Between a half-dozen Infinity Stones and a sprawling ensemble cast that numbers north of 60, there are a lot of elements to juggle in Avengers: Infinity War. However, the hotly anticipated sequel will keep the focus on the core characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The footage screened at D23 Expo and Comic-Con International illustrated the scope of the film, with numerous heroes -- Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy, among them -- shown fighting back against the Mad Titan's invasion. But co-director Joe Russo revealed that he and his brother, Anthony, knew how to streamline the story's key figures and overall narrative.
"You know, the story really centers who you would expect it to center around, so our more important characters," he told Screen Rant. "This is a culmination film 10 years in the making and we are pulling the main story threads from all of the different franchises into one unifying narrative. So any of the important characters are going to be in this film, and they are going to have something important to do in the movie."
Infinity War brings together several threads, including the arrival of Thanos as the MCU's central villain, which has been teased since 2012's The Avengers, and the fallout from Captain America: Civil War. There's also the warning from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige that death may well be on the table for some of these beloved heroes.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War boasts a sprawling ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie. The film arrives in theaters May 4, 2018, with the untitled sequel opening May 3, 2019.