Thanos is coming to collect his Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War, and Marvel's heroes are going to pay for every one of them. Fans of the MCU films so far could argue they already have, since the Infinity Stones have acted as the foundation for most of the cast's introduction. As a result, half of the Infinity Stones now rest in the care of Vision, Doctor Strange, and Loki. That means they have something Thanos wants and, as the story demands, something he will get. We know the Infinity Stones will end up in his gauntlet-- but what happens to the heroes?
On the surface, the plot for Infinity War may seem the simplest out of Marvel's movies to date. Entire films have focused on bringing an Infinity Stone into the open - now all Thanos must do is round them up. But speaking with the writers of Infinity War on the film's set, it sounds like a far heavier price is going to be paid than just a relic stolen back. By the end fans could end up wishing these Infinity Stones and their favorite heroes never crossed paths at all.
The heroes of Marvel's Universe typically end up reacting to the villains' plans and crimes, so Thanos catching them off guard isn't all that different. But when speaking with Infinity War writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, it becomes clear just how much of a toll Thanos is going to take every step of the way towards his goal:
Can you guys talk about the collection of the Stones? How the Stones help you shape your story? With each of these passing gems, we were all watching like, "Well this is the one where the Stones sort of come together." Making it a little bit easier for the next person, It’s not like they’re spread--
STEPHEN MCFEELY: They’re still spread out. Remember, one of our jobs, we’re big structure guys. So if you go back and look at Winter Soldier and Civil War particularly, they are, whether you like the movies are not, they’re pretty well structured. Big choices have been made. We had to do the same thing here and yet we had 6 MacGuffins – it can be relentless if you do this right.
Which means, every time you collect [an Infinity Stone] – I don’t mean to get into the screenwriting weeds – but every time you collect one, it can’t just be a check mark. It has to do something characterful. It’s got to move the plot forward but it also has to have stakes and cost for literal characters at the time, so that it’s not just a shopping spree. And I think we’ve done that and boy, we’re going to wrench some emotion out of each and every one of those moments that we can.
The directors of Infinity War had previously explained how Doctor Strange will come into "direct conflict with Thanos," since an Infinity Stone hangs around his neck. That showdown has been left out of trailers and marketing so far (aside from a recreated comic scene of Strange being tortured), but other heroes haven't been so lucky. Vision has his Mind Stone almost stolen, and we have our suspicions that a hero may die giving up the Space Stone. In other words, there's already evidence to shed light on McFeely's appraisal.
Those potential heartbreaks are enough to dread on their own, but with Marvel's 10 Year promotional video showing the Infinity Gauntlet with FOUR Stones already collected, the filmmakers may be keeping some of the most devastating sacrifices completely under wraps. There may be no way for Marvel fans to prepare themselves, so it may be time to start ranking the Avengers most likely to die.
Better safe than sorry.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018