What to know before seeing 'Avengers: Infinity War'

A fan's guide to the film

With less than a week to go until the movie’s premiere, one of the most anticipated comic book movies of all time, “Avengers: Infinity War,” is set to break records at the box office.

For a film with a decade of story progression behind it, this is a cinematic event without precedence.

Featuring an ensemble cast of 60 characters who have each been at the helm of one of the 18 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it will be interesting to see how the film’s directors, the Russo Brothers, incorporate each character without sleighting some for screen time.

At this point, the narrative within the MCU has become somewhat convoluted due to the sheer amount of content held within. It can be confusing knowing exactly what is at stake and how the stars have aligned to set the stage for this juggernaut of a film.

The MCU Timeline

The MCU started with the release of “Iron Man” in 2008 and has weaved the connected universe we know today in what Marvel Studios calls “Phases.”

“Infinity War” will be a part of the third phase and part of a two-movie event. So the events set up in this film will culminate in a yet-unnamed sequel that will premiere May 3, 2019.

The premise of “Infinity War” was hinted at in the post-credit scene of the 2012 movie “Avengers.” At the time, this movie, sporting a main cast of eight stars, seemed to be the pinnacle of what a connected movie universe could birth.

As mentioned above, the movie will feature an ensemble cast with the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther.

We last left off with the Avengers in “Captain America: Civil War,” where the team was fractured, and Captain America became an outlaw.

Fans have expressed concerns that Hawkeye and Ant-Man have not been featured in any of the promotional content for the film, with the Russo Brothers even joking about the characters' fates.

The Guardians were last seen in a trailer for "Infinity War," in a scene that seems to be connected to a post-credit scene from “Thor: Ragnarok.” Most likely, Thor and the Guardians will be traveling to Earth together, though this is speculative.

Spider-Man last swung onto the silver screen in his solo film back in June 2017. With how close he has worked with Iron Man in the films, we will be sure to see him.

Doctor Strange will play an especially important role because his mystic tool, the Eye of Agamotto, hosts one of the Infinity Stones that will play a big role in the film. Audiences last saw the Doctor play a cameo role in “Thor: Ragnarok.”

Black Panther's Wakanda will be featured heavily in "Infinity War" if the trailers are any indication of what we're in for. We will at least see fan favorites T'Challa, Okoye and Shuri in action again, as well as the Winter Soldier who has been hiding out in Wakanda. 

READ MORE: Things to know before you see "Black Panther"

All of the pieces of this complex puzzle have been delicately set by Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige to culminate in the blockbuster of the year.

Thanos

Thus far in the MCU, we’ve seen a lot of Marvel’s rogue gallery but none on the scale of Thanos.

Thanos is a galactic warlord whose vision is to subjugate the entire universe. He is called the Mad Titan by the majority of the galaxy, most of whom tremble in fear at the thought of his presence.

He plans to reach his goal by obtaining all of the Infinity Stones and uniting them in the Infinity Gauntlet

In the comics, Thanos does not want this because he wishes to be master of the universe, but rather because he is in love with Death. As of yet, we do not know how this narrative will translate into the plot of the film.

In the MCU, Thanos is played by Josh Brolin. Critics expect him to be able fill Thanos’ large boots quite well because of his history as an actor and the small, scattered snippets we have already seen on screen.

Thanos will be joined by his fearsome adopted children, the Black Order, who are still mostly shrouded in mystery in both role and portrayal.

At this point, it is speculated that the movie will focus on Thanos collecting the Infinity Stones, with the 2019 sequel following the heroes' attempt to get them back.

The Infinity Stones

Each Infinity Stone holds power over a certain aspect of reality. They are very powerful on their own, but when united with the gauntlet, they give the wielder domain over all of reality.

Considered singularities, they predate the existence of the MCU itself. There are six gems in total: Space, Mind, Reality, Power, Time and Soul.

The locations of only five of these gems are known through what we've seen in the MCU.

The Space stone was held within the Tesseract, and as of the end of “Thor: Ragnarok,” is in the possession of Loki.

The Mind stone was first seen in Loki’s staff but now rests in the forehead of Vision.

The Reality stone was introduced in “Thor: The Dark World” in the form of the Aether. Once Thor retrieved it, the Asgardians handed it over to the Collector, with whom it still lies.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” brought fans the Power stone, when Thanos loaned the gem to Ronan the Accuser in a similar fashion to how he did with Loki. The Nova Corps on Xandar still has the stone in their possession.

As mentioned above, Doctor Strange’s Eye of Agamotto holds the Time gem.

Lastly, the Soul stone is yet to make an appearance in the continuity of the MCU. Fans theorized that the gem was the source of the Black Panther’s powers, but this was not confirmed in the film.

The Future of the MCU

Going forward, Kevin Feige, the Marvel Studios chief, promises that the MCU is going to be very different. A big marketing campaign for the film has been laden with the phrase: “This changes everything.”

With Marvel Studios' acquisition of the Marvel titles previously held by Fox, there are a myriad of possibilities. The reigning theory is that the next big bad the MCU films will work toward is Galactus because of a casting for the role of his herald, Silver Surfer, found on Metacritic.

The next film on the studio’s long list of projects is “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” Helmed by Paul Rudd, the film is set to release on July 6, 2018. But what many fans are anticipating even more is the release of “Captain Marvel.”

This character is pivotal in many Avengers’ plots and will be the first female solo film to be released in the MCU. Her appearance is long overdue, and many speculate, despite studio executives telling fans she will not appear in “Infinity War,” that she will.

One of the most anticipatory parts of the film for fans is theorizing about which character(s) will die. Rotten Tomatoes even released a Vegas-style odds chart for each character’s potential demise.

Regardless of who dies and what is revealed in the inevitable post-credit scene, fans will be watching closely for every detail in “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Find tickets here. Make predictions in the comments below!


Reach the reporter at aalmouai@asu.edu or follow @zamurai_96 on Twitter. 

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