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Avengers: Infinity War is being built up as the biggest superhero movie ever made, being the culmination of years worth of movies and featuring a catalogue of characters that could make up a small army. Marvel Studios has obviously been teasing that a ton of characters are going to be in this movie, but with all these characters in the toy chest how exactly do Anthony and Joe Russo pick which ones to play with? Not every major hero in the MCU can feasibly be in this movie, and at the end of the day the Russos have to pick the ones who best service the story.
The Russo Brothers are charged with the daunting task of assembling not one but two colossal Avengers movies which will be filming back to back. The two have no shortage of characters to choose from, and the directing duo recently spoke with IGN about how they are putting this movie together. On the subject of cast, the Captain America: Civil War directors were asked if they pick character based on personal preference or if the story makes that decision for them. As it turns, out the answer is that it takes a mixture of both.
That's pretty much the best way to approach this. It's a disservice to a character and actor if they are just there to add bodies to the shot. For example, if Falcon isn't adding anything to the battle with an all powerful spaceman, then maybe he shouldn't be present. It's very satisfying to hear that the majority of these decisions are story based, because probably the biggest fear surrounding these two movies is that they are going to buckle under their own massive weight.
Of course, the Russos aren't saying there will only be a limited number of characters in the film. They've previously discussed how characters who may not have gotten a huge arc yet could get their time to shine in Infinity War or Avengers 4. This means that characters we're already really familiar with, like Thor or Iron Man, can shuffle off to the background a bit. Those titans are still helping out, but the spotlight won't necessarily be on them. This method also means that you could afford to have a lot of characters on screen while still servicing the larger story; there's a difference between a character just being in the background and having a small arc.
Avengers: Infinity War can't come soon enough and the movie begins filming this December with a release date of May 4, 2018.