With the recent release of Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Studios inched closer to the release of Avengers: Infinity War, which will mark the beginning of the end of a story that's been a decade in the making.

In Infinity War, intergalactic baddie Thanos (Josh Brolin) will finally make his move to seize control of the universe – and now we know a little bit more about how the enormously-ambitious film will play out.

Co-director Anthony Russo has revealed to CNET that Thanos will be "almost [certainly be] one of the leads" and that the narrative "leans heavily on a heist film" with Thanos going around trying to hunt down the Infinity Stones.

These stones are immensely powerful items that together, when placed in the huge, golden Infinity Gauntlet, grant the wielder control of all of time, space and our very existence.

"With Infinity War, the biggest new element to the movie is Thanos and the fact that he's entering the storytelling in a very bold, strong way, to the degree that he's almost one of the leads.

"We've shaped an interesting narrative around him that in some ways leans heavily on a heist film in the fact that he's going after the infinity stones in a much bolder, successful way than he has in the past.

"The entire movie has that energy of the bad guy being one step ahead of the heroes. We looked at a lot of movies that had that heist-style energy to them, [and] that brought some inspiration."

There are six Infinity Stones, of which five have been introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe already.

The first was the Space Stone (blue) which was housed inside the Tesseract in 2012's Avengers Assemble. After the film, this ended up inside Odin's vault on Asgard, where Loki (Tom Hiddleston) spots it in Thor: Ragnarok.

The second stone introduced was the Reality Stone (red), called The Aether in Thor: The Dark World. This was last seen being entrusted to The Collector (Benecio Del Toro). Next up was the Power Stone (purple) in Guardians of the Galaxy, which was hidden away at Nova Corp's headquarters.

Then came the Mind Stone (yellow): revealed to have been inside Loki's sceptre in Avengers: Age of Ultron. This stone is what gave Vision (Paul Bettany) life, and it is still located on his forehead.

The Time Stone popped up in Doctor Strange last year, sitting in the Eye of Agamotto, worn by Benedict Cumberbatch's character. This leaves the Soul Stone unaccounted for. We'll see it for the first time either in next February's Black Panther, or in Infinity War itself.

Russo's comments suggest Infinity War will set up Thanos acquiring all the stones, before he starts wreaking havoc with them and our familiar heroes try to stop him towards the end of the film and in 2019's untitled Avengers follow-up.

Infinity War, directed by Anthony and brother Joe Russo, brings together more than sixty MCU characters, including Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man, Chris Evans' Captain America, Mark Ruffalo's Hulk, Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, Tom Holland's Spider-Man, all of the aforementioned and many, many more.

The film is set to release on 27 April 2018.