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Needless to say, there are going to be spoilers in this article, so only proceed if you want to know some secrets.
Usually, when a new Marvel Studios film prepares to reach theaters, fans can brush up on what to expect by visiting their local comic book store. Subtitles like Age of Ultron and Civil War pulled enough recognizable elements from their source materials of the same name that if you wanted to fill in some gaps, the comic books were a great place to start either before or after seeing the MCU movie adaptation. This likely won't be the case for Joe and Anthony Russo's Avengers: Infinity War, for while Thanos has graced the pages of numerous important Marvel stories over the years, co-stars Chadwick Boseman and Mark Ruffalo told CinemaBlend that the books aren't really guiding the movie this time, for a specific reason. They told us:
Mark Ruffalo: This one, we're in new territory, really.
Chadwick Boseman: It's different in this one, I don't know how to explain it. It's just because we're in so many different places.
Ruffalo: And it's so different from the comic books. There's elements that are clearly the same, but when you really start to get into the story, everything changes. I did... Planet Hulk was a big influence for Thor 3, and the idea, the inkling of World War Hulk starts to... I read (that) way before doing this, and there's some interesting stuff in there, but honestly nothing so far directly related to this. ... [Infinity Gauntlet] is informative as well, but then again, it just gets so off of that topic that it starts to become a little confusing, where you're like 'Why isn't this in there? Why are we doing this?'
Boseman: It actually takes away from what is actually happening in front of you I think, in this case.
In a way, that makes sense. At the time of the Marvel Comics bringing Thanos to light and eventually pitting the Mad Titan against Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the books were developing different storylines that wouldn't line up properly with what the MCU is doing. Key figures like The Fantastic Four are not available for this fight against Thanos, as well, do directly adapting the comic-book storyline isn't an option.
At the same time, the MCU is very deliberately setting up plot developments in its earlier films, and using Avengers: Infinity War to establish events that will carry on into Captain Marvel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Guardians of the Galaxy 3. The needs of the MCU are different from the whims of the Infinity War comic books, and so -- as Chadwick Boseman and Mark Ruffalo point out -- following that story note for note and beat for beat can actually take away from what the team is trying to accomplish in this massive film.
Is that the right call? Will purists of the Marvel Comics series be annoyed by the changes? Or will Avengers: Infinity War advance the MCU towards its pending culmination in a proper fashion? We will know as soon as the movie opens in theaters on April 27. We will have PLENTY more from the set in the days and weeks to come. In the meantime, bookmark our Upcoming Marvel Movies guide to stay up to date on all of the latest MCU happenings.