You may recall that in the lead-up to Avengers: Infinity War, the internet was awash with predictions on which characters would be most likely to die in the future Marvel mega hit. While some of the speculation was right on point (Loki and Vision were regular guesses), other frequently forecasted deaths turned out to be a little premature, with Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and (presumably) Hawkeye all beating the odds to live for another movie.
In fact, after Thanos had dusted half the world in his climactic snap, the Phase 1 Avengers were among the few characters still in one piece. While it certainly makes sense for the MCU to save these veteran superheroes for next year’s era-closing Avengers 4 – at which point, you may well see some of these older guys bow out of the franchise – directors Anthony and Joe Russo took other factors into account when deciding not just who would get disintegrated at the climax, but also who would be there to witness it.
In a behind the scenes bonus feature accompanying the film’s digital release, Anthony explained how their choices were partly shaped by how tragic a moment they could create with each combination of characters.
“The movie sort of keeps twisting at the end there in ways that you can’t believe it’s going one step beyond and that the fate of our characters and the fate of our universe are still at play. In terms of our choices of who Thanos would end up eradicating with his snap, it was very story focused. How do we pay off each individual character story most profoundly?
The first person to go is Bucky Barnes and it’s shot from Captain America’s perspective. We’re watching Cap go through the experience of watching him go away. We’re watching Okoye, whose number one mission it is in life is to protect the king. She watches the king go, in front of her. To see those characters react in those situations is very powerful and resonant.”
The pain of learning who’d meet their demise was still fresh for the stars acting out these deaths, with executive producer Trinh Tran explaining how the cast was only informed of the dusting sequence immediately before it was shot.
“The blip out sequence, we had gathered the whole entire talent, they are circled around our directors, and basically revealed to them that morning of that scene was happening, that some of them were gonna be disappearing.”
Given some of the sequels currently in the works, you can expect plenty of these characters to reappear in Avengers 4, which is out on May 3rd, 2019. In the meantime, if you feel like revisiting the apocalyptic climax of Avengers: Infinity War from the comfort of your living room, the film is now available on Digital HD and will be coming to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and DVD on August 14th.