By this point, you've probably already cleared your calendar for April 27, when Avengers: Infinity War comes out, and maybe you've even begun losing hours of sleep in anticipation for the upcoming Marvel movie. If so, that's probably for the best — as MCU star Don Cheadle reveals to reporters on the set of the new movie, fans have real reason to worry about which superheroes will die in Avengers: Infinity War.
"I think the stakes have been raised. And we understand that we're not invincible and superheroes can go down," Cheadle says, speaking on Infinity War's Atlanta set in 2017. "I think Rhodey being injured was a part of it, kind of starting the 'oh wait, people can really get hurt. Things can really go south for these characters.'"
Cheadle is, of course, referring to the fact that the last time his character, Rhodey, fought alongside Iron Man and Falcon in Captain America: Civil War. During battle, he was accidentally shot down by Vision, whose solar beam happened to hit War Machine's arc reactor. Rhodey plummeted to the ground, closely followed by Tony Stark. While he didn't die, the fall partially paralyzed him; later, Tony made him an exoskeletal leg brace to allow his pal to continue walking. So clearly, if anyone knows about the vulnerability of superheroes, it's Cheadle.
In Infinity War, Rhodey must face his revelation that he isn't, in fact, invincible. "You might see him suit back up again. Although that's gonna be a thing, for him to put that suit back on," Cheadle says. "He's fighting to put [the accident] behind him. But absolutely, it creeps up." The actor adds that the hero's mentality is, "Don't want certain people behind me. I'm gonna keep a eye on everybody, I wanna keep that jewel in front of me, not behind me."
According to Cheadle, Infinity War has "more gravitas" than previous MCU movies, due to the fact that there's more at stake than ever before. With that in mind, fans might want to start mentally preparing themselves for one or more potential superhero deaths or other upsetting tragedies — especially because Thanos poses the greatest threat to the world out of any other Marvel movie's villain. It's not only because the Big Bad has immense power; it's also because he has a complicated past that allows both his enemies and viewers to understand his motivations more.
According to the Infinity War screenwriters, Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, it's not interesting to "have a villain who just wants to kill somebody or just wants to take over the world because it seems like a fun thing to do" — or, they add with a laugh, someone who "has been paid by the Russians to take over the world… to run for president to take over the world."
Even with all of the serious threats that Thanos poses in Infinity War, fans don't have to worry that the upcoming movie won't have the same spurts of humor that make Marvel movies so lovable. After all, an addition of sarcastic humor is inevitable in any superhero showdown that involves Tony Stark. "Everyone's kind of catching up and we're performing for each other a lot of times," says Cheadle. "Trying to crack each other up and be there in those kinds of ways for each other."
While the possibility that a major character — or several of them — could die in Infinity War looms, you can bet that the movie will have plenty of lighthearted jokes to cut the tension. Sure, you'll be sitting on the edge of your seat, gripping the cupholder next to you while fearing that your favorite superhero could die at any second, but all of that stress will most likely be worthwhile thanks to the banter between the beloved characters.