High Expectations for Avengers: Infinity War


Marvel has been planning their cinematic universe for years. Movie after movie featuring hero after hero, all leading up to Avengers: Infinity War. That’s some ambitious planning, to be sure.

Spoiler alert: vague plot details for many Marvel movies to follow. Be warned.

A sucker for action/adventure and superhero movies, I have seen most of the movies that have led up to this. Shrouded in some amount of secrecy, aside from the expected top-billed actors, it’s been difficult to discern exactly which of the multitude of existing superheroes will be featured in Infinity War. Photos of the cast on stage at the D23Expo last weekend put some of those question marks to rest. However, it was clearly not the entire cast. Chris Evans was not in attendance, yet his Captain America was featured in the footage shown to the audience. Chris Pratt was also absent, yet he appears in the behind the scenes peek in the video below.

ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 15: (L-R) Actors Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, and Chris Hemsworth, producer Kevin Feige, and actors Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, and Anthony Mackie of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR took part today in the Walt Disney Studios live action presentation at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2017 in Anaheim, Calif. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR will be released in U.S. theaters on May 4, 2018. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

The story-teller in me is fascinated by two things:
1. How are they going to fit all of the characters into the story?
2. How are they going to blend the decidedly different tones from the previous movies?

A Myriad of Characters

Looking at the photo above, you can see that at least 15 actors showed up to the D23Expo to promote the film. And we know that the photograph does not reflect the complete cast. One would hope that the appearance of an actor at the Expo means that their character serves some level of import to the story. Otherwise, why have them represent the film? I am curious to see how the plot of the film incorporates so many superheroes. If the point was simply to cram as many recognizable actors as possible into the film, just because they can, that’s a disservice to the fans who have followed all the films up to this point. However, if they have crafted a story that sufficiently utilizes all 15+ superheroes, bravo to them — can’t wait to see it. Marvel has found success bringing together the many actors who make up the Avengers in three different films now.  However, in the case of Infinity War it looks as though they are challenged with possibly up to three times as many characters. Seriously, I am so curious to find out how they incorporate so many characters into one cohesive story.

A Cacophony of Tones

Marvel movies, on the whole, tend to have a lighter feel than the DC Comic movies. Both visually and thematically. Yet, the tone of the story for each of the Marvel films thus far have varied. For instance, the most recent Marvel film, Spiderman: Homecoming, leaned heavily into comedy.  It was still an action film, but they mined Peter Parker’s high school experience and classmates for as many laughs as possible. The story squeezed every bit of comedy out of Peter Parker learning to use the hacked higher-level tech in his suit. Ant-Man was similarly funny. The writers successfully incorporated both Spiderman and Ant-Man into Civil War so there is an indication that they can blend tones when necessary. But, that was just a few scenes. The Guardians of the Galaxy movies are as known for their soundtracks as they are for the action-filled stories. Will Infinity War find a way for music to serve the larger story, or will music be deemed unimportant?

For now, this is the only tease we have of what’s to come:

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Who Will Lead?

Will Cap and Iron Man take the lead as in the other Avengers movies, or will one of the other heroes be pushed to the front? How will Black Panther fit? How big of a role will Thanos be? Will Loki wreak havoc? Will Captain Marvel appear? There are so many options. So many questions. So many possibilities. Infinity War recently finished filming, but they didn’t release a trailer at the D23Expo. This weekend is San Diego ComicCon and seems like too big an opportunity to pass up for a movie with a cast so large and expectations so high. Hopefully, an official trailer will be released soon. It may not give us answers, but it should give us something to stoke the flames of excitement.