The ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Blu-ray Barely Acknowledges ‘Avengers 4’ Exists
The longer the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone, the more it has codified a set of rules that each of its movies follows. Almost every one ends with an animated credits sequence; each typically follows that with a post-credits scene, then the rest of the credits, and one final tag, along with a “_______ Will Return” card. If you buy the Marvel Studios Blu-rays, you know that almost every single one includes an “exclusive look” featurette about one of the next MCU movies about to arrive in theaters. The Iron Man 3 Blu-ray includes a sneak peak at Thor: The Dark World; the Thor: The Dark World disc features a glimpse of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The most recent Marvel Blu-ray, Black Panther, featured footage from Ant-Man and the Wasp.
One might assume that the Avengers: Infinity War Blu-ray would have one of these exclusive look at Avengers 4, given that both movies were shot at the same time, and that the latter is a direct sequel to the former and is due in theaters in less than a year. Surprisingly, it doesn’t. In fact, the Infinity War Blu-ray barely even acknowledges that Avengers 4 exists.
Obviously, this is part of a larger strategy of hiding pretty much everything about Avengers 4 from public view. On August 13, 2018, just 263 days before the release of the film on May 3, 2019, we do not have:
- An official subtitle for Avengers 4.
- A teaser for Avengers 4.
- A trailer for Avengers 4.
- A poster for Avengers 4.
- Any details about the plot of Avengers 4.
- A clue of how Avengers 4 will make sense of Infinity War’s cliffhanger
By contrast, Marvel unveiled an early teaser for Infinity War way back in 2014, 1276 days before the film’s release. Less than a year away from Avengers 4, we still don’t even know what to call the thing. For a company that is about as good as any in the history of Hollywood at teasing its audience about its endless stream of product, this is both surprising and very unusual.
I didn’t expect the Avengers: Infinity War Blu-ray to reveal most of that stuff, but I did expect it to at least try to whet fans’ appetites for the big Phase 3 finale. (It’s worth mentioning here that Marvel has an additional film coming before Avengers 4, Captain Marvel, and there’s basically no mention of that movie on this Blu-ray either.) There’s no sort “exclusive look” or sneak preview of any kind. And the other special features hardly touch on the subject either.
Joe and Anthony Russo’ introduction to the movie mentions that they shot Avengers 3 and 4 back-to-back over the course of the year. Their commentary track includes a brief reference to their love of “misdirection” regarding Avengers 4 questions, and in addressing the way some characters have smaller roles in Infinity War they note that they have two movies “to play with,” which yielded some character arcs that are “unconventional.” Over the post-credits scene, they also acknowledge it’s meant to imply that “help may be on the way” for our heroes. Then they close the track with the sign-off that they’ll see us next year.
That’s it. No clips, no photos, no interviews, no larger references, no big clues or Easter eggs. This Infinity War set is nicely put together, and the commentary does let the Russos outline their approach character and story. But if you buy this thing looking for broader insights into Avengers 4, or how Infinity War was assembled with that one in mind, you’re going to be disappointed.
I get not wanting to reveal anything about Avengers 4 before Infinity War came out; supposedly the official title was an Infinity War spoiler. But ... the movie came out four months ago? The Blu-ray is in stores this week! Everyone involved deserves kudos for preserving Infinity War’s surprising ending this long. But at this point I’m not sure what they’re waiting for. We’re now in a level of secrecy that J.J. Abrams would find excessive.
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