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Taking a Deep Dive into the Avengers: Infinity War Trailer!

December 1st, 2017

Howsabout that new Avengers: Infinity War trailer, huh?

That’s a great trailer.  I feel as excited as I did during the months of anticipation for the first Avengers film, wondering whether Marvel would be able to pull off this grand experiment and succeed in their unprecedented super-hero crossover film.  Boy, did they.  The Avengers was a fantastic film, a terrific payoff to the stories woven through that first wave of solo films.  It satisfied fans and was an enormous global blockbuster.

We’re only a few years later, but at this point we are so much deeper into this interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Thor: Ragnarok was the seventeenth Marvel Studios film, and Avengers: Infinity War will be the nineteenth.  How crazy is that?  We are so far beyond any comparisons to any other film franchise.  Infinity War promises to draw together the tapestry of this massive film saga.  (There are still several films left in Marvel’s “Phase Three” of films, but by the time we arrive at the as-yet-untitled fourth Avengers film in 2020, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige promises what we’ve “never seen in superhero films: a finale.”)

Just look at all the characters in this trailer!  Pretty much every Avenger is glimpsed, along with Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, the Black Panther, and, in that fantastic tease of a final shot, the Guardians of the Galaxy.  If you thought seeing the handful of original Avengers teaming up was cool, Marvel is telling us, just wait until you see ALL these characters team up in Infinity War!

Of course, we don’t know yet when or even if all these characters will ever actually appear on screen together, but this trailer hints at several exciting new character pairings, from Bruce Banner and Tony Stark hanging with Doctor Strange and Wong to, of course, Thor bumping into the Guardians.

I have been wondering how closely this film will hew to the classic Infinity Gauntlet story from the comics (written by Jim Starlin and illustrated by George Perez and Ron Lim).  Thanos already HAS all of the Infinity Stones (they were called Infinity Gems in the comics) by the time the Infinity Gauntlet story begins.  I have been assuming that this first Infinity War movie will actually me more of an adaptation of Thanos Quest, the two-part story that came before the Infinity Gauntlet, in which Thanos wreaked havoc across the galaxy in his quest to acquire all of the Infinity Gems.  We see hints of that in this trailer, as in several shots of Thanos we see him with only two of the Stones in his gauntlet.  The purple one looks to be the Power Stone which we last saw being given to the Nova Corps to guard at the end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, and the blue one looks like the Space Stone, which we have seen in the first Avengers movie as the cosmic cube, called the “tesseract”, and most recently seems to have been taken by Loki in Thor: Ragnarok.  That shot in the trailer of Loki holding the blue cube seems to confirm that.  We saw the ship of Asgardians intercepted by Thanos’ ship at the very end of Ragnarok.  We can assume that Thanos or his minions defeated the Asgardians — do we see someone stepping over a lot of Asgardian bodies at 1:05 in the trailer? — and that Thanos takes the cube/Stone.  That shot of Loki at 1:06 makes it look like perhaps Loki is giving Thanos the cube; perhaps as a way to save his own life, and/or that of Thor?  One can also presume that the battered Thor who we see in that last shot encounters the Guardians only after having been thrashed (and left stranded in space?) by Thanos.  Getting back to the Stones, it looks like we see one of Thanos’ minions (using a scepter looking a whole lot like the one Loki held in Avengers, which of course was given to him by Thanos, so that’s a nice touch) acquire the Stone from the Vision’s head… and is that battle in Wakanda over another hidden Stone?  More on that in a moment.

Getting back to how I have been wondering how closely this film would adapt the Infinity Gauntlet story, it was cool to see how the shots of Banner, having apparently crashed through the roof of Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum (see 0:11 in the trailer), echoes the early scene in Infinity Gauntlet in which the Silver Surfer does the same (having come in a desperate attempt to rally Earth’s heroes against Thanos).  The Infinity Gauntlet is truly a spectacular story, so I do hope that this film (and also the next untitled Avengers film, which will apparently be part two of this story) does give us some of the classic beats from that comic.

(As an aside, if Infinity War does end on a cliffhanger, I’ve been wondering where in the Infinity Gauntlet story the movie might leave off.  Perhaps with Thanos having succeeded in acquiring all of the Stones, and snapping his fingers to kill off half the population of the universe?  We don’t actually know if that is where this movie’s story is going.  While we know Thanos is seeking to acquire all the Stones, we don’t actually know much more of what this film’s story will be than that.  Marvel has been curiously keeping the title of the follow-up Avengers film — which was filmed simultaneously with Infinity War and will be released in 2020 — under wraps, which also helps conceal where this story is going.  Maybe movie Thanos will not attempt to kill half of the universe’s population as he did in the comics?  I don’t know, but that “snap” moment would be an excellent movie-ending cliffhanger for Infinity War…)

Speaking of Thanos, the big purple guy looks much better than he has in his last few cameo appearances.  I thought he looked fake and stiff in his brief appearances in Guardians of the Galaxy, so I was pleased to see that he looks much more naturalistic and lifelike here.  I was surprised by his more casual attire as seen in this trailer, but I instantly thought that looked more real and more convincing than his look in Guardians, even though that hewed more closely to his look from the comics.  I also loved what we could hear in the trailer of Josh Brolin’s dialogue as Thanos.  In particular, that line about putting a smile on his face was classic Thanos, evil but with a hint of joviality about it.  I loved it.  So right now I am feeling good about the films depiction of Thanos, but I still have some nervousness.  This movie is not going to work unless Thanos works.  He has to be a compelling, credible threat.  I hope they are able to pull this off.

Even though Black Panther’s solo film hasn’t come out yet, it’s cool to see him being incorporated into this film, which will be the subsequent Marvel film released.  It looks like Wakanda is the sight of a major battle in the film.  My assumption is that Wakanda is the secret hiding spot for the final Infinity Stone, the orange Soul Stone, which we haven’t yet seen in any Marvel movie.  If I am right, I wonder if this will be revealed in Black Panther, of if this revelation will be held for Infinity War?

Other thoughts:

* I thought it was an interesting choice that the trailer doesn’t attempt to explain anything to non-comic-book fans about who Thanos is and what he is after.  We see several shots of Infinity Stones, and that one shot of Thanos adding another stone to his Gauntlet, but nothing in the trailer tells the audience that he is after the Stones and the omnipotent power he could achieve by combining them all.  This choice surprised me!  Perhaps a follow-up trailer will have more exposition for the general audience?

* In the comics, Thanos was obsessed with Death and tried to woo the female embodiment of Death.  Interesting enough, Thor: Ragnarok just introduced us to the female Asgardian goddess of death, played by Cate Blanchett.  Will Ms. Blanchett appear in Infinity War?  I have no idea, but that would be amazing if she did!

* I love the Vision’s more human look!

* At 0:27 it looks like we’re seeing a reunion of Banner and Natasha, who had something of a thing going on between them in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but have been separated ever since the end of that film.

* It’s cool to see Spidey wearing his Iron-Spidey duds (offered to Peter by Stark at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming), though I can’t help but feeling I’d have preferred to see Spidey in his more classic uniform.

* At the end of Thor: Ragnarok, Bruce Banner expresses a fear that, if he transforms once again into the Hulk, he might never again be able to change back to Banner — but since we see him as both Banner and Hulk in this trailer, I guess that proved unfounded.

* Ant Man feels like the only major movie-leading Marvel character not featured in this trailer.  We know that Ant Man and the Wasp will be released between this Infinity War film and the fourth Avengers film, so perhaps Ant Man and the Wasp won’t enter this particular story until that fourth Avengers film?

* Alan Silvestri’s Avengers theme music has really grown on me over the years, and this trailer makes terrific use of it.

* Once again, man, that last shot!  What a great tease!!

I can’t wait for this movie, and I truly hope that Marvel can stick the landing of this unprecedented attempt at long-form movie story-telling.

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