So we're all pretty sure someone is dying here, right? Yea, it really feels like somebody's gonna die by the time Captain America: Civil War concludes. So let's go through each candidate and weigh their particular odds, shall we?
1. Black Panther- He's being introduced in this film; he has his own movie lined up; it's not happening. Next.
2. Spider-Man- Same. Plus, he's freaking Spider-Man. Next.
3. Vision- A keeper of an Infinity Gem is not dying before The Avengers: Infinity War. Next.
4. Scarlet Witch- She's the second of only two female characters, and her brother already bought it. Next.
5. Ant-Man- Were any harm to befall Scott Lang while Paul Rudd is assigned to act him out, I'm pretty sure the sun itself would dim and all mountains would crumble. You can't hurt Paul Rudd. You can't even allow the idea of a damaged Paul Rudd to enter the realm of possibility through what may happen to a fictional character he portrays. This might as well be gospel. Next.
6. War Machine- The most glaring choice. But you could also look at the trailers and sniff out this head fake a mile away; when a character looks like they die in the promotional material, it's a pretty safe bet they'll actually be okay and someone else will go down. Also, he'd be an overwhelmingly obvious choice anyway, in that he's peripherally important through his relationship with Tony, and I'd like to think Marvel knows enough to realize they can't just get away with something that basic. But again, he is the easiest layup here; that has to be acknowledged.
7. Hawkeye- A distinct possibility. On the one hand, we just met his family so he seemingly should be safe but, on the other, if you really want your fans to realize they're not in Kansas anymore, then there would be no better way to do so than by sacrificing one of your most lovable and rooted characters on the altar of "Holy Sh!t, this is really happening." Final Verdict: Maybe (but I doubt it).
8. Black Widow- Again, she's one of only two female characters and has become rather central to the MCU. Maybe she dies at some point, but they're not blowing that before Infinity War rolls around. She's safe.
9. Iron Man- Fear not, kiddos... The Mickey Mouse/Bugs Bunny of the MCU is gonna be just fine. Next.
(Note: Here's where things get interesting...)
10 & 11. Falcon & Winter Soldier- Bear with me here... depending on where the filmmakers choose to go with this film, either of these two might just be the most likely candidates of all. Especially because...
12. Captain America- I don't buy it, for several reasons. For starters, he's one of the big boys and the studio will want and expect all hands to be on deck and up front when Infinity War drops in two years. Secondly, if Marvel starts pulling Death of Superman/Jon Snow stuff on us all now - where he's "dead" but we really know he's not and he's totally coming back in two years but everyone keeps pretending otherwise - then Marvel will immediately have gone from the higher echelons of storytelling down to run of the mill, disappointing BS; I truly believe they're better than that. And finally, as Bane once said to an enfeebled Bruce Wayne, "Your punishment must be more severe."
In a previous post, I surmised that this "Civil War" would be Cap's more than any other, as he would be trapped between what feels like his true home (i.e. 1940s, WW2, moral clarity, Bucky, etc.) and his current environment (i.e. 2016, shady global affairs, moral compromise, Tony, etc.). If this is, in fact, what pans out, then it's fairly obvious from the trailers he's going with Bucky and the way things were.
This, I believe, will be his undoing. He will not accept where he is and who stands with him now to defend it; he will turn his back on the reality of his situation, eschewing it for what was both familiar and that which makes him feel righteous and safe. And this will be his great error: A lack of acceptance of what is in favor of that which we wish to be will never work out for anyone, especially a hero the caliber of Cap.
So my feelings are that he'll make the wrong call through a certain kind of selfishness, and he will lose for it... but he won't die. He didn't in the original Civil War run from Marvel (that actually happened soon after), and he won't here. Instead, he will be shamed and dishonored; he'll lose much more than just the battle...
He'll lose a friend. He'll lose either Bucky or Sam. That will be his consequence. That will be his punishment. If this movie is about what I think it will be about, then that's the move. It will devastate both him and the world that so admired him, also driving everyone involved to their lowest point before Thanos shows up. It's one of the many reasons why I found making this a Civil War story so perfect: it's where our heroes lose each other, where the family breaks up... so they can get back together when we need them once more, when the real stuff hits the fan.
So Cap's gotta go down. The symbol of all that is right in the world must be wrong, and he's gotta pay the price for it. But not with his own life. No, he could easily live or, rather, die with that. But what he wouldn't be able to live or die with is his mistakes costing the life of a friend. That would be the greatest penalty of all.
And that's why I think it will be Falcon who dies. Cap rejects the modern world, and it costs him the best piece of it he was ever given. It costs him his Sam. That's my forecast.