‘Avengers 2’ Death Watch: Who is Going to Die in ‘Age of Ultron’?
We’re not spoiling anything by talking about who will die in ‘Avengers 2’. In fact, we have no knowledge that anyone will die. But, cmon, did you see that trailer. This movie looks so dark, even Christopher Nolan got jealous. And, we’re not the only ones. Both Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo have described the film as “dark.” We don’t know that someone is going to die in ‘Avengers 2’, but it sure feels like it.
So, we decided to take a look at all the major ‘Avengers 2’ characters (villains excluded, because we’ll assume that The Avengers will defeat Ultron) to see who were the odds-on favorite to meet the maker. (For the purposes of this article, we kept it to current and new members of the Avengers lineup. Andy Serkis and his mystery character don't count. We should also note that personal preferences were not included in this scientific tabulation.)
It might seem unlikely that Marvel would kill off Iron Man, the lynchpin of their Cinematic Universe and the star of their billion dollar franchise (‘Iron Man 3’ made over $1.2 billion worldwide). But, let’s stop and think: is it really that unlikely?
Yes, actually. It’s so unlikely, we shouldn’t even be offering up on odds on it. Robert Downey, Jr. just signed on to star in ‘Captain America 3’, and unless he’s appearing as a Force ghost haunting Steve Rogers, he’s gonna have to make it through the events of ‘Avengers 2’.
Now, that’s not to say that we don’t think Marvel will eventually kill of Iron Man, because we do (just not now).
Downey Jr. finished the obligations set forth in his original Marvel contract with ‘Iron Man 3' and subsequently signed a separate deal to star in both ‘Avengers 2' and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. But, considering Marvel has said they’re making an ‘Iron Man 4' “with or without Robert Downey, Jr.,” we would expect Iron Man (at least as we know him) to shuffle off this mortal coil in the near future, laying the groundwork for a new actor to take over the role.
Like Iron Man above, not gonna happen. His new movie starts shooting this year and, the way we hear it, Captain America is a very big part of the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe, so we’ll say Cap is about as safe as safe can be.
Also like Iron Man though, we don’t think Cap is safe forever. The “Civil War” storyline, on which ‘Captain America 3’ is based, ends with [spoiler alert] Cap’s death and Bucky Barnes taking over as the new Captain America. So, it could happen eventually. But, it won’t happen in ‘Avengers 2’.
Hulk was the best part of the first ‘Avengers’ movie and, doing some quick calculation with the Fabulotron 4000, we’ve realized he’ll also be one of the best parts of ‘Avengers 2’. Actor Mark Ruffalo is only two movies into his six-picture Marvel contract and the studio has yet to exploit the character in any meaningful way.
We keep hearing lots of rumblings about a ‘Hulk’ standalone movie (‘Planet Hulk’ anyone?) and we expect ‘Avengers 2’ to be the beginning of a creatively and financially lucrative pairing between Marvel and Ruffalo. So, if we had to guess, we’d say Hulk is pretty safe. (Also, Hulkbuster not withstanding, how really would you kill Hulk?)
While we’d normally remain ‘spicious of any character without their own franchise to keep them alive for (see Exhibit A, below, codenamed “Hawkeye”), Black Widow is the only substantial female character currently in Marvel Cinematic Universe and we can’t see Joss Whedon or Kevin Feige pulling that trigger.
She is, theoretically, disposable in terms of what she brings to the team on a strictly power-based level, but she adds so much to the dynamic on a personal scale, that getting ride of Natasha, while possible, seems unlikely.
C'mon. You can't kill Vision.
Well, you could, but why would you? Paul Bettany finally gets to be in front of the camera in a Marvel movie and you kill his new humanoid form already? There's so many interesting and fun places for this character to go in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it would be a shame if he was killed so soon. (Don't worry, he won't be.)
If you had asked us a year ago, we’d have said Nick Fury was a goner, mostly because we see a future where Cap is the one running S.H.I.E.L.D., not Nick Fury. Fury is an essential component to the team, but he’s not part of the team. He’s an important enough character where we’d feel a significant impact if he died, but it doesn’t negatively impact the storytelling. If anything, it sets into motion a sequence of events that furthers the story, much like Coulson’s death in the original film.
But after the Nick Fury death fakeout in ‘Winter Soldier’ we can’t imagine Marvel would go back to that well so quickly. The emotional impact of the scene would be diluted because the audience would be sitting there going, “Wait…is this real?”
Not that we want Nick Fury to die, but he really could have (should have?) died in ‘Winter Soldier’ if he was ever going to die at all.
It would seem silly to introduce two new superheroes—who, along with them, introduce the new era of “miracles” in the Marvel universe—only to get rid of them as quickly as they came in (no Quicksilver pun intended). That said, it’s not like there’s a whole lot of good will and devotion built up towards these characters. They’re relatively new to audiences and while their death would certainly have an impact, it’s not like it would shake the Marvel universe to its core. While we certainly don’t see both of the twins pushing up daisies by the time the ‘Avengers 2’ credits role, it is possible that one of them may not make the end. A longshot, but in the world of surprises, not completely shocking or impossible.
Now we start getting into characters we’re actually worried about…
Maria Hill could very easily be killed off by Joss Whedon with little-to-no impact on the future of the films. But, does that mean he really will?
The Marvel universe is not exactly known for its strong female presence, so, like Black Widow, we’d be surprised to see them do away with one of the strong, smart female characters they actually have. It doesn’t hurt that, in the comics, Maria Hill actually becomes Executive Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. when Nick Fury goes into hiding. If Fury should ever die, we can see a scenario where Cap steps in as the interim director, eventually handing the more permanent reigns to Hill further down the line.
It’s very possible that Maria Hill could die, even though we hope it doesn’t happen.
But it’s Thor! How could they kill off Thor! He’s on all the lunchboxes and backpacks and he has a new movie coming out!
Yes, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is coming out in July of 2017, but that’s precisely why we think Thor may be on the chopping block. Just hear us out.
Kevin Feige said when he announced ‘Thor 3', “We plan on taking Thor to another level. It picks up where we leave Thor in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and impacts everything that comes after.” Without getting too deep into the complicated comics mythology of Ragnarok, that new level could be death. Thor kinda needs to die, at least in the way that Marvel characters die. (Like how Coulson died in ‘Avengers’ and had his own TV show before that film even hit DVD.)
There is an event that transpires at the end of ‘Avengers 2' that pits Iron Man and Captain America against each other. (This isn’t a spoiler and we know this because this is the plot of ‘Captain America 3'.) Could this event be the death of Thor, which leads into ‘Ragnarok’? Could the opening party sequence of Captain America almost being able to lift Thor’s hammer actually be setting up a later scene where Cap has to pick up Mjolnir? Because Thor is missing/presumed dead?
If Marvel is about to make some bold moves, this is not at all out of the realms of possibility.
Almost immediately after the original film hit theaters, people began speculating that Hawkeye was a likely candidate to get killed off. Jeremy Renner was vocal about his displeasure with Hawkeye’s storyline and screentime in the first film, and many have speculated there’s a rift between the actor and Marvel. A rift that could be settled by having the superhero “retired” in ‘Avengers 2’.
Also, while we enjoyed Renner as Hawkeye, the impact of his death would be the least traumatic for audiences. It would provide whatever impact they felt necessary while also dispatching the most expendable (though still loved) Avenger.