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Avengers: Infinity War – release date, cast, trailers and the MCU story so far

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Get ready for the most expensive film ever made

Members of the Avengers return for Infinity War

The Marvel Cinematic Universe began with Iron Man all the way back in 2008, and almost 10 years later, it’s now in ‘Phase Three’. Phases One and Two comprised six films apiece, but Phase Three is even bigger: beginning in 2016 with Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, it continued this year with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnarok. Then, in 2018 come Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and the following year, Captain Marvel – but also coming in 2018 is Avengers: Infinity War, the first of two massive Avengers films that will tie the events of the MCU together into one blockbusting, £400m action-fest the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Here’s everything we know about the film so far – record-breaking budget and all.

What is the release date for Infinity War?

Infinity War was initially set for release on April 27, 2018, but has now been moved forward to April 26 in the UK. Whilst the American release was originally set for May 4th (unofficial Star Wars day), a Twitter exchange between Iron Man AKA Robert Downey Jr and Marvel Studios revealed that the release has also been moved forward.

The second film, Avengers 4 – currently known as ‘Untitled Avengers Sequel’ – will be released on May 3, 2019.

Is the trailer out yet?

There are two now. First, here’s the trailer from the Super Bowl.

In the above clip – as with the first trailer – we don’t see Hawkeye, Ant-Man or Valkyrie – perhaps we can assume that their entrances will be held back as a surprise. We know that, for example, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye is in the film thanks to social media posts from the set.

See the first trailer for Infinity War below:

On February 10, 2017, Marvel released a first-look trailer to mark the film entering production. In the clip below you can see stars Chris Pratt, Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland discussing what work on Infinity War has been like so far – it entered production on January 23, 2017 – and Marvel boss Kevin Feige also explains how the film fits into the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The studio have also shared a new photo, featuring figures from Black Panther and the Avengers united. Okoye, Black Panther, Captain America, Black Widow and Bucky Barnes are joined by a Wakandan army. The picture, first published by Total Film, also gives a better look at Barnes’ bionic arm.

What happens in the first trailer?

The trailer shows various things: Thor meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy; Iron Man teaming up with Doctor Strange and Hulk; Peter Parker’s spider sense activating on his school bus; Loki holding the Tesseract; Thanos arriving on earth and prising an Infinity Stone from Vision’s head; Spider-Man in his new suit; Captain America returning to the fight; and a ton of aliens engaging in battle with the Avengers. In a surprise turn of events, Thanos delivers some pretty sarky lines.

What’s the film’s official synopsis?

Here you go:

As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artefacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.

How will Infinity War begin?

At Brazil Comic Con in December 2017, Marvel boss Kevin Feige teased: “Within the first five minutes of Infinity War people will understand why Thanos is the biggest and baddest villain in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” We can therefore assume it’ll begin with a lot of devastation caused by Thanos – and some are even expecting him to kill an important character, or even one of the Avengers.

Why does Thor have an eyepatch?

In the final few moments of the IW trailer, we see Thor wearing an eyepatch. This is because at the end of 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, Hemsworth’s character lost an eye to the villainous Hela (Cate Blanchett). Despite set photos showing Thor without an eyepatch, it turns out he will be wearing one throughout Infinity War, according to Hemsworth himself.

He told CinemaBlend that while filming the new film, the eyepatch didn’t fit properly, and will therefore be computer generated – rather like Superman’s beard in Justice League. Hemsworth said: “The day that we put the eyepatch on I was like, ‘This is ridiculous.’ The thing kept falling off, and we didn’t have the [eyepatch strap]. So it became a CG eyepatch, which I was stoked about.” He further explained: “It’s a CG one. Just four little dots on my face. Done.”

Will Steve Rogers still be known as Captain America?

At the end of Civil War, Chris Evans’ character decided to abandon his shield, seeming to give up the mantle of Captain America. Evans has since hinted that Rogers will take up the title of Nomad in the new film, via this signature on Cap’s shield. Sebastian Stan, who plays Rogers’ friend Bucky, signed himself as the Winter Soldier and wrote: “I’m with Nomad”. However, it’s unknown whether or not they’re just teasing fans.

Will Pepper Potts have powers in the film?

Pepper got powers in Iron Man 3 but we haven’t seen her use them since. While speaking to Stephen Colbert, she was asked whether she had to wear a motion-capture suit: “Is there any chance,” Colbert asked, “at any point, when you were working on the movie, did you thrust your hand toward someone wearing a blue suit with ping pong balls on it?” Paltrow replied “Yes”. Not exactly confirmation, but Colbert thinks it is – he said: “Then you still have powers.”

What’s the story so far? And what does the title – Infinity War – refer to?

Directors the Russo Brothers have said that they saw 2o16’s Captain America: Civil War as “setting the stage for Infinity War” – and with its crossover cast from multiple Marvel films, it’s something of an Avengers 2.5 between 2015’s Age of Ultron and 2018’s Infinity War. In that film, a schism developed between the Avengers, leaving them in two groups led by Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Steve Rogers (Captain America) – and vulnerable to a new threat.

Infinity War takes place four years after Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 and the title is presumed to refer to the Infinity Gauntlet, a six-issue comic series published in 1991 – spoilers for the series follow here.

The Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos' key weapon in Avengers: Infinity WarMarvel

The villain of the comics is Thanos, a Titanian mutant-Eternal superhuman and supervillain, who mounts six Infinity Stones on a glove, granting him mastery over Time, Space, Mind, Soul, Reality and Power. Combined, this gives the user Omnipresence, Omniscience and Omnipotence – and in the comics, it’s up to his equally villainous stepdaughter, Nebula, to stop him. Co-director Joe Russo has compared Thanos to Darth Vader, saying: “Darth Vader was the pre-eminent villain of my childhood, and we’re hoping to make a Darth Vader for a new generation. We’re hoping he has that complexity to him, and that he strikes fear into the heart of the audience, but at the same time they go on a journey with him… Avengers 3 is his movie.”

In the film, Thanos will be played by Josh Brolin, and Nebula, a character who appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, will be played once more by Karen Gillan.

Have the cast been up to anything exciting?

Apart from their personal endeavours, Falcon actor Anthony Mackie recently revealed that the cast attempted to make a music video. Speaking at the MCM London Comic-Con, Falcon actor Anthony Mackie explained that the movie’s ensemble had tried to pull off a similar stunt as their Guardians Of The Galaxy counterparts. The Guardians cast released a music video titled ‘Inferno’ last year, which featured David Hasselhoff.

“We had this idea of making a music video of this song,” Mackie said, as Digital Spy reports. “And we shot half of it, and then people realised how bad they were at dancing, and we couldn’t get anyone else to dance.”

He added that Mark Ruffalo‘s contribution was particularly eye-catching, saying: “[His] dancing is a spectacle that everyone should behold once in their life. Once. You never wanna see it twice. That was probably [the funniest moment] – Mark Ruffalo, with polka dots and a skintight suit on, dancing. Awful.”

Where have we seen the Infinity Stones before?

There are six Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and so far we’ve seen:

  1. The Space Stone (inside the Tesseract from Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor and Avengers Assemble)
  2. The Reality Stone (the aether from Thor: The Dark World)
  3. The Power Stone (contained in the orb in Guardians Of The Galaxy)
  4. The Mind Stone (originally held in Loki’s sceptre, later implanted into Vision’s forehead for safe-keeping in Avengers: Age Of Ultron)
  5. The Time Stone (inside the Eye of Agamotto in Doctor Strange)
  6. The Soul Stone, which we haven’t yet seen. It was expected to be revealed in the third Thor film, Ragnarok – but it never showed up.

Who are the key villains?

Other than Thanos, the key bad guys in Infinity War are the Children of Thanos, aka The Black Order. Below you can see them in order: Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Thanos himself, Ebony Maw, and Cull Obsidian (fka Black Dwarf).

They all have their own special powers but probably the most devious of the lot is Ebony Maw (second from the right in the above picture), a cruel manipulator who in the comics makes Doctor Strange summon an evil beast into the middle of Manhattan. It’s rumoured that castings have been made for Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Ebony Maw and  Terry Notary as Cull Obsidian), though the others haven’t yet been revealed.

Who else is in the Infinity War cast?

There are reportedly 67 characters in the film.

That’s a lot. According to IMDb, confirmed cast members so far are:

Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr Strange), Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Tom Holland (Spider-Man), Vin Diesel (Groot), Scarlett Johanssson (Black Widow), Dave Bautista (Drax), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Sebasian Stan (Winter Soldier), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Paul Rudd (Antman), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Josh Brolin (Thanos), Paul Bettany (Vision), Benedict Wong (Wong), Chadwck Boseman (Black Panther), and Pom Klementieff (Mantis). Thor: Ragnarok‘s Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) will also be in the film, and we’re expecting to see Black Panther‘s Danai Gurira (Okoye), Letitia Wright (Shuri) and Winston Duke (M’Baku) too. There have been rumours that Peter Parker’s classmates in Spider-Man: Homecoming will also be in the film, after Isabella Amara (mathlete Sally Avril) confirmed she would be in the film.

Despite rumours, Brie Larson will not be debuting her role as Captain Marvel in the film (despite directors the Russo brothers accidentally dropping the name when talking about Infinity War). But we could be seeing the likes of Stellan Skarsgård (Erik Selvig from Thor), who is still contracted to do another Marvel film, and won’t be appearing in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) could also feature – the star of the Marvel/Netflix show has said: “there’s always a chance it could happen.” Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter) has ruled herself out of the film. The actor, who first appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, said: “It’s hard to fit Sharon into [Avengers]… She’s really in Cap’s world.” Finally, in January 2017, Peter Dinklage was rumoured to be in “early talks” for a “key role” in the film – though it started shooting less than two weeks later.

What are the cast saying about the big battlescene?

Speaking about the huge battlescene shown in the trailer, Anthony Mackie (Falcon) said: “There was one day we were on set and were doing this scene that’s in the trailer where we’re all running to battle… all of us are on set and it’s like forty superheroes. I look to my right and I see Tom Holland and Dave Batista. I see them in the corner and Tom is literally the size of Dave’s leg, I don’t know what they’re talking about but Batista jumps up and does a kick-punch move and I was like ‘Yo, you’re about to kill him!’”

Chris Evans said: “That day was really fun, I know the day you’re talking about. That day was [laughs]…you’ll see. It was a great day with a lot of great people.”

Will the X-Men appear in Infinity War?

Probably not. In December 2017, Disney – which owns Marvel Studios – acquired the rights for Fantastic Four, Deadpool and X-Men from Fox, meaning any of those franchise’s characters could now be included in the MCU. But filming wrapped on Infinity War months prior to the deal, so it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing the likes of Wolverine or Deadpool in this film.

That said, there’s enough franchise cross-pollination going on to keep things fresh. This image from USA Today shows the moment Thor meets the Guardians Rocket and Mantis:

How has Bucky got his arm back?

At the end of Civil War, the Winter Soldier had his arm torn off by Iron Man – but in the trailer for Infinity War, we see Bucky with a brand-new arm. Where did he get it?

Well, co-director Anthony Russo has hinted it’s made of vibranium – an element that’s plentiful in Black Panther‘s nation of Wakanda, and which Captain America’s shield is also made of. Here’s what he said: “For everyone who’s seen Captain America: Civil War, they know Bucky was taken in by T’Challa in Wakanda. I think that, you know, we catch back up with him after he’s been there for a while, and if there’s an influence on his arm, it may perhaps have to do with that country that he’s been spending time in.”

The last time we saw Bucky was in a post-credits scene for Black Panther, in which the Wakandan genius Shuri (Letitia Wright) is revealed to have reversed the programming that had brainwashed him into becoming a Hydra agent. In this scene he still doesn’t have a new arm, so presumably we’ll see the arm being replaced – or the replacement at least being referenced – at the start of Infinity War.

Who’s directing?

The Russo brothers. These guys directed Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man and Captain America: The Winter Soldier – and they’re directing both Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled follow-up in 2019. Separately, they’ve also directed numerous episodes of Arrested Development and Community.

Is Infinity War one film or two?

It’s one.

Originally Infinity War was set to be released in two parts – Part 1 and Part 2 – but on May 4, 2016 the directors revealed that this was no longer the case.

The first retains the title of Infinity War, and the second is currently untitled. “The movies are two very different movies,” said co-director Joe Russo. “The intention is we will change it; we just haven’t come up with the titles yet. But yes, we will change it.”

When did Infinity War start shooting?

Infinity War entered production on January 23, 2017, and wrapped on July 14, 2017.

Where did filming take place?

Filming began in the US under the working title Mary Lou. Locations have included Pinewood Atlanta Studios, downtown Atlanta, Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Scottish Highlands, as well as Wardpark Studios in Cumbernauld. Filming also took place at Durham Cathedral, which has in the past been voted Britain’s Favourite Building. The final location was Queens, New York.

What’s unique about Infinity War?

Other than its ridiculous size – it’s reportedly the biggest blockbuster ever made with a budget of about £400m – a notable feature is the type of camera it will use. Infinity War will be the first Hollywood feature film to use the IMAX/Arri 2D digital camera and its exclusive aspect ratio for its entire duration – but the camera was used for roughly 15 minutes of Captain America: Civil War. According to IMAX, the camera will help filmmakers “achieve the highest level of digital image capture for playback on IMAX’s xenon and new laser projection systems.” Basically, Infinity War is gonna look awesome.

The post Avengers: Infinity War – release date, cast, trailers and the MCU story so far appeared first on NME.

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