When Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters in May fans can expect not only epic action as the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe come together to fight Thanos, but likely the deaths of some of those beloved heroes.
Though Marvel has been tight-lipped about possible character deaths and details on the film as well as its follow-up, the yet unnamed Avengers 4, knowing that the films are set to chance the MCU as we know it has led many to speculate who they think will die. It turns out that even filmmaker Kevin Smith, along with his Fat Man on Batman podcast co-host Marc Bernardin, have some ideas about who will give all against the Mad Titan with one death in particularly packing a major punch.
"If Hawkeye goes down, I doubt they're going to rush to refill that position, but he's the obvious one, I mean f**k we all thought he was going to die in Age of Ultron," Smith said. "It looked like they were leading up to that and they're like 'nah, we like being around Jeremy Renner'. So, I think if you're playing money ball and I think you have to because now Disney owns Marvel but at the end of the day the most expensive person in their world is Robert Downey, Jr."
Smith went on to explain that the Iron Man actor is not only a huge financial point on the Disney back end, but is also the emotional center of the MCU, making his death one that would have the most meaning and gravity in the film.
"You're talking about a guy who makes all the money," Smith said. "They're like what do you want to be in it and he's like all of it and they're like okay. So, I think financially speaking if you were like you know these movies are only going to go on and get bigger you know that's a cord you can cut. It's also a very emotional cord to cut because the entire universe hangs on Tony Stark/Iron Man. The whole Marvel Universe in the real-world hangs on the spine of Robert Downey, Jr. That performance in Iron Man launched the entire series of movies that were credible and plausible and connected to him always kind of coming back to his character. Who better to throw under the f**ing Thanos bus than that and if you look at that first trailer they put up it's a lot of Tony out of the outfit looking scared so for my money I think they're going to wind up killing Tony Stark."
And Smith has a significant point. 2008's Iron Man was the film in what is now the massive MCU and opened the door for everything that's followed, including not just the rest of the films but the television offerings as well. Iron Man's post credits scene even introduced the idea of the Avengers when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) pays Stark a visit telling him that he wants to discuss the "Avenger Initiative."
But while killing Tony Stark would both make sense and be a huge emotional moment in the film -- after all, Tony Stark does did get a glimpse of a growing intergalactic threat in The Avengers when he flew through the wormhole into space to intercept a nuclear missile and use it against the invading Chitauri fleet -- there are other characters that would likely meet their ends as well. Smith also calls out Loki as a character likely to die, noting that Chris Hemsworth's admission that he would be open to playing Thor again is a soft indicator that Thor survives, meaning his antagonistic brother may not.
"I bet my f**ing fortune, everything I've got in this world on the fact that Loki dies in those movies," Smith said. "They've been building that arc it seems like since the beginning and the last Thor movie, you know, he's actually taken the kind of turn to become more good than bad there he is working with his brother and s**t like that and yes, they revealed that he stole the cube and I guess that's what's going to bring the Thanos into their f**ing trajectory but I think that gives him a chance. He also knows Thanos, he is the one Thanos sent in with the Chitauri army. Feels like they're building him up to be able to sacrifice him for his brother so he dies a hero."
Bernardin goes a little further, specifically naming Hawkeye, Captain America (Chris Evans,) and Drax (Dave Bautista) with Drax's death being significant considering his vow of revenge against Thanos after Ronan the Accuser destroyed his family.
"It will be a noble pyrrhic death, but there is a way in which that is also the beating heart, in a way, of the Guardians if Drax goes," Bernardin said.
Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters on May 4, 2018. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Black Panther on February 16, 2018, Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.