Many of the stars of the Avengers franchise have contracts coming to an end with Marvel Studios but that doesn't necessarily mean they're more likely to be killed off. At least, this is what screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely want us to believe.
Markus and McFeely had the monumental task of writing the "culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe" with Avengers: Infinity War and untitled Avengers 4, and before it, helped pen the Captain America trilogy. And with Avengers 3-4 we know there a few deaths coming. After all, these movies end the "book" that is the MCU as we know it.
A key example of this and certainly a character fans are very concerned about after having watched the Avengers: Infinity War trailers is that of Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America played by the lovable Chris Evans. Evans said he was going to retire from acting once he completed his contract with Marvel Studios which was originally set for six pictures but has since grown to include a pair of cameo appearances in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: The Dark World. And of course, another full feature given that Avengers 3 became two films.
And then he changed his tune. Evans went from wanting to focus on directing to saying he's willing to keep doing more work with Marvel in Phase 4 of the MCU. He's repeatedly gone on record appreciating how good the Marvel movies are and how the role which he was initially hesitant to take became something he grew to love, especially as the MCU has evolved and expanded.
Still, at the moment Evans is done with the untitled Avengers 4 which debuts in May 2019, like many other starts reportedly (including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, etc.). This does not however, mean all these characters will be killed off in the next two films or written out entirely in some other way.
CS spoke to Markus and McFeely this weekend alongside us and asked if the contract lengths of the actors factored into decision making when it came to ending character arcs and choosing who dies.
Stephen McFeely: (laughs) No no no! Again, this is a group decision. Chris and I sorta start the ball rolling and we say, “Listen, if you go down this path this is the natural conclusion to this character’s arc. This is a possible conclusion to their arc, etc.” Marvel will weigh in and say, “That sounds great. That’s a good story point,” or “We have other plans for this person” or “That seems too harsh” or what have you.
Christopher Markus: We always do it if the story needs you to do it. Never to, “Hey! This movie needs gravitas, let’s kill somebody,” or “Let’s take away their powers.” It’s always because the story got to that point and the only way to honestly resolve the situation is to do X.
These are the same words spoke by directors Anthony and Joe Russo to us at the junket and while visiting the set, with emphasis that the story needs dictate where the characters go and where some may end. Still, if an actor ain't coming back for contractual reasons, they must write that character off, right? And this deep into the MCU, nearly 20 films in, there are character arcs that have been serviced well enough to say farewell too. Looking at you, Loki and Tony Stark.
Header edited from art by Erathrim.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019