In the teasers released for fans at Disney’s D23 summit, as well as at Comic-Con in San Diego, Avengers: Infinity War villain Thanos is described in dark terms. “Death follows him like a shadow,” states Mantis, a character most recently seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We see Thanos attempting to crush Thor’s skull and throwing chunks of planets at Earth’s mightiest heroes.
It seems that the stakes have been raised for this movie. Joe Russo, one of the directors of Infinity War, recently stated in an interview that the audience should be prepared for a big shock. Could a fan favorite be on the chopping block? We took a look at the characters that may not make it out of Infinity War alive.
This will be the sixth movie in which Chris Evans appears as Steve Rogers aka Captain America. Evans hasn’t exactly made it a secret that he would like to work up to ending his storyline in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a heroic death for Cap might be the best way to make that happen.
Last time we saw him, Rogers was throwing down his shield and taking refuge from the United States government in Wakanda. It appears he’ll be fighting alongside the rest of the cast in Infinity War, but there has been no official confirmation of his appearance in any movies afterward. Could this be the end for Captain America?
As far as the MCU goes, Vision is a relatively new character. He was created in Avengers: Age of Ultron (thanks to the mind stone that was removed from Loki’s scepter) and appeared in a prominent role in Captain America: Civil War. But with Thanos obsessing over collecting the Infinity Stones, it’s easy to see how Vision may not make it out of the movie alive.
At some point, Thanos is likely to remove the Mind Stone from Vision’s forehead. In the leaked trailer, there is even a moment where we see Vision locked in some sort of cage and his forehead unseen — likely so that fans can’t tell whether or not the Mind Stone is still in place. Simply the act of removing the stone probably wouldn’t kill Vision, but Thanos’ method for removing it might be another story.
There have been no confirmed reports of Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, in any upcoming movies beyond Infinity War. We last saw Romanoff slinking away from Tony Stark in Civil War, knowing that she must go into hiding for her role in betraying the Sokovia Accords.
Despite Johansson’s lack of scheduled films, it’s hard to see how Marvel could kill her off. Fans have clamored for a standalone movie featuring her character and in recent months, there have been hints that one may be in the works. Add in the fact that she’s the most beloved female character in a universe that is relatively dominated by male characters, and this one would be a head-scratcher.
2008’s Iron Man kicked off the MCU in a big way, seeing Robert Downey Jr. take up the role. Fast forward to 2018, and Infinity War will be the 52-year-old actor’s ninth film in the franchise — including his cameo in The Incredible Hulk.
You could argue that the patented Stark family hubris is one of the biggest reasons for all of the trouble in Infinity War, with the elder Stark having fished the Tesseract from the ocean and the younger Stark having unknowingly prodded Thanos by sending a nuke through a wormhole in The Avengers.
But Tony Stark has gone on quite the personal journey throughout the last 10 years, building a relationship with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Pepper Potts, while also taking more and more responsibility for his actions. The point being, his story arc could understandably be coming to a close. Is there much more character development here? Does Downey Jr. even want to continue putting on metal suits?
The Incredible Hulk, which featured Edward Norton as the title character, didn’t do quite as well as many of the other MCU movies. Based on recent evidence, films featuring the Hulk without at least one or two other superhero friends by his side aren’t particularly successful. Mark Ruffalo picked up the role in The Avengers and has reprised it in both Age of Ultron and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, but there have been no public plans to make any further standalone movies featuring the character.
Of course, there is a good chance that Marvel wants the Hulk to appear in Avengers 4, meaning that Ruffalo’s character would make it through the end of Infinity War without dying. And can the Hulk die, anyway? We’re not so sure, so for now we’ll assume that the Hulk will survive.
Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, has the third and final movie in his trilogy coming up, in addition to Infinity War (which will make the seventh MCU movie for the character, including his cameo in Doctor Strange). There is a lot of his story that is still untold, thanks to the two somewhat intertwined films that have yet to hit theaters. So for now, we’re left with plenty of speculation.
Is Thor’s story going to have been told by the end of Infinity War? Will Ragnarok send a clear message that the character’s arc is coming to a close? We won’t have answers to those questions for a while, but here is what we do know: In addition to Thanos being seen attempting to squash Thor’s head like a ripe orange, the teaser trailers opens with Thor’s lifeless body floating in outer space. That’s not a good omen, for sure.
There is a moment in the teaser trailer where an exasperated Peter Parker, with his mask off, tearfully tells Tony Stark that he’s sorry. What is he sorry for? It could be anything, but the way it’s framed leads us to believe that Parker could be seriously injured in this moment. Would Marvel kill off such a beloved character, and one that they just so recently introduced into the MCU?
That seems highly unlikely. Spider-Man first appeared in Civil War, which served to tease the recent — and wildly successful — Spider-Man: Homecoming. The character will definitely appear in Infinity War, which means that three films from actor Tom Holland’s six-film contract have been checked off the list. Avengers 4 and an untitled Homecoming sequel would make five, with a sixth movie pending.
So for now, it appears that Spider-Man is safe to survive Infinity War.