Avengers: Infinity War

SPOILER ALERT: Obviously, this article pertains to ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you may wish to back away and return after seeing it.

Prior to the release of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, fans noticed two very notable absences in the film’s trailers, posters, magazine covers, etc.– Jeremy Renner‘s Hawkeye and Paul Rudd‘s Ant-Man.  After all, ‘Infinity War’ was supposed to be the culmination of ten years-worth of Marvel movies and why would they leave out one of the founding Avengers and a newer character that had headlined his own movie?  In fact, there had even been reports that Renner had been seen shooting for this film in Japan and that his version of Clint Barton would actually trade in his Hawkeye identity to become Ronin, a newer identity that the archer had adopted in the comics.  That appears to have turned out to be completely false.

While some fans came up with their own theories as to why Renner and Rudd weren’t included in the promotions for this movie– were they being left out in order to not spoil a major plot twist?– now that we’ve all seen it… they’re just plain not in it.

Black Widow, Captain America and War Machine discuss their whereabouts, explaining that they had gone home to be with their families and were under house arrest.  Now the film’s directors Anthony and Joe Russo have publicly offered a vague explanation, via the Happy Sad Confused podcast.

Anthony Russo: “There is a very specific story choice why…”

Joe Russo: “There is a… we have a really interesting story cooked up for both of those characters, and part of that story required that they be under house arrest.”

This house arrest appears to play out in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, which is said to take place between ‘Civil War’ and ‘Infinity War’.  Perhaps Ant-Man was simply left out because his story is going to told in his own movie.  It also may have spoiled the Wasp’s debut.  If ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is set before ‘Infinity War’ it would only make sense for her to appear at Ant-Man’s side if he had been included.  And those at Marvel have stressed that the Wasp’s debut was too special to simply shoehorn it into an ensemble film and deserved a bigger spotlight.

Of course, we don’t know what became of Ant-Man, the Wasp or Hawkeye or their families after Thanos’ fateful finger snap.  That will most likely come into play in ‘Avengers 4’.  We do know that Linda Cardellini will return as Laura Barton and that Emma Fuhrmann has been cast as an older version of Cassie Lang, Ant-Man’s daughter.

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ stars Dave Bautista, Paul Bettany, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, Don Cheadle, Carrie Coon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Dinklage, Robert Downey Jr., Winston Duke, Idris Elba, Chris Evans, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Pom Klementieff, Anthony Mackie, Terry Notary, Elizabeth Olsen, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Pratt, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Michael James Shaw, Sebastian Stan, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Benedict Wong, and Letitia Wright, with the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.  It is playing in a Cineplex near you now.