony Stark (Downey), Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch), Bruce Banner (Ruffalo), and Wong (Benedict Wong), discussing the threat posed by Thanos. The clip debuted during an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live attended by several members of the cast.
No spoilers, Bucky!
In an interview with The Independent, Sebastian Stan — who plays Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier — let slip information that might betray some secret appearances in Infinity War.
While answering questions alongside Letitia Wright (Shuri from Black Panther), Stan said, “There was one scene, I think, we had where everybody was there … You look around and you just saw everyone from Samuel L. Jackson to Michael Douglas to Michelle Pfeiffer.” The interesting thing here is that Pfeiffer’s character, Hope Van Dyne, has not yet appeared in a Marvel film, and was expected to make her first appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp, set for release in July. Given that Hope is trapped in the Quantum Realm in the Ant-Man fiction, it’s tough to say how she’ll fit into Infinity War.
Of course, it’s possible Pfeiffer was just palling around with the film’s other stars, but Stan mentions that he’s not supposed to talk about the scene they were filming, so that could indicate some surprise appearances.
In an exclusive Avengers: Infinity War video feature that debuted on Digital Trends, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and the film’s directors explained why they decided to go all-in on IMAX to make Infinity War the first mainstream movie filmed entirely with IMAX cameras.
Avengers family assemble
We’ve been warned that Avengers: Infinity War is a “finale,” and Marvel is really driving that point home. The studio released a featurette on April 11 that highlights the bond of the film series’ stars … while subtly reminding us — intentionally or not — that we could be saying goodbye to at least some of them in the upcoming film. The featurette is a little reminiscent of a video yearbook, and it underscores that this “adventure of a lifetime” can’t go on forever, much as we might wish otherwise.
That “large extended family feel” is indeed touching. The cast seems to genuinely enjoy one another’s company and to have appreciated the years they’ve devoted to the series. We hope they remembered to tell each other to “keep in touch and don’t ever change.”
Spidey, Wakanda, and Bucky … oh my!
A pair of television spots for Avengers: Infinity War found their way online in early April, offering more footage from the film focusing on a trio of fan-favorite characters: Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Winter Soldier.
The first promotional video features Black Panther and Wakanda coming to the aid of the Avengers — and the rest of humanity — when Thanos and his invasion force arrives. The delegation from the African nation is accompanied by an old friend of Captain America, James “Bucky” Barnes, the former assassin known as Winter Soldier who last appeared in a post-credits scene from Black Panther.
The second preview offers a clip from the film featuring Peter Parker as he enlists some help from a friend to swing into action as Spider-Man.
Marvel Studios let the Infinity War cast reveal a series of character posters featuring their comic-book alter egos in early April, and the slick, stylized images were met with widespread approval from fans.
Along with the expected posters revealed by Avengers veterans Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) and Chris Evans (Captain America), the series of images also included more recent additions to Marvel’s cinematic universe, such as Black Panther actress (and standout performer) Letitia Wright as Shuri, and Spider-Man: Homecoming star Tom Holland as the famous web-slinger.
— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) April 4, 2018
Also appearing in the posters is Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes (aka War Machine), who appears to have made a full recovery after the events of Captain America: Civil War.
— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) April 4, 2018
Following the flurry of new images, Rotten Tomatoes compiled the first series of posters — because it seems reasonable to expect that these are just the first of many posters in this style — into a single image it shared via Twitter.
— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) April 4, 2018
More footage, no problem
Marvel Studios shifted the promotional engine for Infinity War into a higher gear in March by releasing a flurry of television spots and other previews of the film.
In one preview, Spider-Man finally gets something he’s wanted from the moment he was introduced in Captain America: Civil War. With just a few words from Tony Stark, Spider-Man becomes an Avenger.
Along with giving Spider-Man his due, the preview also features a comparison of the film as it appears in a standard theater and as it will appear in large-format IMAX theaters.
In another television spot, Paul Bettany’s android Avenger, Vision, appears resigned to a dark fate.
Finally, the new, teenage Groot flashes some adolescent attitude in yet another preview of the film.
Off to a good start
Advance tickets for Avengers: Infinity War went on sale Friday, March 16, and the film quickly broke the record for first-day ticket sales on Fandango.
According to Deadline, it only took six hours for Infinity War to pass the marks set by Black Panther, the previous fastest-selling Marvel Studios movie, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the previous record-holder among all superhero movies. With more than a month left until Infinity War hits theaters, this is likely to be one of many records set by the massive Marvel movie.
A new, epic trailer
With just over a month until Infinity War hits theaters, Marvel released another trailer for the film on March 16 — and for anyone who wanted to see more of Thanos, this preview should be a welcome addition to the film’s marketing campaign.
Although the trailer might be the darkest one yet — and continues to hint that this could be the swan song for a few of Marvel’s veteran superheroes — it isn’t without some humor. The footage includes a few scenes with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Peter Parker (Tom Holland) that bring some balance to the trailer’s otherwise heavy tone.
Same film, new time
In a series of tweets, Downey Jr. asked the Marvel Studios Twitter account to release Infinity War a week early for the whole world, and Marvel acquiesced to its Iron Man. The film will now open in theaters everywhere a full week ahead of schedule, on April 27.
That’s a FANTASTIC idea! Done.
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) March 1, 2018
Going super dark
To the surprise of no one, Avengers: Infinity War had a brief but memorable presence at the 2018 Super Bowl, thanks to a surprisingly dark television spot for the film.
That’s a wrap (cake)
On January 11, 2018, the Russo brothers commemorated the end of principal filming on Avengers: Infinity War in appropriate fashion: with a massive cake topped by the mad Titan himself, Thanos.
A photo of the colorful “wrap cake” (as they’re called in the industry) was posted on Twitter by the brothers, and it features the hands of four characters holding up a section of space on which Thanos stands, surrounded by (and holding) several Infinity Stones. The two hands most easily identified in the photo are those of Black Widow and Vision (the red arm next to Black Widow), and it appears to also feature the claws of Black Panther’s glove peeking over the top of the section holding Thanos (next to Vision’s hand).
On the left side of the cake in the Russo brothers’ photo, the arm that appears to be yellow is actually green, as TMZ posted a photo of the cake from a slightly different angle that confirms it’s the hand and arm of Marvel’s green goliath, Hulk.
Some speculation has suggested that these are the four characters most likely to survive Thanos’ assault on Earth at the end of Infinity War, but as always, there’s plenty of mystery surrounding what is certainly the biggest Marvel movie to date in the studio’s cinematic universe.
An epic first trailer
Marvel Studios released the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War (see above) on Wednesday, November 29. The studio previously teased the trailer’s arrival with a brief video featuring a montage of scenes from some of the early films that paved the way for Infinity War and other moments leading up to the climactic crossover (as well as some fan-submitted footage).
Spidey sense tingling …
On November 28, Spider-Man himself — or rather, the actor who plays him, Holland — posted an “accidental” reveal of a teaser poster for Infinity War. The video was posted by Holland under the guise of a live video the Spider-Man actor was filming that happened to include him showing the world a confidential image from the film.
Even if it’s difficult to believe that anything about the moment was accidental (particularly if you have any knowledge of Marvel’s strict control over information regarding its films), it still managed to be a fun way to show off the movie’s first promotional image.
— The Avengers (@Avengers) November 28, 2017
The full poster was released by Marvel a short time later, offering a better look at the image.
The gang’s all here
The roster of Marvel Studios actors and their characters returning for Avengers: Infinity War is by far the most ambitious of any Marvel movie or any crossover film to date, and will bring together cast members from the 18 movies that will have been released prior to the film’s May 2018 premiere.
Some of the characters from Marvel’s cinematic universe who will return for Infinity War include Iron Man (Downey), Captain America (Evans), Hulk (Ruffalo), Thor (Hemsworth), Black Widow (Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Vision (Paul Bettany), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Wong (Benedict Wong), Mantis (Pom Klementieff ), The Collector (Benicio del Toro), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), Shuri (Letitia Wright), and of course, Thanos (Josh Brolin).
Whew, did we miss anybody?!
Thanos and Co.
Brolin’s sinister alien tyrant Thanos won’t be challenging the Avengers solo in Infinity War. He’s expected to bring along The Black Order, a group of powerful alien villains that assist him in invading planets and subjugating their inhabitants. The Black Order, first introduced to the Marvel Comics universe in 2013, has been a recurring threat to the universe and its protectors, and now looks to be making the leap to the screen in Infinity War.
Rumors regarding the introduction of the Black Order — or at least one member of it — received some confirmation in July 2017 when photos from the set of the film revealed an actor in a motion-capture suit attacking Benedict Cumberbatch. The actor’s suit featured a name tag reading “EB-MAW,” which is almost certainly a reference to Ebony Maw, one of the members of Thanos’ Black Order.
— JustJared.com (@JustJared) July 6, 2017
The five members of the Black Order initially introduced in Marvel’s comics continuity include Ebony Maw, a genius with powerful persuasive abilities; Black Dwarf, a super-strong warrior with impenetrable skin; Proxima Midnight, a deadly hand-to-hand fighter with a dangerous lance made of “toxic light”; Supergiant, an evil telepath; and the group’s leader, Corvus Glaive, who wields a sharp pike that makes him immortal. It’s unknown whether the rest of the Black Order will appear in Infinity War at this point.
Assigned reading (and gaming)
Marvel Comics will publish a two-issue prequel to Infinity War in January 2018 titled (appropriately enough) Avengers: Infinity War Prelude. The two-part story will bridge the period between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War.
Details have also begin to emerge about an Avengers game that may emerge in a similar time frame. Will the two projects connect or run parallel?
Looking back — and ahead
Infinity War will be the first Avengers film in several years; the franchise has not seen a movie since 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. The series began in 2012 with The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon. Following what is certain to be the cataclysmic events of Infinity War, the sequel will hit theaters a year later, premiering May 3, 2019. Infinity War directors Anthony and Joe Russo will return behind the camera for that film, with Markus and McFeely also returning as screenwriters.
Updated on April 24: Added a new clip from the film.