The fate of the heroes of the MCU has never been more uncertain than it was moving into Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. The Infinity Saga was coming to an end, actors’ contracts were expiring, and a world-ending event was approaching; there was no telling who would survive, and Marvel Studios still managed to take this well beyond expectations as half of all life was wiped out.
Between fallen and departed heroes, only half of 2012’s original six Avengers that started it all were left. Since then, moving into Phase 4, Clint Barton returned in Hawkeye, Thor starred in Love and Thunder, and Bruce Banner will soon be back in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
Avengers: Endgame Almost Killed Off More OGs
During a recent interview with MTV’s Josh Horowitz, Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo revealed Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige originally wanted to kill off Thor and Captain America in the Infinity Saga’s climactic blockbuster.
Commenting on the fight between the “big three” Avengers and Thanos, Joe Russo confirmed they wanted the audience to believe anyone could die after Infinity War “put them in a position where they felt like nobody was safe.”
Going into Avengers: Endgame, many were expecting the worst for the original six as the next generation takes over and new faces surface in Phase 4. Ultimately, the deaths were limited to Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, but how would things have played out if Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and Hawkeye also met their ends?
Well, just as the Russo Brothers said, the impact would have been drastically less. Killing off six heroes wouldn’t have allowed the time for fans to properly process the loss of each or give any of them their emotional due, even if they were spread evenly across the three-hour flick.
Thor, Hulk, and Hawkeye clearly still had more stories to be told, as Phase 4 has proven across several projects. Meanwhile, giving Captain America his heroic retirement was a fitting way to defy expectations.