For anyone whose death wasn't explicitly seen onscreen in Avengers: Infinity War, the quesiton looms: did they make it out of the film's cataclysmic final act?
Screenwriters, filmmakers, and actors have been quizzed about some of the specifics since the movie came out last month, and so far it seems that most of the answers are not spoilers. Including The Grandmaster, played by Jeff Goldblum -- who told Digital Spy that his character is alive and well in spite of Thanos snapping his fingers and killing half of the universe.
"I'm deathless and I can kill people by looking at them. Or I can resurrect them just by looking at them and thinking of them. I can do everything.
"Being able to do all of that, all I want to do is play games," he continues. "So really I'm everywhere and nowhere. I'm like Keyser Söze."
Grandmaster's brother, The Collector, was killed during Thanos's rampage to assemble the Infinity Stones, but Goldblum's character -- a major antagonist-turned-lovable-loser from Thor: Ragnarok -- was not seen in the film.
In the comics, The Grandmaster was created by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema in 1969, and first appeared in Avengers #69. The Grandmaster is one of the Elders of the Universe (like the Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy). He is one of the oldest living beings in the universe. While his exact origin is lost to time, he is the virtually immortal sole survivor of one of the first intelligent races to evolve on one of the first galaxies created by the Big Bang.
Where his “brother,” the Collector, obsesses over gathering rare and unique items and specimens from across the galaxy, the Grandmaster pours his energy into games. Having studied the games of countless civilizations across the universe, the Grandmaster took to creating his own games, tournaments, and contests, usually with pretty high stakes. Typically this involves collecting outstanding individuals or groups from across time, space, and realities to battle one another. These contests have involved the Avengers, the Defenders, the Squadron Sinister, and even the Justice League.
The Grandmaster's immense power includes the ability to resurrect mortals, but not near immortal beings like the Elders. This was a problem for him when the Collector was murdered, so he instead challenged Death itself to one of his games, betting his own life against the Collector's. The game was the “contest of champions,” where the Grandmaster and Death each selected a team of heroes to battle against each other. The Grandmaster's team won, but Death still got her prize. She told the Grandmaster that the only way to resurrect the Collector was for the Grandmaster to sacrifice his own life. The Grandmaster agreed and died so that the Collector could live.
Death then challenged the Collector to a game. While the exact details of the game are unclear, both the Collector and the Grandmaster were alive when it finished. Not wanting to go down that path again, the Grandmaster used the Avengers and the Legion of the Unliving in another contest against Death. His victory granted the Elders of the Universe true immortality.
After the game was won, the Grandmaster and some of the other Elders attempted to use the Infinity Gems to kill Galactus and restart the universe. They believed that their newly won immortality would allow them to continue their existence and obsessions in the new universe. They failed, and the Grandmaster lost one of the Infinity Gems to Thanos.1comments
In the intervening years, the Grandmaster has had encounters with the Defenders and developed a crush on Dazzler. In the post-Secret Wars universe, the Grandmaster and the Collector are competing in a new Contest of Champions set on the remnants of Battleworld, now called Battlerealm.
Avengers: Infinity War is now playing in theaters. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5th, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.