‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Joss Whedon Hints That Fans Can Expect More Villains Than Just Thanos

There’s still a bit of time before Avengers: Age of Ultron conquers the summer blockbuster field, but the hype machine is already starting up for Marvel’s mega-event, Avengers: Infinity War. Infinity War Part I won’t hit theaters for another three years, but Marvel scribe Joss Whedon is already shedding a bit of light on what Avengers fans can expect from what are likely to be the biggest movies of 2018 and 2019.

Ever since Thanos turned and grinned at the tail end of 2012’s The Avengers, fans have been wondering when they could expect to see Earth’s Mightiest take on the Mad Titan on the big screen. Thanos, though, has stuck to the background, content with delegating tasks in Guardians of the Galaxy and making no other cameos beyond that. Some expected that this summer’s Avengers movie would feature Thanos in some capacity, but those hopes were dashed when the title was revealed as Age of Ultron.

Marvel isn’t just going to tease its fans, though. Thanos is definitely on his way, and Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon apparently confirmed that the Avengers will be facing off against Thanos in the two Infinity War movies slated for release three summers from now.

“A lot of people were surprised that Thanos wasn’t the villain in Avengers 2, but he was never meant to be,” Whedon told Vulture‘s Kyle Buchanan (h/t: ComicBook). “He was always meant to be the puppet-master until he was done doing that, and then he’ll be the big villain they face off with.”

Fans of Marvel’s cinematic offerings will no doubt know that Thanos’ grand goal is to secure all of the Infinity Stones, artifacts of great power that, when assembled, imbue their holder with great responsibility near omnipotence. The Infinity Stones have appeared in numerous Marvel films, and it stands to reason that the two Infinity Wars movies will turn on those artifacts.

Whedon let slip, though, that Thanos might not be the only villain the Avengers will face by the time the Infinity Wars come around.

“Not solely,” Whedon continued, “I’m sure there’ll be plenty more [villains] in that monstrous epic, because one thing Marvel doesn’t do is string a story out into two movies that shouldn’t be two movies. They’ll give you two big movies.”

Just which villains can fans expect to see when it all goes down in the Infinity Wars? Beyond Thanos, Thor’s brother Loki has always loomed as a threat. There’s also the Red Skull, who was apparently destroyed by an Infinity Stone in the first Captain America movie. On that note, Guardians of the Galaxy‘s finale saw Ronan the Accuser also destroyed by an Infinity Stone, so he could well make a return as well. And nobody knows just yet what the final fate of Ultron will be at the end of Age of Ultron. Or perhaps Marvel will simply bring a whole slate of new villains from the comics to stand at Thanos’ side.

In any case, there’s still quite a while between then and now. Before Avengers fans can get to the Infinity Wars, they’ll have to get through the Age of Ultron, as well as standalone flicks focusing on Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. Along the way, we could well see the introduction of many new villains that could pose a threat when Infinity War Part I hits theaters in three years.

[Image via Marvel Comics.]