In October 2014, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced all of the Phase 3 slate for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including a pair of Avengers films. Since then, fans have wondered if Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Part 2 will be one big movie cut in half, or two entirely separate stories. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo have promised two separate films and to help emphasize the point, Joe told Upprox that the films will be getting new titles:
The intention is we will change it, we just haven’t come up with the titles yet. But, yes, we will change it. And, yes, that is a scoop: we will retitle them.
Comic book and film fans in their own right, the Russos are probably well aware of the frustration moviegoers have had with movies that are essentially cut in half. When the Part 1 film keeps the narrative in a holding pattern, what was once frustration can become an even bigger threat to Part 2’s box office prospects- apathy. That’s what happened when audiences dissatisfied with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 elected not to show up a year later for Part 2. The second film came in over $100 million lighter than its immediate predecessor at the worldwide box office. The erosion began even earlier, however, as those who saw Mockingjay – Part 1 spread the word that it was only setup, causing the film to have its own $100+ million drop from its immediate predecessor and the franchise’s top performer, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
It’s been too long since audiences rewarded one title with two parts as they did with Harry Potter and Twilight. Besides, Marvel has even less reason to divide one film into two. Most of the recent attempts have been last ditch efforts to extract the maximum amount of revenue from the adaptation of a finite book series. There is plenty of material involving Infinity War‘s big bad, Thanos (Josh Brolin), and all of the heroes we know or are about to meet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to tell separate stories and title them accordingly.
I’ve seen the suggestions of titling the movies Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet and Avengers: Infinity War to match the names of a couple major Thanos stories in the comics, but I think those titles are too similar. Mainstream moviegoers are bound to get the two of them mixed up so often that Marvel might was well stick with Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Part 2. I love the title Avengers: Infinity War and I hope they actually keep that one for the second film, while maybe giving Thanos a spot on the marquee for the first film. Thanos has had a few comic series named after him over the years, so if Marvel and the Russos pull from there like Joss Whedon did with Avengers: Age of Ultron, I’m partial to Avengers: The Thanos Imperative.
We will probably get the new titles announced sometime in the next few months, perhaps at San Diego Comic Con if Marvel Studios returns to Hall H. Still, no matter how different the titles make the films sound and no matter how many times the Russos insist they are different stories, the fact that both films will be in production at the same time means the directors will be fielding the question of just how different the movies are until audiences finally see them both, or at least the first one.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 (title subject to change) will be released on May 4, 2018 with Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 (title also subject to change) following on May 3, 2019. You can see the Russos’ latest Marvel film, Captain America: Civil War (title confirmed), in the theaters this Friday, May 6.