Massive spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War. If you haven't seen it, look away!
While Avengers: Infinity War has been out for a few weeks now, the fandom and moviegoing community as a whole is still recovering from the absolutely wild and emotional ride. The Russo Brothers crafted a dense but rewarding blockbuster, and had no problem with killing off characters at the drop of a hat (or snap of a finger). The stakes of Infinity War were made clear with its opening sequence, which saw Thanos murder Heimdall and Loki after happening upon the Asgardian ship in space. MCU head honcho Kevin Feige recently opened up about the challenges of that specific scene, saying:
While the excitement to finally jump into Avengers: Infinity War was palpable on set, there was also a sense of dread. Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba played Thanos And Heimdall since 2011's Thor was released, and they no doubt have a special relationship with their signature Marvel characters.
Kevin Feige's comments to The Wrap reveal how emotionally powerful Avengers: Infinity War's opening scene truly was. With two major Marvel characters possibly saying goodbye to their characters forever, there was an added level of urgency that definitely translated onscreen.
Loki's death was a truly horrifying and shocking moment of Avengers: Infinity War, especially given the character's long tenure in the shared universe. Tom Hiddleston's character has been universally regarded as the MCU's best villain, so seeing the Mad Titan choke the life out of him was a game changer that proved that neither Thanos nor the Russos were pulling their punches this time around. The Avengers' big villain ended up being swatted away early in Infinity War, revealing how much has changed in the MCU since Earth's Mightiest Heroes first united in Phase 1.
Tom Hiddleston's contact with the MCU is likely up after Avengers 4, explaining his character's death logistically. But with renewed interest in the Thor franchise after Taika Waititi's Ragnarok, maybe some new deals can be made to keep the likes of Thor and Loki in the shared universe. We'll just have to wait and see if the latter and Heimdall remain dead or return in some way in the future.
Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters now. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.