Avengers: Infinity War shocked fans with the death of 16 beloved characters. But Marvel probably isn’t done killing off its heroes just yet. There’s reason to believe that in Avengers 4, at least one or more heroes will die, and these deaths will be permanent. So who will bite the dust next time?
Now that we’ve had some time to process Infinity War, here’s a look at the characters who will likely die in Avengers 4. We’ll also take a look the fan theory that the film will kill off far more heroes than you might expect (page 7). Warning: this article will include spoilers for Infinity War.
1. Every character who disappeared in the snap is safe
Spider-Man | Marvel Studios
Ironically, the only characters we know for sure are safe beyond Avengers 4 are the ones who died at the end of Infinity War. After all, the characters who disappeared when Thanos snapped his fingers just happen to the ones with sequels in development and who are clearly the future of the MCU. Those characters include Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange.
So the plot of Avengers 4 is apparently going to involve the old school Avengers attempting to save their friends. This will likely either involve time travel, hopping through other dimensions, or stealing Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet.
Next: A quote from the Russo Brothers suggests some deaths are coming in Avengers 4.
2. Because these deaths are being reversed, there need to be new deaths
Tony Stark in Infinity War. | Marvel
A lot of the hype surrounding Infinity War revolved around the deaths. This was an MCU movie that had real stakes, and characters really could die for good. So it would be fairly disappointing if all of the tragic deaths in Infinity War just ended up being reversed. Not only is it clear that everyone who disappeared is returning, but there’s also some evidence that Gamora and Vision might come back as well.
But it stands to reason that if Avengers 4 is going to reverse all of the Infinity War deaths, it will have to kill off some new characters. If no sacrifice is made, it would feel incredibly cheap.
The Russo Brothers hinted at this in a recent interview, saying “Yes, this is a fantasy world, and yes, remarkable things can happen in a fantasy world, but they come at an incredibly high cost.” This could be read as the Russos saying that although something “remarkable” will happen in Avengers 4, i.e. everyone coming back to life, it won’t come easy. Joe Russo also said that the stakes will “continue to deepen in Avengers 4.”
Next: This character will likely sacrifice himself.
3. Captain America could sacrifice himself to bring everyone back
Steve Rogers in Avengers: Infinity War. | Marvel Studios
The character whose death seems most likely is definitely Captain America. If Marvel wants to signal the end of an era with Avengers 4, as they have indicated, there would be no better way than to send Captain America off into the sunset. He’s an extremely noble hero who would be perfectly willing to sacrifice himself to save everyone else; we already saw him try to do so several times, after all.
So some fans are now predicting that this is exactly what will happen in Avengers 4: Cap will sacrifice himself to save everyone who disappeared. Specifically, one theory is that all of those who disappeared are trapped in the Soul Stone, and to free them, a sacrifice will be required, just like Thanos had to kill Gamora. So perhaps Tony Stark will need to kill Steve in order to activate the stone; Steve can submit willingly in order to bring everyone — including Bucky — back.
It’s also possible that Steve could use an Infinity Gauntlet to bring everyone back, but he’s not strong enough to survive doing so.
Next: Another reason to believe Captain America will die.
4. Chris Evans has repeatedly suggested he’s done playing the character
Steve Rogers takes on Thanos. | Marvel Studios
There are other, off-screen reasons to think that Captain America will die in Avengers 4. In interviews, Chris Evans has repeatedly stated that his contract is up with Avengers 4, and he has suggested he doesn’t want to continue after that.
In an interview with The New York Times, he said that he believes reshoots for Avengers 4 will be his last time playing Captain America. “You want to get off the train before they push you off,” he said. Granted, there’s still the possibility of him signing another contract, and he hasn’t totally ruled out a return. But it does really sound like he’s interested in moving on.
And although it’s possible to retire the character without him dying, Steve’s death does seem like it would be an appropriate finale in Avengers 4.
Next: This other beloved character could also die.
5. Tony Stark could die as well
Tony Stark in Infinity War | Marvel Studios
If Captain America doesn’t die, then Iron Man almost certainly will, and it’s possible they’ll both go together. By the end of Infinity War, Tony has been met with his worst nightmare: being left alive while all of his friends die. He had to watch as Peter Parker, the kid he has been mentoring, dies in his arms. Tony would do absolutely anything to save Peter and everyone else.
So it would make perfect sense for Tony to sacrifice himself in Avengers 4, maybe again because a death is required to free the souls from the Soul Stone. Captain America dying would signal the end of an era, but Iron Man’s death would do so even more, considering Iron Man was the very first MCU film.
One piece of evidence here is the fact that in Infinity War, Doctor Strange gives up the Time Stone to save Tony after specifically saying he would pick the stone over Tony’s life. This happens after he looks into 14 million realities and sees the only scenario where they win. So it’s possible that in this one scenario, Strange saw that Tony sacrifices himself to defeat Thanos, and thus it was vital he stay alive at the end of Infinity War.
Next: How Robert Downey Jr. feels about leaving the MCU.
6. Robert Downey Jr. also sounds ready to leave the MCU
Robert Downey Jr. | Ian Gavan/Getty Images
Like Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. also sounds like he’s just about ready to leave the MCU. He’s not quite as eager, but Downey also clearly recognizes the need to go out on a high note.
“I just never want to blow it for the last six or seven [MCU movies] I have done by dropping the ball because I decided to go do it one more time,” he said. “I just want to hang up my jersey before it’s embarrassing.”
Once again, it’s possible that we say goodbye to Iron Man without Tony Stark dying. He’s now getting married to Pepper Potts, and he says in Infinity War that he wants to have a baby, so perhaps he’ll simply give up the superhero life after Avengers 4. But it would also make a lot of sense for Tony to give a heroic sacrifice in Avengers 4, signaling the end of an era.
Next: One fan theory suggests all six of these characters will die.
7. Could all of the original Avengers die?
The Avengers | Marvel Studios
Some fans think Captian America will die, some fans think Iron Man will die, and some fans think both will. However, there are also some who think that every single original Avenger is actually going to die in Avengers 4.
Is it just a coincidence, after all, that there are six original Avengers and six Infinity Stones? Or could it be that in order to bring back everyone who disappeared, six sacrifices will be necessary? Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, The Hulk, Thor, and Hawkeye could all die in order to save half of the universe.
While that might seem a little dark, it’s definitely possible, especially because we don’t know that any of those characters will appear in movies after Avengers 4. A Black Widow movie is in the early stages of development, but it could always be a prequel. Meanwhile, The Hulk, Thor, and Hawkeye have not been confirmed for any more movies.
So we may need to prepare ourselves to say goodbye to more than one beloved hero in May 2019.
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