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Excitement is building for next year's Avengers: Infinity War, the Hollywood blockbuster that promises to unite every Marvel superhero developed on the big screen over the last decade. Set photos have clearly shown Thanos and the Black Order launching a devastating attack on Earth, with Doctor Strange and the Vision in their sights.
One of the reasons fans are so excited about Infinity War, is because the film will bring together the Earth-bound and cosmic strands of the #MCU. As a result, we'll see the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers come face-to-face, and we're all thrilled to imagine just what Tony Stark makes of a talking raccoon!
But here's the intriguing question: with Thanos launching an all-out invasion of Earth, how much of the movie will be set in space?
Joe Russo Gives An Answer
#Marvel Studios put on a spectacular show at #SDCC2017, and in the aftermath, press got the chance to put questions to Infinity War director Joe Russo. CinemaBlend asked how much of the film would take place on earth, and Russo's response was intriguing:
"A good amount. It's a lot of different narratives driving towards each other. A lot of different characters, so you have to tell a lot of story. And it's a good mix between space and Earth."
It makes sense for Infinity War to explore a range of settings. After all, Thanos is pursuing the #InfinityStones. While many of the Infinity Stones are or have been located on earth, there are several other cosmic settings Thanos will have to visit if he hopes to complete the Infinity Gauntlet. One is currently being kept by Benicio del Toro's Collector, a character who believes there's going to be some sort of cosmic catastrophe, and is attempting to preserve unique creatures and artefacts. Ironically, he's probably right; Thanos is coming, and the Mad Titan certainly counts as a cosmic catastrophe in his own right. Unfortunately for the Collector, his idea has placed him at the center of the impending galactic disaster, with Thanos set to attack in force in order to acquire the Aether. The Russos recently revealed that Infinity War will see the power of the Reality Stone unleashed, while the SDCC footage included a scene in the Collector's lair.
Another Infinity Stone, the Power Stone, is currently on the planet Xandar. The home of the Nova Corps was ravaged by Ronan, but was saved by Star-Lord and the Guardians of the Galaxy. The sequel has clearly established that the entire galaxy knows Star-Lord wielded an Infinity Stone without harm, and that makes Xandar top of the list of Thanos's targets. He's sure to attack Xandar in force, and the footage from SDCC clearly showed Thanos battling the Avengers while in possession of the Power Stone.
Earth Will Be The Main Target
We know that Thanos will also acquire the Space Stone, as one scene from the SDCC footage showed Loki presenting the Tesseract to Thanos. But that means the remaining Infinity Stones are mostly on Earth; that's why set photos have shown the Black Order attacking both the Vision and Doctor Strange. Chris Hemsworth has recently teased that we're soon going to see the Soul Stone in play, and most fans believe it's going to appear in Thor: Ragnarok. That said, it's very possible the Soul Stone is also on Earth, as we're expecting a major battle between the Black Order and the forces of Wakanda. Given Thanos has only one objective — acquiring the Infinity Stones — there's only one reason he'd attack Wakanda in force.
With at least two Infinity Stones currently on Earth, and possibly three, our world is a major target. We've already seen Thanos's forces invade once before, in 2012's The Avengers, but this invasion promises to be much more focused. Earth's champions are his target, and the Infinity Stones they bear.
According to Joe Russo, Infinity War will strike a careful balance between Earth-bound and cosmic plots. That makes sense; Thanos seeks to acquire the Infinity Stones, and only two or three of them are on Earth. It's likely that several of Marvel's greatest heroes will ultimately find themselves headed into space, taking on some of the galaxy's most dangerous villains. With our heroes stepping on to the galactic stage, we're in for a thrilling film.