In our last Marvel post, we discussed which members of the Guardians of the Galaxy died in Avengers: Infinity War and what that means for future films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Some of you still haven’t seen it. That’s OK. You can read this non-spoilery post on my upcoming writing projects instead of this post, which contains DEFINITE SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War, POTENTIAL SPOILERS for pretty much every film afterward, and PROBABLE SPOILERS for any MCU movie you’ve not seen leading up to this.
You’ve been warned.
OK, so let’s get down to it.
Those of us who’ve seen Infinity War, know Thanos won. He snapped his fingers and half the universe became dust in the wind. Then he got away.
In our last post, we discussed how the Infinity Snap affected the Guardians of the Galaxy
Now we turn to the Avengers.
We once more remind you that some of these guys have movies coming out later, most notably Spider-Man and Black Panther, making it likely that we will see a reversal of fortunes. Another thing to consider is that most of the actors signed a standard 6 movie deal with Marvel, which does not include cameos.
Doctor Strange did say that he saw 14,000,605 possible futures out of which only one they won against Thanos. Presumably, since he handed over the Time Stone to save Iron Man when he swore he’d sacrifice anyone to save it, the series of events leading up to the Infinity Snap was the only possible way to defeat the Mad Titan and secure than win; however, since we have yet to see that win, it is reasonable to presume our heroes will return somehow. On the other hand, since writer Christopher Markus is adamant that these deaths are real, we should probably not expect their resurrection to involve something as simple as a Reverse Infinity Snap. Maybe.
With that in mind, let’s discuss which Avengers perished.
Spider-Man. Young Peter Parker’s demise was savage! Forewarned that something was dreadfully wrong by his spider-sense, the newest Avenger’s fade scene was particularly drawn out and heart-wrenching. In truth, Tom Holland wasn’t told of his demise until right before they shot it basically. They let him improv it a bit, resulting in that gut punch we saw on screen.
Of course, the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel, now confirmed as Spider-Man: Far From Home, is on the MCU’s roster, so you can bet he’ll be back.
Tom Holland has already been spotted on set of Avengers 4 so he is definitely set to return from the Snap. The Russos have already confirmed that Parker’s Aunt May survived the snap but decreed that the fate of his friend, Ned Leeds, was too spoilery.
Black Panther. This fade simply shocked me. The way the scene was set up, I thought Okoye was getting the Infinity Snap treatment. And then King T’Challa faded instead.
Marvel producer Nate Moore originally opposed Black Panther’s death, but claims the Russos made “compelling arguments” for why it had to happen.
Writer Stephen McFeely addressed Black Panther’s demise:
“First of all, we would do it all over again. But remember, when we’re writing [Infinity War], and even shooting, there is no Black Panther movie. We don’t know it’s going to be so good, so effective, so resonant. And we had to treat all these characters the same. People who leave us [in Infinity War] are the leads of their own franchises. And Black Panther’s no different.”
Obviously, the fan demand for a sequel is there and Black Panther 2 will happen. Marvel President Kevin Feige promised last year that a sequel absolutely will happen, was discussed even while making the first one, and already has a strong direction.
Chadwick Boseman is confirmed as a cast member of Avengers 4 on IMBD.
Scarlet Witch. This one was just insult to injury. She’d just watched her beloved Vision die. Twice! And then she fades away. It was just cold.
Elisabeth Olsen has not been officially confirmed to return for Avengers 4. At present, she’s not listed as part of the cast at IMDB. The only thing we have to go on is an Instagram post from last year in which she noted that she suffered a bruise during the filming of Avengers 4.
It’s important to note that we don’t know in what capacity her character will feature, even if she’s included in Avengers 4. Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been seen on the set of Avengers 4, even though he’s not really listed as part of the cast yet. As a reminder, his character (Quicksilver) died in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Marvel could be trying to keep Quicksilver’s involvement under wraps. It’s more probable that he (and perhaps Scarlet Witch, Loki, and a few other dead characters seen on set) are really just window dressing, included for context, in time travel scenes.
Even so, Taylor-Johnson signed a multi-film deal before he joined Age of Ultron in 2015.
Then again, Marvel recast Ross Marquand into the role of the Red Skull for Infinity War, even though they could have contractually forced a reluctant Hugo Weaving to reprise his role. So perhaps there is wiggle room on Marvel’s in these contracts.
In any case, The Independent reported that at Ace ComiCon, Sebastian Stan confirmed that an “Every Avenger” scene was filmed:
“There was one day we were on set and were doing this scene that’s in the trailer where we’re all running to battle, you know, all of us are on set and it’s like forty superheroes.”
More than person has noted that we were trailer trashed where it concerns that massive scene where the Avengers rush into battle in Wakanda alongside the Hulk. The Hulk never showed in Wakanda during Infinity War, despite Banner’s best intentions. Apparently, getting hit with the Power Stone one time too many has made Hulk reluctant to reappear! Could that iconic scene be one that actually appears later in Avengers 4 after our heroes are resurrected somehow? Maybe heroes like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch get one last shot at Thanos through the working of the Reality Stone. I dunno. I just want to see that “Every Avenger” scene if it exists, and name dropping Douglas and Pfeiffer when they weren’t in Infinity War makes it possible that he was referring to a scene from Avengers 4.
And by the way, Michelle Pfeiffer is confirmed to appear in Avengers 4 per IMDB; however, Douglas is not yet listed as a cast member.
And speaking of Sebastian Stan…
Winter Soldier. He just got his arm back! Of course, Captain America was forced to watch Bucky’s demise just as he did back in World War II.
Sebastian Stan is on a 9-film contract; since cameos don’t count, Infinity War only marks his 4th film.
Sebastian Stan is listed as a cast member for Avengers 4 on IMDB. Likewise, Joe Russo told Spin 1038 that Winter Soldier’s character arc ends in Avengers 4, despite the fact that he suffered the Infinity Snap:
“For us, this was the challenge of telling the story but also completing the personal journey that we started as storytellers in Winter Soldier. So the story that began in Winter Soldier and that ends in Avengers 4 is a, there’s a very personal arc there for us. I think you’ll understand our point of view as filmmakers and who we are as people when you watch all four of those movies together.”
Falcon. When Winter Soldier faded, I thought, “Well, I guess that answers the question of who will take up the Captain America mantle after Steve Rogers. In the comics, both Falcon and Bucky have donned the spangled shield and cowl. And then Falcon gets the Infinity Snap right after Winter Soldier!
Anthony Mackie once told Vulture that he signed a contract “for as many movies as I could …for, like, 50 movies,” but if he signed the standard 6-film Marvel contract, he has one left after Avengers 4. To date, he has not been confirmed for any future films.
During Infinity War’s only postcredits scene, Maria Hill and Nick Fury witness Rapture-style big city devastation. And then she fades.
There were a flurry of news reports back in January 2018 that Cobie Smulders and Samuel L. Jackson were confirmed for Avengers 4, but these were baeed on set photos that clearly belong to the Infinity War end credit scene. To date, she has not been confirmed for Avengers 4.
The ultimate spy manages to send a message on an old-school pager before crumbling into dust himstlf.
Of course, the symbol we see on the anachronistic device belongs to Captain Marvel. We presume her movie next year will have a lot to do with how some of these heroes return.
Like Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson has not been confirmed for Avengers 4 per IMDB.
Doctor Strange. Strange’s demise is the most significant. He swore to Tony Stark and Spider-Man that he would protect the Time Stone at all costs and that he would certainly not be trading it for anyone’s life. Yet he traded it for Iron Man’s life. Maybe. Maybe that’s just what he wanted Thanos to think.
Nevertheless, he did give the Stone to Thanos, and we know this because Thanos later used the Time Stone to recover the shattered Mind Stone. What changed Strange’s mind?
After his hard-hearted declaration to Stark and Parker, Strange used the Time Stone to look at over 14 million possible futures. He said that they only defeated Thanos in one scenario.
We have to assume then that Strange’s final words (“It was the only way”) were true. Strange is the only person who knows the whole picture (a fact which mirrors the realworld Benedict Cumberbatch’s unique position as the only actor who has read the entire script). We have to assume then that Strange’s one victorious scenario out of over 14 million included the Infinity Snap and Doctor Strange’s own demise.
Of course, the success of the Doctor Strange film and his popularity in Thor: Ragnarok and Infinity War pretty much guarantee the making if a Doctor Strange 2. While he hasn’t yet been confirmed for Avengers 4, his stunt double is listed on IMDB …and of course we know he’s coming back, because we know he’s somehow right. I mean, the dude played Sherlock! Stop doubting.
Of course, the question is how you come back from all that? You could conceivably nab Thanos’ Gauntlet (they almost had it) and do a Reverse Infinity Snap. You could assemble an Infinity Gauntlet of your own if you had access to alternative timelines. A lot of people have their money on the Quantum Realm and are eagerly awaiting the premier of Ant-Man and the Wasp for answers. In a comic book universe, there are actually many possibilities.
According to the SteamDelta Theory, the answer to the riddle may lie in what happened shortly before the Infinity Snap. To deny Thanos the Mind Stone, the Scarlet Witch makes the heart wrenchibg decision to honor Vision’s request that he be destroyed. Outraged, Thanos uses the Time Stone to turn back time just enough to bring Vision back to life so he could rip that Mind Stone from his head.
Consider this brief manipulation of time in light of some dialogue from Doctor Strange:
[Strange is experimenting with time manipulation using the Eye of Agamotto]
Baron Mordo: [bursting in] Stop! Tampering with continuum probabilities is forbidden!
Dr. Stephen Strange: I-I-I was just doing exactly what it said in the book!
Wong: And what did the book say about the dangers of performing that ritual?
Dr. Stephen Strange: I don’t know, I hadn’t gotten to that part yet.
Baron Mordo: Temporal manipulations can create branches in time. Unstable dimensional openings. Spatial paradoxes! Time loops! You wanna get stuck reliving the same moment over and over forever or never having existed at all?
Dr. Stephen Strange: They really should put the warnings before this spell.
With this in mind, a Marvel fan called SteamDelta has written on Reddit that by turning the universe back 30 seconds, Thanos made a huge mistake:
“When reliving those 30 seconds there were dimensional openings, spatial paradoxes, and that will be the holes in time that let the Avengers go back to the battle of New York, or even cross dimensions, or perhaps they’ll even pull the victims of the snap out of that first 30 second reality into our reality.”
I personally love the SteamDelta Theory, but we’ll have to wait until Avengers 4 to see how it all pans out.
In our next Avengers post, we’ll look at how the Infinity Snap affected our heroes from Ant-Man and the Wasp.