Avengers 4

Virtually everyone associated with ‘Avengers: Infinity War‘, from Kevin Feige down to the lowliest intern in the marketing department, has been telling us for months that the film marks a conclusion of sorts to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. But it also represents another sort of conclusion altogether, or at least the beginning of one. In the course of their ‘Infinity War’ press tour, co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo explained that in addition to whatever implications it carries for the wider universe, ‘Infinity War’ (along with next year’s ‘Avengers 4’) forms the culmination of a tale that the brothers have been spinning ever since they first arrived at Marvel. As Joe Russo tells it:

“For us, this was the challenge of telling the story but also completing the personal journey that we started as storytellers in ‘Winter Soldier’. So the story that began in ‘Winter Soldier’ and that ends in ‘Avengers 4’ is a… there’s a very personal arc there for us. I think you’ll understand our point of view as filmmakers and who we are as people when you watch all four of those movies together.”

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out once ‘Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers 4’ are available for public consumption. At least at first blush, ‘The Winter Soldier‘ and ‘Infinity War’ couldn’t be more different. After all, one of them is first and foremost a spy thriller, while the other is a grand, cosmic mashup of all the toys in Marvel’s box. Of course, that’s without taking into account any number of narrative throughlines the film may find itself dealing with, particularly with regard to Captain America and the Winter Soldier (or the White Wolf, as he is now known).

Directed by the Russo brothers from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ marks the culmination of a decade-long effort by Marvel Studios and sees the Avengers team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to take on Thanos. The film counts Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olson, Sebastian Stan, and three gentlemen named “Chris” among its gargantuan cast. The long-awaited movie is set to arrive in theaters on April 27, 2018.