In case you hadn't noticed, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown to be rather enormous. Spanning across 17 films, the franchise has introduced audiences to a seemingly endless collection of fantastic characters -- and most of them are expected to appear in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. To the film's credit, many of these individuals make at least a quick showing in the brand new trailer that was released earlier today, but if you paid attention, you probably noticed that there were some key players that were left out of the footage.
Going second-by-second watching the new trailer, we plucked out a list of 11 characters who are expected to be in The Avengers: Infinity War but don't actually appear in the trailer. You can rewatch the amazing preview for the May 2018 blockbuster below, and then continue on for our list of missing stars.
Unlike the rest of the characters who will be featured on this list, at least Nick Fury has SOME presence in the trailer for The Avengers: Infinity War. The former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the very least does get the very first line in the footage, heard repeating the opening of his famous, "There was an idea" speech from The Avengers. However, the rest of the speech is read by various other principal stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Nick Fury never actually shows up at any point in person. The character was last seen at the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but we don't really know what he's been up to since then -- living the life of a man thought to be dead. Given the key role he's played in the franchise to this point, Infinity War surely has a special part carved out for him, but Marvel is not yet showing any of their cards.
This one is a real bummer. As key as Nick Fury was in assembling the Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye was an actual member of the group, and yet gets no screentime in this first Avengers: Infinity War trailer. Along with Captain America, Falcon, Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man, Clint Barton is expected to be a fugitive at the start of the film, having violated the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War, but he apparently isn't one of the heroes hiding out in Wakanda, and beyond that we're pretty clueless about his status. It would make sense that he would try and find a way to get back together with his family after Cap freed him from The Raft, but we'll have to wait until more footage arrives to get any kind of confirmation.
Full disclosure: it's entirely possible that Paul Rudd's Ant-Man actually is in The Avengers: Infinity War trailer. There might be an entire army of insect-sized heroes and villains on screen, but we can't see them because they aren't given any kind of specific focus. That in mind, however, we never actually see Rudd's face or the character in action, so we're just going to say that he's missing. It's noteworthy that Ant-Man is going to be the star of the movie that's being release just a few months after Infinity War -- Peyton Reed's Ant-Man & The Wasp -- which could ultimately have a significant effect on the role he plays in the Avengers blockbuster (assuming he has a role at all). If you'll pardon the pun, it might just have a small part in Infinity War that gets expanded in 2019's untitled Avengers 4.
Evangeline Lilly's Wasp is in the exact same position as Ant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with her starring role in Ant-Man & The Wasp arriving just a few months after The Avengers: Infinity War -- but her situation is also a touch different. The superhero alter ego of Hope van Dyne was hinted at in the first end credits scene of Peyton Reed's Ant-Man, but has yet to make her debut on the big screen. If Marvel is saving this reveal for their third 2017 blockbuster, Hope/Wasp may only have a very limited part to play in Infinity War, assuming she shows up at all. Either way, it explains why she doesn't make any kind of appearance in the first trailer for the May release.
The Nova Corps
A showdown between Thanos and the Nova Corps is pretty much inevitable at some point in The Avengers: Infinity War. As seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, the intergalactic police force has spent the last few years as the keepers of the purple Power Stone, and that certainly puts a target on their back when it comes to Thanos' mission to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet. We get a hint of that specific conflict in the trailer, as the Mad Titan is shown to be in possession of the special ingot, but we don't actually get to see anything from the battle he must have won to get it. In the same way that the Guardians team was held until the final moments of the clip, it's possible that Marvel is holding on to the bulk of the space-set material until the second theatrical trailer.
At the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Karen Gillan's Nebula has her opportunity to become a member of the titular team while fighting against the powerful Ego -- but winds up taking a separate path from the group when she announces her mission to find and kill her "adoptive" father, Thanos. This fully explains why she isn't featured in the final shot of the Avengers: Infinity War trailer alongside Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, and Mantis -- but unfortunately that leaves her totally missing from the footage. We currently have no idea what Nebula has been up to in the four years since we last saw her, and while the character has been confirmed to appear in the Joe and Anthony Russo-directed blockbuster, it seems that Marvel is keeping her whereabouts a closely guarded secret for now.
Based on the first end credits scene in Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok, Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie won't exactly be resting in a hammock sipping cold drinks when we next see her. Instead, she may very well be facing down some serious danger, as it looked as though the ship she was on (along with Thor, Loki, Hulk and the entire population of Asgard) was about to be attacked by what's been speculated to be Thanos' ridiculously-sized transport, the Sanctuary II. Marvel may be saving this bit of serious drama for future trailers or possibly the big screen -- explaining why Valkyrie doesn't appear in The Avengers: Infinity War footage. After all, it's not entirely outside the realm of possibility that the Mad Titan could seal her fate in the opening of the blockbuster -- which would be a seriously dramatic way to start the show.
Cobie Smulders' Maria Hill is one of the few Marvel Cinematic Universe characters who has co-existed both in the movies and on television, but as of now her status in The Avengers: Infinity War is a bit up in the air. She's certainly be staying busy, both getting a job in the private sector working for Stark Industries, and working with Nick Fury to assist the Avengers in Sokovia, but we haven't seen her in action since 2015. Her key part in the franchise to date should certainly give her a part to play in the battle against Thanos, but for right now there aren't any hints regarding what that part will be. Hell, maybe she'll be back together with Nick Fury, which would explain their shared absence.
In the Avengers: Infinity War footage that was shown at San Diego Comic-Con and the D23 Expo this past summer, fans were treated to a special shot of Zoe Saldana's Gamora looking pretty terrified while standing in the destroyed remains of The Collector's lair on Knowhere. Sadly, the moment didn't include any of Benicio Del Toro's colorful, eccentric character, and neither does this first trailer. We know that he will ultimately be involved, has he is the guy who has been charged with protecting the Aether a.k.a. the red Reality Stone, but it seems that Marvel is keeping him out of the marketing for now. Like the case with the Nova Corps, this is an extension of the fact that the first trailer is basically exclusively Earth-based, so it's possible that we will get to see the Elder of the Universe in the next trailer that's released in a few months' time.
While we haven't seen an Iron Man movie since 2013, it actually hasn't been that long since we last saw Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, during her cameo in this summer's Spider-Man: Homecoming, we may have witnessed her engagement to Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark. We don't yet have full confirmation if this actually went down yet, partially because Pepper doesn't appear in the Avengers: Infinity War footage. We know for a fact that the character will be featured in the movie, but it's noteworthy that there are so many big faces to feature in this two-and-a-half minute spot that even someone as big as Paltrow didn't make the cut.
All of the characters we've discussed so far have been well-established in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia is the exception. We won't actually be seeing the Wakandan warrior in action for a few months now, as she will be making her big screen debut in Ryan Coogler's Black Panther. So why have her on this list? It's because the Avengers: Infinity War trailer not only features a surprising amount of footage set in Wakanda, but also multiple shots of Danai Gurira's Okoye -- who is a part of the Dora Milaje with Nakia, serving as the Wakandan king's personal bodyguards. That in mind, Nakia's absence is notable -- though it's certainly possible that Marvel is working to avoid spoilers for their next blockbuster release.
WATCH: Avengers Infinity War Full Trailer