Following Avengers: Endgame, the MCU will not reboot any of the dead characters any time soon. Premiering back in April, Endgame served as the culmination of the franchise's Infinity Saga, which spanned 22 movies over 11 years. While the MCU is still thriving and will continue into Phase 4 and beyond thanks to characters like Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel, one of the many goals of Endgame was to give the MCU's foundational heroes one last, epic sendoff. The Original Six were featured prominently in marketing, conjuring up feelings of nostalgia as the group assembled for a final time.
The Avengers were ultimately successful in reversing the effects of The Decimation, but Endgame marked a seismic shift in the MCU. In order to accomplish the mission and defeat Thanos, Black Widow and Iron Man sacrificed their lives, capping off their respective character arcs in emotional ways. Since those two are among the longest-tenured in the MCU, it's difficult for fans to envision the franchise without them. But, viewers are going to have to make peace with Endgame, because there are no plans to reboot the fallen heroes.
In an interview with Empire, Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus explained why introducing new iterations of popular characters isn't feasible within the framework of the MCU:
"It's the nature of the MCU. It's not a place where you can reboot one and suddenly Iron Man is 15 years old and everyone else is still the same age. The characters have to pass out, and the universe has to still stand. So if you're going to take people off the board, they've got to go for real. Granted, these are movies. I understand that somebody has made some kind of announcement that has the word 'Vision' in it, so I mean..."
Markus' comments acknowledge upcoming Disney+ MCU shows that star dead characters like Loki and Vision, but seem to confirm that on the big screen, these beloved figures won't be seen again for the foreseeable future. This is the obvious difference between the comics and the films; on the page, the characters don't age and can appear for decades, but the movie actors get older and will eventually want to move on. Recasting or rebooting is always an option on the table, but at this point, several of the MCU stars are synonymous with their roles (especially Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson), making that an incredibly difficult task to pull off. It reads as a much more natural course of action to pass the mantles of certain heroes down to other characters. Marketing for Spider-Man: Far From Home has made it clear Peter Parker is positioned as "the next Iron Man," for instance. And instead of rebooting Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson now has the Captain America shield.
There are a lot of franchises where killing off a character like Iron Man (the poster boy of the MCU's Infinity Saga) would be a tremendous risk, but the MCU is built differently in this regard. Over the last few years, they've introduced a new group of fan-favorites that can be the leads moving forward. Both Black Panther and Captain Marvel grossed over $1 billion worldwide, proving that the MCU is not overly-reliant on one superhero in particular in order to draw large crowds. Endgame was a passing of the torch, and the story of the Original Six is complete.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019