Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame claimed the lives of several heroes within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While those taken out of existence by Thanos and his Snap were ultimately brought back before the two movies ended, characters killed otherwise remained dead with the conclusion. According to the writers of those two films, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, those characters are to remain dead and will not be rebooted any time soon.
“It's the nature of the MCU,” Markus said when asked about characters coming back by Empire. “It's not a place where you can reboot one and suddenly Iron Man is 15 years old and everyone else is still the same age. The characters have to pass out, and the universe has to still stand. So if you're going to take people off the board, they've got to go for real. Granted, these are movies. I understand that somebody has made some kind of announcement that has the word 'Vision' in it, so I mean..."
Of course, it's hard to imagine Tony Stark and Steve Rogers will be permanently sidelined in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Endgame, their stories have come to a fitting close. Still, characters like Vision are headed to a Disney+ series and Black Widow has a movie of her own coming in 2020, so dying in Infinity War or Endgame does not necessarily mean that the stories end there.
“Black Widow sacrifices herself. Tony sacrifices himself. Steve, whose stock in trade is sacrificing himself, manages not to. It's a nice reversal there,” Markus said of the deaths. Not even the events of characters being killed in Infinity War could be completely undone in Endgame which is why the five year time jump is so important. “It's not fixed at the end – it's undone, but the five years are still there. The trauma is still existent."
Still, killing Captain America would have been too much of an emotional punch as fans were already dealing with losing Tony Stark. “Once you kill a beloved character like [Tony], you've got to have hope at the end of the movie in some regard, and the only person to give you that hope is the other co-lead,” says Joe Russo. “Had we killed both the leads, I feel like people would have been walking out into traffic after the film. The intention is not to destroy people, it's to hopefully tell a complex and dimensionalised story in a way, that makes them feel a varied range of emotion.”
Avengers: Endgame is now playing in theaters.
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