While this is news any Marvel comics fan has been expecting, we were never quite sure just how we'd get the Infinity Gauntlet saga brought to the big screen. Readers of the site will recall that I've long doubted that the entire story line could possibly be wrapped up by May of 2018, citing the fact that, to date, Thanos has none of the Infinity Gems and that, for the Gauntlet to be at full power, he'd need all 6 (just read this piece for confirmation). Marvel revealed today that the Mad Titan will, in fact, have all 6 gems and the gauntlet in place at some point when they gave fans a look at the video embedded below:
The first part of Avengers: Infinity War, set to hit screens May 4, 2018, will most likely be closely tied to Thor: Ragnarok, a film whose impact on Phase 3 of the MCU Marvel Studios' President Kevin Feige likens to that of Captain America: The Winter Soldier on Phase 2. While there is no way to accurately predict just what to expect in Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1, it's not wholly unrealistic to think that Avengers' mainstays Hulk, Captain America, Thor and Iron Man will sit out the first battle for any number of reasons including being dead and/or off planet, leaving Earth for the picking. While Feige describes the Infinty War saga as being a Cosmic piece, Thanos has always been infatuated with Earth and it's likely that he will at least make some attempt to invade the Earth. I fully expect, however, for the entire roster of MCU heroes to be present to take on the omnipotent and omnipresent Mad Titan when we see Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2 on May 3, 2019.
Of course there's a long time between now and then and a lot to be introduced. Clearly Captain Marvel and the Inhumans are meant to play some role in the Infinity War, given their films take place between the two parts. It's also a near given that Adam Warlock, whose presence in the MCU has been teased and confirmed, will make an appearance sooner than later (Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 are both fine places for an introduction to Warlock).
These films, while so terribly exciting, are very far away. Thanos and his pursuit of the Infinity Gems has been the source of MANY Marvel events and I would NOT expect the films to be a direct adaptation of Infinity War in any way. In fact, I'd expect that they will reflect many of the best parts of of Thanos Quest, Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, the recent Infinity and more. Regardless, there is no way this can end badly. If you're a fan of Marvel, this gives you all you've been waiting for! As Feige said himself, "We’ve always had a plan since Nick Fury broke into Tony Stark’s house and told him he’s part of a bigger universe. Avengers: Infinity War Part 1' is the beginning of the culmination of everything that has come before."