Marvel Studios’ decision to not officially release the Avengers: Infinity War trailer screened at D23 over the summer makes a little bit of sense in retrospect. As we know now, seeing a short-haired Thor meeting up with the Guardians of the Galaxy slightly spoils the ending of Thor: Ragnarok. Not to mention that the shot was clearly unfinished as the character is most definitely binocular.
Prior to the release of the full Infinity War trailer, some fans (including myself) were a little put out that it seemed Thor’s eye was going to regenerate between films. After all, it’s a really cool bit of characterization for the God of Thunder, visually signalling that he’s finally ready to take Odin’s place as the King of Asgard. Those fears were further stoked by the Vanity Fair photoshoot, in which Thor proudly sported both eyes. So, it was with a sigh of relief that we saw him in the full trailer sporting a stylish eyepatch entirely in line with his Ragnarok look.
Now, however, this new promo art (seen on the shirt below) hints that things might be heading back the other way. Look carefully and you’ll notice that Thor is notably two-eyed, with not a hint of an eyepatch in sight. So, does this blow the whole eyepatch thing out of the water? Maybe, but we wouldn’t read too much into it.
First of all, though this picture is pretty low resolution, it’s clear that these aren’t actually shots from the movie but rather art produced to tie-in with it. I think the simplest answer is also the most likely. A marketing machine this gargantuan takes time to spin up, and you can be guaranteed that these designs were locked in and sent to sweatshops in Bangladesh long before the trailer dropped (probably also before Ragnarok released).
I’d be willing to bet the house that this T-shirt means very little for what happens in the film proper. In fact, I think it’s far more likely that Thor ends up losing much more than an eye in Avengers: Infinity War. Marvel Studios have promised a major shake-up during the movie, with old favourites meeting a tragic end and new heroes rising to replace them. Chris Hemsworth has been in the franchise for a while now, so could it be his time to depart for pastures new? We’ll find out soon enough, as the pic will be with us on May 4th!