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Monday, December 04, 2017

Avengers: Infinity War Trailer

Avengers: Infinity War Poster

How did we get here?

In the late 1990s, Marvel Comics was growing tired of selling off the movie rights to their characters, only for no movie to be made.  So they hatched the idea for Marvel Entertainment.  Rather than simply license out their characters, they would provide the movie studio with a complete script, character designs, a director...essentially walk the studio through the pre-production process.  It was a success, with the strategy finally getting X-Men and Spider-Man on the big screen.

But it didn't take long for Marvel to start thinking that, if they're doing all this work, they may as well just make the darn movies themselves.  And so plans began to create Marvel Studios, a movie studio dedicated to making adaptations of Marvel characters.  As Marvel Studios' president Kevin Feige described the reasoning, "Yeah, we didn't have the rights to our heavy hitters like X-Men and Spider-Man, but we had the rights to Marvel's 800 other characters.  Could all of them sustain their own film franchise?  No.  But a lot of them could...."  Once financing was secured, Marvel held a panel at the world-famous San Diego Comic Con to announce the creation of Marvel Studios, and their first three films would be Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Ant-Man.

Marvel Studios made their entry with Iron Man in the summer of 2008, and it was a smash hit.  But the very first of those post-credit stingers got everyone buzzing, when Nick Fury appeared to invite Tony Stark to take part in "the Avengers Initiative."  Fans started salivating.  "Oh my God, are they really going to do The Avengers some day?"  I've heard conflicting stories.  Iron Man's director Jon Favreau said at the time that there were no plans to do The Avengers yet...he just slipped that in to be one hell of an Easter egg.  In publicity today, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says yup, it was the plan from day one.

Either way, it immediately became the plan.  Before 2008 was out, Marvel Studios had announced "Phase I."  Ant-Man was put on the back burner, replaced with Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, before all building up to The Avengers.  It was an announcement to get Marvel some serious respect in Hollywood...enough that they were snapped up by Disney in 2009.

And here we are.  It's 10 years later, Marvel Studios has almost 20 films to their name, and along the way, they created the new concept of the cinematic universe, where all their characters share the same fictional world.  Well, they didn't really create it, as many will say that Universal created it with their monsters back in the 30s and 40s.  In which case, then, we can say that Marvel Studio updated the concept quite well for the 21st Century.

The culmination of that 10 years of work is what brings us to Avengers: Infinity War.  Marvel Studios wants Avengers: Infinity War to be significant in 2 ways.  Firstly, 2018 will be the 10th anniversary of Marvel Studios, so Infinity War is to serve as their 10th anniversary party.  Secondly, they promise that it'll provide what many superhero film franchises rarely receive:  an end.  They keep telling us that this will provide a conclusion to what began when Tony Stark uttered those words, "I am Iron Man."  Does this mean it's the end for Captain America, Thor, et al?  We'll know when the film comes out this May.

A lot of the McGuffins in Marvel films -- the Tesseract in Captain America: The First Avengers and The Avengers, the Aether in Thor: The Dark World, the Eye of Agamoto in Doctor Strange -- have been revealed to be the fabled Infinity Stones.  These are gems of immense power, left over from the creation of the Universe, and to possess all six means to gain omnipotence.  And that's exactly why the alien warlord Thanos covets them, and comes to Earth looking for them.  To fend of Thanos, it's going to take the combined efforts of every hero the Marvel Cinematic Universe has shown us so far. 

This trailer just looks amazing.  As we can see, it looks as though a lot of it will take place in Wakanda, the homeland of the Black Panther.  At least, one of our biggest battles is going to be there.  This truly looks to be the biggest film Marvel Studios has put together so far.

We never thought we'd see this many heroes sharing the screen.  And now, here they are. 

Avengers: Infinity War hits theatres May 4. 

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