Recently, the internet has been abuzz about a comment made by Joe Russo made at Wizard World New Orleans about the number of characters that may be appearing in Avengers: Infinity War. The co-director of the two-part epic stated:
“We have so many characters we’re dealing with. We’re breaking ground on Avengers: Infinity War. We have a board with 67 characters on it.”
Russo’s comment has triggered responses from plenty of sites, many of which took it as an opportunity to voice concerns about over-crowding. While headlines like “Will AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Feature 67 Main Characters?” may generate plenty of clicks, it seems to be a misinterpretation of what Russo actually meant.
First, it’s worth considering that Russo was exaggerating when he threw out the number 67. Sarcasm and hyperbole don’t always translate well through text, so without hearing his tone during the comment, it’s hard to tell whether Russo literally meant 67 characters or if he was just using the number to represent “a lot”.
Still, assuming he was being literal, the comment doesn’t have enough information to provide cause for concern. Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 is still over two years away, so the list of 67 characters is more than likely a list of characters that could appear in the movie, not the ones that definitely will. And even if all –or most– of those 67 characters do make it into the film, there’s absolutely nothing to suggest that they’ll be “main” characters.
To demonstrate how reasonable a list including 67 characters over two movies actually is, let’s look at another big Marvel movie. If one was to make a list of characters that might appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron, including the main characters, the side characters, the villains, and the characters that could have made an appearance, it’s entirely conceivable that the list might include 40 or more characters. It would have to include The Abomination and Captain Marvel, who were both considered at various stages of the film’s development, as well as Agent Coulson and the rest of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. team, who technically could have shown up in Sokovia. Add in the minor characters, like Helen Cho, Madame B (the supervisor from the Red Room in Black Widow’s vision) and Costel (the Sokovian kid who basically killed Quicksilver) and the list starts to become pretty lengthy.
While there’s absolutely no doubt that Avengers: Infinity War will be enormous, Joe Russo’s comment doesn’t really provide much information without more context. And despite what many may fear, it definitely isn’t proof that Marvel has finally bitten off more than it can chew.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 is set to release on May 4, 2018 with Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 following on May 3, 2019.