In a matter of weeks, Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will come to a conclusion of sorts as Ant-Man (sort of) closes another chapter in the franchise, setting the stage for Captain America: Civil War to kickoff Phase 3 next summer. And since we already know the entire Phase 3 lineup of films that ends with a pair of interconnected Avengers films in 2018-19, fans are already looking ahead in speculating on who will fight who to save the galaxy in a few years time.
We already know the "puppet master" antagonist of the franchise, Thanos (Josh Brolin), will be the major player of the two-part Avengers: Infinity War but we also know that these two movies - which we're told will stand on their own as complete pictures - will have other villains as well, some familiar, some new. One of those new characters might have just been revealed... and might tie-in to Guardians of the Galaxy 2...
Acting-Auditions, the source of several recent character confirmations in the MCU, revealed some details about casting process for Avengers: Infinity War, which despite it being two years before production even begins, is already beginning. And in it, the evil Magus is namedropped.
Auditions are now getting underway for the Marvel Studios feature film ‘Avengers: Infinity War – Part I’ lead and supporting roles. The auditions for new lead and supporting roles will be taking place in Los Angeles, CA. The film is the first in a two-part sequel in which Thanos plays a major role, along with the Magus. Adam Warlock’s bad side, the Magus, separates from his body and assembles the Infinity Gauntlet. Magus creates doppelgangers of Earth’s heroes as part of his plan to recreate a universe of evil. “Avengers: Infinity War – Part I” will be shot entirely on the IMAX/ARRI 2D digital camera.
The description continues, also adding that Tom Hiddleston will be in Avengers: Infinity War as well, potentially confirming Loki's continuation after the events of Thor: Ragnarok. If true, the theme here throughout Phase 3 - which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone - is that many of the Phase 3 films are directly setting the stage for the main event in Infinity War. And that begins sooner than you might think, even in Ant-Man where Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige tells THR that it introduces another "realm" which will play into Phase 3 in a few years.
Films like Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange, are not simply adding new headline heroes; they're introducing new worlds, dimensions, and you guessed it... long-term villains. And that extends beyond just the new solo character movies, but more on that later.
As will we all... pic.twitter.com/ctLeV5XUNx
— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) May 13, 2015
Doctor Strange will deal with alternate dimensions and realities; Panther will introduce the secretive high-tech society of Wakanda and perhaps even Necropolis, the city of the dead; And Captain Marvel will tie together Earth and the alien species known as the Kree, and the legacy of Captain Marvel.
Knowing this, you can start to see how Doctor Strange can introduce the personified version of Death (teased by Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson in the above tweet), the only being Thanos serves; how Captain Marvel can potentially bridge elements of the Marvel Cosmic with the happenings on Earth; And from the casting call revelation up top, how Guardians of the Galaxy 2 may introduce a new hero whose alternate self may be another major villain in the MCU.
Adam Warlock vs. Magus
Back to the main point: The casting call is looking for London-eligible talent, and that's where Derrickson is headed this week to prepare to shoot Doctor Strange. Both it and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (which writer-director James Gunn has already finished the first script draft for) are next in line to enter production, so the casting calls could coincide with these projects as well as Infinity War. Gunn did reveal recently that he was already talking to talent, already beginning the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 casting process. If the Magus reveal is real, then it's almost a certainty that the casting call is related to one or both of the other films.
Leaving now for London to make Doctor Strange.
— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) June 23, 2015
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will introduce one new member of the Guardians while also revealing who the father of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) is, and there's a strong possibility that one or both of these is an adaptation of Adam Warlock. Adam Warlock's cocoon from the comics was even teased in the first movie and in the post-credits button of Thor: The Dark World. That's the crucial point here since Adam Warlock and Magus are one and the same, Magus representing the "evil" part of Warlock. Magus is a major player in the cosmic stories involving Thanos, the Infinity Gauntlet and the modern Guardians of the Galaxy comics.
Given Adam Warlock's storied history as the number one adversary of Thanos in the classic Jim Starlin comics, and his crucial role in the Dan Abnett-Andy Lanning modern Marvel cosmic universe (read: the best stuff pre-Marvel NOW!) that helped relaunch the Guardians of the Galaxy as we currently know them, it would be strange for Marvel not to get Adam Warlock into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Did we mention that one of two Infinity Stones yet to be introduced in the MCU is in Warlock's forehead (in the comics)? And if he's going to be introduced anywhere in Phase 3, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (subtitle unknown) makes the most sense.
What Does It Mean?
The casting call could mean nothing and be based on speculation, but since it likely stems from actual internal documentation and casting information, it could be real. The same source revealed that Daniel Bruhl would be playing Baron Zemo in Captain America: Civil War, which Bruhl later confirmed.
If we then assume Magus will be in Avengers 3 & 4, then we can say that Marvel is looking for an actor to play him and therefore, to play Adam Warlock as well. It wouldn't quite make sense to introduce one without the other or have different actors play them. Taking that another step further and we can say that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will absolutely have something to do with setting up Avengers: Infinity War despite James Gunn playing down such connections. So, could Adam Warlock be one of the new characters introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, could he have been the other new Guardian that was actually cut from the GOTG 2 script, none of the above and was he never actually a part of the plan?
Ant-Man opens in theaters July 17, 2015; Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.
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