“There was an idea, to bring together a group of remarkable people to see if they could become something more. So when we needed them they could fight the battles that we never could.” Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Furry originally uttered these words in Avengers. Fury’s words spurred the Avengers over their individual hang-ups and united their morale to fight the unwinnable fight. These words return to us in evocative fashion through the new Avengers: Infinity War trailer.
Nick Furry begins the quote, but other MCU heroines and heroes finish it – the Avengers are still united. Alan Silvestri’s “The Avengers” (the only iconic music in the entire MCU!) plays softly behind the words and images of the first shots of the trailer. These shots match the tone of the music: intimate and delicate. We see Tony Stark in a posture of prayer, Vision and Wanda in romantic embrace, Thor standing in isolation, and Bruce and Natasha lock eyes. The Avengers are united, but are also fragile. What happened to earth’s mightiest heroes? Perhaps it has something to with the words and images that follow next.
Thanos, the highly anticipated MCU villain, takes center stage in the trailer with his own voiceover. With intensified theme music that breaks through the fragile Avenger’s music, Thanos heralds the imminent defeat of the Avengers, and this threat is felt across all four corners of the universe: from Dr. Strange’s Sanctorum, to the World of Wakanda, to Peter Parker’s school grounds, and into deep space with The Guardians of the Galaxy. This threat brings together the new faces of Marvel and draws older ones out from the shadows. This is not just the potential end of the universe—which we’ve seen plenty of times—but the potential end of the MCU.
While Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feigie, promises closure in the untitled Avengers film in 2019, Avengers: Infinity War promises to, at least, give us a little taste of finality. By commencing with the Avengers theme music and putting almost every Marvel heroine and hero in frame, the trailer does its best to bring to imagination as many marvel films as it can so that we can feel the weight of what this film and its antagonist represent. Thanos embodies the closure people have found lacking in Marvel films, and in a slightly ironic he is aware of it: “you will know what it’s like to lose . . . dread it; run from it; destiny still arrives.”
Marvel Films are infamous for their incessant dosages of cliché humor, which Thanos also critiques, “fun isn’t something when one considers balancing the universe.” So in a way Thanos represents challenge to the diegetic heroes and a formal challenge to the filmmakers. Time will only tell how both will fare.