“We have so many characters we’re dealing with. We have a board with 67 characters on it.”
So said directors Anthony and Joe Russo when asked about the two-part Avengers: The Infinity War epic.
More recently they changed that initial number. “The movie features 68 distinct characters, not 67,” they added at Wizard World in Cleveland.
With Captain America: Civil War arriving in theaters on May 6th, it’s a good time to look even further ahead and try to figure out what we might expect from the movie that’s a culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe dating back to the end sequence of 2012’s The Avengers.
Now, we have to figure that the Russos aren’t cheating by, say, counting Iron Man and Tony Stark as two separate MCU characters, because they could do that, and they could do the same for The Falcon, War Machine and any number of other characters with alter egos as well. We also have to remember that having that many characters’ names on a board doesn’t mean they’ll be able to use them or fit them all in.
And it’s also very possible that the 67-68 number that they threw out there wasn’t entirely serious. But even accounting for that, the two Avengers: Infinity War movies will feature the largest cast of Marvel Cinematic Universe characters ever assembled. So we’re going to try to figure out which characters they’re talking about, assuming there’s none of that cheating we mentioned.
The Bad Guys
Obviously, Thanos will be the main villain for the movie so that’s probably the easiest MCU character to say will be 100% guaranteed to be in the movie. One down, 67 to go. Josh Brolin was cast in the role and first appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Last Seen: End credits of Avengers: Age of Ultron, swiping an Infinity Gauntlet.
Next Up: Good question. James Gunn said that Thanos wouldn’t be in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, so we might not see him until Infinity War: Part One, unless we get more end credit teases with him in Civil War or Thor: Ragnarok!
We know Thanos’ daughter will return for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 but without Thanos. While that movie may not be the actual lead-in to Infinity War, we can still assume that Nebula might be kept around acting as Elektra to Thanos’ galactic Kingpin.
Status: Likely. Nebula played a major role in The Infinity Gauntlet comic book, and while it’s unclear how much inspiration Infinity War will take from that story, it’s a safe bet that Thanos’ granddaughter will at least put in an appearance.
Thor’s half-brother and nemesis, played by Tom Hiddleston, will obviously be one of the main antagonists in Thor: Ragnarok, but if that ties into Infinity War, might he be on board for the ride? After all, it was Loki who first drew Thanos’ attention to earth and the Avengers with the Chitauri invasion. And Loki could easily fulfill the Mephisto role from the Infinity Gauntlet comics, as the charming and powerful being helping Thanos for his own ends.
Last Seen: Disguised as Odin on the Throne of Asgard at the end of Thor: The Dark World.
Status: Possible. Tom Hiddleston will probably continue to play Loki as long as Marvel wants him to. He recently made some comments that indicate his time with the character could come to an end in Ragnarok. That could be misdirection from the God of Mischief, though, because he later denied having said that.
There’s definitely the possibility of Thanos having more henchmen in the movie similar to how he used Ronan the Accuser in Guardians of the Galaxy. So far, no one has been announced yet as additional cast for Infinity War, but it’s also still early with two years before the movie’s release.
Then there’s the concept of Death as a character, something Jim Starlin introduced in the pages of Captain Marvel, and who became a love interest/obsession for Thanos in the pages of The Infinity Gauntlet, who sought his power in order to impress her.
The Original Avengers
There were rumors that the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron pointed towards the original Avengers introduced during Phase 1 being (wait for it) phased out. Whether it’s money, contract length, or actors simply getting tired of the grueling regimen required to play a superhero, things have to change eventually. If Marvel Studios is looking for an opportunity to give anybody a dramatic exit (Robert Downey Jr. will have been playing Iron Man for a decade by the time the first Infinity War movie hits), then this would be the right time.
Marvel Studios isn’t going to give up their main money draw that easily, though. Appearances in Captain America: Civil War (and possibly Spider-Man: Homecoming) mean that RDJ can take a less active role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and still remain a screen presence.
Status: Tony was last seen apparently retiring from superheroics at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Clearly, with Captain America: Civil War on the horizon, that wasn’t the case. In any event, he’s a safe bet for at least one Infinity War movie.
If Steve Rogers doesn’t make it out of Civil War or Infinity War Part One alive, there’s plenty of comic book precedent for his replacements. Both Bucky Barnes and the Falcon have picked up the shield in the comics, and they’d be well positioned to do it on screen. But even if that’s the case, surely Steve Rogers has to be part of the the Avengers’ biggest battle, right?
Status: Chris Evans has hinted he’d like to move behind the camera at some point, but Cap is still a safe bet for at least one Infinity War installment.
We don’t know what is planned for Thor: Ragnarok, although that title would seem to hint that things are coming to an end for Thor. But having a big galactic battle wouldn’t be the same if Thor wasn’t involved in some fashion even if he comes in to save the day during the second chapter. Ragnarok will be Hemsworth’s fifth outing as the God of Thunder, so Infinity War could wrap things up for him.
Last Seen: Having visions of Ragnarok during Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Status: Confirmed! Joe Russo recently said he’s “excited to work with Thor.”
At this point, Marvel Studios would be crazy to make an Avengers movie without the big green bruiser and there have been hints as recently as Age of Ultron that the Hulk might be going into space, either of his own volition or not. The Hulk is also supposed to appear in some capacity in Ragnarok, so there’s that big clue that we haven’t seen the last of Mark Ruffalo’s Dr. Bruce Banner.
Last Seen: Flying off to an undisclosed location in a Quinjet at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. How he ends up in Thor: Ragnarok is anybody’s guess.
Status: Mark Ruffalo has four movies left on his Marvel contract and that should be around at least through Infinity War. Rights issues with Universal currently prevent Marvel from making more solo Hulk movies, so expect them to get mileage out of him in Infinity War…and beyond!
While Black Widow isn’t exactly a hero you’d expect to be involved in an outer space galactic clash, Scarlett Johannson is still one of Marvel Studio’s most popular bread-winners, and they should want to keep her on board as long as possible. She’s also (at least until Carol Danvers finally makes her debut) the face of Marvel’s female superheroes.
Last Seen: Helping train the new recruits in Avengers: Age of Ultron. She’s still part of the team in Captain America: Civil War, too.
Status: Likely. Scarlett Johansson has also done more Marvel movies than most, having been introduced in Iron Man 2 and playing a major role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, along with the two Avengers movies. Unless Marvel does a solo Black Widow movie, she seems like a prime candidate to be phased out before or during Infinity War.
Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton is one of the Avengers who doesn’t seem to have fully reached his potential in the Marvel Cinematic Universe just yet. A bigger role in Civil War should help build his popularity.
Status: Likely. Pretty much in the same boat as Mark Ruffalo in terms of having more movies in his contract, and he seems to have enough room in his schedule.
Last Seen: Celebrating the birth of a new arrival in Avengers: Age of Ultron. He’ll be back for Civil War.
Whether they were introduced in one of the solo movies or in Avengers: Age of Ultron, these characters are all a big part of the Marvel Comics Universe and Marvel Studios will want to keep nurturing the characters even if they never get their own solo movies.
Anthony Mackie’s high-flying hero joined the Avengers in Age of Ultron and he’s generally very popular, enough to use him in Ant-Man as a carry-over into next month’s Civil War. Presuming he survives and doesn’t become Captain America himself (like in the comics), he’s a potential leader for the surrogate Avengers.
Status: Another safe bet.
A scene in the most recent Civil War trailer seemed to imply that maybe Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes might get killed during that battle. I’m dubious that he’s dead since War Machine is such a great visual character and, like Iron Man, would work well in any sort of outer space setting.
Status: Well, let’s see how Civil War turns out.
Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff was an important introduction in Age of Ultron, and we already know she plays a large part in Civil War. With her power levels, she’ll likely be an important part of the fight against Thanos in Infinity War.
There is no Avenger better suited to an intergalactic adventure and fight with Thanos than an android who can alter his density.
Vision is in possession of the Mind Stone, and in order for Thanos to assemble all of the Infinity Gems, he’s going to have to get through Vision. Vision could also fulfill the Silver Surfer role in this story, as the most pure-hearted (albeit faintly alien) and powerful character to oppose Thanos.
Status: Not confirmed, but he may as well be. The Vision’s continued place in the MCU and Infinity War is almost guaranteed thanks to the Mind Stone he wears on his forehead.
The Winter Soldier
Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes continues to play a bigger part in the Captain America movies and there’s a good chance he might inherit Cap’s shield and become a part of the Avengers. Also, in the comics, Bucky was at one point made the “Watcher on the Wall,” a sentry trying to protect the earth from alien invaders… like Thanos!
Status: Sebastian Stan has now been in all three Captain America movies, although there are indications he signed a nine movie deal with Marvel. We still have to see what happens with him at the end of Civil War.
Scott Lang has proven to be popular enough in Ant-Man that Marvel greenlit a sequel which brings in The Wasp. That movie will debut in July 2018, just two months after the first chapter of Infinity War, and while it might not directly reflect what happens in that movie, most feel that at least one of these two original comic book Avengers will be an official part of the team by the time they face Thanos.
Status: A safe bet for at least one installment.
Another integral part of the Avengers mythos is being introduced in Civil War and while we’ll have to wait until early 2018 before we see him in a solo film, it’s tough to imagine him not being part of one, if not both Infinity War movies.
Status: A safe bet. Recent Marvel Comics have re-established T’Challa as a primary Avenger, and he took part in another Thanos-themed crossover, appropriately titled Infinity. It’s safe to say that Wakanda isn’t his only jurisdiction.
This is where things get tricky. The new Spidey (Tom Holland) will be introduced in Civil War, and he has his own Sony-released movie in the summer of 2017. How far does this deal between Marvel and Sony go, and is Marvel allowed to use Spidey in their biggest epic to date? Recent comments by Kevin Feige indicate that Spidey is now “part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe” so it seems they have free reign to use him. Plus, there’s plenty of precedent in the comics these days for Peter Parker to hang around with the Avengers to take on bigger threats.
Status: That depends on how nice Sony and Marvel are playing with each other, but it looks good.
This is where it gets fun, because Pietro Maximoff was quite dead at the end of Age of Ultron. But Thanos has been coming after the Infinity Gems and one could easily resurrect him using the Reality Gem or go back in time and visit/revive him using the Time Gem. Thanos has quite a bit of “fun” resurrecting (and eliminating) people in The Infinity Gauntlet, so this could be an easy way to sneak another character in for an appearance.
There are a lot of reasons why Aaron Taylor-Johnson might not have gotten off easily with his Marvel contract and getting just one-and-done. Even if he is brought back, you can guarantee that the Russos and Marvel will try to keep it a secret for as long as possible.
Status: Well, he’s dead, so…
For the most part, if they have a movie on the schedule for Phase Three then we’ll probably see them make an appearance in Infinity War. Here’s what we’re looking at.
This long-time Marvel character will headline his own Marvel Cinematic Universe movie in 2016. While it should be a standalone film, it’s going to be another character introduced that can take part in the war against Thanos.
Doctor Strange was also a key player in the Infinity Gauntlet comic series, and is one of the few human characters in the MCU with the power levels to handle Thanos.
Status: Count on it.
Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
Considering that Marvel already has a movie in development featuring Carol Danvers with a release planned for March 2019, Infinity War may be the best place to introduce her to the MCU. Perhaps her origin story will be told in the course of Infinity War, allowing her to headline her own movie as a fully formed hero.
Carol’s introduction and the cosmic nature of Infinity War could lead to someone else joining the party, too. Carol’s superhero origin story is tied to that of Marvel’s first Captain Marvel, Kree soldier Mar-Vell. While he isn’t getting his own movie, Infinity War might be the place to lay the groundwork for Carol’s ascension. Assuming they use Mar-Vell as the gateway to Carol’s origin, this one counts as two entries.
Kevin Feige recently promised that casting for Carol Danvers, as well as an announcement of her solo film’s director, will happen this summer.
Status: Likely, but unconfirmed.
Similarly, we got a great tease for this popular Avenger at the end of last year’s Ant-Man and if she’s going to play a large part in 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp (coming out two months after Infinity War), we can see two of the original Avengers helping them take on Thanos.
Satus: Likely, but unconfirmed. If she’s not in Infinity War Part One, she’ll probably make her presence known in Part Two.
Marvel Studios is developing a movie featuring the characters first introduced in the Fantastic Four comics and who have been playing a larger part in the Marvel Comics Universe lately. We’ve seen Inhumans-related concepts getting the spotlight on Agents of SHIELD, too. But the TV Inhumans aren’t the marquee characters with the power to fight off Thanos or the legacy to be appealing on the big screen.
Thanos has familial ties to Inhumans royalty, so Infinity War might be the place to introduce characters like Black Bolt (and his brother Maximus the Mad), Medusa, Gorgon, Karnak, Triton Crystal, and even Lockjaw. A half dozen or so Inhumans helps us get closer to that magic 67-68 number, too.
Status: Possible, but unconfirmed.
Because of the size of this article, we had to break it up over a few pages. Hit the dropdown menu to explore more!
Guardians of the Galaxy
Let’s just presume that all of the Guardians will survive what James Gunn has planned for them in 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (seems pretty soon, huh?), and if that’s the case we’re likely to see most of them joining the Avengers to take down Thanos including….
Anthony Russo recently spoke to ComicBook.com and told them he and his brother are “big fans of what James Gunn has done. Star-Lord is a fantastic character and Chris Pratt is an awesome performer so you’d be very excited.”
Status: Looking good!
While Zoe Saldana’s Gamora hasn’t been mentioned, let alone confirmed, you have to figure that she’s as close to a sure thing as we’re going to get. Gamora is Thanos’ adopted daughter, so if there’s ever an opportunity for her to settle things with her stepfather, Infinity War would be the time. She’s sure to have more unfinished business with Nebula, too.
Drax has several things going for him that could mark him for inclusion in Infinity War. Dave Bautista’s performance helped make the character a fan favorite, Bautista is certainly under contract for several more Marvel movies, and Drax played a major role in the Infinity Gauntlet comics.
Groot and Rocket Racoon
Even if they aren’t major players in the story, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper wouldn’t have to take much time out of their schedules to record a few lines of dialogue if this odd couple were to swoop in to get their licks in on Thanos during one of the Infinity War movies.
Michael Rooker’s Yondu is back for the sequel, which makes sense since Yondu was one of the original Guardians. If he survives, he could lend a hand during one of the two Infinity War movies.
Status: Maybe a little less likely than the other Guardians we’ve mentioned so far.
This oddball character, played by Benicio del Toro, who appeared at the end of Thor: The Dark World and in Guardians of the Galaxy, is probably still kicking around. He’s a Titan, with ties to Thanos, and in the comics he’s the one who predicted Thanos’ rise to villainy.
Status: Possible. James Gunn just confirmed that the Collector isn’t in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but wouldn’t rule out him appearing in other Marvel movies. Any cosmic Marvel character could at least put in an appearance in Infinity War if the real world stuff (like contracts) lines up.
Howard the Duck
As unlikely as it may seem, in the comics, Howard has become a regular player in the Guardians’ world. And a CGI creation like Howard could easily put in a brief appearance (hey, the Russos said there would be a lot of characters, not that they’d all be major players!). You never know, some time in the future, someone could write the words “Howard Duck’s fight with Thanos.” Yikes!
Status: Unlikely. Then again, so was the prospect of him showing up in the MCU in the first place, so…
Pom Klementieff has joined the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Mantis. Trying to explain Mantis’ comic book history here would take up too much space in an already too long article. But she has done battle with Thanos alongside the Avengers in the past, and has had some flirtations with the Vision, as well.
Status: Well, let’s see how Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 turns out first.
Who knows how many others James Gunn might have waiting in the wings? Vance Astro, maybe? Starhawk or Martinex? Although the most recent Guardians team hasn’t been around in comics long, the history of the team goes back to the late ‘60s and there’s a lot of characters that could be revived for the second movie.
Agents of SHIELD
Again, this gets a little tricky. So far, there has been no sign of any of these SHIELD characters in the promotional materials for Captain America: Civil War, and it’s unlikely that any of the TV-specific Agents of SHIELD (like Daisy Johnson) would make it to the big screen in any case.
But if it’s all hands on deck for Infinity War, that could change…
Samuel L. Jackson’s former head of SHIELD was what started the initial road to the “Avengers initiative.” It’s been diminishing returns since The Winter Soldier, though. Fury played a much smaller role in Avengers: Age of Ultron and if he doesn’t appear in Civil War, it means that his storyline from The Winter Soldier was left unresolved.
Status: The lack of Nick Fury in recent Marvel efforts is a little troubling. It’s tough to imagine Marvel not involving the character who first told fans that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a thing not being involved in the culmination of all of this, though. Jackson himself just told Fandango that “I think I’m in Avengers 3 and 4,” so that’s a good sign!
Other than a few rare appearances on Agents of SHIELD and an inconsequential role in Age of Ultron, Cobie Smulders also doesn’t seem like she’ll be playing as big a part in the MCU even as Maria Hill is playing a much larger part in the comics these days.
Status: Possible. If SHIELD is going to make their presence known to the world again in a future film, then she’s a natural inclusion.
Status: Pending outcome of Civil War.
People who love Clark Gregg’s character are probably getting enough of him on the ABC show he leads, although Infinity War seems like a good time to bring him back to the team he helped create.
Status: Possible. Coulson deserves another crack at Loki after what happened to him in The Avengers. Fans would go nuts. Now, as for Coulson’s team…
Yes, we know that there have long been rumors of Kevin Feige wanting to keep the Marvel Television characters separate, even though they often use the show to help pimp whatever movie Marvel Studios is releasing at any given time. Because of this, it’s less likely that the Russo Brothers will be able to just throw any of these characters into Infinity War, but two in particular would be reasonable fits…
There are a lot of Marvel characters who could make the transition into the MCU, but this staple of Agents of SHIELD (and future star of Marvel’s Most Wanted) is probably the best example. Adrienne Palicki has big screen blockbuster experience (notably as Lady Jaye in GI Joe: Retaliation) and can handle the physicality of the role.
In the comics, Mockingbird has a long relationship with the Hawkeye character, as the two of them were even married for a while there. Of course, we learned in Age of Ultron that Hawkeye is married, so maybe the romantic angle isn’t the best way to look at this.
Deathlok got a new lease on life after his introduction on Agents of SHIELD and has since been reintroduced in the comics. This cyborg was originally created in the mid-70s but who has been through a number of different guises with one of the better incarnations being the one from the ‘90s.
Status: Like any of the Marvel TV characters, he’s unlikely, but he would at least make for a solid visual on screen.
There are plenty of other agents, both dead and alive, who were introduced in previous movies and on Agents of SHIELD that could theoretically be brought back for Infinity War, too, although that brings us to the next category, a group that probably has little place in a cosmic war.
Humans can be fun in comics and movies because it gives someone for the heroes and villains to interact with (or kidnap). But the MCU has a unique assortment of secondary characters who can provide technical or scientific support while the heroes do the punching.
Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan.
Where would Tony be without Pepper Potts? Well, we might find out. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Marvel contract apparently ended after Iron Man 3.
Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan only appeared in the Iron Man movies, and he probably has bigger fish to fry with his directing career.
Dr. Erik Selvig
This scientist, played by Stellan Skarsgard, worked with Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster in their studies of the phenomenon that brought Thor to earth. Mr. Skarsgard told our UK counterpart that “I have a five film deal with [Marvel], and they still have one option,” before clarifying that “Thor 3 is not on my slate,” but said “maybe the next Avengers” would fulfill that last obligation.
Status: Possible. And he brings the kind of technical knowledge the team might need to take on an intergalactic threat.
Natalie Portman won’t appear in Thor: Ragnarok. It’s unclear whether, as it is with Stellan Skarsgard, that another cinematic appearance is being saved for a future Avengers movie instead. She’s only appeared in two Marvel movies so far, and nobody knows how many she signed on for.
Michael Douglas’ retired Ant-Man has been kept around to act as a mentor of sorts to Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang. Aside from the technical knowledge of his own, he’s got ties to government agencies like SHIELD. Even a brief cameo will help illustrate the size of the threat in Infinity War.
General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross
Possibly one of the more interesting characters brought back to the MCU for Civil War is the bane of Hulk’s existence from the 2008 movie The Incredible Hulk, as played by William Hurt.
Status: You can’t have a planetary threat without calling in the military, so assuming he survives Civil War, we have a good chance to see him in Infinity War.
Everett K. Ross
Unless something has changed, there’s no relationship between these two, but Everett Ross, as played by Martin Freeman, appears in Civil War, presumably as an ally of the Black Panther as he is in the comics.
Status: Pending outcome of Civil War.
You can’t throw a cosmic party like Infinity War and not bring characters who, by definition, wield godlike power.
Sif was supposed to be Thor’s sweetheart on Asgard, that’s never been fully developed in the movies although she’s played a big part in both Thor movies so far. If one of these Infinity War movies ends up being Chris Hemsworth’s send-off as Thor, then a little closure would be nice.
Status: Jaimie Alexander is the star of Blindspot on NBC, which is already set for a second season. That might tie up her schedule and keep her away from Infinity War. Then again, if it’s only a brief appearance, it’s possible. Meanwhile, Sif has appeared on a couple of episodes of Agents of SHIELD and has yet to be confirmed for Thor: Ragnarok.
Last Seen: Appearing in Thor’s hallucinations in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Status: Possible. Idris Elba has been very busy doing other things but he’s likely to be in any movie that Thor is in. It will be all Asgardian hands on deck in Thor: Ragnarok, but again, that title would imply a fairly high body count.
The Warriors Three
While they’ve been in both Thor movies and likely the upcoming one, it’s hard to determine whether they might be worth bringing over to a full-on Avengers movie. They’ll be around for Thor: Ragnarok, though.
Status: Possible. Even Thor could use some help from his friends. First we have to see who survives Ragnarok.
We haven’t seen the All-Father since he was replaced by Loki at the end of Thor: The Dark World and we presume he’s dead, although there’s a general rule in the comics that if you don’t see the body, they’re probably not really dead.
Status: Anthony Hopkins, who played Odin in the two Thor movies, isn’t confirmed to return for the third so maybe Odin really is dead. This can be glossed over nicely since one of the key factors of the Norse Ragnarok is the death of Odin anyway, so maybe the Ragnarok of the film really began with the events of The Dark World.
Others that might transition from Ragnarok include some of the rumored characters like the Enchantress, or and Thor characters yet to be introduced to the MCU like Ulik and Surtur–either or both might appear in Ragnarok–as well as Thor’s other Asgardian ally Balder the Brave.
While Thanos will be the big bad guy in Infinity War, one nice thing about the Infinity Stones is that they can be used to change reality and travel through time which means that any characters from the MCU (even those that are presumed dead) can be revived.
If Captain Avenger is the “first Avenger” then that would make Hugo Weaving’s Johann Schmidt the first villain in the MCU. and even if he’s dead or very, very, very old, he could easily be brought back with one of the Infinity Gems. Let’s not forget that the Cosmic Cube in the MCU has already been set as one of them, and it was Skull’s obsession with the cube that led him to meet his untimely (and ambiguous) demise at the end of The First Avenger.
Status: Unlikely. Like nearly everyone, Weaving signed a multi-picture deal with Marvel. But something tells us that if we were going to see him again, there would have been a hint of it in one of the Captain America sequels. We can hope, though.
Chalk this one up as being not terribly likely but not out of the question considering how easy it would be to insert him into a scene. Plus, he’s a large part that of Captain America’s problems in the comics, and it’s probably hard to kill a sentient computer or whatever he is. Maybe we’ll even get the cool Jack Kirby designed body one day!
Strucker was introduced during the opening sequence in Avengers: Age of Ultron as the wielder of Loki’s spear–an MCU prop that just won’t go away, especially since we’ve learned that it’s also one of the Infinity gems. Sure, he’s dead, but Thanos will wield the power to bring characters back to life when the stones are all assembled, so if he’s looking for a villainous army, Strucker could rise again.
Status: Unless Thomas Kretschmann signed on for more than one movie and Marvel wants to exercise that option, this one is unlikely, too.
Odin’s enforcer only appeared in the first Thor movie and hasn’t appeared since, but we know perfectly well that it’s going to take a lot more than what was thrown at him to not have him return for Thor: Ragnarok.
Status: Possible, but unlikely. This is a character that isn’t tied down to any real world concerns like contracts, so it would be easy to have him show up in a battle scene.
He’s back for Civil War, although honestly, the character played by Frank Grillo is lucky to have survived The Winter Soldier, so if he’s still around by Infinity War, Hydra need to give their agent a really nice bonus.
Status: Pending outcome of Civil War.
The Wish List
So now we get to the really fun part, new characters from the Marvel Universe who don’t have movies of their own announced or haven’t been cast, but would be great additions to any galactic or cosmic adventure. We’ll keep this to the more reasonable scenarios. For example, Venom will not be taking on his galactic persona as he does in current comics because Sony is still trying to figure out a way to make a movie with him that doesn’t relate to Spider-Man.
It wouldn’t be a Thanos story without Adam Warlock, so you have to imagine that Marvel will make this happen in time for Infinity War. Guardians of the Galaxy members Gamora and Drax both have history with Adam Warlock, and there even seemed to be a cocoon (similar to the one from which Warlock emerged) in the Collector’s museum in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
James Gunn is a fan of Adam Warlock, and has hinted that the character could show up in Infinity War. “You guys gotta wait and see,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “But, you know, you can’t — everything’s going to be different in the Infinity Wars.”
Status: While nobody has officially breathed a word about his inclusion yet, this is probably a safe bet.
We’ve already seen the Nova Corps introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy, and there’s a new younger version of the character appearing a lot in the recent comics universe, so it would make sense for the character to be brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Status: Possible. Whether they decide to use the Richard Rider or Sam Alexander or an entirely different version of the character is another story.
Moondragon has been closely linked to the Avengers, to Thanos and to the Guardians of the Galaxy in comics, so she seems like a possibility. She’s another character with reason to hate Thanos, as he killed her parents.
Status: Unlikely, but you never know.
Captain Universe is less of a character than a cosmic entity that empowers other characters, whether they’re a normal human or a superhero. Captain Universe might be a little too high concept for the MCU, but it does give creators a lot of options on how the character can be used in the movies, as well as lots of possibilities for big FX scenes using the captain’s cosmic powers. And it’s also the kind of thing that counts as a character that doesn’t necessarily need an actual new actor or contract attached to it.
Status: Unlikely, but it would be a lot cooler if it wasn’t!
Nobody knows exactly where the Spider-Woman rights stand in relation to Sony these days. But even setting her costumed identity aside, Jessica Drew is a character who pals around with Carol Danvers, so a big screen introduction in Infinity War could make some sense. She’s been a key member of recent Avengers teams, too. The same teams that have included other newly minted Marvel Cinematic Universe stars like Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and, yes, Spider-Man.
Status: Unlikely, but expect Marvel to make a big deal if they do decide to bring in Jessica Drew.
Photon aka Pulsar aka Spectrum aka Daystar
Monica Rambeau was Marvel’s primary Captain Marvel in the ’80s and ever since, she’s had an even bigger identity crisis than Carol Danvers (what is it with these lady Marvels and the name changes?) Monica was the leader of the Avengers for a time, and with her energy based power set, she’d look great on the big screen. While nobody knows who Tessa Thompson just signed a multi-film deal to play a mystery role in Thor: Ragnarok (rumors suggest Valkyrie), she could be a good fit for Monica Rambeau, too.
Status: Unlikely… unless we hear otherwise about Tessa Thompson’s new Marvel Cinematic Universe role. Speaking of which…
Rumors have been swirling about Valkyrie’s inclusion in Thor: Ragnarok almost since the project was first announced. This may or may not be Tessa Thompson’s role in the film, too. If any of this is true, and if she survives Ragnarok, she’d be a good fit for Infinity War.
This one gets tricky because the rights to the Silver Surfer are currently at Fox along with the Fantastic Four (which they botched thoroughly twice now). Most Marvel fans would probably like them to give some of the characters to Marvel Studios, and the one hero who seems perfectly suited for Infinity War is Norin Radd. After all, the Surfer played a large part in the original Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War comics, the latter by the then Silver Surfer creative team of Rons Marz and Lim.
Status: Extraordinarily unlikely, thanks to pesky lawyers.
This one is pretty tricky. Universal Pictures had the rights to Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, the king of Marvel’s version of Atlantis (and not to be confused with Aquaman). In the comics, Namor has had a big connection with the Fantastic Four, but was also part of the Invaders with Captain America, and the original Human Torch (who had a background cameo in Captain America: The First Avenger). Namor has been spending time as part of Marvel’s Illuminati, a secret braintrust of superhumans that includes Black Panther, Black Bolt, and Tony Stark, and they’re considered the first line of defense against Thanos-level threats.
Status: Namor would be an amazing addition to the MCU but right now, and Kevin Feige has made some noises indicating that there’s something cooking with Universal, but we’ll say that this is highly unlikely with very low odds of happening.
At this point, we’re just going to disqualify all of the Netflix Marvel heroes with apologies to Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, The Punisher, Elektra and Iron Fist. If the Russos manage to convince Kevin Feige or Jeph Loeb to use any of them, they’ll probably make cameos at best since most of the actors will be pretty busy filming their various television shows since they’ve all been fairly successful. They’re about to have their hands full with The Defenders going into production in late 2016 or early 2017 anyway.
If we remove all those TV characters from the equation, there’s still plenty of galactic and cosmic characters that might appear in an Infinity War movie from Ego the Living Planet (rumored to be in Guardians of the Galaxy 2), The Gardener, Infinity and many, many more, so maybe the Russos will surprise us with a few of them. There are also secondary characters from Guardians of the Galaxy like Glenn Close’s Nova Prime who may still be kicking around, and that would help them up the numbers they need to reach the reported “Infinity War 68.”
To wrap things up, I’m going to put it out there that Marvel Studios really need to bring Rick Jones into the MCU, since he is one of Marvel’s classic characters who seemingly has been forgotten despite his pivotal role in the origins of the Marvel Universe in the comics (as luck would have it, he’s just been reintroduced in the latest Marvel Comics event “Stand-Off”).
With connections to Captain America (Jones once subbed as Bucky), The Hulk (Jones was responsible for the Hulk’s origin in the comics and became one himself), Captain Marvel (Jones was alter ego for the original hero!) and the Avengers, Jones seems like a character that would help Marvel Studios keep their superheroes grounded, and I’ll even offer a suggestion for his casting… the amazingly talented and underrated Jason Ritter!
And I’m also going to keep pushing for an appearance by the Serpent Society in the Marvel Cinematic Universe until my dying breath, but that’s a topic for another article.
Got any ideas for who you think can, will, or should show up in Avengers: Infinity War? Let us know in the comments!