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Spoiler warning for all MCU films, up to and included Black Panther.
The release of the third installment of the Marvel Avengers is fast approaching, and many of us fans are worried that our beloved superheroes might not make it out alive. We have reason to be worried too, with multiple actor contracts finishing at the end of Avengers 4, leaving us wondering who will survive for the films that follow.
First, lets talk about some of the most likely characters we'll see leave the MCU:
Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)
For the hero that started it all off, it makes sense that he could be the one to end this phase of the MCU. It's been 10 years since we first met the confident billionaire that is Tony Stark, and we've seen him grow and develop as a character. He became a fan favourite from the start, and gained more fans after the first Avengers film was released in 2012, when we saw him willing to sacrifice his life to save the world. While he often maintained his confidence to those around him, we as the audience saw a different side, a man struggling with mental health and PTSD, and people that once saw him as solely stuck up found him to have more layers than expected.
The actor, now Hollywood love Robert Downey Jr, became an inspiration to many kids, and it will be hard to see him go, as we know his contract with Marvel has ended with the filming of the still untitled Avengers 4. We know Iron Man will leave the MCU, and I know many will truly miss him, myself included.
It makes sense for Tony Stark to die in this film because we've seen him walk away from the mantle of Iron Man before, yet only to come back a year later in Captain America: Civil War. For him to just walk away, it would seem slightly underwhelming, especially considering all that we've seen him go through.
Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans)
Steve Rogers was America's golden boy in his MCU film debut back in 2011, but quickly began to have doubts about the chain of command in Avengers. This theme of rebellion continued in The Winter Soldier, but despite this, he is loved by many fans for his heart and need to do what's right, as well as his loyalty to his childhood best friend James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes, also another favourite.
With Chris Evans' film contract also coming to an end with Avengers 4, we could have to say goodbye to our beloved Steve from Brooklyn. However, we most likely would not say goodbye to Captain America, the iconic role either being picked up by Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) or Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). I'd like to see either, but personally, I'd prefer Barnes as it could give the character a redemption arc in future films, and allow Wilson/Falcon to develop into a more individula hero, instead of only being part of Team Captain America.
Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth)
Our Norse God of Thunder brought back the mythology on which he based into the mainstream. He was battled-fuelled in his first film before falling in love, but having to return back to Asgard. Thor, and his signature hammer Mjolnir, have helped protect Earth from aliens and ancient evils and in his most recent bout, save Asgard from his ever slightly deranged sister Hela (Cate Blanchett).
Like the two above, Hemsworth's contract is now up and over, and with his character being one of the founding superheroes, it's a likely probability that he'll go. However, as he's the new ruler of Asgard, for him to die would leave the throne empty. Whether his adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) would take the throne is unclear, as in his most recent film, his character has changed significantly. Originally only wanting the throne to be even with his brother, then becoming power crazy, his recent character change could have him turning down the throne. Leaving Asgard without a ruler would make little sense in terms of resolution, even if we don't see the realm again.
The Vision (Paul Bettany)
This is less speculation than the others, as it seems this character will play a pivotal role within the film, unwillingly contributing an infinity stone to the gauntlet, wielded by the mad titan Thanos (Josh Brolin). With the source of Vision's power being the Mind Stone, it is a real possibility that he will die when Thanos decided to take that stone. We've seen in the trailer a clip of Vision on the ground, a spear of some form being forced against the stone and him crying out in agony, so he will definitely be put through some tough situations in this film and possible the next.
It seems unlikely that Vision will make it out of these two film unscathed. The character could survive, but it would seem underwhelming, almost like cheating death in a way, and it doesn't seem logical for him to be able to survive without the stone. His death could also help fuel further character development Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), with the two clearly being an item in this upcoming film.
Who probably won't die?
- Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) We had the scare of losing Banner to the Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok, himself saying that if he hulked out again, he may never come back. However, we clearly see Banner back, human and all, as well as the Hulk. Killing this character seems illogical when it feels we've only just got him back.
- Loki Laufeyson (Tom Hiddleston) Our trickster god is a fan favourite with a habit of faking his own death. If he did die on screen, many of us wouldn't believe it, making it less weighted and almost pointless, even if he is on Thanos' side.
- Peter Parker/Spiderman (Tom Holland) With the introduction to this character in Captain America: Civil War, and then a solo film in the year after in 2017, he is set to become the next face of the MCU. He has a second solo film coming out after Avengers 4, so it's highly unlikely he'll die.
- The Guardians of the Galaxy (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel) Like the above, they have a scheduled film after the 2019 instalment. With the death of Groot in the first, and Yondu in the second, to kill off another strong character seems doubtful. However, it is still possible for us to lose one of the team.
- King T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) Storming into our hearts since 2016, T'Challa is a character with a strong connection to the people around him. With the Black Panther film taking over the box office and helping give an accurate representation of African culture, it would seem counterproductive for the studio to kill him off.