Despite having a history of bringing characters back from the presumed dead, the Marvel Cinematic Universe might leave a few major players in the grave after Avengers: Infinity War.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige made an ominous promise to fans of the franchise while speaking to EW. "I mean, I could always list off the characters that we’ve killed in our movies that haven’t come back, but the big ones, which I know they’re looking at…? I would just say, yes," Feige said. "People need to be careful what they wish for."
On the more optimistic side, Feige does clarify that some characters being left behind does not necessarily mean they are dead and gone forever. "People always will jump to that," Feige said. "That’s not necessarily what we’re talking about. I talk a lot, because I’m a big-ass nerd, about Star Trek: The Next Generation, 'All Good Things.' That to me is one of the best series finales ever. That wasn’t about death. Picard went and played poker with the crew, something he should have done a long time ago, right?"
With characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor not being expected to stick around forever, it's possible the narrative has plans for the characters to take on other roles within the Marvel Cinematic Universe or simply retire while the new faces like Black Panther and Spider-Man lead the way.
Beyond Avengers: Infinity War, the landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be forever changed. "You start to think differently about how the characters are interacting, what character’s stories are coming to a close, and what character’s stories are only just beginning," Feige said. "Those stories will continue. I think they’ll continue in surprisingly different and unexpected ways after these two Avengers films." Which characters will survive long enough to see the shift, though? No one knows just yet.
Marvel Studios' Black Panther is now playing in theaters. Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27, 2018. It is followed by 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.