How 'Avengers: Infinity War' & 'Avengers 4' Connect But Aren't A Two-Parter

We don't see Marvel undergo very many drastic changes with their films, at least not publicly, but it was hard to miss how they recalibrated on Avengers 3 and 4.  Right around the time of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel revealed their plans for Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 & 2, which would hit theaters in May 2018 and May 2019.  Awesome. But in the time since they have moved away from that plan, making sure to differentiate between Infinity War and whatever Avengers 4 turns out to be.

So what's the deal? While on set talking with a group of film journalists, co-director Joe Russo talked about directing both movies back-to-back, making them distinct, and yet still closely related...

“...t’s simply the same thing in the way that ‘The Winter Soldier’ relates to ‘Civil War,’ and the way that ‘Civil War’ relates to ‘Infinity War.’ These two movies will also relate, there’s a narrative thread that is connecting these films, but at the same time, there’s an independence in terms of what the experience is or where the story goes. It isn’t a true two-parter, and I think the two-parter concept came back when Marvel decided they were going to culminate the MCU, it was going to be a two-movie deal. But as we developed the movie, in execution, it ended up being more of two singular expressions.”

He would go on to use the example of the final Harry Potter novel which was split into two movies. It's an inexact comparison, though, since Avengers 4 won't necessarily feature the same group of characters. It's widely expected that many of the original Avengers will perish during Infinity War, leaving a new group of heroes to continue the battle against Thanos.

“We always try to make each film different so they don’t get repetitive. This kind of serialized storytelling, outside of ‘Harry Potter’ which was a distinctive story that was told over that eight movies, you have to keep evolving. You have to keep evolving who’s at the forefront, how you’re laying the story out, because I think rigor mortis will set in very quickly. So for us, we absolutely are very, very particular about who carried the ball on this movie, and who will carry it on this movie because each character represents a different theme, each character has different wants, and that can shape and color and re-tone an entire film depending on who you’re following. Especially in stories this big.”

Avengers: Infinity War opens April 27th.