For a while now the Russo Brothers have teased that Avengers: Infinity War will be the culmination of everything that's happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since its inception in 2008, and while the two-part film will bring an ending of sorts to the MCU it will also mark a new beginning:
"I can’t get into too much detail about who we’re introducing", Anthony Russo told IGN, "but these movies are in some ways going to be an end to certain things, and in some ways, they’re going to be the beginning of certain things".
Part of what makes Infinity War so interesting is the groundwork that was laid by Captain America: Civil War earlier this year. Thanos is easily the most dangerous threat the world has ever faced, and he's coming to Earth at just the moment when its mightiest heroes are at their weakest:
"Part of what excited us about how we could end Civil War", Joe Russo explained, "and the fact that there is this divide between Cap and Tony and their relationship that will be very, very difficult for them to ever repair, the fact that the Avengers are divided in two and half of them are now wanted by the law and the other fact are not too comfortable with their fate moving forward, and the fact that Thanos and the Infinity War are coming — the greatest threat the universe has ever seen is going to come at the moment where the Avengers are arguably at their lowest, at their worst, at their least strong and most divided since they’ve been formed — that for us was a very exciting place for us to be as storytellers because of the vulnerable nature of our heroes in that kind of a situation".
The good news is that it doesn't look like the Avengers will be on their own; If Vin Diesel is to be believed then the Guardians of the Galaxy will be lending them a hand in the fight against Thanos, and there's a good chance a few other heroes will join the battle too. While that prospect is exciting to think about as a viewer, there's a good chance it's causing the Russos and the Infinity War writing team sleepless nights as they endeavour to give each character their moment to shine:
"It's a little bit of both, because you always have to make sure that your choices feel organic to the storytelling, and really, you have to sort of structure them in the way that they need to be there. You have to have them, or they shouldn't be in the movie. It's a little bit of a dance between the two, where you have big eyes, and you want everybody included in the movie, but you have to go through the process of what can you -- what's the best story that you can tell. It's the dance between those two things were the movie gets worked out".
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Avengers: Infinity War is due to arrive in UK cinemas on April 27, 2018 before opening in US theatres on May 4th, 2018.