Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2017 by Peter Sciretta
When Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige announced Avengers: Infinity War, it was positioned as a two-film epic crossover event that would be the culmination of everything Marvel had planned up to that point. So with both films about to start shooting concurrently, I thought it might be fun to take a look at all the characters confirmed or rumored to be part of Avengers: Infinity War, and theorize how they may play into this story.
Anthony Russo has said that “[Captain America:] Civil War was a good warm up for us in terms of the storytelling for Infinity War because we were dealing with such a large number of characters.” In one interview they mentioned having 67 characters up on the board for the two films but later clarified that the number was non-specific. Infinity War screenwriter Christopher Markus told us that almost every living MCU character is up for consideration for the movies:
When we lock ourselves in a room with the Russo brothers and a couple of execs from Marvel, one wall has cards for movie one and the other wall has cards for movie two and another wall has little baseball cards of every character still alive in the Marvel universe — Down to Darcy’s boyfriend in Thor 2 – literally, anybody who did not die and has been established as alive. And then we looked at that began to shuffle the cards around. So basically, the big scene is when Darcy’s boyfriend and Galactus get together and….[Laughs].
And Russo has teased what we might expect from the film:
Those movies are intended to be the culmination of everything that’s happened in the MCU from the very first Iron Man movie years ago. So they will end up changing the MCU more profoundly than any movie has yet, and there will be some things that come to an end in those movies, dimensions of the MCU will end in those film, dimensions will change forever in those films, dimensions will find new life in those films. They’re a real threshold for what we’ve come to know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I think that dimension can be a little intimidating but also exciting.
So which heroes might we expect to see on the big screen? What will the Avengers Infinity War cast list look like? Let’s take a look.
Everyone involved in the project has said that the ending of Captain America: Civil War directly connects with Infinity War, so we can expect that the Avengers team will be shattered entering into this new story. The team will obviously have to come together to try to prevent Thanos from getting the last Infinity Gems.
Iron Man/Tony Stark: CONFIRMED Robert Downey Jr.‘s contract with Marvel Studios supposedly runs through the next two Avengers films, with the actor projected to make up to $200 million for both. Feige’s Infinity War announcement was originally planned for Comic-Con, but supposedly Downey was not ready to sign on the dotted line in quick order, which resulted in Marvel making the Civil War/Infinity War announcements a few months later at the El Capitan Theatre. Downey is also scheduled to make an appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming which could help tee up his storyline heading into Infinity War.
Steve Rogers: CONFIRMED The Russo brothers have told us that the Steve Rogers/Tony Stark relationship is “central” to the film: “Can those guys ever repair their relationship? What is their relationship ever going to be like moving forward from this? Should they repair it?” As for Captain America, the Russo brothers had revealed that when Chris Evans dropped the shield at the end of Captain America: Civil War, that was him “letting go of that identity.” What does that mean for the future of his character? In the comics books, Captain America became disillusioned with the United States (mostly due to President Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal) leaving behind his shield to become “Nomad,” a superhero without a country.
Bruce Banner / Hulk: CONFIRMED Mark Ruffalo has said that his character will have “a really interesting arc into Thor 3, Avengers 3 and 4” and “that I think will – when it’s all added up – will feel like a Hulk movie, a standalone movie.” At the end of Age of Ultron, Banner took himself off planet to isolate himself from this world. We will see him again in Thor: Ragnarok in what is expected to be a quasi-adaptation of the Planet Hulk storyline. Infinity War and Avengers 4 will likely bring Hulk back to Earth to help his friends — or will the big green guy perhaps be used by Thanos for a larger end game?
Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow: VERY LIKELY Scarlett Johansson has not said much about her future Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances, but I don’t think anyone expects to see an Avengers movie without her.
Clint Barton / Hawkeye CONFIRMED It had been reported that Jeremy Renner reprising his role as Hawkeye would likely keep the star from returning for the next Mission: Impossible film. Renner himself confirmed that he will be returning for the long haul of the next two Avengers movies, saying “Avengers is going to eat up a lot of the next year. I certainly hope it doesn’t ultimately get in the way of Tom [Cruise] and I and the gang getting back together for [Mission: Impossible] because I’d love to.”
Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes / Iron Patriot: VERY LIKELY Don Cheadle is keeping mum on Infinity War, which probably means he will be involved. The airport battle in Civil War left Rhodes paralyzed in his legs, but Tony Stark built him a new Stark Industries device that could help him walk again. While it will take Rhodes sometime to adapt to his new cyborg-like situation, I’m sure he will be part of this upcoming war.
Thor: CONFIRMED Joe Russo has confirmed that Chris Hemsworth will be in the film, giving us a tease of how Thor: Ragnarok will impact the character: “I’m excited to work with Thor. They’re doing some really interesting stuff with Ragnarok and where he’s gonna be at the beginning of Infinity War is gonna be a very interesting place, and I think very profound. I think he’s gonna have a real emotional motivation after that.”
The Vision: CONFIRMED The Vision has one of the Infinity Stones in his head: the mind stone. So chances are Thanos will be after the Vision to complete his Infinity Gauntlet and things don’t look so great for Paul Bettany‘s character.
Scarlet Witch: CONFIRMED The Russo brothers have told us that the relationship between Scarlet Witch and the Vision is something they want to explore in the movie: “It’s a very compelling story. Obviously, it’s one ripped from the comics that, for many years, there was some very interesting storytelling and characters. One character is searching for how to identify with humanity, another who is on a journey away from her humanity towards becoming a very powerful being.” So expect to see Elizabeth Olsen reprising her role as Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch in the film.
Thanos: CONFIRMED Josh Brolin will be reprising his role as Thanos, who is the main villain of Infinity War. We have already seen a set photo of Brolin in the performance-capture gear on set. Brolin claims to be blown away by the story, which will probably feature the character’s struggle to get the last remaining Infinity Stones for his gauntlet. The Mind Stone is in the Vision’s head, the Space Stone (Tesseract) is in Odin’s vault, and the Power Stone is in the Nova Corps vault, leaving only the Soul and Time Stones unaccounted for. If the Avengers can’t stop him, it will likely mean epic consequences to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Anthony Russo has said that Infinity War “will end up changing the MCU more profoundly than any movie has yet, and there will be some things that come to an end in those movies, dimensions of the MCU will end in those film, dimensions will change forever in those films, dimensions will find new life in those films.”
Nick Fury: VERY LIKELY Last time we heard from Samuel L. Jackson, the actor said he “thinks” he will appear in Avengers: Infinity War and the yet-to-be-titled Avengers sequel. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Fury walked away from the public life under the guise of a fake death. But he appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron leaving the Avengers with a brand new team.
Maria Hill: VERY LIKELY Cobie Smulders teased that she would be appearing in Avengers: Infinity War while appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
The Guardians of the Galaxy
Screenwriter Christopher Markus has pointed out the obvious about how the Guardians of the Galaxy may fit into Infinity War: “Let’s put it this way: you know who owns that [Infinity] Gauntlet, right? And you know who’s in another movie, and his kids are in that film…you do the math!”
Star-Lord/Peter Quill: CONFIRMED The Russo brothers have confirmed that Chris Pratt will have a role in Infinity War.
Gamora: CONFIRMED Zoe Saldana will be reprising her role as Thanos’ adopted daughter, which will likely lead to some family struggle at the core of this battle. The actress confirmed at the Golden Globes that she would be donning the green make-up once again.
Nebula: CONFIRMED Karen Gillan will also return, as Thanos’ other adopted daughter. The star confirmed Nebula will appear in both of the upcoming Avengers movies.
Drax the Destroyer: VERY LIKELY While not officially confirmed, Drax’s entire purpose in life is to avenge his family and take Thanos down, so I would anticipate Dave Bautista being a big part of Infinity War.
Rocket Raccoon: CONFIRMED Screenwriter Christopher Marcus seemingly confirmed that the Bradley Cooper-voiced raccoon would appear.
Groot: CONFIRMED It’s pretty much confirmed that the whole Guardians team would be making an appearance in Infinity War. After the events of Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot is now a one-foot tall baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. This makes us wonder what form Groot will take in Infinity War. Will he be back to his original size or might he become an adolescent-aged Groot no longer voiced by Vin Diesel?
Yondu Udonta: MAYBE Michael Rooker will neither confirm or deny that he will appear in Infinity War, but it’s clear that he will have an increased presence in Vol 2. We don’t know if he will make it out of that film alive, but if he does his role in the galactic MCU might make him a good fit for this story.
Irani Rael/Nova Prime and Rhomann Dey: VERY LIKELY The Power Stone, which was the Orb MacGuffin of Guardians of the Galaxy, was recovered by the Guardians and given to Nova Corps for safe keeping in their vaults on Xandar. Considering Thanos needs this gem to start the Infinity War, it’s very likely that Glenn Close and/or John C. Reilly will appear in the new film reprising their Nova Corps roles.
The Collector: VERY LIKELY The Reality Stone, better known as the Aether from Thor: The Dark World, is currently in possession of the Collector. And we’ve been told the character won’t appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which probably means he will still have the stone at the start of Infinity War. We don’t know the Collector’s motivations yet — when he gets the Aether, he says “one down, four to go.” Is he working with Thanos or is he also after all the Infinity Stones for himself? Also, did the Aether escape his collection after his museum was destroyed in Guardians? Either way, I would expect Benicio Del Toro to reprise his role as the Collector.
Mantis: MAYBE Fans have speculated that Pom Klementieff is keeping in shape to bring Mantis to the aid of the Avengers against Thanos in Infinity War after the actress posted a video on Instagram of herself working out with world champion martial artist and stuntman Jessen Noviello where she included the hashtag “pomantis.” Of course, we don’t know what will come of Mantis in Vol. 2, but if she ends up joining the team at the end of the movie, as some fans speculate, then an appearance in Infinity War would be very likely.
Ego: NOT LIKELY We know that Kurt Russell is playing Ego the Living Planet in Vol. 2, who might be Star-Lord’s biological father. But we really don’t know much else about the character’s involvement in the sequel. If he turns out to be the villain of the movie, then his fate may not allow an appearance in Infinity War. I would think that an actor like Kurt Russell wouldn’t be too interested in signing up for a multi-picture contract, but who knows?
Doctor Strange: CONFIRMED Infinity War screenwriters and Benedict Cumberbatch himself have both confirmed that Doctor Strange will appear in the film as Stephen Strange. His amulet, the Eye of Agamotto, was revealed in Doctor Strange to be the Time Stone, one of the last remaining Infinity Stones. Feige told me about how this makes this a more personal struggle in Thanos’ quest to get the Infinity Gauntlet. We also mentioned earlier a quote from the Russo brothers promising that “dimensions of the MCU will end in those film, dimensions will change forever in those movies, dimensions will find new life in those films.” Obviously, Strange can access other dimensions. We still don’t know why, but Thor and Loki go to New York to possibly confront Strange in Thor: Ragnarok, which could possibly tie into the larger Infinity War story. Cumberbatch has admitted that “To get us all together will be quite something” and early reports have claimed that the actor’s body double is on set playing the Sorcerer Supreme for some of the early film shoot before Cumberbatch’s schedule clears up.
Wong: VERY LIKELY Benedict Wong has confirmed that his character Wong will also appear alongside Stephen Strange in Infinity War: “I’m thrilled I’m going to be in Infinity War. I’m looking forward to; I’ll tell you that one first.” Wong in the comics has been Strange’s servant and sidekick, and while that role was somewhat modernized in the film, it’s likely that he will again serve a sidekick role to Strange.