WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters now.
After a decade of meticulous buildup, Marvel Studios finally delivered its cinematic coup de grâce with arguably the most ambitious and anticipated superhero blockbuster of all time, Avengers: Infinity War.
Naturally, with so much time between the earliest stages of the film’s conception and its eventual realization on the big screen, countless rumors bubbled up to the surface, ranging everywhere from potential narrative directions to surprise cameo appearances by characters from the comics who’ve yet to make their Marvel Cinematic Universe debuts. However, while some of these rumors and theories do come to fruition in the film, others will forever remain distant wishes of what could have been.
With that in mind, let’s revisit some of the biggest Avengers: Infinity War rumors that sadly never panned out.
We’ll kick things off by addressing what might be the biggest elephant in the room, which is the characters that were rumored to appear in Infinity War. Obviously, you have your glaring omissions, such as Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man and Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, but fans may have forgotten who else was reported to make an appearance at one point or another.
One such character whose name surfaced fairly recently is the Silver Surfer, who plays a major role in the Infinity Gauntlet miniseries that the third Avengers film is heavily based on. Still, even though directors Joe and Anthony Russo shot down this rumor, citing potential rights issues, some fans remained optimistic that the Sentinel of the Spaceways would join Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the battle against Thanos.
The Surfer was hardly the only character currently absent from the MCU that was rumored to appear in the film, though. Other comic book mainstays that were at one point believed to be in Infinity War in some capacity include Death, Adam Warlock (whose MCU debut will likely be in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3), Rich Rider/Nova, Thane (Thanos' son), the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Namor, Silk and Beta Ray Bill, just to name a few.
Then, of course, you have the characters that have already appeared in the MCU that were reportedly slated to return for Infinity War. Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver, Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser, Emily VanCamp’s Sharon Carter, Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter, Michael Rooker’s Yondu, Liv Tyler’s Betty Ross and Cate Blanchett’s Hela were all prime suspects for potential returns/resurrections. Perhaps none more so than Hela, though, as it was widely believed she would serve as a stand-in for the aforementioned Death, who’s Thanos’ inspiration for obtaining the Infinity Stones in the comics.
Furthermore, there were various reports indicating that characters from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Defenders and Inhumans would finally make the jump from television to the big screen. However, as Joe Russo recently put it, trying to coordinate with the various MCU film directors and TV showrunners is “practically impossible.”