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Needless to say, there will be spoilers in this article, so stop reading now if you want to go into Avengers: Infinity War knowing nothing.
For years, ever since the first Avengers team up movie, Marvel Studios has been teasing the pending arrival of Thanos (Josh Brolin). The "Big Bad" appeared in the end-credits scene of Avengers, proving to be the catalyst behind the Chitauri attack on New York City. And yet, for just as long, the MCU also has teased the existence of the Infinity Stones -- various powerful forces that, when harnessed together as part of the Infinity Gauntlet, would give any one person unlimited powers and resources. By the time we reach Avengers: Infinity War, the Stones are in different locations, and Thanos will be road-tripping through the galaxy to acquire them. But on the film's set, screenwriter Stephen McFeely explained that picking up each Stone will lead to serious consequences for the characters in the MCU, elaborating:
They're still spread out. Remember, one of our jobs -- we're big structure guys. So if you go back and look at Winter Soldier and Civil War particularly, they are -- whether you like the movies are not -- they're pretty well structured. Big choices have been made. We had to do the same thing here, and yet, we had six MacGuffins. It can be relentless, if you do this right.
Which means, every time you collect [an Infinity Stone] -- I don't mean to get into the screenwriting weeds -- but every time you collect one, it can't just be a check mark. It has to do something 'characterful.' It's got to move the plot forward, but it also has to [have] stakes, and cost, for literal characters at the time, so that it's not just a shopping spree. And I think we've done that. And boy, we're going to wrench some emotion out of each and every one of those moments that we can.
We think we know what this means. But for real, if you made it this far and still have a bone to pick with spoilers, you have to STOP reading now, because we are going to get into some huge speculations based on things we have seen in the Avengers: Infinity War trailers.
There are two Infinity Stones that we see in Thanos' gauntlet in the trailers. The blue Space Stone (the Tesseract), and the purple Power Stone. Screenwriter Stephen McFeely says that he wants emotional weight to come with the acquiring of each Stone, and that likely means the death of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) when Thanos takes the Tesseract from him -- thereby giving Thor (Chris Hemsworth) some serious motivation to stop the Mad Titan.
Then there's the red Aether, the Reality Stone, which currently sits with The Collector (Benicio del Toro). We've heard rumors that a set used for Infinity War showed the Guardians walking through the ruins of The Collector's lair. Does Thanos decimate it, and possibly kill The Collector off? Also, the Nova Corp from the Guardians of the Galaxy films have the Power Stone, and I can imagine Thanos and his Black Order leaving them in shambles by the time he retrieves it.
Finally, we know that Vision (Paul Bettany) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) have two Stones, themselves. So how safe do we think they are, with Thanos on the hunt?