The latest trailer for Marvel Studios’ upcoming Avengers: Infinity War was jam-packed with new scenes, new character interactions and, at long last, a decisive explanation of Mad Titan Thanos’s (Josh Brolin) ultimate goal. But that is only the beginning of the details the new trailer offered: here are five of the most compelling elements it revealed.
As the trailer opens, the voice of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) tells us – and at least a few characters – that Thanos has only ever had one goal: annihilate half the universe to bring it into balance. In what appears to be a marriage of scenes between moments on the Milano and at the Sanctum Santorum, she also reveals the assembled Infinity Stones could allow Thanos to achieve his goal with a snap of his fingers. She also tells Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) the name of her adoptive father; a big shift as Thanos has always been the unseen opponent of the Avengers.
With Thanos controlling the Space Stone (the Tesseract from Captain America: The First Avenger and Marvel’s The Avengers) and the Power Stone (from Guardians of the Galaxy), Tony announces a plan to bring the stones currently on Earth to one location. The Mind Stone is known to all as the item recovered from Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) scepter and which is currently lodged in Vision’s (Paul Bettany) forehead. But the trailer suggests Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will reveal that the Eye of Agomotto is the Time Stone. In fact, he might learn about the Eye’s origin during Gamora’s speech.
Because Avengers films are as much about the characters interacting as they are massive battle scenes, the trailer offered a glimpse of something Guardians fans have been waiting to see: Tony and Chris Pratt‘s Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord) finally meeting. The moment does not disappoint with Peter trying to have his two cents and failing. But in response to the guy’s doofiness, the usually talkative Tony can only conjure an exasperated “wow.” Will Iron Man be finally bested in the quip arena by Star-Lord? We subsequently see Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and Doctor Strange meet, which leads to a gag about superhero names. What other unlikely meet-ups will the film offer?
While concept paintings of Thanos’s Black Order debuted at Comic-Con last summer, the trailer was the first clear appearance of the characters in action. In the moments before Thanos shatters the Tesseract to claim the Space Stone, we can see Loki flanked by the group, which included Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight, and Cull Obsidian. But we later see Ebony Maw trapping Doctor Strange in some sort of crystal prison — an homage to Maw’s role in Marvel Comics’ 2013 “Infinity” storyline, the group’s debut appearance. Reportedly, the CGI characters will be voiced by well-known actors, but Marvel has declined to identify them.
In recent statements, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has suggested some of the characters may not survive their encounter with Thanos. The trailer definitely backs this up with the villain apparently telling Tony “I hope they remember you,” a shot of the Mad Titan squeezing Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) skull, and that shot of Captain America (Chris Evans) pushing back against Thanos’s gauntleted hand. Considering Downey has played Tony for 10 years – and the fact Tony creates as many problems as he solves – a noble sacrifice may not be the worst end for him. Thor’s demise would be more tragic as the remains of his people would be left without a world and a leader, not to mention the fact the just got a spiffy new character makeover in Thor: Ragnarok. And Cap? Well, we know Cap can do this all day, so Thanos may be surprised to find the abilities of the Space and Power Stones will not be enough to make Steve stay down. Or, just maybe, that’s exactly what it will take to best Captain America.
But there are so many little glimpses and hints that leave the mind reeling. The moment with Cap and Thanos clearly shows the Mad Titan only has two stones when the Wakandan battle begins. Since the re-assembled Avengers have two of their own, that leaves one important question: where the heck is the as-yet-unseen Soul Stone? Also, where has The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) spirited away to with the Reality Stone? And for all the big things we know, key small details – like how the Avengers reconcile – remain unknown. Then again, after nearly ten years of secrecy, certain elements of Marvel’s first big Cinematic Universe conclusion should remain secret until the film debuts on April 27.