Avengers Endgame: Dead or alive? Marvel confirms surprise death... possibly

By Rachel Foley
Entertainment reporter

Image source, Marvel Studios
Image caption,
British actress Letitia Wright played the Black Panther's younger sister Shuri

Marvel has released posters revealing the fates of some of the key characters as fans await Avengers sequel Endgame.

Many Avengers died at the end of 2018's Infinity War as villain Thanos snapped his fingers and wiped out half the Universe.

On the posters, survivors are shown in colour with the dead in black and white.

Some fans were shocked to discover that Black Panther's Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, had died.

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Angela Bassett, who plays Shuri's mother Ramonda in Black Panther, said last year that both Ramonda and Shuri had survived.

But a trailer for Endgame later suggested that this wasn't the case, as Shuri's photo was briefly shown among many pictures of missing characters.

Now the fate of this fan favourite has apparently been confirmed, and many have taken to social media to tweet their disbelief.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

But some aren't convinced that the Princess of Wakanda really is dead.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Can we really trust them?

Marvel routinely uses trailers to mislead viewers about what to expect from their films, so fans can't be blamed for being wary about these latest publicity shots.

The trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron led some fans to believe some of their favourite heroes would perish by using footage from a dream sequence that showed several characters dying.

The Infinity War trailers went further, using battle footage that was never used in the final film.

Earlier this month, Endgame's directors, the Russo brothers, actually confirmed there was fake footage in the Endgame trailers, so there's a chance there could be some red herrings on the posters.

Were there any other surprises?

Image source, Marvel Studios
Image caption,
Shuri (Letitia Wright, left), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson, centre) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston, right)

The 32 new character posters for the film, which is released on 26 April, were posted across social media by the stars and the studio's official accounts.

While the fates of many of the characters had already been made clear on screen at the end of Infinity War, there were a few other surprises.

A colour poster featuring Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie confirmed that the character was alive and will return for Endgame, despite not appearing in Infinity War.

Image source, Marvel Studios
Image caption,
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has already survived several apparent deaths

Three posters for characters who were killed before Thanos snapped his fingers have prompted some speculation about whether the characters will return from their seemingly permanent deaths.

Thor's adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thanos's adopted daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and the android Vision (Paul Bettany) all died before Thanos's snap turned the rest of the fallen to dust.

Disney has announced plans for several new Marvel TV series, including one based on Loki, on their new streaming service, Disney+. While the series could be a prequel, it could also mean the character's death in Infinity War might be reversible.

Image source, Marvel Studios

With James Gunn now confirmed to direct a third Guardians of the Galaxy film, Saldana's Gamora could also be resurrected to play a key role in that film.

As for Vision, well, he's an android, so perhaps there will be a way to reboot him.

Who lived and who died?

Image source, Marvel Studios
Image caption,
Some of the survivors didn't make it onto the film's original promotional poster

The living characters who were given individual posters were:

  1. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)
  2. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
  3. Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)
  4. Captain Marvel (Brie Larson)
  5. Captain America (Chris Evans)
  6. Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau)
  7. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)
  8. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr)
  9. Nebula (Karen Gillan)
  10. Okoye (Danai Gurira)
  11. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow)
  12. James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle)
  13. Rocket (Bradley Cooper)
  14. Thor (Chris Hemsworth)
  15. Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson)
  16. Wong (Benedict Wong)

Posters were released for these fallen characters:

  1. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)
  2. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)
  3. Drax (Dave Bautista)
  4. Falcon (Anthony Mackie)
  5. Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson)
  6. Gamora (Zoe Saldana)
  7. Groot (Vin Diesel)
  8. Loki (Tom Hiddleston)
  9. Mantis (Pom Klementieff)
  10. Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)
  11. Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland)
  12. Shuri (Letitia Wright)
  13. Star Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)
  14. Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly)
  15. Vision (Paul Bettany)
  16. Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan)

Will the fallen stay dead?

Image source, Marvel Studios
Image caption,
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) is alive...for now

Marvel has already confirmed that many of the characters who died in Infinity War will return in new films.

Tom Holland's Spider-Man was one of many heroes wiped out, but he will soon be seen in July's Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Similarly, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has confirmed Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange will return for a sequel at "some point in the future".

Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther is also set to recover from his untimely death in time for Black Panther 2, and it's likely his sister Shuri will too.

There's also a third Guardians of the Galaxy film to come, and as the only living Guardians are currently Rocket and Nebula, it looks as though at least Drax, Groot, Mantis, Star-Lord and perhaps Gamora may return.

However, all bets are off as to which of the living makes it to the finish line in Endgame, as the film coincides with the end of the contracts of some of the biggest Marvel stars, such as Chris Evans (Captain America) and Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man).

Perhaps it's the fate of the characters in the colour posters we actually need to worry about.

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