It’s probably Marvel’s most open secret: superheroes are going to die in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4. The Grim Reaper had to come sometime for our costumed heroes but, even then, some characters will still be narratively bulletproof, as the Russo Brothers reveal.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Anthony Russo is fairly transparent on the movie being a real ending – for the directors, for (some) of the actors and for the fans – and what that means going forward. Basically, it’s not good news…
“We know who we’re allowed to kill, and that’s about it,” Anthony Russo reveals, “I don’t even think Marvel had any ideas about where they would go after [Avengers 3 and 4]. It’s not an end for all of these characters; it’s an end for some of these characters. So some of these characters will go on. So it’s more complicated, that’s why it’s not a clean ending.”
I think that’s the first time someone from the MCU has been so open about killing off characters. The end is coming, and it’s coming for more than one hero. Get those tissues ready, folks.
Conversely, the Russos must have been told who they can’t kill. The Guardians of the Galaxy, with a third movie in the pipeline, are surely safe to save the galaxy another day. As, too, will Captain Marvel. You don’t hire Brie Larson just to kill her off in a couple of movies, that’s for sure. Aside from that? Elsewhere, though, most people look fair game. I just have something in my eye…
Guardians director James Gunn, though, is welcoming the warm embrace of on-screen death: “You can’t make the same movie over and over again. If Marvel is going to survive, they have to start making movies with characters who are a little different. They have to start allowing characters to die. They have to start having stakes really mean something if they want people to stay interested.”
Most of have grown up (or lived with) these characters for the better part of a decade now. Part of that evolution, naturally, involves some of them shuffling off their mortal coil.
Whatever happens, it’ll be spectacularly brave on Marvel’s part to kill off a cash cow (or three) and The Russos will hopefully beckon in a new era of the kind of brave, high-stakes storytelling that James Gunn is talking about.