As you have undoubtedly seen and heard by now, the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War dropped this week, which will bring together every hero we’ve seen in the MCU so far:
In 24 hours it received over 230 million views, making it the “most viewed trailer of all time.”
In the blink of an eye, the argument about whether or not Justice League is a good movie lost importance. No one cares anymore. Hell, I’ve been fighting for that movie ever since it came out and I don’t care anymore. Marvel Studios has shown once again why they are currently the undeniable king of superhero movies.
Led by Kevin Feige, the studio has taken its time over the last 10 years to carefully craft a complex and interconnected universe. They are proof of what happens when you put character development and storytelling ahead of simply wanting to make a truckload of money…you end up making 10 truckloads. Each movie in this universe tells it’s own story, however they also contain pieces of a larger arc, and it has all been leading up to Infinity War.
The trailer itself (including Cap’s epic beard) is glorious. I’ve literally watched it around 20 to 30 times myself. It perfectly sets up the dire situation the Avengers will find themselves in: Over the last 20 movies, the characters have one by one discovered the 6 mysterious power gems called Infinity Stones. Any one of these stones has almost immeasurable power, and unknown to the majority of our heroes “the Mad Titan”, Thanos (first seen in 2012’s Avengers) is searching for them.
Thanos is one of Marvel’s most powerful villians. He has something called the Infinity Gauntlet, which will allow him to harness the power of all 6 stones at once. The only thing he is obsessed with more than power is death, and judging from the trailer, there will be plenty of death. This will be an epic all out war, which will take 2 movies to resolve. The title for the next Avengers movie after Infinity War has still not been revealed due to spoilers, and is so far just being referred to as Avengers 4.
Recently, Vanity Fair published an insightful article that celebrates the last decade of Marvel movies, but also sheds at least a little light on this 4th Avengers film. While, I highly recommend putting in the time to read it, as there’s some fascinating stories of the studio’s behind the scenes history as well as a cool photo shoot with every major character; there are also some small spoilers revealed:
”After Avengers 4, an ambitious multi-franchise crossover movie slated for release in 2019, at least some of the original characters who sit at the center of the billion-dollar Avengers team will be hanging up their capes and shields…[Feige] promise[d] a definitive end to the franchise that built Marvel. Avengers 4, he said, will “bring things you’ve never seen in superhero films: a finale.”
This is huge news. Whether they are killed or simply retire, some of the Avengers (most likely Evans and/ or Downey included) will end their roles. Not only will their contracts be up, but Marvel understands that in order to stay on top, they have to constantly grow and evolve their strategy. While it’s difficult to imagine the Avengers without the current key players, Feige is pulling from the same playbook as the comics, with heroes dying or for various reasons deciding it’s time to stop. Could we see the Winter Soldier or Falcon taking over the mantle of Captain America? Maybe Tony will retire from hero work, and become a full time superhero mentor? The possibilities are exciting, because while Avengers 4 will mark an end to the overall infinity stone/Thanos story arc, there will be more stories for Marvel to tell:
“Marvel is “22 movies in, and we’ve got another 20 movies on the docket that are completely different from anything that’s come before—intentionally.”
No matter what happens in Avengers 4, it looks like we are still only in the middle of the MCU’s lifespan, with numerous new characters and stories to tell. For now, the Infinity War trailer is one of many examples of how Marvel has crafted a complex movie universe that so many people, comic and non comic readers alike, are deeply invested in.