Source: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios is keeping a lid on as many plot details as it can for Avengers: Infinity War. As always, fans are turning to the source material to try and unravel the next set of Marvel movie mysteries. In this case, the comic book event, Infinity Gauntlet, seems like the next Avengers movie’s biggest source of inspiration and thus the best place to look.

Of course, we know from experience that Marvel does not strictly adapt any comic book stories page for page. Avengers: Age of Ultron merely borrowed a title from its comic book counterpart. Joe and Anthony Russo, who are directing Avengers: Infinity War have already adapted two wildly popular comic book storylines in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. In both cases, there were a number of similarities to the source material, but also many differences.

One similarity to Infinity Gauntlet that seems to already be in play for Infinity War was revealed by The Other when he was speaking to Thanos in the mid-credits scene in 2012’s The Avengers.

“To challenge them is to court Death.”

Thanos, in addition to being a Mad Titan, is also a hopeless romantic. In Infinity Gauntlet, his whole reason for acquiring all of the Infinity Stones (or Gems) and wielding them with the Infinity Gauntlet is to win the romantic favor of the living manifestation of Death. Collider caught up with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige at the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 press junket last week and asked if Death could appear as a character in Avengers: Infinity War. Feige opted to discuss Thanos’ motivation over any potentially new characters.

“[His motives] will be similar to what they were in the Infinity Gauntlet in various ways. I guess that’s all I can say about that.”

It sounds like Thanos will indeed be courting a living manifestation of death in Avengers: Infinity War, but that doesn’t mean Death is going to appear in the film. As myself and many others have previously speculated, Marvel Studios could have Thanos (Josh Brolin) pursue Hela (Cate Blanchett), who is making her MCU debut in this November’s Thor: Ragnarok.

Thor: Ragnarok..Hela (Cate Blanchett)..Photo: Jasin Boland..©Marvel Studios 2017

In the comics, Hela rules Hel, the realm of the dead. It sounds like Marvel Studios is keeping that aspect of the character, at least in some form, in play for the movie version. If that’s the case, the MCU already has its own version of “Death” without having to add or introduce a new character that isn’t all that much of a character in the Infinity Gauntlet storyline anyway.

With Thor: Ragnarok coming out just six months prior, it makes sense for the film to have a lot of material that will set up Avengers: Infinity War. Hela will likely be part of what so that we are more invested in each character that as a significant role to play in the third and perhaps fourth Avengers films.

Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters November 3, 2017 and Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters May 4, 2018.