HOLLYWOOD HEROES™: It was all building up to this. Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe was launched with Iron Man, there has been a a slow progression towards an endgame. Now, this week, the MCU has it with Avengers: Infinity War. Part one of a culmination of everything Kevin Feige has envisioned, this truly is a one of a kind epic. Nothing will be the same after this. The fact that Marvel’s honchos are even keeping the title of the next Avengers movie a secret (due to its inherently spoiler type nature) means something. With just a few days to go until audiences the world over lay eyes on it, anticipation is at a fever pitch.
Once again, the film is a culmination of all that the MCU has built so far. Marvel Studios describes it as such: “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, artifacts 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.” IMDb has a more concise version: “The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.” As we all know, the Avengers are led by Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), with other members including Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elisabeth Olsen). Also joining in the fight against Thanos (Josh Brolin) are Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and of course T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), not to mention the Guardians of the Galaxy (Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, etc). Anthony Russo and Joe Russo direct a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, with other cast members including Angela Bassett, Paul Bettany, Linda Cardellini, Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Dinklage, Winston Duke, Idris Elba, Jon Favreau, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Tom Hiddleston, Pom Klementieff, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benedict Wong, Letitia Wright, and many more. This is one of the biggest A-list casts of all time. Alan Silvestri composed the score.
Marvel has done a wonderful job keeping things spoiler free, which is rare in this day and age. With the embargo up as of yesterday, it sure seems like Marvel has another top tier entry on their hands, but plenty of surprises still remain to be discovered tomorrow. Suffice to say, wherever the MCU goes from here will be very different. It’ll be an interesting year watching as the industry and audiences alike debate what will happen with the untitled Avengers 4 / conclusion to Avengers: Infinity War in 2019. Even now, rumors run rampant about what might be in store for our heroes.
Awards wise, Avengers: Infinity War could pair with Black Panther to do a bit better with Oscar than usual. If we still assume that Best Picture and the other major categories are out of play, look for it to potentially contend in Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup & Hairstyling, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects. Realistically, the four categories of Makeup & Hairstyling, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects are where this movie can make a play. Black Panther has a betting chance at above the line love, though Avengers: Infinity War could be the below the line baby for Disney and Marvel.
Starting tomorrow, audiences across the globe can see what Marvel has been building up to with Avengers: Infinity War. Critics have been over the moon for it, which is another feather in the Marvel cap. Kudos to Feige, which is like a broken record situation at this point. No one in the business does it like he does. A record setting box office haul could be in store, along with tons of acclaim in general. I’m sure you’re all going to be seeing it opening weekend, but check back on Friday to see where it ranks among the rest of the MCU. Spoiler alert, it likely will be towards the top of the list…
Be sure to check out Avengers: Infinity War, in theater everywhere this weekend!