When speaking with Chris Evans on the set of Avengers: Age of Ultron in the summer of 2014, back when he was publicly stating in interviews that he was ready to leave acting behind once his six-picture deal with Marvel Studios was honored, he raised a point about how easy it is to see the larger paths of the franchise’s major characters. One could look at the contract lengths of the individual Avengers to see where they should and shouldn’t be appearing.
Perhaps it’s this reality that made Marvel ask its talent to no longer specify how many films they’ve signed up for; why the likes of Chris Pratt, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, and Elizabeth Olsen, etc. won’t answer questions about that number. For the original Avengers, we knew exactly though, but even this number has changed drastically as Marvel’s Phase 3 continues to change. Robert Downey Jr. signed extensions at least three times that we know of, and now, even Evans has changed his tune and is excited at the possibility of doing more Marvel work beyond Avengers: Infinity War.
That Avengers movie event, the two-part conclusion to Phase 3, is where the contracts for most of the original Avengers cast members were originally intended to end. It’s also this story that makes it hard to see many of Marvel’s big screen heroes being killed off over the next three years of releases. They all need to be there to fight Thanos in 2018 and 2019, right? Perhaps not.
NOTE: The following post contains potential SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War.
Captain America: Civil War directors Anthony and Joe Russo, who got their big screen breakout directing The Winter Soldier and are already working again on Infinity War (script update here!), have consistently talked about continuing to raise the stakes with these movies and promise a “seismic shift” in the MCU with Captain America 3. With that in mind, we have a news bit coming from That Hashtag Show that builds off their last scoop which claimed that Civil War will both begin and end with funeral scenes, the latter of which will be for Steve Rogers.
That point wasn’t groundbreaking, given that Steve Rogers died at the end of the Marvel Civil War crossover event in the comics that the film is based on – and we know it’s a ploy for him to return later. Now, the YouTube show is claiming multiple “death” scenes were shot during production of Captain America: Civil War for other characters (Scarlet Witch, Falcon, and War Machine) and that only one of these will appear in the theatrical release.
If true, this gives the Russos and Marvel Studios leeway and options when planning out Infinity War and other Marvel productions during post on Civil War and perhaps even – dare we say it – during negotiations. If some actors cannot re-sign, they can give them a fitting end in Marvel’s biggest movie to date. A similar tactic was employed during Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron where Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) had shot scenes where he lived through the film’s final battle and even appeared at the end as a member of Cap’s new team of Avengers.
Of course, keep in mind, with the Infinity Stones coming together in the Infinity Gauntlet for Avengers: Infinity War, anything and everything can change. Any character(s) can be brought back. Even Scarlet Witch’s abilities, which we know will be “hugely transformed” in Captain America: Civil War, could even bring back her brother back to life should she find the power within.
The idea of Marvel killing off a character may seem strange, but it’s also needed after a dozen movies. For new characters to truly shine and help propel the brand forward, the Avengers roster(s) need to rotate. Characters need to be motivated and villains to be represented as legitimate threats. Captain America: Civil War may be about politics over vigilantism but there are “real” antagonists at play (Daniel Bruhl’s Baron Zemo!) whom they need to battle as well.
As for which of the three could die, there are arguments for and against all of them.
- Falcon is Cap’s best (modern) pal and his only beginning his journey as an Avenger and potential replacement for Cap down the road. That being said, Rogers gets Bucky back in this movie…
- Scarlet Witch is similarly just beginning her journey and may be a power house the team needs against Thanos. If there’s any hope of seeing Quicksilver back in the future, she needs to stick around, but if Marvel doesn’t want to explore more of that or her relationship with Vision, it’s easy to see her killed off – so Vision has a reason to leave Earth (assuming that other rumor is true).
- War Machine we’ve already seen down and damaged in the Captain America: Civil War trailer so it can’t be that obvious. Although if RDJ is going to stick around in the long haul, and if there really aren’t plans for Iron Man 4, perhaps Rhodey isn’t needed.
Share your thoughts and theories in the comments!
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Source: That Hashtag Show
Alternative Captain America logo design by Joe Steiner.