Kevin Feige Had a Contingency Plan for Marvel Actors Unwilling to Return After Avengers: Infinity War Using a Card Game to Seal Their Fate

The team behind 'Avengers: Infinity War' carefully mapped out who lives and who dies.

Kevin Feige Had a Contingency Plan for Marvel Actors Unwilling to Return After Avengers: Infinity War Using a Card Game to Seal Their Fate


  • 'Avengers: Infinity War' saw many of the characters turn to dust due to Thanos' snap.
  • This plan was created to give the cast a chance to negotiate their contracts with the studio.
  • Anthony Russo revealed how they decided which character should live and die.
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Six years after Thanos’ lethal snap killed off half of the cast in Avengers: Infinity War, it remains a mystery for some why these characters were chosen. The ending to the 2018 film indeed was one of the most shocking and intense moments in the entire saga, but it was not created out of whim – it was years in the making.

Avengers Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War

The creative team behind MCU made sure that the deaths of the characters are essential to push the story forward, not just to elicit emotions from the viewers.

How Avengers: Infinity War Determined Who Lives And Who Dies

According to MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, directors Anthony and Joe Russo, Marvel boss Kevin Feige, and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely mapped out the fate of each character on a board filled with cards.


These cards represent each character, and written with their names are their journey from the beginning up to Infinity War, and the actor’s contract details. If any of the cast chooses to leave or negotiate their contracts, the snap will be their way out.

As fans noticed after the blip, the original six Avengers remained in the frame. They were the ones with fully fleshed-out stories, and knowing their fates wouldn’t be the same anymore after the epic battle, there was no way to “assemble” them again in the future.

The Avengers (2012)
The Avengers (2012)

In an interview with film critic Peter Travers via ABC News, Anthony Russo explained how the team decided which characters were going to die after Avengers: Endgame.


We looked at every one of those characters. We looked at their arc that they’d been on through all of the films, and we just started to think about what was the most satisfying climax for each of those characters on an individual level.”

He further added that the decision to kill off characters was more likely based on its emotional impact on the cast and the audience. They believed that Iron Man and Black Widow had completed their journeys, and their deaths would give a devastating yet fulfilling end to the story.

There was never a mandate from Marvel about somebody had to live or somebody had to die. It was simply, what is the most satisfying story we could tell?

For those who have been wishing to see Iron Man and Black Widow get revived in the future, it’s better to let go of those hopes as Russo added: “It is really the end.”

How The Snap Affected The Characters


As to how the creative team behind Avengers: Infinity War chose who would disappear during the snap, Anthony Russo told Comic Book that it is story-focused: “How do we pay off each individual character story most profoundly?


Bucky Barnes was the first character turned to dust as Captain America watched his friend slowly disappear. Then, Okoye was left petrified after witnessing T’Challa perish. These characters’ reactions to the deaths of their loved ones became the emotional seat of the story.

Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame are available to stream via Disney+.


Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2142

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.