Marvel has always been an absolutely gigantic brand, with its characters appearing on anything from lunch boxes to Saturday morning cartoons, and of course way more comic books than one could possibly imagine. With that said, Marvel heroes like Thor, Iron Man and Doctor Strange were practically invisible, paling in the shadow of Wolverine and Spider-Man… Until the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched and forever changed the face of entertainment. These days, Marvel is capable of making a movie about a D-list property like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and still turn it into a phenomenon. And their reach doesn’t just extend to movies, either. The Avengers have graced toys, TV shows (both on TV and online), cereal boxes, even casino games! One only needs to glance at a site like http://www.casinoreviews.co.uk/new/ in order to see just how much of an influence superheroes’ newfound popularity has had on an industry that has nothing to do with it!
Unfortunately, everything has an end, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe – at least in its current form – is coming to an end in a two-part finale which will hit big screens everywhere in May 2018 and 2019. The world isn’t ending or rebooting or anything like that, as far as we know, but the current status quo of the whole universe will definitely change forever, and many of the Avengers will not be returning in the future, either because their stories came to a natural end or because the actors’ contracts expired and they’d rather not commit to another 6-7 Marvel movies. So let’s examine the information and hints that we’ve received and cross-reference them with what we know about the actors’ contractual obligations in order to discover who’s most – and least – likely to survive the Infinity War.
Not seen the trailer yet? Where have you been!
Most Likely To Survive
We don’t know much about the future of the MCU post the second Infinity War, and that’s very much deliberate – how can you be invested in Tony Stark’s fate if you know “Iron Man 4” is coming out in 3 months? With that said, though, there have been a couple of interesting leaks and announcements, which allow us to get a couple of characters off the table for sure. We know for a fact that Marvel and Sony are planning a Spider-Man trilogy which will follow Peter’s entire high school tenure, and since we’ve only seen his freshman year so far, it’s safe to say the wall crawler will see another day. And considering the announcement that James Gunn will return for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”, it’s also a fairly safe bet that most of the Guardians will make it out okay (with one exception, but we’ll talk about that later).
Four more characters who we can safely say will not die are Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and the Wasp. The latter two have a movie set to come out right after Infinity War, so it’s practically impossible we’ll see their bodies before they’re set to star in their own adventure, and killing them less than a year after their movie (which Marvel described as a “romantic comedy”) in the second part of Infinity War seems downright cruel. As for Black Panther and Doctor Strange, it seems highly improbable that either of them will bite it. It genuinely feels like they’re being set up to become the next generation of Avengers following the original team being disassembled or outright wiped out in “Infinity War”, so it’s safe to say neither is going down without a trilogy to call his own. Another very surprising and seemingly unassuming survivor will be Sebastian Stan, aka the Winter Soldier, who has a whopping nine movies on his contract. Like Strange and T’Challa, he seems primed to join the New Avengers as Captain America. And while this is pure speculation on my part, it also seems highly unlikely that Hawkeye will meet his demise in “Infinity War”. Jeremy Renner has stated that he’s got a solo movie in his contract, and it seems weird for Marvel not to capitalize on that and adapt the excellent comic book run by Matt Fraction.
Most Likely To Die
Let’s start with the obvious one – Vision. The Mind Gem’s stuck in his forehead, Thanos wants the Mind Gem, math isn’t that hard to do. The only thing preventing me from outright announcing Vision’s death is that it might be a bit TOO obvious, which leads me to believe that the Russo Brothers might subvert it and simply leave Vision as a JARVIS-esque emotionless android instead of a corpse. The almost surefire deaths, unfortunately, will be Captain America and Tony Stark. You heard me – neither of those founding Avengers is surviving the final fight. Chris Evans’ contract was up for the first “Infinity War”, and he needed to be persuaded to sign onto the second one in 2019 so that he could complete the story. If there was even a 1% chance the actor intended to return afterwards, he’d have made that clear. As for Tony Stark, his contract actually went up in 2015 with “Age of Ultron”, and he’s since re-upped through the second “Infinity War”. Problem is that, at the moment, Robert Downey Jr costs more than several of his co-stars combined, and it seems unlikely that Marvel will employ his ridiculously costly services in the near future.
Two more characters who are very likely to meet their demise are Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk. Hiddleston’s contract expires with “Infinity War”, and as of “Thor: Ragnarok”, he seems to have completed his redemption arc. There’s not much else for Loki to do, and it’s likely that Thanos will end up murdering him for his failure in “The Avengers” upon claiming the Cosmic Cube. As for Mark Ruffalo, he mentioned discussing a potential Hulk trilogy spread between “Thor: Ragnarok” and the two “Infinity War” movies, thus giving all four founding Avengers a trilogy of flicks before their time on screen is up. Afterwards, much like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, he seems unlikely to return. Out of all four founding Avengers, the only one who’s likely to survive is Thor, and solely by virtue of how spectacular Taika Waititi’s “Ragnarok” was. It would be a shame to murder the character just as he’s about to begin fulfilling his potential.
The Russos have made it very clear that in their Infinity War, there WILL be casualties. And considering the fact that we’re dealing with the Infinity Gauntlet – a device that can literally shape the fabric of space and time on a whim – it seems appropriate to ask not “which characters will die”, but rather “which characters will stay dead”. In the comics, Thanos used the Gauntlet to murder half of the sentient life in the Universe, including fan-favorites like Spider-Man. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched for the same thing to happen in “Infinity War”, only for parts of it to be undone in the second film. One thing’s absolutely certain, though – the old guard will give way to the new one sooner rather than later.