WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters now.
The shocking ending of Avengers: Infinity War saw Thanos (Josh Brolin) "balance" the galaxy by wiping out half of its inhabitants with a snap of his fingers. Among the dead were several Avengers and most of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but given that quite a few actors still have pictures on their Marvel Studios contracts, and sequels are lined up for casualties like Black Panther and Spider-Man, in true comic book fashion, fans have begun theorizing how these deaths will be undone come the next film.
However, the movie's writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, have warned that the untitled and secretive Avengers 4 won't go the way we expect, and that there won't be quite the plethora of resurrections as we may believe. “[The deaths are] real,” Markus said, “I just want to tell you it’s real, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to move on to the next stage of grief.”
That said, not everyone will remain dead, but factoring how high-stakes Infinity War was and the emotional impact of all these deaths, it makes sense that not everyone will get to come back. With that in mind, let's look at some characters we've got a feeling might remain in the afterlife in Avengers 4, and why.
Gamora's (Zoe Saldana) sacrifice by Thanos is one of the more heartbreaking moments in Infinity War. A resurrection here would indeed feel like a cop-out because she was killed before Thanos' genocidal snap, making her death real. Also, bringing her back takes away from the tragic aspects of Infinity War and cheapens the importance the writers tried to instill. In fact, keeping her dead would be a bigger twist because everyone's expecting a star-crossed lovers reunion with Star Lord (Chris Pratt).
The Russo brothers love going against the grain, and this would fit the bill. Gamora's death being held up would surprise audiences and be a smart approach for the future of the gung-ho Guardians. Director James Gunn has said in the past that he wants to tell different stories moving forward, and a roster tweak like this would fit perfectly with that vision, especially for the evolution of the immature Star Lord as a leader. Gamora's death could somehow guide all parties back to the Soul Stone where she's residing -- and pave the way for Adam Warlock's MCU arrival. After all, Quill might be looking to do anything to get her back, given the losses he's endured in life.
Fans predicted Loki's death at the hands of Thanos, and were all too ready to accept it when it happened. We've been saturated with Tom Hiddleston's god of mischief from the start, spanning three Thor movies and the first Avengers film, and he's a character many will miss. But the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done everything it can with him -- turning him from a villain into a hero -- he's essentially run his course.
It's also time to break Thor away from this brotherly drama so he can finally focus on succeeding Odin as the king of Asgard. He has to find the Asgardian refugees a home and embark on a new chapter ruling over them, so if Loki comes back for him to deal with, well, it'll feel regressive for both characters. At some point, we can see the mischief-maker being reborn as Kid Loki or Lady Loki, but it shouldn't be anytime soon. Right now, the Asgardians need new allies and foes if they're to remain interesting and exciting.