Releasing on April 26, Avengers: Endgame promises to be the grand conclusion to the "Infinity Saga," which comprises all 22 films that the Marvel Cinematic Universe spawned over the past decade. And since this is a conclusion, it's very likely that characters we love will die.
As Captain America, Iron Man and crew bring the fight to Thanos one last time in hopes of bringing their fallen comrades back, it's inevitable that there will be some casualties along the way. With that in mind, here are our predictions for who will meet their maker in Avengers: Endgame.
Warning: This story contains spoilers for previous Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including Avengers: Infinity War.
Based on the trailers for Avengers: Endgame, things likely don't end so well for Clint Barton's family after the snap. Considering that Hawkeye apparently flees the country and takes on his darker, ninja-assassin Ronin guise from the comics, he's probably in a dark place right now. As such, he'd likely be among the first to make the ultimate sacrifice if it meant helping bring down Thanos. Despite being a supporting character in the MCU, Hawkeye has become a fan-favorite over the years, and his death would be a meaningful gut-punch that would give even more motivation to Cap and crew. — Mike Andronico
While Mark Ruffalo's contract reportedly has him on the line for one more Marvel movie after Endgame, the issues plaguing Hulk throughout Infinity War have me wondering if he's near the end of the line. When he wasn't stuck in as Banner, he barely had time as Hulk to do any damage, which could set up a final massive throwdown between Thanos and Hulk where Banner's alter-ego dies in a fight that weakens Thanos enough for another Avenger to finally stop the mad Titan. Oh, and Ruffalo himself recently revealed he filmed a death scene for the character for Infinity War, which can't be a good sign for the character's long-term plans. — Henry T. Casey
Killing off the comic relief is always a risky storytelling move, but it shows the audience that you mean business. Ant-Man's happy-go-lucky antics never squared particularly well with life-and-death situations. (Look at how hard the heroes and villains worked to keep each other alive in Ant-Man and the Wasp, for example.) And yet, Ant-Man is one of the few characters that Avengers: Endgame could "get away" with killing, without completely derailing the overall MCU story. After all, his arc hasn't had tremendous implications for the larger meta-story, he's shown up in only three previous films and he has a daughter, Cassie Lang, who could someday step up and replace him. (In the comics, she became the Young Avenger known as Stature.) We'd be sad to lose Paul Rudd's handsome mug, but Ant-Man's survival is not guaranteed. — Marshall Honorof
It's hard to say how likely Nebula is to die. After all, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 got off to a rocky start, and we don't know anything about how its cosmic story will square with the events of Endgame. Still, consider the following: Endgame will probably be the end of Thanos's arc, which means that neither Gamora nor Nebula will be quite as necessary to the meta-story as they were before. Furthermore, given what happened to Gamora in Infinity War, there's no guarantee that her character arc will continue — and if Gamora doesn't have a story arc, her adopted sister Nebula may not have much of one, either. As a villainous, reluctant protagonist, Nebula's redemption-by-death would make narrative sense, too. — Marshall Honorof
We’ve seen Tony Stark pushed to his limits, but what if they pushed him more? James Rhodes, better known as Rhodey (also known as War Machine), is Stark's best friend and has largely been a secondary character. II could easily see Marvel shooting his armor out of the sky to show some stakes and push Tony closer to the brink (we saw a hint of this in Captain America: Civil War). Rhodey could easily become the next Iron Man if actor Robert Downey Jr. were to retire, but they could just as easily sacrifice him in service to a main character just to give some last-second emotional stakes to an established favorite. Sure, Pepper's around to do all of this, but she also may be pregnant with Stark's kid, and that seems to dark, even for the Endgame. — Andrew E. Freedman
This one would be out of left field, I admit, but bringing back Lady Sif just in time to kill her off would not be the worst idea. Lady Sif was a pretty major player in the first two Thor movies (and an agreeable cameo in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), but didn't show up at all in Thor: Ragnarok or any of the Avengers films. The reason why is surprisingly prosaic: Sif's actress, Jaimie Alexander, was busy with other projects. But if she had enough time to film a surprise Endgame cameo, it'd make sense to finish her arc with a big, heroic death scene. Sif is strong enough to stand against whatever secondary villains show up, and killing her off would also make Thor's isolation feel all the more complete, having already lost the Warriors Three, his siblings and his parents in previous films. — Marshall Honorof
Avengers: Endgame is a battle of good-versus-evil on a universal scale. And if Marvel's comic-book crossovers have taught us anything, you simply can't win a fight like that without someone sacrificing himself. While almost every Avenger has been willing to lay down his or her life at some point, Cap's story arc has been foreshadowing his death-for-the-greater-good ever since his first film. From jumping on a fake grenade in The First Avenger, to refusing to fight his best friend in The Winter Soldier, to going toe-to-toe with Thanos in Infinity War, Steve Rogers has never been shy about knocking on death's door if there's a chance to do some good along the way. If someone has to die for a higher cause, the smart money's on Captain America. —Marshall Honorof
It's hard to imagine Avengers: Endgame having a happy ending unless Thanos is defeated. And while the Avengers could theoretically cast the big purple baddie away to some remote super-prison, the Mad Titan is simply too dangerous to be left alive. Whether it be by the hand of Iron Man, Cap, Nebula or, um… Ant-Man, Thanos has to be taken out. The entire 22-film Infinity Saga is built on the steady rise of Thanos, and taking him off the board would be a perfect conclusion that would open the door for a new main antagonist (cough, Dr. Doom, cough) — Mike Andronico
The other half of the universe
This would be only fitting, given Thanos' absolutist philosophy. It would also tie up Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a neat, tidy black ribbon. Phase 4 can just move to an alternate universe, which Disney can use to rerun all the major players' origin stories and make Marvel movies, TV shows, video games and T-shirts until the end of time. Admit it: Killing off the entire universe is a possibility, and some of you want to see it. — Paul Wagenseil
Credit: Marvel Studios