As much as I love it, I can admit the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a bit…unwieldy. With the suburban sprawl of franchises, you can find Stan Lee’s superheroes in space, in the upper echelons of society, in the Microverse, in the mean streets of Netflix. There are so many characters in the MCU, Animaniacs could make a song about them. (And quite frankly, Internet, why doesn’t this exist already?) If you were to list out all the actors who have appeared in the MCU, it would look like the kind of comical list a cartoon villain unfurls in an attempt to trick the hero into a legally binding contract.
Back when Captain America: Civil War announced their cast list, it seemed kind of absurd. That was then. This is now. An open casting call in Atlanta for extras to appear in both Avengers: Infinity War and a yet unnamed Avengers film makes the Civil War list look downright quaint.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR INFINITY WAR, I SUPPOSE.
Starring in “Avengers: Infinity War” is BAFTA Award nominee Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Academy Award nominee Josh Brolin as Thanos, Saturn Award Winner Chris Pratt as Star Lord / Peter Quill, Teen Choice Awards nominee Sebastian Stan as Bucky, four-time Golden Globe Award nominee Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, Academy Award winner Brie Larson as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel, ALMA Award winner Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Empire Award winner Karen Gillan as Nebula, two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye, two-time Saturn Award nominee Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America, BAFTA Awards nominee Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet, four-time Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, Screen Actors Guild Awards nominee Vin Diesel as Groot, Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Screen Actors Guild Awards nominee Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man, British Independent Film Awards nominee Benedict Wong as Wong, Action on Film Award winner Dave Bautista as Drax, BAFTA Film Award nominee Paul Bettany as Vision, Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuoso Award winner Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther, three-time Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / The Hulk, and two-time Academy Award nominee Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man.
I’m exhausted just reading that list, but let’s see if we can parse it out a bit. Due to a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 leak earlier this year, fans who aren’t averse to spoilers (that would be you, if you’re still reading) already knew the Guardians are headed to Earth in the near future. The casting call for Infinity War merely confirms it. But buried in the avalanche of talent are some glaring omissions. No word of Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, Don Cheadle’s War Machine, or Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. That doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t appear, though. Maybe the intern who wrote the list was just getting tired. Would you blame them?