Marvel’s magnum opus, Avengers: Infinity War, recently began filming. Heroes will come together from across the Marvel Cinematic Universe to confront Thanos and the might of the Infinity Stones. Casting announcements have been met with fervor over the past few months, with seemingly every hero accounted for. Here are some Marvel mainstays that look to be sitting this fight out–for now.
Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist hold down the fort in Marvel’s version of Hell’s Kitchen. The group tackles street level crimes and generally exists in a more realistic interpretation of the MCU. By the time Infinity War premieres, the group will be six months removed from their own Netflix team up. Regardless of their past success, their powers may not lend themselves to battle against a fully-powered demigod like Thanos. Despite fans’ desires, the biggest speed bump keeping The Defenders from joining their movie counterparts could be scheduling. The Defenders began filming in late last year in New York City. If filming lasts longer, Marvel’s small screen heroes could miss their chance to make the jump to the big screen.
Lang showcased some impressive new macroscopic powers in Captain America: Civil War. Lang was forced into hiding following his alliance with Steve Rogers and has little incentive to join the battle against Thanos. Paul Rudd can make the most of what time he’s given even if Ant-Man is relegated to a cameo appearance in Part 1. This interpretation of the character was established as a family man searching for redemption. He was enlisted in the Civil War by Falcon out of what appeared to be hero worship. Unless Thanos threatens Lang’s family personally, there’s a strong chance Ant-Man sits this fight out.
Hope van Dyne/Wasp
Marvel has confirmed that they’re saving Wasp‘s full reveal for Ant-Man and the Wasp. Van Dyne was arguably more suited to the mantle of Ant-Man than Lang himself. Her learning curve should be less than what Lang went through in Ant-Man, so she can join the fight sooner. However, it makes little sense for her to fight Thanos after sitting out the conflict in Civil War. With Hank Pym also unconfirmed for Infinity War, there are few places where an appearance by Wasp would make sense. Count on her to be heavily featured in Part 2 after the full powers of the Wasp suit are put on display in her namesake sequel.
The Russo Brothers indicated that the plot of the upcoming Black Panther will directly set up the events of Infinity War. Black Panther‘s involvement will be largely contingent on where the plot of his film leaves off. T’Challa proved in Captain America: Civil War that his primary agenda is defending his homeland. He joined Iron Man‘s crusade against Steve Rogers out of a desire for vengeance. Black Panther has no reason to join the fray unless Thanos threatens Wakanda specifically. One wild card that could draw T’Challa into the battle is that Bucky Barnes is currently rehabilitating under Black Panther’s protection. With Sebastian Stan confirmed to be returning for Infinity War, the chances of the King of Wakanda tagging along stand at about 50/50.
Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
The first heroine of the MCU with her own film. Carol Danvers is the result of human genes mixed with DNA from the shapeshifting Kree. The Captain Marvel story occupies the same corner of the film universe as Guardians of the Galaxy. Danvers’s cosmic powers make her the perfect ally in the fight against Thanos. Since so much of the tone and even specific storyline of Captain Marvel are up in the air, her place in the war can only be speculated. With fellow cosmic heroes like the Guardians of the Galaxy already making an appearance in Infinity War, it’s a safe bet that Danvers will participate in some way. Fans should expect her appearance in Part 2 since her standalone movie premieres three months before the Infinity War conclusion.
Howard the Duck
The biggest wild card in the MCU. One that fans never expected to see on any list of Marvel cinematic heroes. We last saw Howard escaping the confines of the Collector‘s museum when Guardians of the Galaxy concluded. Howard’s knowledge of Quack-Fu, combined with his latent mystical abilities, could provide the unexpected final blow against Thanos. In fact, Infinity War could prove to be a massive precursor to Joss Whedon’s triumphant return to the MCU as writer/director of Howard the Duck 2. Anything is possible.