When Marvel drops Avengers: Infinity War, it’s going to be a big deal. The two-part adventure will serve as a culmination of year’s worth of building in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and may feature as many as 60 or more superheroes. But before we get there, the line up of the Avengers may change in a very big way.

At the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, it’s clear that the roster of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is going to be different moving forward. Tony Stark and Hawkeye are out, Thor is on his own quest, Hulk is missing in action, and a new generation is stepping up. Talking at a Wizard World New Orleans (via ComicBook.com), Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War co-director Joe Russo called the process "cyclical," and said that moving forward we’re going to see new characters, including those who have been secondary players up to this point, step forward and take over center stage. He added:
We're focusing on that right now with Infinity War while we're breaking into those movies, is which characters can we pull to the forefront who potentially haven't had their own 'A' story arc to this point. I think you'll see that the supporting Avengers are going to become primary Avengers.

It makes sense that this is how the MCU is going to develop. Up to this point the likes of Iron Man and Captain America have been at the forefront of the majority of the movies, and though they’ll both be front and center in Captain America: Civil War, after that the emphasis will be different. New characters like Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man (new to the MCU anyway) will all get their own solo movies. And as far as the Avengers go, at the end of Age of Ultron, it becomes clear that new additions like The Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon will all take on more prominent roles in the group—and we know that Ant-Man will be showing up in the future as well.

As much as we all love Iron Man and Captain America, as time goes on, it’s getting harder and harder to give them new movies and make those stories feel fresh. We don’t want them to go away completely—and by all accounts, they’re not going anywhere—but a shift in focus will be a breath of fresh air. Part of why Guardians of the Galaxy was so welcome—aside from the fact that it’s a total blast—is that it is something so different from everything else in the MCU.

From Joe Russo’s words, it sounds like they’re trying to bring a new perspective to the Avengers team, and this is something that a lot of fans will appreciate. It’s nice to shake up the status quo from time to time.

Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 opens everywhere May 4, 2018, while Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 follows a year later on May 3, 2019.

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