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In 2012, Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios finally assembled the Avengers together on the big screen in a live-action feature film that was met with much fanfare and jubilation. Then, as is commonplace in the source material, the filmmaker introduced us to a new line up for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes at the end of last year’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’. Now with ‘Captain America: Civil War’ on the horizon, what will happen to the team when Joe and Anthony Russo step in to helm the next film featuring the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s premiere superhero collective and beyond? The brothers recently opened up about what we can expect from the future incarnations of the House of Ideas’ most noteworthy squad once they take the reins with the epic two-part ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.

During an appearance at Wizard World New Orleans, the Russos discussed a number of things from their work on ‘Community’ to a Howard the Duck/Hawkeye confrontation. But when asked about the new heroes of the MCU stepping up to become bigger players in their world, Joe Russo explained that we could see the next wave of Avengers come into the spotlight soon and carry on into the upcoming phases:

“Everything is finite, right? Nothing can last forever. It’s cyclical. Some new Avengers in Phase Four are going to become prominent and then maybe some Avengers might not be around anymore. So, we’ll see how all this plays out but you have to treat every character with respect. I think it’s interesting that if you’ve seen four or five movies with the lead character having an arc, I want to see some story telling from some of the secondary characters. We’re focusing on that right now with ‘Infinity War’ while we’re breaking into those movies, is which characters can we pull to the forefront who potentially haven’t had their own ‘A’ story arc to this point. I think you’ll see that the supporting Avengers are going to become primary Avengers.”

Avengers Infinity War thumbSo who could be a part of this new New Avengers team? After Anthony Russo mistakenly called Hayley Attwell’s character “Sharon Carter”, the pair shared that they “have a board with 67 characters on it” to help them crack the story of ‘Infinity War’. Josh Brolin’s Thanos will certainly be a threat that calls for an army of superpowered individuals that size, but even taking into account the heroes that lead their own franchises like Captain America, Thor, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Iron Man, teams such as the Defenders, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Director Phil Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and Agent Daisy Johnson’s Secret Warriors, and “secondary” characters such as Falcon, Winter Soldier, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, the Punisher, Sif, and Deathlok that doesn’t add up to 67 names. A ton of new characters are certainly on the way as well, but regardless of who the specific players will be facing off against the Mad Titan, Joe Russo said that they don’t aim to disappoint the True Believers expecting something as all-encompassing as an event of this magnitude:

“That is another one that we would have to reserve as a surprise, but we will say this: People will not be disappointed in the amount of characters in the movie. The concept of ‘Infinity War’ is that the Marvel universe unites to battle the greatest threat to the world and universe that you’ve ever seen, and we’re going to honor that concept.”

Long story short: It looks like just about anyone in the MCU could be an Avenger by the time Phase Four rolls around. Have any ideas about who will be on the roster after ‘Avengers: Infinity War’? Start speculating in the comments below. 

‘Avengers: Infinity War Parts I and II’ are respectively set for release in May of 2018 and 2019.

Sources: ComicBook.com, ComicBookMovie, Collider