Warning: This post contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.
A lot of Marvel movies feel more like extra-long episodes of TV than they do traditional cinema, but Avengers: Infinity War in particular seems to be the MCU’s most TV-like volume yet. The film cuts between five different plots and locations like an episode of Game of Thrones, and it ends on a cliffhanger that would rival any Battlestar Galactica season finale. Fittingly, then, we’re going to treat this movie the way we treat a particularly engrossing installment of prestige TV — with a list of questions Infinity War has left us pondering.
Did anyone on the Asgardian refugee ship survive?
We spent much of Thor: Ragnarok falling in love with Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, Taika Waititi’s Korg, and Korg’s best friend Miek. Now … they’re all dead? Or maybe only half of them are dead? (For a guy who talks so much about wanting to kill only half the people, Thanos kills all the people a whole lot of times.) I guess they could come back from the dead like everybody else, but then where do you draw the line?
Why didn’t our heroes kill Thanos when they had the chance?
Flash back to that fight on Titan. Mantis has Thanos in a mind trance, and instead of trying to kill a guy who has made it clear he wants to wipe out half of the galaxy, our team instead decides merely to try to take his fancy glove off. There is a perfectly obvious Doylist reason why they didn’t, but I’ll give a Marvel No-Prize to the person who can explain the characters’ reasoning for not killing Thanos then and there.
Similarly, how much of the film’s conclusion was foreseen by Doctor Strange as the only way to stop Thanos?
Before that confrontation, Strange runs something like 14 million permutations of the fight with Thanos. So, how much of what came next was part of his plan? All of it? Some of it? Only the part where he gave Thanos the Time Stone and let half the people in the universe die? If that’s the case, why not immediately hand Thanos the Time Stone and let him go about his business?
Was Peter Dinklage’s performance … supposed to be like that?
Theory one: Since Dinklage spends all of his screen time in the Thor story line, he’s giving an operatic, over-the-top performance on purpose. Theory two is too distressing to contemplate.
Will any of the deaths stick?
My colleague Kyle Buchanan explores this question in more detail, but while it’s clear that some of the heroes who die at the end of Infinity War will come back to life (you don’t plan for Black Panther 2 if your titular monarch is staying a pile of dust), will all of them be reincarnated? What about the people who died earlier, like Gamora and Vision? And were the constant hints that Loki wouldn’t come back from the dead this time a red herring, or an indication that Tom Hiddleston is indeed moving on to bigger, better (and potentially Bond-er?) things?
How many of the survivors do you think will survive the next Avengers film unscathed?
Chris Evans has given plenty of interviews over the years about his desire to move on from Captain America. Meanwhile, after a decade of the actor barely taking any non-Marvel roles, Robert Downey Jr.’s IMDb page is slowly getting filled with other projects. Mark Ruffalo presumedly would love to devote more of his time to the fight against fracking. Besides Black Widow, whose solo project seems to be getting going, will any of the O.G. Avengers survive their next outing?
Will Ant-Man and the Wasp take place before or after the ending of Infinity War?
If you thought The Leftovers was dour, just imagine a world where 50 percent of the population, not 2, disappeared in an instant. Now try to imagine a silly caper comedy set in that world. It’s hard! Based on the sunny vibe of the film’s trailers, then, it seems likely that the Ant-Man sequel will probably not take place in strict sequential order with Infinity War.
How will Captain Marvel come into play?
Infinity War’s post-credits scene seems to hint that Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel will play some sort of role in the next Avengers film. Which is interesting, because the solo Captain Marvel film, which comes out a few months before Avengers 4, will be set in the 1990s. Will we see Larson in This Is Us makeup, or will there be a Captain America–style frozen-in-time thing going on?
Finally, what will the title of the next Avengers be?
Personally, I’ll be fine with anything — I’m just happy we’re getting an Avengers movie where they’re actually avenging something.