Infinity is on the horizon.
Marvel Studios has announced the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War will debut Wednesday, bringing together the far reaches of the comic book universe, from the earthbound Iron Man and Black Panther to the far-off Guardians of the Galaxy and every hero in between.
The announcement came with significant hype via a video compilation of fans freaking out over past Marvel teasers. The actual teaser will debut Wednesday during Good Morning America on ABC.
Avengers: Infinity War debuts May 4 and is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who are veterans of the Captain America franchise with The Winter Soldier and Civil War. But Infinity War presents one of the biggest challenges yet — uniting dozens of characters in a single story about the universe being threatened by cosmic death-dealer Thanos (played by Josh Brolin through motion-capture techniques).
Throughout the Marvel films, infinity stones have been a common MacGuffin — that object or device that fuels the plot of a story. There’s one embedded in the forehead of Paul Bettany’s Vision, another within the time-shifting medallion around the neck of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, and another — the glowing blue Tesseract cube — that was last seen catching the eye of Loki in Thor: Ragnarok.
That movie, the most recent of the Marvel films, ended (SPOILER WARNING) with Thor and Loki’s massive ship full of Asgardian refugees being dwarfed by the Sanctuary II, a gargantuan destroyer controlled by Thanos.
A new poster was also released ahead of the trailer, which you can see below.
As we await the upcoming reveal, here’s a look back at some of the secret, unreleased footage teased this summer by Marvel at Disney’s D23 Expo:
It’s the end of the world. Or at least, it could be the end of the one Marvel has been building for a decade.
Thanos shattered Disney’s D23 Expo as it concluded with the first footage from Avengers: Infinity War. The video wasn’t released publicly, but here’s a rundown of what fans saw in the hall …
The titanic villain, played by Josh Brolin, has been teased since the post-credits scene of the first Avengers movie in 2012, and next May that threat will be fulfilled.
The footage begins with the Guardians of the Galaxy emerging from lightspeed into a field of what looks like asteroids and red gas. Something large was once in this sector of space – a planet, maybe? Now it is gone. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Now we know it’s the wreck of Thor’s ship.]
“Okay, Guardians, don’t forget this might be dangerous, so let’s put on our mean faces,” Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord tells his compadres.
Out of nowhere, a creature thuds against their windshield. It’s Hemsworth’s Thor. Unconscious. Beaten to hell. “Wipe it! Wipe it! Get it off!” Rocket Raccoon shouts.
The Guardians bring in the stranger, and Mantis revives him with a whispered “Wake …” “Who the hell are you guys?” Thor asks the motley crew.
From there, it’s rapid-fire imagery. We see Tom Hiddleston’s Loki standing amid destruction and offering up the Tesseract as a gift — presumably to Thanos, who has been his covert ally since that first Avengers film.
There’s also a shot of Tom Holland’s Spidey-sense tingling. The hair on his arms rises while he reads on a school bus – then he’s in the gold-laced suit that Stark offered him at the end of Homecoming while standing alongside Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and the Guardians during a Thanos attack on a wasteland of some kind. Earth? Somewhere else? (Let’s hope so.)
Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange strike defensive poses in another montage of introductions. Then Thanos emerges from a smoky portal as Brolin’s voice-over purrs: “Fun really isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe. But this … does put a smile on my face,” the space-tyrant says.
“I know what it’s like to lose, to feel so desperately that you’re right, and yet to fail all the same,” Thanos goes on, as we see a tearful Spider-Man apologizing.
“Run from it,” Thanos says. “But destiny still arrives.”
We see that the villain already has two stones in the Infinity Gauntlet, which offer him phenomenal powers even without the others. (The two stones went by quick, but it appeared to be the blue Tesseract, or Space Stone, from the first Captain America, and the purple Power Stone, which was the orb from the original Guardians of the Galaxy.)
We see him on the surface of a blighted world, drawing a moon or another celestial object into the atmosphere of the realm where he is battling the Avengers, ripping chunks of it free as they streak toward the battle like cannon fire.
It’s definitely the end of that world. Wherever it is.