When Avengers: Endgame finally comes out in a couple of weeks time, it’ll mark the end of a journey that’s taken 22 films, 13 years, and two different Hulks.
While we have absolutely no idea what to expect from the film, other than a bladder-straining 3-hour running time and Ant-Man possibly crawling up Thanos’ butt, we have a pretty good hunch on what’s going to happen to two beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe veterans.
Are you ready for it? Here it is: Steve Rogers and Tony Stark are going to die in Endgame.
Bear with us here, this isn’t just a random shot in the dark. Let’s start with Steve first.
Cap’s solo movies have been taking influence from a number of acclaimed comic series, such as the recent Captain America: Civil War loosely adapting the popular “Civil War” comic storyline. While Steve is still alive in the films, he was assassinated in Civil War’s follow-up comic, “The Death of Captain America.”
Endgame doesn’t adapt “The Death of Captain America” and is largely an original story, but there have been hints scattered in the last few Steve Rogers-centric films hinting at a visit to the pearly gates in the upcoming Avengers flick, and it all makes sense from a character arc perspective.
- He’s said a bunch of times across the films that he’s willing to lay down his life for what he believes in, to the point where he’s abandoned the Captain America moniker
- Thanos represents the greatest threat to the universe he’s faced and stopping the Mad Titan would be a completion of his character arc
- And you don’t drop hints about sacrificing yourself without paying them off later on. That’s just filmmaking 101.
And of course, there’s the behind-the-scenes stuff as well. It’s been well documented that Chris Evans was very hesitant to take on the role of Steve Rogers before he finally signed on to a six-contract deal, which ends once Endgame is out.
Given all the years he’s been playing the same character, not to mention all the hints he’s dropped over the years about wanting to move on at some point, Endgame appears to be the perfect place to hang up Captain America’s shield for both Chris and Steve.
Moving onto Tony Stark, he’s remained alive through a lot of the comic storylines so no use combing those for hints. Instead, let’s just look at what the films have done so far.
Tony has said early on in the very first Iron Man that he shouldn’t be alive and has vowed to use his brain to defend the Earth. Like what Thanos is to Steve, the Mad Titan also represents the greatest challenge Tony’s had to face and a sacrifice here would also be a completion of his character arc that was established in that cave with Yinsen 11 years ago.
Robert Downey Jr’s contract with Marvel will also end after Endgame and he’s been playing Tony Stark nearly as long as Hugh Jackman did with Wolverine so surely he must be wanting to move on now.
And you know, Tony did get stabbed in Infinity War and that’s as big of a Chekov’s Wound as you’re going to get.
Now while the board is set for Steve and Tony to gracefully (or ungracefully) bow out, it doesn’t mean Captain America and Iron Man are dead.
Marvel has established a couple of things in the films to ensure that other people will carry on the torch of those two superheroes for many years and movies to come.
For Cap, it is likely that the next person to don the shield is Bucky Barnes due to his similar skillset as Steve and him being Steve’s BFF and all. Plus he’s got a lot of redemption to go through after his stabby Winter Soldier years so it seems perfect for him to do some good as Captain America. Seeing as how Sebastian signed a nine-film contract to play Bucky, it seems like the pieces are in place for the next Cap.
As for Tony, remember that genius whizkid, Harley, from Iron Man 3? Probably not because that film was pretty meh, but our money is on him to take up the Iron Man helmet once Tony carks it.
The kid is smart, handy with his hands, has an established rapport with Tony, will be around 18 by the time Endgame is out and about, and has a three-film contract with Marvel. All signs are pointing to a new and young Iron Man at some point in our future, which will effectively serve as both a new origin story and continuation of the character.
As much as we would like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans to play Tony Stark and Steve Rogers respectively until the end of time, it simply isn’t feasible, so why not have them go out in the grandest way possible.
Now this is all nothing more than an educated guess at best, but if there was a time to finally pass on the Iron Man suit and Captain America’s shield, Endgame is about as perfect of a time as there ever will be to say goodbye to Steve and Tony.