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New Avengers film promises action spectacle, darkest villain

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In October 2017, 80 actors and filmmakers assembled in secret at Marvel Studios headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. They sat for arguably the most star-studded class reunion picture in history.

Every major actor and filmmaker from 10 years worth of Marvel movies was there. The photo was taken to mark the 10th anniversary of the release of “Iron Man,” the film that launched the Marvel Universe.

But back in 2008, no one knew where “Iron Man” would lead. As production wrapped and the creative team prepared for its debut, director Jon Favreau was hopeful but had his doubts.

“I know that I’m proud of it,” he said. “I know that we’ve done everything we can. I really don’t know how people are going to react to this thing. This could be anything from a flop to a moderate single, or something that is beyond people’s expectations. You never know.”

“Iron Man” went on to gross half a billion dollars worldwide and its haul at the box office would be dwarfed again and again as audiences proved they could not get enough of the Marvel movies.

This weekend, the summer movie season kicks off with the release of the third film in the Avengers series, “Avengers: Infinity War.” It will play at Westwood Cinema and is expected to dominate the competition.

The film boasts more than 30 prominent actors and is a virtual who’s-who of the Marvel Universe and Hollywood favorites. It brings together the casts of “Iron Man,” “Captain America,” “Thor,” “Black Panther,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and, of course, the previous Avengers movies.

“Infinity War” will not be the last Avengers film, but it might be the last one with all the major characters. As such, Directors Joe and Anthony Russo know expectations are high.

“The stakes will be higher in this movie than they’ve ever been,” Anthony said to

The implied hint, and the rumor creating so much buzz in the Marvel fan community, is that one of the main characters of the franchise will not survive the third installment.

Fans believe the unlucky hero will either be Iron Man or Captain America. They are employing the classic Old West trope, “this town ain’t big enough for the both of us.” They think one will have to go, but there is certainly no indication from the filmmakers that a central character will die at all.

Part of the debate swirls around the arch villain that arrives in this film, Thanos. He is the darkest, most destructive bad guy in the Marvel Universe thus far and many fans believe in the quote from wrestler Ric Flair: “To be the man, you’ve got beat the man.”

In the case of Thanos, if he wants to be the most evil villain, he has to do something to earn the title. His goal in the film is to wipe out half of humanity, and to do so, he must acquire the six Infinity Stones. They will give him unstoppable power. The Avengers unite all their armies to stop him.

The epic war for possession of the stones promises to be the most action-packed spectacle in the Marvel Universe yet filmed, but it won’t be the last.

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