Imagine for a moment, a movie that features comic book characters such as Ant-Man, Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Collector, Doctor Strange, Drax, Falcon, Gamora, Groot, Hawkeye, Hulk, Iron Man, Kraglin, Loki, Mantis, Maria Hill, Nebula, Nick Fury, Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Thanos, Thor, Vision, Winter Soldier, Wong and Yondu? Seems a little farfetched right? Wrong…
…filming for Avengers: Infinity War began on January 23 of this year.
On May 4th, 2018 (yes, Star Wars day) directorial brothers Anthony and Joe Russo are spinning their magic once again when they reveal Avengers: Infinity War to the world. At a price tag of $500 million (not including marketing) it will be the most expensive single movie investment in the history of cinema. With the untitled part II (May 3rd, 2019) costing the same it brings the total production costs of the next two Avenger’s films to $1 billion…think Marvel is feeling good about their flagship property?
Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of 10 years, 3 phases, 14 films, $10.9 billion in earnings and 6 infinity stones worth of the world’s greatest preamble. It’s been a long journey as we’ve sat through some great movies (Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy), some good movies (Ant-Man, Doctor Strange) and some bad movies (Iron Man 2, Thor) to get to this point…was it worth it? In one year we’ll find out if the destination has been worthy of the journey.
Because it’s still a year away we don’t have a ton of information and no real footage to speak of but we can certainly speculate on a few things. As far as the story itself goes, we know the film is inspired by three Marvel Comics storylines including The Infinity Gauntlet, The Thanos Imperative and Infinity. Additional to these sources, Thanos as the main antagonist has been well established through several small appearances in other MCU films mostly in the pre/mid/end credit scenes that Marvel loves to make. His only other appearance has been in The Guardians of the Galaxy when he summons Ronan to the Sanctuary for some disciplining.
And we also know what he’s been after this whole time, the six Infinity Stones…
“Before creation itself, there were six singularities. Then the universe exploded into existence, and the remnants of these systems were forged into concentrated ingots… Infinity Stones.” ― The Collector
Since these six stones are immensely powerful both individually and collectively, and have infinite destruction capabilities, it makes sense why someone (Thanos) who’s trying to be the overseer of the universe would want them and why folks opposed to this scheme would try to prevent that from happening. But they haven’t been so easy to find and in order to wield their maximum power you need the Infinity Gauntlet with all six stones, but there’s a catch. The power of all six stones can be harnessed collectively with the help of the Gauntlet, but none who have attempted this have survived as only certain powerful beings can wield Infinity Stones. Relevant examples of these include the Kree (namely Ronan), the half-human Star-Lord, whose father Ego is a Celestial and Doctor Strange (magician).
As of the release of Doctor Strange (2016), 5 of the 6 Infinity Stones have surfaced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (note, the stone colors/names in the MCU differ from the comics)…
The BLUE Space Stone (also known as the Tesseract) was first revealed in Captain America: The First Avenger and now resides in Odin’s vault on Asgard. The YELLOW Mind Stone, which used to be housed in Loki’s staff, is now in the possession of Vision. The PURPLE Power Stone, first seen in Guardians of the Galaxy is now under control of the Nova Core.
The RED Reality Stone (Aether) was first seen in Thor: The Dark World and was placed in the care of the Collector. With the destruction of the Collector’s Vault, its whereabouts are unclear. The GREEN Time Stone (also known as the Eye of Agamotto), was revealed in Doctor Strange and is under his protection in Kamar-Taj. The whereabouts of the sixth stone, the ORANGE Soul Stone, are still unknown, but is rumored to be in the possession of Heimdall of Asgard.
Thor: Ragnarok being released November 3rd, is expected to tie into Infinity War is some way so by its conclusion we should have an idea as to the whereabouts of the Soul Stone. As of right now, Idris Elba who plays Heimdall, is not part of the Infinity War cast.
Since the writing team of Chris Markus and Stephen McFeely, who both have worked on several Marvel films together including all three Captain America films, are locked in for this and the second installment and since this first film will likely be entirely exposition, don’t expect a resolution until part two hit theatres in 2019. Also look for evidence in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 for potential clues as to what we might expect such as we know Infinity War takes place 4 years after the events in Guardians so the age of Groot will be important to note along with any hint at the current state of the relationship between Gamora, Nebula and Thanos.
With a rumored 67 total characters and a line up shuffle promised for part two this will likely end up being an aberration that only Disney could pull off. Almost half the budget has been set aside for actors some of whom are not under contract past this one so it’s improbable they will all return. Point being, sit back and enjoy the ride!
Look for our 6 month preview in November where we’ll be able to have a much closer look at the plot and characters and with any luck have some footage to mull over.
Here’s a 3 minute behind the scenes video to tide you over…
Till next time…