ByJack Carr, writer at Creators.co
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.
Jack Carr

For a universe featuring almost countless superheroes with a variety of powers which are all weirdly similar (but definitely not the same, alright?), it's sometimes easy to forget that the is basically just a playground for two people. Their names are Captain America and Iron Man, and without them it's almost impossible to imagine what the future of on the big screen would look like.

Between them, these guys have headlined a Marvel movie every year from 2010 to 2016, and even this year, with no new Avengers or Captain America movie on the schedule, has a major supporting role in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

So what happens when they're gone? It's a question most of probably don't want to think about just yet, but new comments from Chris Evans this week suggest that Marvel needs to be thinking about it right now, because that day is looming.

Chris Evans Talks The Future Of Cap & Iron Man

After claiming on Ellen this week that he has no idea whether he'll return after Avengers 4 (the final movie in his contract), just let slip that Robert Downey Jr. is likely to be the first to exit the MCU — and reading between the lines, it sounds like we might be saying goodbye to Iron Man way sooner than anyone probably imagined...

Here's what he had to say in an interview with USA Today:

"Downey is far closer to reaching that point where he may walk away. And I don’t know how you replace [RDJ] as Tony Stark," said Evans. "I don’t know who else can touch that."

'Civil War' [Credit: Marvel Studios]
'Civil War' [Credit: Marvel Studios]

He's right, obviously — in Iron Man, the MCU has taken a character who wasn't part of the public consciousness and made him the very core of this universe. Civil War may have been a Captain America film, technically, but Tony Stark owned it.

But considering that Evans himself said his last adventure may be Avengers 4, which hits theaters May 2019, if Downey Jr. is "far closer to walking away," perhaps we should be asking the question...

Will 'Infinity War' Kill Off Iron Man?

Considering the recent speculation that Pepper Potts will return in Spider-Man: Homecoming, after Civil War alluded to her relationship with Tony being over, it doesn't feel so wild to imagine that the MCU is laying the groundwork for the exit of Iron Man, either on a private jet to an island populated by bikini-clad women, or in a casket six feet under.

'The Avengers' [Credit: Marvel Studios]
'The Avengers' [Credit: Marvel Studios]

If they wanted to play it safe — and, let's be real, Marvel almost always does — they would choose the private jet. That way Tony Stark can pop in every now and then, invent some new tech whenever the writers need a deus ex Machina and pass on his wisdom to the Black Panthers and Captain Marvels of the next generation.

More Infinity War:

But would that be particularly satisfying for anybody? Would that even be on the cards if RDJ's contract is up and in need of renegotiation (and therefore a huge salary increase)? Creatively speaking, there's far more to gain from choosing the casket. The idea of no more Iron Man in the MCU might seem scary, but his death in Infinity War would raise the stakes in a way this universe has never seen before — because, Quicksilver aside, it never actually has the balls to kill anybody.

When the Avengers movies are increasing in magnitude and expanding to include almost every hero in this universe, how do you realistically keep the hype level dialled up to maximum between Infinity War and Avengers 4? By communicating that no hero is invincible, and none are safe.

Don't get me wrong, I love Iron Man — but if RDJ is done, the time has come. You might wanna take some tissues with you to the theater when Avengers: Infinity War hits on May 4, 2018.

Should Marvel kill Tony Stark in Infinity War, or are you not ready to say goodbye to Iron Man just yet?

Sick burn. [Credit: Marvel Studios]
Sick burn. [Credit: Marvel Studios]

(Source: USA Today)

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