What I Expect From Avengers 4
I have to tell you: this blog post started as something very different. But as I was doing some research for an entry specifically about Avengers: Infinity War and for another Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) post, I connected some dots that support a theory I already had about what’s going to go down in the as of yet follow up to Infinity War. If you have not seen Infinity War or do not care to read about my theory for fear of potential spoilers for both part one and part two, I will not be offended if you decide to read no further than this paragraph. For the rest of you, if it turns out that I am right, you were warned.
Aside from being a technical and logistical miracle getting all of the characters they did within a single motion picture without having it feel disjointed, the movie delivered successfully on emotional character moments that were enough for some viewers to literally walk out of their screenings because of how much they were affected by them. And why Thanos’ demand for our silence was not necessary as everyone else who remained post-snap were speechless anyway. Marvel and Disney have invested more money into this ambitious endeavor than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes but it is the investment executives and creatives have made in the stories themselves and therefore in their audience that has made the MCU the tremendous success that it is today.
Part of investing in those stories is investing in the individuals who write them. Specifically, I want to talk about Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. They are the writing duo is responsible for:
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America: Civil War
And, you guessed it, Avengers: Infinity War.
This is where I am going to get into potential spoiler territory so if you did not heed what I said earlier, better duck out now.
Going into Infinity War, there was a lot of speculation on who would be left standing by the time the end credits started rolling. We’re talking about a decade of movies building up to what I think can be reasonably called a cinematic event. Initially, I did believe that the movie would include the now infamous snap but I imagined that the filmmakers might go further to the edge of the cliff and leave it there. No dusting. Then theater would have erupted in groans and gasps if we had to wait to find out who died in the next installment. However! If any characters did die on screen, my imaginary money was on Tony Stark or Steve Rogers as both Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans have their contracts ending at the end of Phase III and Evans has expressed a desire to return to smaller productions as well as direct. Would have lost that bet. BUT! I am taking that imaginary money and I am putting it back on Captain America to bite the dust. Not the snap dust but you know what I mean.
Now, please understand. I do NOT want Chris Evans to pass the torch or die because I think he has done an unbelievable job bringing this character to life. Captain America is one of my favorite Avengers. However, I do believe that he will be THE major death that closes out Phase III. This brings me back to the aforementioned screenwriters, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who have been a part of the MCU since Phase I with Captain America: The First Avenger. Markus and McFeely have a history working on franchise properties. Their most easily recognizable credits prior to coming on board with Marvel are all based on the Chronicles of Narnia however, the only other film that they can claim full credit for the script is Thor: The Dark World and as of yet, they have not been attached to any Phase IV productions. I believe that is because Cap’s entire arc was put in their (very capable) hands in the same way that Guardians of the Galaxy was placed in the hands of James Gunn. Therefore, when they bow out, so will Captain America.
I know, I know. The departure of screenwriters does not necessarily mean the departure of a main character as bankable as Captain America, particularly if there is a still a story to tell. That is true. In fact, each of the Iron Man movies was written by different set of screenwriters. BUT! It’s not that there isn’t anything left in the tank for Steve Rogers, it’s that his death would be impactful for more member of the Avengers team than even that of Tony Stark might be. Hear me out.
Captain America is referred to as the “First Avenger” despite (A) Thor is 1,500 years old making him the oldest Avenger and the “first avenger” by birth and (B) that Tony Stark was approached by Nick Fury before any other member of the team for the Avenger Initiative. Why are neither of them called the “First Avenger”?
Steve Rogers has taken more time to bond with more of the Avengers by living at the Avengers Facility in Upstate New York while Tony maintained his Manhattan residence with Pepper. We were witness to these character moments with Wanda and Vision in Civil War as well those between Cap, Natasha, Sam and of course, Bucky, in both Captain America sequels. Tony on the other hand, aside from the presence of Natasha in Iron Man II, has largely been isolated storylines baring little impact on the Avengers.
Joe Russo is on record saying that Captain America had returned to Wakanda several times since entrusting Bucky to Shuri after the events of Civil War, which presented him with numerous opportunities to bond with T’Challa and Okoye.
Cap is the last living connection that Tony Stark has to his father, Howard Stark, one of the founders of SHIELD and friend of Steve Rogers in their youth. Tony has said Howard Stark talked about all the time while he was growing up. Despite his genius, Tony always found himself battling for his father’s approval and love but instead of singing the praises of his son, Tony mentions in Civil War that he hated Steve before even meeting him because of how highly he spoke of Cap. Think of it as an immeasurably awkward form of sibling rivalry. Cap’s death would sever that tie and truly force him into the role of being THE leader of the Avengers after the division they suffered in Civil War. I would expect him to take on more of Cap’s values and join the light side. I hear they have cookies.
Contract expiration dates aside, I believe that the loss of Captain America, a great man from the “Greatest Generation”, would be mean more emotionally to the story of the Avengers as they move on to Phase IV and another captain who is pretty damn marvelous.
Do you agree with my theory? Who do you think will leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the next Avengers movie? Let me know in the comments below.