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For years, we’ve watched Thanos try to secure the six Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe via his minions. Not only were these efforts unsuccessful, but he also lost the one he already had during The Avengers (the Mind Stone, contained in Loki’s scepter). Fortunately for the Mad Titan, he’ll finally collect his precious artifacts in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movies. In the comics, Thanos achieved this near-invincibility in the 1991 miniseries The Infinity Gauntlet, but fans shouldn’t expect a close interpretation of this storyline.
Although the movies will use the framework of The Infinity Gauntlet, directors Joe and Anthony Russo told ScreenCrush that the Avengers: Infinity War movies will be making significant changes so that they can make it work within the MCU. Joe Russo said:
You use the content as your inspiration, but we’re telling a very different story than they were telling in the books. We have different characters, our characters are in different places, our interpretation of the characters is different than their interpretation. So, I think what’s nice is that we can use it as an inspiration and it sparks a cultural conversation because everyone is aware of the title. It’s our job to payoff and to service the story telling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Much like other comic book storylines adapted for movies, there was no way the Avengers: Infinity War movies were going to match The Infinity Gauntlet perfectly. For one thing, some of The Infinity Gauntlet’s players, including the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer, belong at 20th Century Fox, so there’s no way they can contribute to the MCU. There’s also been no confirmation if Adam Warlock, the being who guided the heroes in the original storyline, will have a presence in Avengers: Infinity War, though we did see a cocoon that looked like his from the comics in Guardians of the Galaxy. However, some of the basic elements will still be intact, like Thanos being able to manipulate most, if not all, of reality.
Right now, little is known about the Avengers: Infinity War movies (which, according to the Russo brothers, will eventually be retitled). Various Earth-based heroes, from Iron Man to Scarlet Witch, have been confirmed to return, and at least one Guardian of the Galaxy will also be participating. All that’s certain is that following the failure of his lackeys, Thanos retrieved his own Infinity Gauntlet at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron and set out to collect the Infinity Stones himself. Eventually he’ll succeed in his mission, leaving the MCU heroes desperate to figure out how to defeat someone with the powers of a god.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 arrives in theaters on May 4, 2018, and Part 2 will follow on May 3, 2019.