With Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther on the horizon, the final pieces are falling into place for the first part of Marvel Studio’s big two-part culmination of the MCU’s first three phases, Avengers: Infinity War. After teasing Thanos as the ultimate big bad throughout the MCU mythology, Infinity War is poised to finally put Josh Brolin‘s crazy powerful villain in the spotlight as he goes toe-to-toe with every damn hero in the galaxy on his quest to collect the Infinity Stones.
That means Thanos is going to have to purloin those stones from some mighty powerful superheroes, as Infinity War filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo explained in a new interview with CNET. Asked about their affinity for subverting genre, Anthony Russo revealed that Thanos not only has a big role to play, he’s almost a lead in the film, and his story takes on tones of a heist film as he hunts down the powerful infinity stones.
“With “Infinity War,” the biggest new element to the movie is Thanos and the fact that he’s entering the storytelling in a very bold, strong way, to the degree that he’s almost one of the leads. We’ve shaped an interesting narrative around him that in some ways leans heavily on a heist film in the fact that he’s going after the infinity stones in a much bolder, successful way than he has in the past. The entire movie has that energy of the bad guy being one step ahead of the heroes. We looked at a lot of movies that had that heist-style energy to them, [and] that brought some inspiration.”
Marvel’s already dipped their toe in the heist genre with Ant-Man, but knowing the Russos previous films in the MCU and the life-or-apocalypse stakes of Infinity War, it’s probably safe to assume this one will have a whole different tone. The Russos touted 70s spy thrillers as the influence for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and while that undercurrent helped shape the structure of the Cap sequel, it was definitely more of a tint in the broader Marvel palette than a direct spin on that genre. I’d expect the same to be true with Infinity War’s heist element.
If you need a refresher, here’s the status of the stones at the moment.
- The Time Stone was introduced in Doctor Strange and is currently sitting pretty in the sorcerer’s Eye of Agamotto, where it has been safeguarded by the Kamar-Taj for centuries.
- The Power Stone popped up in Guardians of the Galaxy and was briefly wielded by the Thanos-employed Ronan before the Guardians reclaimed it and handed it over to the powers at Nova Corp.
- The Space Stone, contained in the Tesseract, was the first Infinity Stone introduced to the MCU and was returned to Odin’s Asgardian vault after Avengers. Of course Thor: Ragnarok returns us to Asgard where the pesky Loki is on the lose (not to mention Hela), so stay tuned.
- The Reality Stone, aka The Aether, was glimpsed in Thor: The Dark World, placed in The Collector’s vault. What happened to it after the vault was blown the eff up in Guardians remains to be seen.
- And of course, there’s the Mind Stone, which is currently giving Vision life after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and is certainly poised to be an emotional mic drop moment if Thanos reclaims it.
- Finally, there’s the Soul Stone, which has the insane power to control the souls of the living and the dead in the comic. We haven’t’ seen it in the MCU so far, so your guess is as good as anyone’s, though Black Panther seems a prime place to introduce it if they don’t want to have to do that heavy lifting in Infinity War.