If you’re reading this, you’ve managed to weather the earthquake sent through the film-obsessed corner of the internet this week by the release of the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. There’s no doubt that the film, slated for release in May 2018, is one of the most highly anticipated superhero movies ever. Justice League is very much small fry in comparison to this film, which begins the two-part culmination of more than a decade of ambitious storytelling from Kevin Feige and Marvel.
It’s been about 24 hours since the trailer landed online and I think I’ve watched it enough times now to have a sense of perspective through all of the fanboy squealing. Basically, the big purple dude has finally arrived and he’s in search of glowing rocks. Every superhero ever created is there to stop him doing so, complete with funny beards and slightly different costumes. It looks wonderful.
Here are a few interesting things we learned from our first look at Infinity War…
Team Cap have gone all Cast Away
We last saw Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson in the MCU when they escaped into exile at the end of Captain America: Civil War. It seems they’ve both been taking the whole ‘hiding’ thing just seriously enough to buy a bottle of hair dye. Cap is also sporting a rather fetching beard, seemingly calibrated almost solely to launch an entire new wave of Tumblr GIFs. Steve Rogers looks to either have spent some time on Wakanda or come there specifically to pick up his mate Bucky, who was cryogenically frozen in the African nation at the end of Civil War.
It’s a little disappointing that these guys are going to be joining forces with the rest of the team again so soon after the events that tore them apart. However, this trailer suggests there isn’t very much connection between those fighting on Wakanda and those battling Thanos, so the two factions of Avengers may remain more divided than the title suggests… at least for now.
Spidey sense is finally tingling
One of the most obvious things missing from Tom Holland‘s debut solo outing as Spider-Man in Homecoming earlier this year was his ‘Spidey sense’. A crucial part of the webslinger’s power set is his ability to sense danger, so it has been something of a disappointment not to see this incarnation of Peter Parker boasting that skill. In the Infinity War trailer, however, we see all of the hairs on Peter’s arm suddenly stand on end as a result of the presence of an enormous spaceship. If only he’d looked out of the window a little earlier…
As cool as it is to see Spidey’s skills becoming a little more complete, it’s questionable whether his Spidey sense will be much use in this movie. The danger of Thanos is pretty self-evident without Peter squealing “watch out for the giant aubergine” every five minutes.
Loki prepares to turn heel once again?
Ah, Loki. Tom Hiddleston‘s mischievous Asgardian has switched allegiances more often than the Sun newspaper since we first met him in the MCU. So when we saw him enter the vaults beneath Asgard at the end of Thor: Ragnarok, it seemed obvious he had nicked the Tesseract, which he was tasked with obtaining for Thanos way back in the first Avengers movie. In the post-credits scene, we saw Thanos’s ship appear in front of the Asgardians’ escape craft, suggesting either Loki has sent Thanos a discreet WhatsApp message, or the purple dude has some way of tracking the stones.
Then, in the Infinity War trailer, we see Loki walking through a whole tonne of corpses before holding the Tesseract aloft. It seems pretty safe to assume Thanos has carried out an Asgardian genocide and Loki is desperately trying to save his own skin with his former boss. It’s fair to say his last few performance reviews haven’t gone well. But, more importantly, if Thanos has killed Korg, he will have me to answer to. I reckon I could take him.
The doctor meets the playboy and the monster
Tony Stark is going to die in Infinity War. He looks like a broken man every time he appears in this trailer and, at 52 years old, Robert Downey Jr must be on the way out. That said, the trailer sees Stark joining forces with two of the most powerful forces in the MCU in the shape of Hulk and Doctor Strange. The teaser shows Strange and his buddy Wong happening upon a fallen Banner, who has somehow got from the Asgardian ship back down to Earth. We then see a dream team forming with the four men, like when Take That got back together without Robbie.
This one is interesting chiefly because of how similar Strange and Stark are as people. They’re both sarcastic, arrogant douchebags and so the interplay between them may be rather tense, even ignoring the risk that Banner might turn into a green smashy thing and kill them both at any time.
Rhodey and the Hulkbuster return
Rumours of his crippling have been greatly exaggerated, it seems. The Infinity War trailer shows us Don Cheadle‘s War Machine zooming into action in Wakanda, despite the small matter of him falling almost to his death in Civil War. It’s good to see Rhodey back, although there’s always the fear his return is simply geared towards creating cannon fodder for Thanos. He’s a character whose death is big enough to make an emotional impact, but not big enough to upset the narrative apple cart.
We also got the return of the Hulkbuster armour and, given we see Banner stood nonchalantly next to the arm at one point, it seems pretty clear it’s not there to fight him. Indeed, given the fact it’s in Wakanda and Tony Stark isn’t there anywhere else in the trailer, we can probably assume it’s being piloted remotely, like an even more scary driverless car. Is this what Philip Hammond was talking about in his Budget speech?
Thanos closes in on his Infinity bling
The star of the Infinity War trailer is, of course, Thanos himself. He’s doing well in his high-stakes Crystal Maze game to collect all of the Infinity Stones. Clearly visible in the above shot are the Power Stone (Orb), which was with the Nova Corps when we last saw it, and the Space Stone (Tesseract), which Loki presumably handed over. We can’t see the thumb of the gauntlet but, given the Reality Stone (Aether), held by The Collector, is the only other stone out in space and is often depicted on the thumb, we can probably assume he grabbed that before coming to Earth, unless he got a bit disorientated, like when your local Tesco moves the sausage rolls.
That leaves the three stones on Earth. We see somebody trying to prise the Mind Stone from Vision’s head, which means Paul Bettany is almost certainly a goner. The Time Stone is held by Doctor Strange as the Eye of Agamotto and, while we don’t know for sure about the Soul Stone, it seems likely it will show up in Wakanda during the events of Black Panther. So Thanos is an alien crime lord who has come to Earth to finish his deadly work, much like Donald Trump.
Wakanda will play a pivotal part
Much of the action in the Infinity War trailer seems to take place in the African kingdom of Wakanda, with which we will be far more familiar after we see Black Panther in February. This is likely a result of it housing the Soul Stone (see above), or it could just be because Thanos has a sense of grandeur and thought New York City looked a bit too grey and industrial for his final stand. The trailer’s big money shot sees a whole horde of Avengers charging into battle, including Hulk, who has perhaps travelled the furthest in the trailer – from Asgard, to New York, to Wakanda. Think of the air miles.
This has to be a good choice. We’ve seen so many superhero smackdowns in big cities that a big, open battlefield with a bit of colour is a welcome change. The hordes of combatants on both sides look visually stunning and there’s no doubt that this will be a hell of a climax. It’s tough to know how they will top it in the fourth Avengers movie.
Thor meets a group of a-holes
Finally, just when you thought this trailer was out of huge moments, we see Thor meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy. We know from the footage screened at Comic-Con this year that Thor slams into the windscreen of the Milano at some point, so this would seem to be the awkward introduction immediately following that. It’s fitting given Thor is probably the only Avenger who wouldn’t be at least a little weirded out by a living tree, a strange insect-like woman and a raccoon who clearly loves the Second Amendment.
This is a hell of a final shot for a trailer that has a tonne of excitement behind it. The notion of the Avengers and the Guardians joining forces against Thanos is a mouth-watering prospect that means May can’t come soon enough.
Ant-Man is nowhere to be seen…
I’m choosing to believe a tiny Paul Rudd is actually in every shot, like the Starbucks cups in Fight Club.
What did you think of our first look at Avengers: Infinity War? Do you have any theories for how the whole thing is going to play out? Let me know in the comments section.