Note: contains spoilers for Avengers 4. Like, obvs.
The Russo Brothers are bringing Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a close with theirAvengers: Infinity War sequel. While the (currently untitled) Avengers 4 promises to be the swansong of several heroes and villains, fans are also expecting some of the franchise's fallen heroes to have a miraculous resurrection.
With the Russo Brothers halving their cast thanks to that shocking Infinity War finale, some of the MCU's biggest names were literally left for dust. The unwritten rules state that only Uncle Ben (and Bruce Wayne's parents) are ever really, really dead, and with this in mind, here are all the deceased characters confirmed one way or another to return for Avengers 4.
1. Black Panther
A shining star of Phase Three was Chadwick Boseman's standout performance as T'Challa, aka Black Panther. Ryan Coogler's standalone went on to break all sorts of records and quickly led to Kevin Feige announcing Black Panther 2.
The MCU's non-linear slate means that a Black Panthersequel doesn't guarantee T'Challa's survival, but MCU News and Tweets clocked Boseman on the Avengers 4 set, in his superhero suit and alongside Letitia Wright's Shuri.
2. Scarlet Witch
Although Scarlet Witch was one of the casualties from that big finger snap, Elizabeth Olsen was tricked into revealing her own fate. When asked what happens next for Wanda Maximoff, Olsen ominously teased, "It's only going to get worse".
It might be hard to see how things can get worse considering Scarlet Witch lost her brother in Avengers: Age of Ultron and her robotic lover in Infinity War, but rest assured, it'll be fun finding out.
Having the Mind Stone torn from his head and dying outside Thanos' genocide tipped Paul Bettany's Vision as one of those permanent deaths everyone keeps hyping. Instead, Bettany revealed toCollider that Vision will rise again.
Discussing what it's like filming a movie as epic as Infinity War, Bettany announced, "we've still got to make the [next] one". The man behind Vis also lamented that he'd have to get up earlier than his co-stars to apply all that red face paint.
Few villains have made more of an impact on the MCU than Tom Hiddleston's mesmerising role as Loki. Despite being one of the earliest casualties of Thanos and his quest for those sparkling gems, behind-the-scenes photos confirmed Loki will be back in some capacity.
With Hiddleston promising more mischief in his own Loki TV series, it makes sense that the troublesome trickster is being brought back to the land of the living. That being said, Loki could be set before Infinity War and audiences only get to see him in Avengers 4 through some time-travel trickery.
An unlikely addition to the Avengers 4 roster is Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow, aka Crossbones. One of the many villains from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Rumlow returned with his scarred Crossbones persona for the opening scene of Captain America: Civil War.
Given an explosive exit early on, fans often felt that MCU Crossbones was a bit of a let down compared to his comic-book counterpart. Luckily, Grillo has already confirmed he'll be back for more – Captain America had better watch out.
6. Doctor Strange
With a Cloak of Levitation surrounding Benedict Cumberbatch's Phase Four future, it was unclear whether the Sorcerer Supreme would make an appearance in Avengers 4. Thankfully, Tom Holland spoiled Doctor Stephen Strange's resurrection in an interview with Emergency Awesome.
Spider-lad said: "He has the most difficult lines, though. He has to talk about so much Quantum Realm stuff." It's important to remember that no one mentioned the Quantum Realm in Infinity War and fans already know it will play a major part in Avengers 4. Whoah, whoah, whoah, it's magic!
7. The Ancient One
Sticking with wily wizards, Tilda Swinton will pick up a Bic razor and once again lose her luscious locks to play the Ancient One. After Swinton's sorcerer met her maker in 2016's Doctor Strange, Frank Grillo confirmed that the Russo Brothers managed to get Swinton back for just one day of Avengers 4.
With Strange's links to the Quantum Realm, he could easily come across the Ancient One to learn some crucial information about how to topple Thanos.
8. Bucky Barnes
Following a trip to Wakanda to forget that nasty Winter Soldier fiasco, Bucky Barnes and his Terminator-inspired arm are set to ride into battle for Avengers 4. While it's currently unclear who'll pick up a Vibranium shield after Chris Evans bows out with Phase 3, Sebastian Stan is a hot favourite to play the 'new' Captain America.
Thankfully, Stan made that theory a little easier to believe when he told CinemaBlend that he was still waiting for his Avengers 4 script but will definitely suit up as Bucky.
Anthony Mackie's Falcon flew himself into trouble in Infinity War, and although the winged warrior isn't everyone's favourite Avenger, he's another major contender to play the next Captain America.
Ignoring the MCU's zero-tolerance stance on spoilers, Mackie toldMTV that fans can expect "a war of infinite proportions" in Avengers 4. It might seem a little vague, but pair this with Mackie's snap shared from the set and it confirms that Falcon will spread his wings again.
Evangeline Lilly caused a fair amount of 'buzz' (OH YES WE DID) when playing Hope van Dyne and being the first female to share joint billing with an MCU man.Ant-Man and the Wasp turned Hope to dust in the movie's mid-credits scene, but Lilly toldComicBook.com she'll be in Avengers 4.
The Lost alumni admitted that fans shouldn't expect to see much of her, but we guess that some screen time is better than no screen time.
11 & 12. Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne
With hope for Hope, it wasn't too much of a quantum leap to assume Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne would also return. Sebastian Stan spoiled the surprise when he toldThe Independent he'd filmed a scene with Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer for Avengers 4.
Considering the MCU is only just scratching the surface of the Quantum Realm, it makes perfect sense that Van Dyne and Pym are back to share all their dimensional knowledge.
13. Nick Fury
Sebastian Stan continued his spoilerific rampage (in the same interview with The Independent) when he confirmed that he'd also chewed the scenery with Samuel L Jackson for Avengers 4.
As well as Samuel L Jackson putting on some anti-wrinkle cream to de-age the 69-year-old for Captain Marvel, he'll also get to join the fray in Avengers 4 andSpider-Man: Far From Home. Fury has been resigned to the background in recent movies, but Avengers 4 could finally see the resurgence of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its eyepatched overseer.
Another twist of the knife in Infinity War came when Josh Brolin's Mad Titan sacrificed his own (adoptive) daughter to get the Soul Stone. Zoe Saldana's involvement with Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 already pointed at her return in Avengers 4, but here's the proof.
Saldana told E! that she was always coming back and her Infinity War demise was only ever a "see you later". Well, that and the fact that the Star Trek actor shared an Instagram picture back in the make-up chair.
15 - 19. The other Guardians of the Galaxy
Unsurprisingly, if Gamora can claw her way back to life, why wouldn't the rest of the Guardians also be able to? James Gunn's script for Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 was already supposed to be set after the events of Avengers 4, and despite the threequel being on hold, the rag-tag rogues will all be back in 2019.
Even if Gunn's firing affects the team's Avengers 4 arc, Dave Bautista confirmed the team is returning. Considering Rocket and Nebula were the only ones left after Star-Lord, Drax, Mantis, and Groot blew away in the wind, it's good news for the dwindling ranks of the Guardians.
Put away those tissues because Tom Holland will be crawling up walls and making pop culture references in Avengers 4. Aside from the fact that Spider-Man: Far from Home picks up just moments after the events of Avengers 4, Holland was also papped on a plane (viaComicBook.com) heading to the Avengers 4 set in Atlanta.
Resurrecting Peter Parker might rob audiences of one of the best superhero movie deaths of all time, but it's worth it just to have the chirpy Holland back in the bosom of the MCU and dropping spoilers about anything and everything.
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