Age of Ultron: Joss Whedon Discusses Killing Off An Avenger

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Captain America Death Marvel Comics Age of Ultron: Joss Whedon Discusses Killing Off An Avenger

What do Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Serenity and The Avengers all have in common? Outside of adorable casts of characters, it’s the sadness and shock associated with the death of a key character in all of these Joss Whedon projects that fans latch onto the most.

For Whedon’s next big film endeavor, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the idea of “death” has been teased as far back as February, long before the title of The Avengers 2 was revealed. Is it therefore a forgone conclusion that one of Earth’s Mightiest will not live through the next team-up event?

Speaking with EW about Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series airing on ABC next month – a show where oddly enough one of Whedon’s victims is resurrected – the writer/director and overseer of the Marvel Cinematic Universe spoke about idea of legitimately killing off a key character from the Marvel library.

“I’m always joking about that. Um…maybe?… But I’d have to have a really good reason, a really great sequence for [Marvel executives] to go, ‘We’ll cut off a potential franchise, that’s fine!’ They know as any good studio does, that without some stakes, some real danger, how involved can we get? We don’t just rule it out across the board, but neither is the mission statement ‘Who can we kill?’ We try to build the story organically and go, ‘How hard can we make it on these people?’ You go to the movies to see people you love suffer-that’s why you go to the movies.”

With at least two new characters joining the team in the brother-sister act of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, possibly played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen respectively, and contracts not getting any longer on actors playing already-introduced characters, Marvel will have to find a creative way to remove and replace characters on the core Avengers roster in the long-term. Whether that happens in Age of Ultron or sometimes further down in Phase Three of the MCU remains to be seen, but from the get-go Whedon has been clear about making his sequel more personal, more gripping and more – wait for it- “dark.”

Hawkeye Cover Marvel Comics Now Age of Ultron: Joss Whedon Discusses Killing Off An Avenger

Lately it’s been repeatedly mentioned by Whedon and Marvel Studios President of Production Keven Feige (the man behind the curtains of the entire franchise) that Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) would get plenty of screen time in the sequel after practically being written out of The Avengers by becoming a brainless minion of Loki. With the actor’s schedule, Hollywood demand and minimal potential for spinoff, the ace archer is at the top of our list for potential to-be-KIA heroes.

There’s also potential for one of the new characters to not make it past their introduction and we suspect Scarlet Witch could very much be in danger as well, given that her character’s death is the primary plot motivator of the third volume of The Ultimates in Marvel Comics (which also happens to feature Ultron), a series of books the film universe draws much inspiration from. There’s also the fact that she will potentially be the first Avenger we meet whose powers are based on magic and that’s a can of worms Whedon may not want to keep left open for Avengers followups if she’s too powerful.

We can’t talk about character deaths without mentioning Captain America. At the end of the Marvel Civil War comic book event in the comics, Steve Rogers was assassinated, leading to his old pal Bucky (The Winter Soldier) picking up his shield and taking over the role of Captain America (until Rogers eventually returned from the dead, of course). While we don’t know if a Civil War story is possible in the film universe due to the rights of many key characters having been spread among other studios, the idea of Steve Rogers dying is one Marvel might be crazy to ignore, especially with Chris Evans negotiating his initial offer down from nine features to just six, and the fact that The Winter Soldier is going to be introduced in the Captain America sequel next spring (played by Sebastian Stan who also has a six-picture deal).

After bringing back Agent Coulson, would the next “death” need to be for good or does such a concept not exist in Marvel comic book films, much like it doesn’t in Marvel Comics?

 [poll id=”667″]

Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!

Source: EW (via

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  1. Maybe Ultron should kill War Machine to get Tony to return to being Iron Man

    • Would War Machine even be in Avengers#2?

    • It’s Iron Patriot now……

      • War Machine is soooo much better!

  2. Iron Man should kill off The Gnarly Ape. Using the supernova thingie.

  3. Personally, both Quicksilver AND Scarlet Witch. I don’t want either of them becoming heroes when they make better villains. But hey, that’s my personal opinion.

    • Well guess what I also think Scarlett and Quicksilver were bad choices, so Ultron should take them down

    • They make better villains? They have only been villains for the briefest of time in their long existence in comics. Most of the time, especially Wanda, they’re with the Avengers. They didn’t really have a true identity of their own til they became heroes.

      • Exactly so, and I can testify to that, having read X-men and Avengers both from Issue #1! At least through the 60s and 70s!

  4. Who cares? Dead one movie, magically back the next. Good ‘ol Marvel.

  5. Sounds like Hawkeye is being set up to take the fall…if anybody should be killed black widow is the shadiest of the avengers

  6. nobody will care if hawkeye dies

    • I agree that he would not be missed. The SNL sketch with Renner summed it up well!

  7. maybe its iron man

  8. I dont think people understand that many bad things are going to happen in the MCU. Some where along the lines Hulk will be the one who kills one of the founding members of Shield or the Avengers. Captain America might die but will come back again. Phase Three is all about the Hulk. I think Hulk will kill Nick Furry since that is who originally came to Iron Man/Stark about the Hulk being a problem. I think that War Machine will come into the picture but will also be terminated. Thor will loose his mother, brother and his hand. However it might just introduce us to some other Cosmic beings and weapons. I want to see a new Dr. Doom Vs. The Avengers.

  9. laughing at the poll results ..
    Marvel has killed of some characters , “never to return” . Not often yes , but they feel the need to get real every once in a while …
    There may be animus for the actor involved not the character : a lot hate Renner = don’t want him in the Bourne franchise …
    what this is proof of , is that Hollywood movie directors/producers couldn’t care less about continuity of their CB adaptations . whatever it takes to get that BILLION dollar gross ..

  10. Mabey it’ll be Ben Affleck that gets killed off !

    I’d like to know more about how Quick Silver will be a character in the X-Men movies plus Avengers 2 ! Surely there must be a major plan going on behind the Marvel scenes to Unite all the movie franchises.

  11. Too powerful? Really? That’s kind of The Scarlet Witch’s thing. She is way to powerful. Does Decimation ring a bell? What about M-Day? Only 90% of mutants lost their X-Gene because she altered reality. You just can’t expect Wanda to be powerless.

    • I think he meant powerful as in she has “Resolve-the-plot” powers.

    • I don’t think they want her to be so powerful that people don’t just say, “Why the hell is there even an Avengers movie if she could just do all of this herself?” Plus if she was too powerful, she could basically just resolve the problem by herself and no one likes a deus ex machina.

  12. I hope they bring back Coulson and then kill him again, it seems that the Avengers really liked him – I was actually cheering inside, what a dreadfully boring character he was. Well, as Thor and Hulk are ‘unkillable’ that leaves Stark, Cap, BW, Hawkeye, War Machine and Fury – BW wont go as there is already a massive shortage of females and Cap wont go due to the ‘America’ in his title name so its either someone new or Hawkeye, Fury or War Machine. Hawkeye could not have been more dull but SLJ is getting quite old, I would not care a jot if all 3 of those characters were deleted.

  13. Kill the guy who played Galaga please, he’s really important, I’m gonna cry seeing him be executed, that’ll be devastated for the audience..

    Just to think of it.. I cant barely breath.. (crying alone)

  14. You mean dead like Coulson, dead_n_revived_by_the_end or really dead and not coming back until reboot? I wish if it was the latter. Kill newcomers or Hawkeye or Widow and noone would give a damn s***, kill Tony – Marvel lack balls, kill Thor – same as Tony, kill Cap – same as Tony. Do i give a s*** about deaths in Marvel movies? lol

  15. Hopefully they’ll kill iron man so there won’t be any more crappy sequels and maybe the hulk will get another movie, just a thought

    • That’s like you killing the baby because it soiled a couple diapers, and then coveting the neighbor’s baby instead.

  16. Kill off Hawkeye. He’s the lamest of the bunch and is played by a horrible actor who hasn’t changed facial expressions in a movie since National Lampoons “Senior Trip” in 1995.

  17. What about the Hulk? Especially if they are introducing Ant-man in phase 3 it makes sense. The other options are Hawkeye and Quicksilver.

  18. On another website, Joss Whedon discussed who would probably die in Avengers 2: He thought it would be one of the big 3: Ironman, Thor, or Captain America. I am thinking it will be Captain America and Bucky will take is place as the new Captain and later on find out that Steve Rogers was not dead and is Captain America while Bucky remains Winter Soldier.

    It will not be Hawkeye, Black Widow, Maria Hill, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Hulk, and Thor. Hawkeye is awesome character and Jeremy Renner is a great actor.

    My choices is Nick Fury, Captain America, Sharon Carter,
    Or Joss Whedon is talking about the character Death. Death helps Thanos.
    No one dies.

  19. People keep shoving the “Kill of Hawkeye, he’s lame” and the “Kill Stark, RDJ’s headed out the door anyways” down others throats, and I respectfully disagree with those of you who keep insisting on this. Allow me to explain:

    RDJ has signed up for A2 and A3, and RDJ would not allow himself to be some holographic image like Jor-El in MoS. This means he will most likely be killed off in A3 in some sacrificial move, no doubt. Anyway, in the A2 he will need to be convinced to come out of retirement. I highly doubt they are gonna have him killed when he does suit up again.

    Renner a.k.a Hawkeye was not satisfied with the role he had in the Avengers, which is understandable after watching the movie again. I mean, he was like an antagonist for 2/3 of the movie. He signed up to be a superhero, not a villain. In the A2, he is supposed to have more screentime, which I don’t believe automatically leads to the conclusion he will be killed off. Rather, it strengthens his role and gives him better survival chances. Also, he is not “lame”. He can use his arrows to take down targets and not even have to be looking at his target or even in their general direction (demonstrated twice during the movie), his arrows can hurt Loki when bullets merely bounced off of him, and though it is not shown it was rumored that his arrows could even take down the Hulk, and he is proficient in hand-to-hand combat. How is that lame?

    I also don’t believe that Scarlet Witch will be killed off because this will be her first appearance in this movie universe. In this movieverse, you don’t kill off the heroes in their first appearance.

    My opinion (and that’s what all of our comments are, anyway) is that it will be either Captain America who gets killed off or at least incapacitated so that the Winter Soldier takes up the mantle temporarily and motivates the others to strike back (as everyone in the Avengers movie grows to like or respect CA by the end of it), or Black Widow, as it is shown in CA:TWS that her and Cap grow closer and also Hawkeye has some sort of friendship with her, which would at least motivate those two.
    The problem is that we’re looking at abilities and so forth, we’re not looking at the relationship side of the characters.

    Of course, this is only my own opinion.

  20. Well, they definitely shouldn’t kill off the new female character. The franchise has way too many male characters already, it would be stupid to reduce them back to one female main character again.

    Plus if Scarlet Witch would be introduced just to be killed of for the sake of drama, it would be horrible. She has much better potential than to be fridgidered like this. Whedon wouldn’t do something like this.

    They can always kill off Nick Fury too, then Hill or Tony Stark would be the new Director of SHIELD. It could explain why Iron Man doesn’t show up until Avengers 3. He’s busy with SHIELD and cannot do the hero business.

    I don’t really want them to kill off Hawkeye either, because he brings something different to the game among all the super-powered characters. He’s one of the few who rely purely on skill instead of a power.

    Falcon? He could die too if he’s in it.

    Nick Fury would be a good one though, even if I know that Sam Jackson still has a lot of movies on his contract.

  21. Nick Fury or Hawkeye…

    Hawkeye can make place for Ant-man/Goliath or Blackpanther and maybe Vision.

    Nick Fury and than Tony should step up as leader of S.H.I.E.L.D.

    later when more women are introduced in the team i wouldnt mind if they kill off Black Widow.
    she could make place for Wasp and/or Spiderwoman.

  22. I read they might showcase Black Widow a little more in this film than that last. If that is the case, perhaps she will be the one to die?
    I personally hope so. There is nothing exciting about seeing her character on screen. I found all of her scenes kinda boring.
    Sure, Scarlett Johansson looks good, but is her acting that good?
    I mean, at the end of the Avengers, she’s using two little hand guns to fight of an army of aliens with laser type guns. While being an agent of a shield, she’d have her pick of almost any type of weapon.
    Like Coulson (Who’s back from the dead, stale move), she has out lived her usefulness in the movie.
    I hope so. And I hope they pick some better actress then that Olsen girl for the Witch. What is that? This movie is taking a nose dive. If all these pre rumors and what not are real? It makes me sad :(

  23. Why would it be necessary to kill anyone just to remove them from the series? Avengers have come and gone and come again to the roster. That’s one of the joys of doing team books, whether it be Avengers, Justice League or X-Men; you can field the team you like. Current Avengers have been Wolverine, Spider-Man and a bunch of others that aren’t usually thought of as Avengers. Neither X-Men or Avengers went with the original teams for their first movies, they went with their picks for the team. And subsequent filmmakers can do the same without the need to kill off characters. Tho I don’t think Joss is right that him killing a character in a movie would necessarily mean Marvel would have to kill the franchise, either in the comics or in other movies.

  24. this is a tough call because they are all such good actors i dont want hawkeye killed off because i would like to see more of hawkeye i would say black widow then add another avenger to it

  25. Nick Fury! F-U-R-Y. Come on, how many times could he fake the man’s death and get away with it, since he is part super-soilder/infinity serum/whatever-he’s-NICK-FURY-FFS. You could fake his death plenty of times and the first 3 times we’d believe it. It would also point something out about Fury that only comic readers know and make them feel special like the Thanos moment in the first Avengers.

  26. Not that I have anything against him, but I think the smartest decision is, if they absolutely have to kill someone off, it be Quicksilver. This is mostly because Quicksilver is also going to be in X-Men: Days of Futures Past. There can’t be two Quicksilvers, even if the Xmen universe is in non cannon withe the marvel cin-u.

  27. Is anyone really surprised by this? Joss Whedon loves to kill off people and usually goes for everyone’s favorite for shock value. Serenity is a perfect example.

  28. for me kill off Maria Hill because they picked the talentless, emotionless actress from ‘How I met your Mother’ to play her. She’s not a major character and her lack of acting skill would never be able to establish any interest in her death other than viewer relief.

    Quicksilver is a realistic kill off character because it would set up the Scarlet Witch goes nuts scenario without having to map out the entire decade worth of Avengers history.

    They keep the new female character and lose a pretty weak one introduced and dropped with a no fuss no problem manner. SLJ dying off would also be a good thing, I still prefer the original Nick Fury to the Ultimate version.
    Black Widow in the comics = cool and exciting
    Black Widow in the film = bland and boring

    Saying all that as long as I get to see the Hulk b**** slap Cap America I’m happy.

    • I don’t know that much about SHIELD in the comics but I do know she (Maria Hill actress) was signed on for 6 (I think it’s 6) movies,
      I know Maria Hill is the next Dir. of SHIELD! not sure how they will do it for the MCU but I think if they kill anyone it should be Nick Fury, IF they are to go that route!

  29. Am I the ONLY person who knew Agent Coulson wasn’t dead. To me it was obvious. I figured it out pretty quickly after Fury’s big speech and I’m pretty sure Stark figured it out as well.

    Now, as for who dies? In my opinion it would/should be one or more of these:

    Cap. America. To me he seems to weak to be fighting with the big guys. In the Avengers, apart from the scene with Iron Man and Thor in the forest, he seems to be as expendable as Hawkeye or Black Widow. However, the other two don’t need to be killed off because they’re more like agents than superheroes and don’t (and shouldn’t) be fighting these increasingly powerful villains). Also, and I may be clutching at straws here but does it not seem like Cap. was set up for death more than any others – Where Stark says he’s not of use (albeit different context but it’s true he doesn’t provide brains or brawn, he’s just a Soldier), and why they felt the need to highlight the woman who mentions he saves her life.

    Scarlet Witch is another good candidate because she’s overly powerful. Although I doubt she’d die in A2 but possibly in A3. IMO, the best way for her to die is in the last fight scene, the whole team is fighting as hard as they can – to no success, So she creates an overly powerful explosion (of some sort), with a few dramatic and possibly slow-motioned seconds, the villain grabs her and almost tears her in half before they both explode. I don’t know too much about her but she has ‘reality warping’ so I presume it wouldn’t be too hard to have her teleport or something before she is killed.

    Black Widow, won’t die, it’s likely she’ll retire before the end of the Avengers 3. If you saw how scared she looked when Bruce was transforming, I don’t think she’d dare pick a fight with some of the bigger villains.

    Hawkeye, again won’t die. It wouldn’t be all that dramatic. It’s more likely that he leaves after Black Widow and they get together.

    Thor won’t (he may not even be in it). Hulk, definitely won’t. Fury might, but I don’t see it happening. Stark won’t die because he’s the most successful character and I’d take a guess that they’d need to leave the door open, also a possibility that he joins the guardians of the galaxy.

    So as it stands I would be willing to put good money on Captain America dying with Scarlet witch coming in second.

    • Why captain america he is the first hero and yes he was a soldier but not any more hes mor a hero and hes got endurance,will guts and a good heart and bonus with his gifts he can stand up to even super villains ges the best fighter out of them all with an indistructable sghield hes ther leader hes a statagist is what they need with. out him they wud just go straifgt into battle with out a plan and thats what captain america brings as why hes a leader so no dont kill cap hes a great hero one of the best period!!