Spoilers for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. You have been warned.
Thanos: [facing off against the Avengers] “Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe. But this [chuckles] does put a smile on my face.” – Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War is the movie fans have been waiting for. After a decade of blockbuster movies, Thanos goes to war with humanity for the Infinity Gauntlet. The only thing standing in his way are the superheroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the rest. And much like 2007’s Best Picture, there will be blood.
So who will make the ultimate sacrifice to save the universe? And who isn’t renewing their contract? Here are our thoughts.
5. The Vision
Played by Paul Bettany
Vision: “Humans are odd. They think order and chaos are somehow opposites and try to control what won’t be. But there is grace in their failings. I think you missed that.“
Ultron: “They’re doomed!”
Vision: “Yes… but a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts. It is a privilege to be among them.”
Ultron: “You’re unbelievably naive.”
Vision: “Well, I was born yesterday.” – Avengers: Age of Ultron
The Vision started out as the A.I. Jarvis in 2008’s Iron Man. Jarvis helped Iron Man control his armors and provided deadpan humor during hectic fights. In Age of Ultron, the newly created Ultron destroyed Jarvis. The remnants of his code were transferred into an robot body that Ultron created using an Infinity Stone.
The combination of Jarvis’ code and the Infinity Stone caused the robot to become sentient. The robot took on the name Vision and helped the Avengers destroy Ultron. Vision also began a relationship with new heroine Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).
Chance of death: (100%) Vision has an Infinity Stone in his head. Thanos wants the full set. Goodbye, Vision’s head. The rest of your body will be along soon.
4. Drax the Destroyer
Played by Dave Bautista
Gamora: “Your wife and child shall rest well, knowing that you have avenged them.”
Drax the Destroyer: “Yes. Of course, Ronan was only a puppet. It’s really Thanos that I need to kill.” – Guardians of the Galaxy
Drax the Destroyer was an alien warrior whose world was attacked by Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). The invaders killed Drax’s family, leading him to swear vengeance against Ronan. Drax rampaged across the universe searching for his prey, only to get arrested and thrown into jail.
While incarcerated, Drax encountered Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and joined a prison break. Drax and company, later known as the Guardians of the Galaxy, embarked on a journey to protect an Infinity Stone from Ronan. The Guardians managed to kill Ronan, but Drax transferred his obsessive vengeance to Ronan’s master, Thanos.
Chance of Death: (60%) Drax is the stupidest Guardian of the Galaxy. He will likely make a suicide charge against Thanos and die horribly. There’s no way the Guardians are getting out of Part One without at least one big casualty.
3. The Hulk
Played by Mark Ruffalo and Edward Norton
Grandmaster: “[about Hulk] Okay, this is it! Let’s get ready to rock, here he comes…he is a creature, what can we say about him? Well, he’s unique, there’s none like him! I feel a special connection with him. He’s undefeatable! He’s the rage! He’s the defending. Ladies and gentlemen…I give you…your…incredible…” – Thor: Ragnarok
The Hulk has a weird history with the MCU. He first appeared in The Incredible Hulk (2008) with Edward Norton playing Bruce Banner. Later movies ignore that yawn fest, but have introduced elements like William Hurt as General Ross and references to the Hulk destroying Harlem.
Mark Ruffalo took the reins to great acclaim in The Avengers. The Hulk was given a forced romance with Black Widow in Age of Ultron and ran away at the end of that film. He recently appeared in Thor: Ragnarok as a gladiator on an alien planet. Like I said, weird.
Chance of death: (50%) The easiest way to prove Thanos is a real threat is to have him kill The Hulk. If Thanos can kill the strongest Avenger, the stakes are raised for the rest of the universe.
#2 Black Widow
Played by Scarlett Johannson
[during an alien invasion]
Bruce Banner: “So… this all seems horrible.“
Black Widow: “I’ve seen worse.”
Bruce Banner: “Sorry.”
Black Widow: “No, we could use a little worse.” – The Avengers
Black Widow first appeared in 2010’s Iron Man 2. She infiltrated Tony Stark’s company to spy on the eccentric superhero. She was eventually revealed to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and helped protect Iron Man’s supporting cast. She reappeared in The Avengers to save Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) from Loki.
Black Widow also helped uncover a HYDRA conspiracy in Captain America: the Winter Soldier before becoming The Hulk’s love interest in Age of Ultron. She joined Iron Man’s team in Captain America: Civil War and quickly betrayed them. Whose side will she be on in Infinity War?
Chance of death: (70%) Scarlett Jo ain’t cheap. Black Widow has also lost the protection of being the only female superhero in the MCU. The Wasp, Valkyrie, and the Scarlet Witch combined aren’t as expensive as the Black Widow.
#1 Iron Man
Played by Robert Downey Jr.
Tony Stark: “OK, yeah. The truth is… I am Iron Man.” – Iron Man (2008)
Tony Stark is a dead Iron Man walking.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe launched on May 2nd, 2008 with the release of Iron Man. In a decade of movies we’ve seen arms dealer Tony Stark transform into the heroic Iron Man. We’ve seen him assemble The Avengers only to drive them to a civil war by creating Ultron. Marvel has turned Iron Man from a relative unknown to an icon who can stand against Batman and Superman and beat them both at the box office.
Avengers: Infinity War debuts on May 4th, 2018, two days after the franchise’s 10th anniversary. Forget establishing Thanos as a threat. Forget the tens of millions of dollars that RDJ collects for each movie. Iron Man will die because that is the perfect opportunity to end an era of cinema.
Whatever the MCU does next will be done without Robert Downey, Jr., but it may not have survived as long as it has had his cynical genius superhero not become the first of the Avengers to have commercial success.
That’s the list. Tell us in the comments who you think is worm food in training.