The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been leading up to this climatic battle since Iron Man first arrived in 2008.
With a star-studded line up that will most likely be bursting with established franchise stars in every scene, it is fair to say Avengers: Infinity War might be the movie event of year.
There’s a reputed 76 characters appearing in the movie, but not all of them are officially confirmed as yet. Due to the sheer magnitude of superheroes vying for space, here’s our rundown of those confirmed as appearing.
Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans)
He may have left behind his shield after the events of Captain America: Civil War, but Cappy can’t turn his back on the brewing conflict with super-villain Thanos. Captain America is a born leader and with Thanos (Josh Brolin) in search of the Infinity Stones that will grant him all-conquering power, the Avengers are going to need Captain America’s strength and nobility once more.
Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)
Without Downey Jr. as Iron Man, there may well have been no MCU at all. One of the pleasures of the franchise has been watching Tony Stark grow from a wisecracking egotistical billionaire into a mentor for likes of Peter Parker (Tom Holland). Even so, he’s also been through his fair share of turmoil, and if the anguished glimpse of him in the Infinity War trailer is anything to go by, he’s got more trouble incoming.
Thanos (Josh Brolin)
First teased during the post-credits scene of Avengers Assemble, Thanos is the super-villain who makes the franchise’s previous baddies look like playground bullies. He’s on a quest for the Infinity Stones, the gems that will help him solidify his grip over the universe, and as has been teased by actor Josh Brolin, his brutal treatment of our heroes is likely to cause some upsetting moments.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth)
The climactic events of Thor: Ragnarok will most likely tie into Avengers: Infinity War in a big way. At the end of the former, it was implied Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) may have stolen back the Tesseract, the Infinity Stone he used to wreak so much havoc on New York. Is another showdown between the two half brothers inevitable? On a more lighthearted note, Ragnarok was one of the surprise hits of 2017, pleasing critics and fans alike with its more comically-oriented Thor. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be as flippant and quippy in Infinity War.
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Black Widow found her allegiances in turmoil. She ultimately sided with Iron Man in the battle against Captain America, but she wasn’t happy about it, denouncing Tony’s ego and the breakdown in loyalties within the Avengers initiative. Nevertheless, the newly blonde-locked Natasha will have to put such differences aside in the fight with Thanos.
Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)
While Hulk’s standalone movies have proved difficult to tackle, it seems like Marvel have finally found a way to translate the fan favourite to the big screen. Pairing Hulk with characters like Black Widow, Iron Man and, most recently, Thor, has resulted in a crowd-pleasing character arc, transitioning from angry rage monster into Thor's best buddy. By the end of Thor: Ragnarok, Hulk was once again heading back to earth for presumably more smashing. Even so, the Infinity War trailer shot of a seemingly injured Bruce having crashed through a building makes us scared for his well-being…
Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland)
There was a time where we could be forgiven for not wanting another Spider-Man movie reboot. After all, how many times did we have to hear about Uncle Ben's death before it lost all meaning? But Tom Holland’s debut appearance in Captain America: Civil War re-ignited our interest in everybody’s favourite web-slinger. His standalone debut, last summer’s Homecoming, perfectly married a teenage coming of age story with the needs of a superhero blockbuster. At the end of that movie, he turned down the chance to join the Avengers, but surely with the world in danger we will see him once again fight alongside Iron Man and allies.
Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)
Following his 2015 debut movie, Paul Rudd’s thief turned shrinking superherp Scott Lang had a big impact on the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War and we mean literally. Not only transforming himself into a Godzilla-sized colossus, he also shrunk down and invaded Iron Man’s suit to hilarious effect. In the process he proved himself a real tactical asset to the team. His unique abilities in both shrinking and enlarging will no doubt be called upon in the quest to stop Thanos in Infinity War.
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)
Her brother Quicksilver might have met a tragic end in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but Scarlet Witch’s story is far from finished. She is one of the most powerful Avengers there is, and whether she can channel that power to defeat Thanos might very well be one of the deciding factors in the upcoming battle. Godzilla actress Elizabeth Olsen has done a fantastic job so far in portraying the vulnerabilities of a character with such immense power, and we can’t wait to see her return.
Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)
Hawkeye may not be the most pivotal member of the Avengers team compared to the likes of Iron Man and Captain America. But he has proven time and a time again that he is deadly with an arrow, and even sheltered the fugitive team at his family home in Age of Ultron. Like Black Widow, he is also a wanted fugitive following the events of Captain America: Civil War.
Vision (Paul Bettany)
Paul Bettany has been around since the first Iron Man as the voice of Jarvis, Tony Stark's personal AI system. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, however, he took on a much more interesting role, playing an android with extraordinary powers and knowledge thanks to the Mind Stone (one of the Infinity Stones). Avengers: Infinity War will no doubt involve the character struggling to balance his human and robotic sides: we see in the trailer that he’s continuing his relationship with Scarlet Witch. But it's not all good news: the Mind Stone embedded in his forehead is also removed at one stage by Thanos’ henchman, Corvus Glaive.
Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)
The fact that Doctor Strange wears the Time Stone means that he was always going to be headed for a showdown with Thanos. Benedict Cumberbatch has brought a level of intensity to the MCU that can only be established by an actor of his calibre. His appearance in Thor: Ragnarok appeared to confirm that he has settled into his role as protector of Earth, and his inter-dimensional abilities will no doubt be a valued asset to the Avengers in Infinity War.
Wong (Benedict Wong)
It seems Doctor Strange won’t be without his teacher and right hand man in Avengers: Infinity War. Marvel Chief Kevin Feige confirmed that actor Benedict Wong will indeed be involved. It will be interesting to explore the dynamic between Strange and Wong – now that Doctor Strange has mastered his ability, it remains to be seen how much guidance he will need from his mentor.
Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt)
There hasn’t been much crossover between the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers up to this point. As seen in the trailer, Thor comes into contact with the intergalactic misfits, asking, “Who are you?” Should the Guardians land on our planet it will also be something of a homecoming – after all, Star Lord originally hails from Missouri. How much the planet has changed since he was last there in the 1980s will undoubtedly provide a great opportunity for humour and drama.
Gamora (Zoe Saldana)
It’s been a personal journey for the green-skinned warrior Gamora so far. Pitted against her adopted father Thanos and sister Nebula in the first Guardians movie, she then formed an uneasy alliance with the latter in last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Given it’s her adoptive parent raging war on Earth in the new Avengers movie, we expect Gamora will be experiencing all manner of emotional turmoil.
Groot (Vin Diesel)
Who would have thought a walking tree with limited vocabulary (‘I am Groot’) could prove so loveable? Vin Diesel voiced adult Groot in the first Guardians before the character regressed to infant stage in the sequel. However, basso-voiced Diesel is back to voice the teenage Groot (teased at the end of Vol 2.) in Infinity War.
Rocket (Bradley Cooper)
When Bradley Cooper’s career has ended, his smart-mouthed talking racoon will no doubt go down as one of his best roles. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn recently confirmed that his brother Sean Gunn would be returning in Avengers: Infinity War to do the motion capture for Rocket. We really want to see what this wisecracking racoon might have to say to somebody like Iron Man – it will most likely be comedy gold.
Drax (Dave Bautista)
While The Rock might well be the most successful ex-wrestler to make it in Hollywood, a case can also made for Dave Bautista. He’s had parts in Spectre and Blade Runner 2049 but it’s his amusing, almost childlike performance as irony-free physical specimen Drax that has been the most impressive in his career to date. Do we want to see him and Hulk have a conversation? Yes, we do.
Mantis (Pom Klementieff)
The blossoming romance between Mantis and Drax (if you want to call it that) was one of the most charming and funny things in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Are we getting more of their relationship in Avengers: Infinity War? We know Mantis is back as she briefly appears in the Infinity War trailer, so maybe it's a yes.
T’Challa/ Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)
Black Panther’s standalone movie is incoming, arriving in Cineworld on 13th February. That movie is poised to delve into both the noble character of T’Challa and his mysterious kingdom of Wakanda, and will lead directly into the events of Infinity War. We’ve already seen from the new Avengers trailer that a massive battle fronted by Captain America plays out in the Wakandan landscape, featuring no less than 40 primary characters. Here’s hoping it’s not completely obliterated.
Shuri (Letitia Wright)
Black Panther will mark the first appearance for T’Challa’s sister Shuri, and she'll then appear in Infinity War. According to Black Panther director Ryan Googler, Shuri’s science skills are on par with those of world-renowned science geniuses like Tony Stark.
Okoye (Danai Gurira)
She’s glimpsed heading into battle in Infinity War, and before that Wakandan warrior Okoye (pictured below left) is making her movie debut in Black Panther. She’s played by Danai Gurira who is no stranger to action roles, known to audiences for playing zombie-slaying Michonne in The Walking Dead. She is T’Challa’s bodyguard, and with Wakanada set to feature heavily in Infinity War, she might have a much more larger role than expected.
James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle)
War Machine had a pretty bad time in Captain America: Civil War, nearly dying when he was accidently hit by a blast from Vision during an intense battle. His injuries from his subsequent fall from the sky left him paralysed in his legs. His good friend Tony Stark built him a device that could help him walk again but it remains to be seen just how much he will have recovered by the time Avengers: Infinity War kicks off.
Falcon (Anthony Mackie)
In stark contrast to Captain America’s no-nonsense approach, his friend Falcon often displays a more rebellious attitude, as well as a witty sense of humour. It of course helps when you have a charismatic actor like Anthony Mackie on board to play him. During the events of Captain America: Civil War, Falcon stayed loyal to his friend and might very well be the guy who reunites him with Tony Stark in Infinity War.
Loki (Tom Hiddleston)
He was a raving, power-hungry lunatic in the first Thor and Avengers Assemble, before appearing to settle into a good guy role in Thor: Ragnarok, assisting step-brother Thor in the fight against evil. But, as already mentioned, he appeared to be once more tempted by the Tesseract, contained within the bowels of Asgard. The following shot from Infinity War shows Loki wielding it again, although he doesn’t look too happy about it. Has Thanos manipulated him with promises of power?
Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan)
Talking of characters who’ve been through a lot, Bucky’s had his fair share of upset. He died in Captain America: The First Avenger, was resurrected as an unstoppable force of evil in The Winter Soldier and then reverted to the side of good again in Civil War, becoming a fugitive hunted by the authorities. Going by the Infinity War trailer, Steve Rogers’ BFF is still firmly on the side of good, positioned at the vanguard of the Wakanda battle.
M’Baku (Winston Duke)
T’Challa’s Wakandan nemesis is yet to appear in the MCU – his first appearance will be in Black Panther. M’Baku is the leader of a gorilla-worshipping Wakandan tribe protesting rightful heir T’Challa’s rise to the throne. According to an IMDB tweet, M’Baku is also appearing in Infinity War, so clearly he's not going to die in Black Panther.
Taneleer Tivan/The Collector (Benicio del Toro)
An alleged footage leak in November 2017 appeared to confirm the return of del Toro’s Mugatu lookalike, the extraterrestrial oddbod who hordes all manner of intergalactic treasures. In the leaked scene, Thanos has invaded the Collector's museum, destroying many items in his attempts to obtain the Reality Stone, aka the Aether.
Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson)
She stole the show in the riotously funny Thor: Ragnarok and actress Tessa Thompson has confirmed (via Instagram) that boozy Asgardian warrior Valkyrie will feature in Infinity War. We’d love to see her and the likes of Tony Stark exchanging verbal barbs.
Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders)
This Bluetooth-loving, former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent was a close ally to Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury (who won’t be appearing in Infinity War or its 2019 sequel). Actress Cobie Smulders confirmed her return to the MCU during an appearance on chat show Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Nebula (Karen Gillan)
In an interview last year with Cinema Blend, Jumanji actress Karen Gillan confirmed that Nebula is not only appearing but will be getting her own BFF: "I promise you it's brilliant and unexpected and just so good... I don't know about any frenemies. She is on a clear mission, as everybody is, to deal with someone with a glove, and I think that is the most important issue."
Ned (Jacob Batalon)
Peter Parker's loyal high school sidekick has become famous for shattering his LEGO Death Star. But he'll be facing deadlier challenges when his and Peter's home city of New York is invaded by the evil Thanos. "He’s still gonna be his best friend," Batalon told website Inverse. "Peter might make him keep it [all] a secret however."
Now that's a lot of characters. Who do you want to appear in Avengers: Infinity War? Let us know @Cineworld. The movie is released on 27th April.
Andy Furlong is an Unlimited card holder who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.