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This week, the long-awaited Avengers: Infinity War will make its way into theatres, to be followed by another sequel next year. Together, the two films are set to act as a coda to the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and potentially as a final act for some of Marvel’s biggest stars. So far, the trailers have shown that Infinity War is set to bring together characters from throughout Marvel’s movie history, paying off ten years of world-building in an explosive culmination of everything that Marvel Studios has accomplished since Iron Man premiered almost ten years ago.
But the truth of the matter is that this cinematic universe might not be big enough for everyone. One of these Avengers might have to die and make room for bigger adventures. Popular new addition to the universe, like Spider-Man (3.0) and Black Panther are probably safe, but some of the older guard might need to watch their back. Here are the 10 Avengers Most Likely to Die in Avengers: Infinity War.
10. Captain America
Chris Evans as Captain America in Avengers: Infinity War
Captain America, and therefore Chris Evans, is the second marquee star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, meaning that this character’s narrative arc is in the homestretch. The character has already appeared in three of his own movies, even facing off against Iron Man in the aptly titled third installment, Civil War. The appearance of a darkly prophetic beard (and the possibility that he’s going to take on Steve Rogers’ “Nomad” identity from the comics) in the Infinity War trailers is just one more sign that Captain America isn’t going to make it too much further in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The problem for him on this list is that we already know he’s not going to make it too far. Chris Evans’s contract ends after the next Avengers film (his sixth overall) and some have predicted that next year’s Avengers sequel will be his final appearance as the First Avenger. Cap’s death at the end of Avengers 4 would be a fitting climax for the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but… that means he probably won’t die during Infinity War.
Maybe next time.
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9. Scarlet Witch
Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Infinity War
Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in a teaser after the credits rolled in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, along with her twin brother, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). While both characters returned and served as major figures in Avengers: Age of Ultron, only Scarlet Witch became a full-fledged crimefighter herself, returning in Captain America: Civil War and proving herself to be an integral member of the Avengers.
That said, it’s unlikely that we’re going to see a Scarlet Witch solo film any time soon. (Indeed, Olsen has dismissed the idea publicly.) The question of whether Marvel can or should keep a high-profile actress like Olsen in this role for several films might lead one to conclude that this could be her last outing as an Avenger, whether she dies or finds some other way to gracefully exit the franchise.
However, Disney’s recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox leaves another, more exciting possibility. In the comics, the Scarlet Witch is both a member of the Avengers and a mutant, meaning that she can act as a potential bridge between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the X-Men franchise. So it’s possible that she might stick around for a few more outings.
Like Captain America, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is a marquee Marvel star who made his debut during the first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unlike Evans, however, this Chris hasn’t made any suggestions about his last appearance. Also unlike Captain America, who brought along most of the Avengers on his last solo outing, Thor only seems to be getting more popular as time goes on. Last year’s Thor: Ragnarok wasn’t only the most successful entry in the franchise, it was also the best, largely due to director Taiki Waititi’s comedic touch.
Given that Hemsworth has already mused about making fourth Thor with Waititi, it seems unlikely that the suits at Marvel would choose this moment to take out the character. Furthermore, the end of Ragnarok left many loose strands opened, with the residents of Asgard deciding to make a new home on Earth. Still, Thor’s death would make for an interesting curveball.
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7. Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier
Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes in Avengers: Infinity War
Steve Rogers’ best friend and sidekick has been kicking around the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Captain America: The First Avenger came out in 2011. After being brainwashed, he served as the main villain in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and got put into suspended animation at the end of Civil War, but a post-credits teaser after Black Panther revealed that he has been revived and healed, just in time for the release of Infinity War. Given the character’s baggage, it makes a certain amount of sense that this could be his last ride. He’s had a good ride and his character has been through a lot.
In the comics, however, Bucky Barnes is one of the more prominent character to take over the mantle of Captain America, which we have yet to see him do. Is it possible that Marvel will keep him around to take over the role after Chris Evans moves on from the franchise? We’ll have to wait and see.
6. The Hulk/Bruce Banner
The Hulk in The Avengers
Like Thor, the Hulk only seems to get more popular as time goes on. Though his first MCU appearance in The Incredible Hulk was shaky (and, to date, Marvel Studio’s only failed attempt at creating a franchise around one of its characters), the character’s frequent appearances as a supporting character are generally met with praise by fans. It helps that Mark Ruffalo, who replaced Edward Norton in the role, plays the character with such charm.
Still, Hulk has been in the MCU since 2008, and Marvel seems hesitant to give him another go as a headliner in his own film. It seems possible, then, that Infinity War could provide Ruffalo gracious exit for the character before the Marvel Cinematic Universe moves on to some of its fresher heroes.
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5. Nick Fury
Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury in Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Other than Iron Man, Nick Fury is the only Avenger that dates back to the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having made his debut after the credits rolled on Iron Man. Played by Samuel L. Jackson, who is 69 years old, it would make sense for the honchos to knock off this long-standing supporting character.
The only problem? He already died, sort of. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Nick Fury gets shot by the Winter Soldier’s henchman, only to return at the end of the film. Like Agent Coulson (who was revived after his death in The Avengers to star in his own TV show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Nick Fury proves that no Marvel character ever really dies. If Marvel really wants to elicit an emotional response from its audience, maybe they should look elsewhere for a character to kill off.
4. Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in Avengers: Infinity War
Over the first 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow broke ground as the first female superhero in the franchise. However, despite petitions from fans and a lot of support, Marvel never gave Scarlett Johansson’s character the solo film that her she really needed. Given Johansson’s star power, it doesn’t make sense to keep stringing this character along for the next phase of the MCU.
On the other hand, both the Wasp and Captain Marvel are getting their own movies (well, the Wasp has to share) over the next couple of years. Is it possible that Black Widow could stick around to give Marvel’s marquee newly-minted heroines some guidance before departing the MCU? Only time will tell.
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Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye in The Avengers
“Where is Hawkeye?” This is the question that’s been on everyone’s lips since the trailers for Infinity War debuted. The little brother of the Avengers franchise is nowhere to be seen. It seems unlikely that he wouldn’t make any kind of appearance over the next two Avengers films, and it’s unlikely that Jeremy Renner would lead a solo Hawkeye film, which means that he’s as good a bet as any to kick the bucket in this entry.
Still, that might feel a little anticlimactic for one of the original Avengers cast members. Fans are probably hoping that Renner gets a respectable supporting role in his final appearance as the Golden Archer, rather than being killed as an afterthought.
Paul Bettany as Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron
Discounting his predecessor J.A.R.V.I.S. (who was also voiced by Paul Bettany), Vision was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the second Avengers film as a positive mirror image of Ultron, the all-powerful AI who tried to destroy humanity.
As interesting as Vision is as a concept, it’s not quite clear where he’s going as a character. IT helps that he’s a seemingly omnipotent being, meaning that he could make a metaphysical departure from the series. Perhaps he’ll be absorbed into the universe as a deity, or maybe he’ll sacrifice himself by merging with the Infinity Gauntlet. When you take on the human form by choice rather than necessity, there are endless ways to “die.”
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1. Iron Man
Could this be it for Tony Stark? Robert Downey Jr. has been a real team player for the franchise, making appearances in both Avengers movies and taking on major roles in both Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming. On the other hand, Iron Man hasn’t had his own movie since 2013’s Iron Man 3 and a fourth entry doesn’t seem likely.
Downey was already 43 when the first Iron Man came out, and he ain’t getting any younger. It might be time for the MCU’s flagship superhero to hang up the cape… or metal suit. Iron Man’s death would provide Infinity War with a hefty emotional wallop and, after ten years, it would bring the character’s arc to a fitting conclusion. So we’re going to say it: Iron Man is the most likely Avenger to die in Infinity War. Will we be right? You’ll have to tune in to find out.
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