Last week began the major marketing blitz for Marvel Studios' Captain America: Civil War. There was a new trailer, all sorts of interviews (here are ours!) and posters, and of course, there was the reveal of Spider-Man. And while the third Captain America - which begins Phase 3 of the MCU - is still a few months away from release, its directors Anthony and Joe Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have already been working on the two-part Avengers: Infinity War for months.
It may seem crazy to think that far out, and at this stage only an outline for the first part of Infinity War (Avengers 3) is complete, but for Phase 3 of the MCU Marvel is doing things differently. Its creative teams are nearly all locked in before it even starts and all the films and release dates are known. The idea is to ensure that the biggest phase yet fits together smoothly and builds towards what may be the biggest superhero movie ever. After all, Avengers: Infinity War is the "culmination" of the entire MCU and in some ways, may end part of it.
That's according to Joe Russo who along with his co-director and brother Anthony spoke with Forbes about what they're currently up to at Marvel. Post-production is long underway on Captain America: Civil War and they're deeply focused on their next Marvel projects as the go-to directors for the core franchise films.
How much control over the story and film do the Russos really have though when it comes to movies like Civil War and Infinity War, when so much of the larger universe rides on these ensemble tentpoles? That aspect seemed crushing for previous director Joss Whedon who happily left the franchise immediately after Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Joe Russo: Maybe there’s a character requirement but with things like Avengers: Infinity War that’s obvious because it’s a culmination of all the films in the phase that have preceded it. You know that Thanos is going to be in there and the majority of the Marvel Universe is going to appear in the movies. Those are givens, but after that we can construct any narrative we want around it and what we think is the best execution of the story.
And while the Russos let slip in January that there are 67 characters pinned to their Infinity War planning board, they later explained they were being figurative but did say that obviously there will be an incredibly large amount of Marvel characters. We've always known Thanos wouldn't be the only villain too, and Anthony Russo also says there will be characters we've not yet met who will make their debut in the next two Avengers installments.
Joe Russo: New characters that are going to appear in Avengers: Infinity War. It’s a big sprawling ambitious movie, it’s about as ambitious as movies get and it should be, and the title alone indicates that there will be an incredible scale and scope to it.
Anthony Russo: It is intended to be the entire culmination of the Marvel cinematic universe and, in many ways, the end to that part of it. But we don’t even have the first draft in on that script yet; we’re still in the outline phase. It’s hard not to talk about it too specifically now only because of spoilers but also because we’re still figuring it out.
As for whether Spider-Man could appear in Avengers: Infinity War, the Russos won't say but it's a safe bet he'll be there as one of the New Avengers. It's a given at this point. What new characters could they be referring to though? We will have met the new Avengers getting movies over the next few years (Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Wasp) at that point, so presumably the new characters could be new villains or other cosmic characters since Thanos will finally be bringing the pain to Earth. Share your thoughts and theories in the comments!
Anthony & Joe Russo are directing Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War with Kevin Feige producing. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Get ready to pick a side and join the nonstop action playing out on two fronts when Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War opens in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2016.
Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans– July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Avengers: Infinity War Logo by Joe Steiner.