There's bad news for fans of a comic book-accurate Marvel Cinematic Universe as directors Anthony and Joe Russo confirm Lady Death won't play a part in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.
Death is clearly at the forefront of the next two Avengers movies, with everyone from Kevin Feige to the cast themselves teasing some major (and permanent) deaths of fan-favorite characters. However, while the likes of Iron Man and Captain America could soon be shuffling off to an early grave, don't expect the character of Lady Death, the actual personification of death, to help usher them into the afterlife.
At the Avengers: Infinity War domestic press junket this weekend, Screen Rant had the opportunity to chat with the Russos twice to talk about the superhero ensemble. Discussing how much the comics have influenced the movie, the pair wanted to reiterate that they are telling their version of the story:
Joe Russo: We're telling the story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not the Marvel Comic Universe. Like growing up I'm a huge comic book fan. I still have my entire collection, my closet. For me, I'm not interested as a director or as a comic book fan in a literal interpretation of a book. I know that story. I've read it. I'm not going to go to the theater and be surprised by it, We're interested in surprising you. Borrowing elements and the mojo from it but in completing this giant mosaic of the story that's being told in these movies, not in those books, which is why death is not in this film.
Wait, Death isn't in the film? Oh, Lady Death.
Joe Russo: (Nods yes)
Russo's words echo those of Infinity War screenwriter Stephen McFeeley, who said to our own Rob Keyes last summer on set that although Infinity War will be one of the MCU's more cosmic movies, it is still very much grounded in reality. A literal personification of death and those types of abstract cosmic beings seem off the cards right now. Just as Civil War and Ragnarok used the comics they were based on as a loose blueprint, Jim Starlin’s Infinity Gauntlet will just be a guide to where the story could go.
Heading back to the comics, Lady Death was the motivation for Thanos' brutal actions and the driving force behind his assault on humanity. While his goal in Infinity War is gathering the Infinity Stones, the original Infinity Gauntlet story in Marvel Comics started with Thanos having already collected all six Infinity Stones and snapping his fingers to wipe out half of the galaxy to woo Lady Death. The trailers have already teased the finger-snap moment but Thanos' love for death won't be the deciding factor this time around.
The various promos and interviews have emphasized that the focus will be on Thanos and his Black Order in the movies, while fans have already been told to expect Brolin's Mad Titan to have a different origin and motivations to his comic book counterpart.
Ironically, the post-credit scene from 2012's The Avengers teased Lady Death's arrival with the mention of Thanos "courting" death. However, with that being in the Whedon era of the series, the Russos clearly have very different plans.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019