The sheer amount of cast included in Avengers: Infinity War has been an ongoing joke since Avengers: Age of Ultron came out. Ultron was the end of Phase II Avengers film, and with only three or four extra characters it felt overstuffed. Captain America: Civil War wasn't even an Avengers film and it was filled with so many Phase II and III characters as to be bursting at the seams. (Though it could have been called Avengers 2 ½: The Smell of Civil Liberties.) So when the Russos reminded fans today Peter Dinklage is in Avengers: Infinity War, rather than blink and say "Wait, Peter Dinklage is in Infinity War!?!," most just rolled with it.
Peter Dinklage is in Infinity War. Sure, because why not? Even better, apparently he's recognizable. Wait, what?! Let me backtrack. Peter Dinklage's involvement in Avengers: Infinity War was actually never formally confirmed until very recently. When the second trailer arrived back on March 16, it was accompanied by the official poster. Neither the trailer nor the poster had Dinklage featured on it. But eagle-eyed fans who actually take the time to read that tiny print list of names at the bottom of the poster noticed that he was included.
Don't pull out the magnifying glass, we got you:
There he is! Right between Idris Elba and Benedict Wong. Why weren't we informed?
To be fair, there was a rumor back in January of 2017 that he might have joined the cast of Infinity War. But no one confirmed anything, he was never spotted filming, and eventually, fans forgot about it, until the poster. Considering there are only 30+ characters and counting in the film, it's easy for one who's trying to stay out of the spotlight to go unnoticed.
So who is he playing? Even with the confirmation, he's in the movie, Marvel is staying mum on that. This led to fans speculating wildly.
The consensus: Thanos has a little army of CGI villains as part of the film, his "adopted children." They're called the Black Order, and you may remember them being mentioned back in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. (Nebula and Gamora were both Thanos' adopted children as well and grew up in The Black Order.)
This just of beta-level villains includes comic book characters such as Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Ebony Maw, and Cull Obsidian. The latter two actually have actor associated with them (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Terry Notary). But the first two do not, leading to speculation that Glaive might be Dinklage, just utterly unidentifiable under layers of CGI.
All of this lead directors Anthony and Joe Russo to finally talk about Dinklage's role, confirming he is in the film, and moreover, he's not buried under layers of CGI.
Joe Russo promised he was recognizable, but fans might be startled once they do.
You will [recognize him]. It may take you a beat or two, but you'll certainly recognize him.
Anthony Russo cut off all further discussion: "That's all we can say."
This will be Peter Dinklage's second go as part of the world of Marvel. He was originally cast as the villain Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is the part of the Marvel-verse still owned by 20th Century Fox. (Though not for long, the Disney-FOX merger is on track to be completed in 2019.) But Trask was a one-and-done role anyway, leaving tons of room for Dinklage to take on a part over on the Disney side of the line.
We'll learn what it is in two week's time. Avengers: Infinity War comes out everywhere Friday, April 27, 2018.