Thanos is coming, and the question on every Marvel fan's lips are which Avengers will die at his hands in Avengers: Infinity War. The Mad Titan's quest for the Infinity Stones will bring him head-to-head with Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and the Avengers are sure to pay a heavy price for getting in his way.
Infinity War screenwriter Stephen McFeely told Screen Rant that, every time Thanos acquires an Infinity Stone, someone will pay. "We’re going to wrench some emotion out of each and every one of those moments," he promised. In the past, fans have complained that many Marvel deaths have been "fake," but Kevin Feige has warned that this time that won't be the case. "People need to be careful what they wish for," he noted.
So who will live, and who will die? There's a cast of over two dozen in play and many Marvel actors poised to leave the MCU, leaving a lot of options. What speculation can agree on is that it's not a good time to be a founding Avenger. Here's who of the original sextet we think could meet their end before the end of Phase 3.
Before we begin, though, a note. Infinity War may be the culmination of everything so far, but it's not the end. That would be Avengers 4, which means that some of the biggest deaths may not come until next year. That said, given it's looking to be a time-travel movie, it would be easy for someone to die and the character still return at an earlier point in the timeline.
This Page: Can Any Of The "Big Three" Avengers Survive?
Iron Man Will Probably Die
The MCU began with Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, using Tony Stark to introduce viewers to "a bigger universe" of gods, aliens, and spider-powered superhumans. Although Iron Man's trilogy ended in 2013, he's remained an integral character in the MCU, playing a central role in both Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming. For all the conflict among the Avengers, Stark is the team's emotional linchpin; his death would shake the whole group. In particular, the mentor relationship between Stark and Spider-Man would ensure his death carried a particularly tremendous emotional weight; just like viewers, Spidey spent the past ten years thrilling to tales of Iron Man's adventures, and his reaction to Stark's death would speak for audiences worldwide.
Although Downey has hinted that he could "do one more" Iron Man movie, there have been no indications that one is in the works; he's said to be one of the actors who'll be leaving the MCU after Avengers 4, suggesting that his contract is at an end. All things considered, a death seems likely; he's already become a mentor figure in Homecoming, so it'd be hard to take a further step back (this would fit with the fact Iron Man won't be appearing in the Homecoming sequel).
It is still possible that Marvel will choose to simply "retire" Tony Stark, leaving them with the option of calling Downey back for occasional cameos. Right now, though, the odds don't look good for Iron Man to survive both Infinity War and Avengers 4. It would be appropriate if Stark wound up making the ultimate "sacrifice play," bringing his arc to a close with a thematic tie to The Avengers.
Steve Rogers Will Leave The MCU... Somehow
It's official: Chris Evans is leaving Marvel. Chris Evans has confirmed that Avengers 4 will be his final Marvel movie. "You want to get off the train before they push you off," he noted. Evans was originally signed up for six Marvel films, meaning he could actually have bowed out after Infinity War. Fortunately, he was willing to extend it to cover Avengers 4. That still doesn't mean he's safe in Infinity War, though. Set photos from Avengers 4 have all shown Evans in his uniform from The Avengers, suggesting time-travel. It's actually possible that he'll die in this year's Infinity War.
From a narrative viewpoint, Captain America's death would be every bit as seismic as Tony Stark's. Along with Stark, Cap has become one of the defining Avengers; the crucial difference is that he's a team player. Where Iron Man's egotism and narcissism make him an awkward fit in a group, Steve Rogers's natural belief in others tends to bring out the best in them. Cap's death would send a shockwave through the entire team, and round off his entire lifetime of sacrifice.
Of course, there is an alternate suggestion. As Avengers 4 involves time travel, it's possible he'll wind up back where he started, a theory bolstered by rumors Hayley Atwell will be back as Peggy Carter. Steve Rogers will go, but that doesn't mean he has to die. Whatever the case, it won't be the end of the Captain America mantle: either Bucky or Falcon are waiting in the wings for Phase 4.
Thor Doesn't Need To Die (But Could)
Although Chris Hemsworth's Thor is considered one of the Avengers' "Trinity," the reality is that he's never been as important to the team dynamic. The God of Thunder's solo films have been tangential to the Avengers story, and he's spent large chunks of his cinematic arc away from Earth. Meanwhile, with the exception of Thor: Ragnarok, the Thor movies have never been among Marvel's biggest blockbusters. Hemsworth has confirmed that his contract comes to an end after Avengers 4; however, he's made clear that a good script could still tempt him to return for Thor 4, indicating he's not expecting to be written out.
It's possible the popular and critical success of Ragnarok has changed Marvel's plans for Thor. That film abandoned the franchise's Shakespearean style, relaunching Thor as a superhero comedy. Hemsworth absolutely loved the experience, and he and Ragnarok director Taika Waititi have ideas for the next film. And yet, with Asgard destroyed and the Asgardians expected to suffer Thanos's wrath, will Infinity War and Avengers 4 leave enough left of Thor's world to craft a continuing story from?
Whatever the case may be, the Russo brothers have confirmed that Thor and Thanos have the most screen-time in Infinity War. If Infinity War is the God of Thunder's swan song, he'll at least be bowing out in style.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018