After its release yesterday, the Avengers: Infinity War trailer seemed to break the internet. At the time of writing this, it has been watched over 47 million times and has stayed on the #1 spot of the Trending section on YouTube pretty much since it debuted. Out of those 47 million views, I personally account for at least four of five of those. I think it’s safe to say that people are a little excited. The trailer can be viewed here. (Update: That original number was only for the video posted by the Marvel Entertainment page. It has since reached 54 million on that individual video. However, Marvel announced that the trailer, across all platforms, has been viewed 230 million times, which is a new record.)
Avengers: Infinity War will be a culmination point of nineteen films across ten years. When Iron Man came out in 2008, it would have been almost impossible to imagine how far it would come. In fact, just The Avengers seemed almost impossible. If any of the five movies that came before The Avengers had been less successful, The Avengers might not have happened.
The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron are respectively the fifth and seventh highest-grossing films of all time. I think it’s almost certain that Infinity War will see similar box office success. There’s no guarantee it’ll be great – there’s a possibility that with all its characters and plotlines it will overwhelm the movie – but it will almost certainly be box office gold.
When I walk into Infinity War, I expect I’ll feel like a student walking into an exam, wondering if he’s studied enough. “What will I need to remember? Is Thanos’ relation to Gamorra and Nebula going to be important? Do I have to remember the relationship between Hulk and Black Widow? I don’t remember where they left Nick Fury, will he be in this one?” Obviously, the things I just listed aren’t particularly serious, but one has to wonder how many plotlines from previous movies are going to be relevant in Infinity War. Captain America: Civil War showed that there was a big rift between the Avengers, Thor: Ragnarok showed that the future of Asgard was uncertain… I expect that Black Panther, which comes out in February, will also have a few loose threads that Infinity War will have to pick up.
The cast is absurdly stacked, and this really comes through in the trailer. Think of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Pratt, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Vin Diesel, and a few others – most of these actors have enough star power to support their own blockbusters. This really seems like it’ll be the ensemble cast to end all ensemble casts. It almost makes me begin to worry if it’s too big for any of the actors to get any substantial screen-time.
But it’s hard to maintain these doubts after watching the Infinity War trailer. It’s all so thrilling. Josh Brolin looks much more imposing as Thanos than he did in his brief Guardians of the Galaxy appearance. The shot of the Wakanda Army riding over the hills looks visually delightful. And of course, the money-shot, Captain America, Hulk, Black Panther, Black Widow, and others running into battle.
There might be a chance that Inifinity War will reach a tipping point where it has too many great actors and too many individual plotlines to give enough time to. The idea makes me think of a sandwich with too much on it. But at the same time, people wouldn’t have thought a good Avengers movie was possible in the first place, but here we are. Marvel has good movies down to a science. We haven’t seen a so-so movie by Marvel Studios since Thor: The Dark World. We’ve never seen a movie in this series that’s been truly bad. That’s seventeen consecutive movies – I don’t think it’ll stop with Black Panther, and I certainly don’t think it’ll stop with Avengers: Infinity War.
All images are from the Avengers: Infinity War trailer and are copyright of Marvel Studios and the Walt Disney Company