We lost a lot of heroes at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. About half of the Marvel Cinematic Universe disappeared into dust in the final moments of the film. Many of us lost our favorite character and it seems that even the directors of the movie, Joe and Anthony Russo, might have lost theirs. The directors recently revealed that, as fans, and not directors, they wish they could have spared Peter Parker the pain of his death.
The directing duo revealed this fact as part of special Q&A (via Slashfilm) at a screening of Avengers: Infinity War in Los Angeles last night. They revealed that of all the characters that were lost, Spider-Man is the one that they would save if they were looking at the movie as fans rather than the creators of the movie.
The death of Peter Parker is one of the most heartbreaking scenes in a very emotional movie. While most of the heroes that are lost to "the snap" have little idea what's happening to them until it's too late, that's not the case with Spider-Man. He actually senses something happening to him several moments before he vanishes. He stares his death in the face, and his mentor Tony Stark is forced to watch it happen, unable to do anything.
It was also probably the most shocking death to take place in the film if for no other reason than we know that Peter Parker will be back somehow. The sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming had already been announced and the film already had a release date of a mere two months after the release of Avengers 4. Spider-Man was clearly one hero who we knew would make it out of Avengers 4, so there was an expectation that he'd probably be ok in Infinity War.
Spider-Man is also, in the grand scheme of things, the most popular Marvel character in the world. He's the one that almost all the movies had been about before the MCU got going and while Disney and Marvel Studios have made Iron Man and Black Panther household names, Spider-Man is the Marvel character that everybody knows, whether or not you've ever actually seen a comic book.
Of course, at the end of the day, nobody is expecting all of the heroes who died at the hands of Thanos to stay dead, so maybe this wasn't that big a "spoiler" to begin with. Exactly how Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and the rest might actually come back is exactly what every fan theory is currently considering, but most believe they'll be back, it's only the how that's the question.
As directors, the pair says that they knew from early on just which characters would go and which would stay, and thus it seems clear that Spider-man being removed from the board wasn't a random decision. There was almost certainly some sort of logic, some sort of reason, behind each decision of who stayed and who did not.
Of course, what that reason could possibly be, in the case of Spider-Man, is anybody's guess. It could be something as simple as wanting to create the emotional moment that comes with Peter Parker's death, but it could also be that Spider-Man needed to be gone. Perhaps the remaining heroes will come up against some sort of challenge that would have been no challenge at all if Spider-Man had been around.
The core members of the Avengers have all survived and only a handful of other characters have. Each of those characters must have a reason to still be around, something they'll do in the next film that, more than likely, nobody else could do.
There's also the possibility that Spider-Man was needed elsewhere. One theory is that those that were erased by the Soul Stone aren't, strictly speaking, dead, but have been trapped inside the Soul Stone. There's some precedent for this idea from Marvel Comics. If something similar has, in fact, happened here, then perhaps Peter Parker needed to be there for some reason specific to the plot of Avengers 4.
The Russo Brothers specifically stated during the Q&A that they would not be answering Avengers 4 questions, so we have no more idea than we did yesterday what's in store for us when the movie hits next May. We also still have no idea when we'll see the first trailer for the film. The first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War hit around this time last year, leading many to believe that the same thing would happen to Avengers 4, yet, here we sit with no trailer and no idea when we'll see one.
Whether that trailer, when we eventually see it, will give us any insight into the fate of Peter Parker or give us an eye to how Earth's Mightiest Heroes will finally prevail, is anybody's guess. It's unlikely to give us much real information. The first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War was called a teaser and even though it came in at a decent length, the tease was that it didn't really say much.
I'd expect the Avengers 4 trailer to do something very similar. The bigger question is if the frist trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home might give us more. It will have to show Spider-Man and it will almost certainly be out before Avengers 4 hits theaters.
Of course, there is one final reason why the Russo Brothers may have decided to take out Spider-Man even though they clearly love the character. Because, for all the reasons that Peter Parker's death was heartbreaking, his return could become one of the most iconic moments in the history of the MCU. How excited will Spider-Man fans, like Joe and Anthony Russo, be when they see Spider-Man swinging once again? Under the circumstances, it's a moment that we know is going to happen, and I for one, can't wait to see it.
Avengers 4 hits theaters in May 2019.