Expect Thanos, But Not 66 Other Characters, in 'Avengers: Infinity War'

Josh Brolin as Thanos - H 2014
<p>Josh Brolin as Thanos - H 2014</p>   |   Marvel Studios
Screenwriters walk back speculation about the number of heroes in the next 'Avengers' movie.

Despite earlier teases to the contrary, audiences shouldn't expect the two-part Avengers: Infinity War to feature almost 70 different Marvel characters, according to screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

Talking to The Huffington Post, the writers — who wrote next month's Captain America: Civil War in addition to the 2018/2019 Infinity War duology — clarified comments made earlier this year by Infinity War co-director Joe Russo that the massive story had "a board with 67 characters on it."

"That number comes from the fact that that's everyone who's already been introduced" in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Markus explained. "If you line up all the characters who are available to use from the prior Marvel movies, it racks up to about 60-something characters, let alone the new ones you could bring in."

McFeely added, "We had our office filled with cards of everybody who was alive and available, and the [Russo] brothers came in and went, 'Whoa.' So that doesn't mean that everyone is [in the movie], you know, there's not going to be 67 lead parts."

One character who definitely will play a lead role, the writers confirmed, is Josh Brolin's Thanos, who'll finally get his time in the spotlight after cameo appearances in Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron. "He’s never been the main character in that way, so giving lots of good screen time to Thanos is paramount and pretty fun," McFeely said.

"There’s an aspect of, you know, people know what’s coming, so our challenge is how best are we going to handle this somewhat known quantity," Markus said. "But also he’s barely been touched on. He’s at about 20 seconds of screen time [so far]."

Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 is scheduled for release May 4, 2018.