The Avengers are assembling for the third time in Infinity War, the first part of the two-part culmination of the eleventy billion films so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is not to be confused with The Avengers Project, the upcoming videogame take on the characters which may or may not tie directly into some of the films.

There's good money on this being the biggest film of 2018 - unless the Han Solo Star Wars spin-off has anything to say about it - so people are desperate to know what to expect. Here's everything we know so far, including the release date and cast details, the latest trailers, and the biggest plot rumours we've heard.

Release date

Avengers: Infinity War is out in the UK from 26 April 2018 and the US from 27 April 2018, after a few release date changes. 

Tickets are on sale now, so you'll want to book now to make sure you can see the film opening weekend - or even make it to a midnight screening. US fans should head to Fandango to find tickets at their local cinema, while if you're in the UK just go straight to Cineworld, Vue, Odeon, or your cinema of choice.

North America was originally meant to get the movie a week later, a pretty common release tactic for Marvel films, using the release across the UK and Europe to hype everyone up, but in March the studio decided to move the release up by a week to be simultaneous with the UK. Not to be outdone, the UK team promptly shifted the UK release forward by a single day, to 26 April, so Brits get a whole extra 24 hours.

It's already tracking for an opening of $200 million+, which is mammoth for an April release, so expect this one to make a few bucks.

It's the second Marvel movie this year, coming hot on the heels of Black Panther - one of the many heroes who'll be appearing in Infinity War. Read our Black Panther review to find out what we thought of it.

This is all ahead of the release of the currently untitled Part 2 - apparently the title along is a spoiler for Infinity War - which is expected in May 2019. Before then we've also got both Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel to look forward to.

We won't be finding out the title of Avengers 4 any time soon either. The directors told Yahoo Movies that “It’s going to be quite a long while before people see that title," which won't be revealed in the end credits of Infinity War.

“We need people to see this movie, digest this movie, and then we can tell them what the next story is they’re going to see.”

Cast and crew

Unsurprisingly, the cast for Infinity War is sprawling and difficult to keep track of, as it features just about everyone who's ever starred in any of the prior 19 (!) MCU films. Still, we'll do our best:

Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man/Tony Stark
Chris Evans Captain America/Steve Rogers
Chris Hemsworth Thor
Scarlett Johansson Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff
Mark Ruffalo The Hulk/Bruce Banner
Jeremy Renner Hawkeye/Clint Barton
Josh Brolin Thanos
Benedict Cumberbatch Dr. Strange/Stephen Strange
Chadwick Boseman Black Panther/T'Challa
Tom Holland Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Paul Bettany The Vision
Elizabeth Olsen Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff
Paul Rudd Ant-Man/Scott Lang
Chris Pratt Star-Lord/Peter Quill
Zoe Saldana Gamora
Dave Bautista Drax
Bradley Cooper Rocket Raccoon
Vin Diesel Groot
Pom Klementieff Mantis
Sebastian Stan Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes
Tom Hiddleston Loki
Anthony Mackie Falcon/Sam Wilson
Don Cheadle War Machine/James Rhodes
Karen Gillan Nebula
Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts
Stan Lee ???

Looking behind the camera, Joss Whedon is out after directing the first two Avengers films, replaced by Joe and Anthony Russo - no bad thing though, as they made the thoroughly excellent Captain America films Winter Soldier and Civil War, proving they know how to juggle a cast of thousands.

The script is by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, best known for, well, Winter Soldier and Civil War as well actually. So that's good. The pair also wrote the first Captain America and second Thor films, along with creating the brilliant Agent Carter TV show, so they're well-versed in the MCU.

Photos and posters

For a long while Disney and Marvel didn't release too many official images or posters from Infinity War, but there's since been a bit of a deluge.

The best image we have for Infinity War is actually one of the oldest: the mega-poster assembled out of a smaller series of posters unveiled for San Diego Comic-Con 2017:

There's also the film's initial teaser poster, which bears more than a passing resemblance to similar posters from the first two Avengers films:

In March 2018, Marvel released a whole lot more.Total Film netted this image which shows Captain America and allies looking out across Wakanda, presumably just before (or after) the big fight the trailers are teasing. Everyone looks impressively moody though, so you can tell things are serious.

The exact same day, Entertainment Weekly outdid them handily however, unveiling eight new photos and a whopping 15 collectors' covers, some of which feature some very surprising new looks - more on that in our plot and spoiler section below. Check out all the covers right here, and click through the link to see them in full.

To mark the launch of ticket pre-orders Marvel launched another poster that serves only to emphasise just how ridiculously giant the film's cast is - to put it in perspective, this is actually missing quite a few of the film's heroes.

That's not all though, and there is apparently no end to the posters for this film. First up, there's an (almost) comprehensive set of 22 character posters for the film, a few of which you can see here:

We're still not done though. After releasing those 22 posters, Marvel then went and followed them up with a special poster for the Imax release of the film, which will include some scenes shot in the vertically expanded format:

Watch the trailers

So far there have been three official trailers for the film - not counting the initial footage screened to fans at San Diego Comic-Con 2017. The first, embedded at the top of the page and again here, is our best look at the plot, spanning from moody voiceover to all-out war.

The second proper look came in the film's Super Bowl spot, a 30-second tease that focuses on teasing fans with little details like Captain America's new shields (yup, plural) and Iron Man's fancy new armour.

More recently, the latest trailer is another plot-focussed one, telling us more than ever before about Thanos, and showing off the absolutely enormous scale of some of the fight scenes.

Plot rumours

Naturally Marvel has done its best to keep a tight lid on the plot for Infinity War. Also naturally, fans have done their best to tease out every plot rumour they can, so we can guess about what might be on the way. Spoilers for all the MCU movies so far follow, including one small one for Black Panther, along with some potential spoilers for Infinity War itself.

As the trailers make obvious, Infinity War is all about Josh Brolin's Thanos - the cosmic bad guy teased across quite a few of the earlier films - finally arriving on Earth (just weeks before Brolin appears in an entirely different Marvel movie, Deadpool 2). He's wielding the Infinity Guantlet, which if he can fill with each of the six Infinity Stones will grant him essentially infinite power. That would probably be bad.

Having said that, it sounds like we can expect Thanos to be slightly more nuanced than his nickname - the Mad Titan - might suggest. Brolin told Entertainment Weekly that Thanos is "the Quasimodo" of the Marvel universe, having grown up "an anomaly... a freak," even adding that "he has a capacity to love very much and very deeply."

As for what he's going to get up to, the first trailer for the film (above) shows him neatly slotting the blue Space Stone (a.k.a. the Tesseract) into the gauntlet, where it joins the purple Power Stone (seen in the first Guardians of the Galaxy). We also see some goons trying to extract the Mind Stone from poor Vision's forehead, so it looks likely he's going to get hold of that one too.

Oh, and in case you're struggling to keep track, the other stones we've seen so far are Reality (Thor: The Dark World) and Time (Doctor Strange), which just leaves Soul - which we expected to appear in Black Panther, but was nowhere to be found, leaving it for Infinity War itself.

Naturally, Thanos isn't alone. The trailers show an army of snake-like monsters - the Outriders - swarming across Wakanda, where the "whole third act" of the movie is reportedly set. But he's also backed up by the Black Order - apparently named the Children of Thanos here - a group of four generals and warriors. 

Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Ebony Maw, and Black Dwarf are likely to do most of the fighting in Infinity War, though we don't yet know who's playing them. Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige hinted to Vulture that “There are interesting people doing the voices,” adding only that “You’ll probably know when you see the movie.”

You can see a glimpse of them in the giant poster up above, or see the statues revealing their existence at Comic-Con, but the best look so far is in the most recent trailer (above), which shows them off (briefly) in action.

So far, so Thanos. What about the Avengers though? First up, we know that the Guardians of the Galaxy are finally joining the Earthbound heroes, with Thor seemingly acting as the cosmic bridge between the two groups. The good news is, it looks like they're going to be getting along just fine. Especially Drax and Thor, as one featurette reveals that the literal-minded alien is very, um, fond of the god of thunder.

The rest of the Avengers will still be at odds with one another after the infighting of Civil War, but we'd imagine they'll be in trouble if they can't find a way to get along.

The biggest speculation so far is that at least one of the heroes has to die, with most scenes (and some suggestive set photos) pointing to Chris Evans' Captain America, in part thanks to Evans repeatedly suggesting that he's done with the franchise (“You want to get off the train before they push you off,” he told the New York Times). His death could be just the thing to bring the rest of the gang together...

Feige has fuelled that speculation in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, admitting that some characters' "stories are coming to a close," before warning that fans asking for characters' deaths to be permanent "need to be careful what they wish for."

A few of the heroes are also getting some new toys to play with. The trailers show Iron Man with a self-forming armour, which may be the comics' Model-Prime technology. The Entertainment Weekly cover shows this off in full, including what look like new wings and arm cannons. The same cover set also shows off a new arm for the Winter Soldier, together with a whole new suit for War Machine, which will apparently allow him to walk again after being paralysed in Civil War.

Meanwhile Captain America seems to have picked up some Wakandan shields on each arm, adding to speculation that Steve Rogers may not be Captain America at all any more, and may instead take up the 'Nomad' moniker from the comics.

Even Spider-Man looks to have gotten a few upgrades from Tony Stark, wearing a new suit that looks decidedly more high-tech. The leaked Lego sets seem to show him with a few extra golden limbs sprouting out of his back, suggesting that this could be the Iron Spider suit from the comics.

Finally, Thor needs a new weapon after the events of Thor: Ragnarok, and eagle-eyed fans have used the combo of the trailers and a leaked toy to hypothesise that he may be swapping Mjolnir for either an axe called Jarnbjorn – the ‘Wrecker of Worlds' - or Stormbreaker, the weapon wielded by Beta Ray Bill in the comics. Either way, the leak also suggests that Groot's arm may in some way form the handle of the weapon, which might mean it can extend and whip around just like he can.

Perhaps more surprisingly, the leak also suggests that his eye may heal back quicker than we expected, as there's no eye patch in sight - though it's worth noting that every other glimpse from the film has included the patch.