By: Hawk Ripjaw –
In lieu of a regular Trailer Reviews this week, since nothing major appears to be releasing, I decided I’d do a quick Trailer Review of something else. That, of course, is Avengers: Infinity War, also known as Hey DC, Hold My Beer.
It’s almost funny that Marvel has dropped the trailer for Infinity War a mere twelve days after Justice League dropped in theaters. It’s almost as if they were waiting, either for Justice League to have a few days to shine, or for everyone to agree that DC’s team-up was a disappointment before whipping out the big guns. At the very least, so far Marvel hasn’t really said anything to DC, which is nice because nobody wins when a Justice League movie sucks. We just all missed out. At the same time, Marvel doesn’t have to say anything, because the trailer speaks to itself. In fact, the trailer is just testament to why Marvel’s formula works and DC’s stumbles: it’s put in the time and effort to make a huge team-up such a monumental event: this is the culmination of a decade of buildup and eighteen films, starting with a gamble on a series of B-list heroes and the director of Elf. Yet here we are.
There are so many money shots and light references and callbacks that it’s still unbelievable that we’re here now with this caliber of cinematic event. What’s most impressive is that MCU mastermind Kevin Feige has made multiple promises (threats?) that this will result in the deaths of several beloved characters and that the MCU following this will be a completely different thing. I’ve got some theories on who might meet their end at the hands of Thanos and his minions.
Also, Felix Felicis asked me to inform you all of her “strenuous objection” to any death of the Christophers (Evans, Hemsworth, and Pratt).
Ant-Man: Though he’s not immediately visible in the Infinity War trailer, Scott Lang will be fine for now. He’s only had one standalone film and his role in Civil War seemed to be setting him up as a member of the next line of Avengers post-Infinity War. He’s also got Ant-Man and the Wasp on the way.
Black Panther: The fact that Black Panther doesn’t even have his standalone movie dropping until next year strongly suggests that he’ll be a part of the new Avengers lineup Post-Infinity War.
Doctor Strange: Now that he’s ushered in the cosmic element of the MCU, it seems unlikely that Strange will be exiting it any time soon. Like most of the heroes introduced in the last 2-3 years, he’s probably going to be a big part of the next Phase of movies.
The Guardians of the Galaxy: If anyone’s going to die on this team, it’s Drax. Since the original Guardians of the Galaxy he’s stated that his mission is to kill Thanos. Not even Drax the Destroyer will be able to match up to the impossible power of Thanos, but given that Drax is still growing as a character and that James Gunn still intends to finish off his Guardians trilogy presumably with the whole team intact, Drax is probably safe. However, we can expect Marvel to try to trick us by making us think Drax is dead or at least put him out of commission until the next movie.
The Hulk: I initially put Bruce Banner under Endangered status, considering that Universal’s continued ownership of the hero will prevent any solo Hulk movies for the forseeable future. However, Marvel cleverly gave Hulk more of a starring capacity via his newfound bromance with Thor in Ragnarok, and we’ll probably see more of them together going forward. Moreover, the stronger Jekyll/Hyde dynamic established in that film will need a bit more room to breathe, so Hulk is probably fine, but maybe only for a couple more entries.
Spider-Man: With Sony still owning Spider-Man, Marvel’s concession for Homecoming was to make the movie while Sony saw all of the profits. Marvel fans adore Spider-Man, and that amount of work will not go to waste one appearance later. Spider-Man will be a huge piece of the Marvel machine after next year, so he’s safe.
Thor: Thor’s brand got a huge boost in Ragnarok, and it’s hard to believe that Marvel would so heavily overhaul the tone of the God of Thunder’s movies, not to mention a massive power boost, only to kill him off in his next appearance. However, Chris Hemsworth has only this and Avengers 4 remaining on his contract, so he may not last past 2019’s conclusion.
War Machine: War Machine was already seriously injured in Civil War, so killing him outright doesn’t seem sensible. On top of that, he stands to be the de facto replacement for Iron Man in what will be the next lineup of the Avengers, so his death is extremely unlikely.
The Winter Soldier: Bucky Barnes has not completed his arc started in his eponymous movie and continued in Civil War, so he needs at least Infinity War to achieve the heroic status he had in The First Avenger. In the comics, Barnes eventually becomes Captain America after Steve Rogers, and that hasn’t happened yet. Even if that wasn’t the case, Sebastian Stan has an insane nine-movie contract and Infinity War is only the fourth, so he’s here to stay.
Black Widow: One of the biggest reasons Black Widow probably won’t die is that fans will riot if she kicks the bucket before there’s even a whiff of a Black Widow standalone movie. Also, I stand by a general prediction that when it comes to “pairs” of characters, only one will die. With Cap almost surely on his way out, Widow will probably at least survive until Avengers 4.
Falcon: Falcon is a pretty awesome character, but his military background and his allegiance to Captain American, as well as his so-far sidekick status, puts him on the Endangered list. At the same time, those same factors set him up for the next Avengers lineup. The only thing that sort of pushes the needle a bit into the former territory is that Falcon hasn’t had any significant character development thus far, which makes him expendable.
Hawkeye: The MCU’s general disinterest in Hawkeye at this point is almost comical, given that the plot real estate for the archer has been an afterthought at best. Even the sudden detour to show his family in Age of Ultron felt compulsory, and you know the only reason anyone even liked that scene was to see Captain America split a log by tearing it in half with his bare hands. Hawkeye has yet to have a pivotal role in the MCU. Were it not for his Instagram post about filming Avengers 4 I’d be composing his gravestone already, but there’s always the chance that his appearance there is either a misdirection or a flashback. He may yet have his time to shine, but if that is the case it’ll only be to send him off in Avengers 4.
Iron Man: Here’s the big thing for me: in the final money shot of Cap leading the charge in what looks like Wakanda, Iron Man is nowhere to be seen. We’ve got Captain America, Winter Soldier, War Machine (though Spider-Man could be in the armor since War Machine was paralyzed in Civil War), Black Widow, Hulk, Black Panther, and Okoye-with a huge army behind them. It’s hard to say where this scene takes place but Iron Man’s absence feels significant. If he dies, that will also solidify his proto-Uncle Ben role in Homecoming to Peter. The only thing that casts doubt for me is Iron Man’s status in the franchise. He may end up just retiring and disappearing, in case Marvel needs to bring him back.
Loki: Loki’s had one hell of an arc in the MCU, going from the antagonist of Thor and The Avengers, to the free agent of Thor 2, and finding the beginning of redemption in Thor: Ragnarok. In the Infinity War trailer, he presents the Tesseract to Thanos. This could mean a couple of things: either he’s buying his salvation by turning over the Infinity Stone to Thanos, or the infamous trickster is helping his brother and his friends by feigning allegiance to the Mad Titan. Given his character progression in the MCU, the latter is more likely, but regardless it may very well end in his demise.
Scarlet Witch: Wanda Maximoff could really go either way. One thing is for certain, she is destined for a redemptive arc. Following her villain role in the first half of Age of Ultron and her shame throughout most of Civil War involving her accidentally killing several civilians in that movie’s opening brawl with Crossbones, she’s in need of something to pull her back into hero status. She will either help save the day to start a new positive arc for herself, or she’ll sacrifice herself and go out on a heroic note to save someone else. The latter seems less likely considering a) her love interest Vision is almost certainly on the chopping block and b) following the same path as her brother Quicksilver in Age of Ultron seems lazy.
Captain America: Sorry Felix, this one makes me as said as it does you: Captain America appears to be nearing the end of his arc in the MCU. He’s a fugitive at the end of Civil War, and all signs in Infinity War point to him rising back to his heroic status to save the day, at the cost of his life. An even bigger tell is the fact that Chris Evans himself is not only nearing the end of his contract, but has stated several times his interest in moving onto directing and producing. Bucky Barnes, too, is poised to take on the Captain America mantle. The writing is on the wall for the Evans Captain America.
Nebula: Nebula’s arc began in the first Guardians of the Galaxy and continued in Vol. 2 set her on a path for redemption. Given that Thanos was so integral to the source of her bitterness, and that the ending of Vol. 2 found her and Gamora somewhat making amends, it seems very likely that she will face her father in Infinity War and sacrifice herself for her sister.
Vision: At least in some capacity, Vision is going to get his ass nerfed in Infinity War, and hard. The trailer deliberately shows the Infinity Stone being painfully ripped from Vision’s forehead, and this might just kill him. However, like Hawkeye, Paul Bettany has been said to be in Avengers 4. However, also like Hawkeye, this could be another flashback or Marvel misdirection: Nerdist handily points out that Michael Rooker (Yondu) posted an Infinity War set photo as misdirection to hide his devastating Guardians Vol. 2 death. As a sentient being, Vision may be fine, since the AI consciousness of Jarvis might just live on in another form, but Vision is probably about to get blacked out. That said, the fact that Marvel deliberately showed Vision in peril could also be misdirection. It’s hard to say, but I’m convinced that at least something very bad is going to happen to him.
Wong: As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one reason Wong stays by Strange’s side for what looks like most of Infinity War, and that’s to give Strange someone to mourn. He’s a fun character, and exactly the type of bite-sized character that could be killed to raise the stakes early and highlight Thanos as serious business.
Finally, there are some things to consider: Firstly, there’s a strong likelihood that some actors may have contract intricacies that we don’t know about. For example, Hugo Weaving signed a multi-picture deal way back when Captain America: The First Avenger was in development. Obviously he’s not had much of a presence since then, which could mean either he’s set for an appearance later on for some reason or Marvel adds a couple of conditional movies onto the contract for an “as needed” basis. This has happened a couple of times with both RDJ and Evans, where Marvel called them back for one or two more appearances after the technical end of a contract.
It’s also extremely likely that Marvel is once again trying to misdirect fans with trailer moments deliberately containing false leads. Anything hinting at a death in the trailer could be given out of context just to drum up excitement for the movie and make people like me write a two thousand word article about a superhero movie where fictional characters might die.
But isn’t that testament to the amazing thing Marvel has achieved that we’re all passionate enough to talk about it, post about it, and break YouTube records picking it apart?
Got any theories about what you’ve seen in the trailer? Let us know!