The Infinity War Name Change Confused Fans
What's clear now is that the plan on Feige's mind when he first uttered the words "Part 1" is very similar to what's played out: Thanos wins ahead of a rematch in 2019. However, due to a tight lock on internal machinations, the title change created an alternate narrative; although Marvel never actively suggested anything like this, the loss of Part 2 and secrecy over why made many believe that something had actually changed in the development of Infinity War that warranted wider alteration.
This effortlessly addressed those spoiler concerns while also leading to theories that Avengers 4 was its own story. Secret Invasion became popular after the Skrulls were confirmed for Captain Marvel, but if you name any major arc from the past three decades you can bet it was speculated intensely. There were even expectations Avengers 4 would mark the X-Men's arrival to the MCU, legal logistics be damned.
All of this was, obviously, not the case, but what's important is that it kept all eyes mulling over impossibilities, rather than turning their eyes on what Avengers: Infinity War itself contained. And while Marvel didn't fuel this directly, they did tell one sneaky white lie.
Avengers: Infinity War Was Sold As The End
"An entire universe. Once and for all." Avengers: Infinity War's tagline may be a little confusing written out rather than flashed on text cards in trailers, but it summed up the message of the marketing clearly: this was the end. Every piece of advertising focused on the massive final showdown between Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Thanos, and all speculation was led down the track of Iron Man or Captain America biting it. Fans thought the marketing was misleading with altered trailer shots and removed characters, but the real trick was making everybody think that this was the standalone finale - offsetting those Part 1 concerns - when it was in fact just the start of the culmination.
This isn't too dissimilar to what Warner Bros. did with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, with the first trailer using footage from both parts of the movie to ensure that the small-scale Part 1 had the inescapable epic sense. However, there we were dealing with a linear franchise already six films deep and so the intent of a two-parter was clearly established. This was something more.
The entire marketing campaign was the ultimate end-point of the decision to err away from Hunger Games and Divergent's mistakes: Avengers: Infinity War got the box office of an epic finale despite being the penultimate entry. It, of course, helped that the film is very much its own thing - even with the cliffhanger ending, the film is a complete story of Thanos' quest for victory - meaning audiences were more open to the trick, but making Avengers 4 feel disparate was essential for the record-breaking run.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019