Avengers: Infinity War: What you need to know about the new Marvel movie

We collected everything we think we know about the Avengers' next outing right here, including plot points and who we'll see on screen.

Caitlin Petrakovitz Director of audience
Caitlin Petrakovitz studies the Marvel Cinematic Universe like it's a course in school, with an emphasis on the Infinity Saga years. As an audience expert, she rarely writes but when she does it's most certainly about Star Trek, Marvel, DC, Westworld, San Diego Comic-Con and great streaming properties. Or soccer, that's a thing she loves, too.
Caitlin Petrakovitz
7 min read
Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

The Avengers are coming back, and Marvel promises this will be a big one. Early reactions are starting to come in now that screenings have begun, and then will come the reviews. (As it stands now, I'm not sure any review could prevent me from seeing this film though!)

The super team's third outing, which will include more Marvel Cinematic Universe characters than any previous film or show, is fast approaching. There's time to catch up if you need to, and we can help you figure out what to watch before Infinity War (you can even stream some of the MCU films right now).

Watch this: Watch these movies before Avengers: Infinity War

Let's dig into what we know about the heroes' next fight in Avengers: Infinity War, and then maybe later we can discuss how it will likely destroy everything we thought we knew about the MCU timeline and characters. (No worries, we're well aware Thanos will come for us if we spoil anything, so you're good to keep reading.)

The red carpet premiere has officially begun in Hollywood, showing off some seriously awesome outfits (hat tip to Letitia Wright, and Vin Diesel for his on-theme jacket). 

How long is Infinity War?

As suspected, Infinity War will clock in around 2 hours and 30 minutes (Fandango says 2:29, to be exact), making it the longest MCU film to date by at least 2 minutes. Stay tuned for an exact runtime once we've seen it here.

The MPAA has now officially rated the film as PG-13; not a huge surprise considering every other MCU film has the same rating. 

Next year, we'll get the sequel to this huge outing, but we don't even know the name of that film -- since it seems like the title could be a spoiler in itself. That said, we do know Chris Evans is done as Captain America after the 2019 Avengers film.

Release date: April 27

After initially announcing a release date of May 4 in the US, Marvel did an about-face and pushed the date up for the entire world to April 27. (It was a good day, tbh.) If you want to see it opening weekend though, I'd suggest grabbing tickets now: according to Variety, Fandango says the movie is outselling the last seven Marvel movies combined.

Watch this: Watch the 'Avengers: Infinity War' official trailer

Is there a trailer? Of course

Actually there are SO MANY TRAILERS 🙌. 

Above is the most recent one, and a short spot premiered during the Super Bowl. Keep in mind that the new trailer is a bit different from the footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con and Disney's D23 over the summer. Just recently we heard teen Groot in one teaser, and got a Starbucks joke in another.

Today, Marvel released a new look behind the scenes of Avengers.

On Twitter, @MarvelStudios and @Avengers have been steadily releasing new looks at specific characters in the lead-up to the release.

'Avengers: Infinity War' is going to blow your mind

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Plot details: What's going to happen?

We do know it's going to be a heist film, with Thanos at the center of it tracking down all the Infinity Stones. Directors the Russo brothers told CNET's Erin Carson as much last year: 

With "Infinity War," the biggest new element to the movie is Thanos and the fact that he's entering the storytelling in a very bold, strong way, to the degree that he's almost one of the leads. We've shaped an interesting narrative around him that in some ways leans heavily on a heist film in the fact that he's going after the infinity stones in a much bolder, successful way than he has in the past. The entire movie has that energy of the bad guy being one step ahead of the heroes. We looked at a lot of movies that had that heist-style energy to them, [and] that brought some inspiration.

OK, but what else will happen? Well, since I sadly wasn't among those treated to 20 minutes of footage at the first fan event/screening in the UK (I live on the other side of the pond), I'll rely on our sister site GameSpot. At the event, the site reports, director Joe Russo made us even more scared for our heroes' fates (bold emphasis all mine):

It's certainly going to be a lot of fun when you put all these characters together, but the theme of the movie is, 'What it costs to be a hero in a complicated world' and, 'Does the value of doing what's right outweigh the cost?' I think there's an important message in the film and it's important to the world today. I think it's going to be a really interesting ride for everyone.

Is someone gonna die? Well, yes, that's the speculation, especially considering what Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige told Vanity Fair about the expansive MCU stories:

We thought it would be important to bring the current three-Phase, 22-movie current series to a conclusion. How do I say this? There will be two distinct periods between everything before Avengers 4 and everything after. I know it will not be in ways people are expecting. 

Okaaaaaaaay, cool, cool, cool. Basically if you care about any of the last decade's MCU characters, be prepared to have your heart broken. Also, the Russo brothers told Vanity Fair they were told "who they could kill," which I think means death is definitely coming for someone. Check out the piece above and VF's cover story for more little tidbits. 

Just a boy and his glove.

Marvel Studios

If you've watched the IW trailer but still haven't seen "Thor: Ragnarok," you've probably noticed the god of thunder is sporting a new eyepiece. Long story short, he looks a lot more like Odin and -- added benefit -- a lot more badass. (Some promotional items show two eyes though, so maybe a certain warlock or witch helps him out.)

But you should probably still check out "Ragnarok" because it's awesome and so you can see the mid-credits scene where Thor, Bruce Banner and Loki (and breakout star Korg) see their ship overtaken by a significantly larger vessel. Seems pretty likely that ship is Thanos' and that this scene will roll directly into the first scene Marvel showed at SDCC. According to Slashfilm, that footage began with Thor floating through space and coming to "land" on the Guardians' ship as he remarks "something is very wrong." 

If we assume the Asgardian ship encounter is one of the first things to happen in IW, other pieces of the trailer begin to fall into place.

Watch this: 'Avengers: Infinity War' trailer

We see Banner stunned on the floor of Doctor Strange's mansion, presumably after being flung through space after a battle. Shortly after, he's seen with Strange, Wong and Tony Stark -- both inside the mansion and then in a fight on the street outside. 

We do know there will be the classic Marvel humor, which is good because all indications are that this may end up being the darkest MCU film ever.

This is all pure speculation, of course, but isn't it fun? Where do you think the plot is going to go from there?

Cast and directors: Who's in it?

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Directors: The Russo brothers, who also directed "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Captain America: Civil War." 

Starring: The real question is who *isn't* in "Infinity War," and it's a short list. Here are the confirmed stars (we used their real names):

  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Chris Evans
  • Chris Hemsworth
  • Mark Ruffalo
  • Scarlett Johansson
  • Jeremy Renner
  • Elizabeth Olsen
  • Paul Bettany
  • Tom Holland
  • Don Cheadle
  • Anthony Mackie
  • Sebastian Stan
  • Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Benedict Wong
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Chadwick Boseman
  • Letitia Wright
  • Danai Gurira
  • Chris Pratt
  • Zoe Saldana
  • Dave Bautista
  • Sean Gunn
  • Bradley Cooper
  • Vin Diesel
  • Pom Klementieff
  • Karen Gillan
  • Paul Rudd
  • Evangeline Lily
  • Josh Brolin
  • Benecio Del Toro
  • Tom Hiddleston
  • Tessa Thompson
  • Linda Cardellini
  • Cobie Smulders
  • Samuel L. Jackson

No word on whether we'll actually see Brie Larson pop up as Captain Marvel. Her film isn't due until 2019, and it will be set in the '90s, so honestly who knows. Marvel has done stranger things (including time travel), and the Russos have gone seemingly gone back and forth on whether she's in the movie or not. (Maybe she's just not in part one?) 

To make matters *even more confusing,* some fans claim they've spotted Captain Marvel's familiar red-blue-gold uniform in the latest TV spot.

We also know the Children of Thanos/Black Order will appear (no clue which name they want to go by, but at their unveiling last summer Disney referred to them by the "Children" name), and we recently got a good long look at some of them. (To be clear, they aren't really his children, just some bad peeps.)

While the release of new character posters showed off some team members in all their glory, we still haven't see Hawkeye, which doesn't seem to bode well for him. But who knows? Maybe part two is actually just going to be called "Avengers 4: Hawkeye Saves Them All" (I'd watch it).

This piece was originally published November 30, 2017.

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