The Marvel Cinematic Universe has utilized a very fluid and ever-changing concept of death through its first big phase of releases. This has even caused the ends of some notable fan-favorite characters over the years, including Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson in 2012's The Avengers and Tilda Swinton's Ancient One in 2016's Doctor Strange.
This trend went into full blast at the end of the MCU's Infinity Saga, helping to bring an end to heroes that had been with the franchise for a long time. 2019's Avengers: Endgame alone saw the deaths of two original Avengers with Natasha Romanoff's sacrifice for the Soul Stone on Vormir and Tony Stark's Infinity Gauntlet Snap to defeat Thanos and his army.
As Phase 4 begins, death is once again at the forefront of Marvel Studios' upcoming slate right from the get-go. In a recent interview, the two stars of the MCU's first new entry of Phase 4 expanded on this concept and how their last MCU appearance would have set a Phase 3 death further into stone.
THE VISION'S SCRAPPED ENDGAME APPEARANCE
In a recent interview with each other via IMDB, WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany chatted about a potentially different ending to 2019's Avengers: Endgame. The conversation revealed that a post-credits sequence for Endgame was going to feature Wanda Maximoff visiting Vision's corpse after his death in Avengers: Infinity War:
Olsen: "What did you really think the percentage was after you were killed in Infinity War and there was no special tag that revealed that you were not killed? What did you think the percentage was of you coming back?"
Bettany: "I was sort of, very much, in the kind of 10%-15%. At one point, I was going to be a tag, where [Wanda] opened a sort of body bag drawer, and there was The Vision. Kevin (Feige) kind of talked to me and said, ‘I just, I gotta pull the shots.' And I was like, ‘Oh,’ ‘cause I really wanted that profit participation!'"
The full interview can be seen below:
Elizabeth Olsen believed that Wanda Maximoff "has a tremendous amount of guilt” as she secluded herself from the world after the finale of 'WandaVision.'
Kevin Feige explained that they had to cut Doctor Strange from the WandaVision finale because "it would have taken away from Wanda," revealing that they "didn't want the end of the show to be commoditized to go to the next movie."
Kevin Feige confirmed that a deal was finalized between Benedict Cumberbatch and Marvel to appear in the final episode of 'WandaVision.'
WHAT THIS MEANS
Talk about a dark moment! Even for how excited Paul Bettany was at the chance to have a dead-body appearance in Endgame, Marvel's head man Feige appeared to have the final say in the decision, as usual.
Avengers: Endgame was the first MCU movie without any sort of tease either during or after the credits, which helped to plant a firm ending to the Infinity Saga after 11 years and 23 movies in total. Although it helped close the book on Marvel Studios' first extended story, the movie itself set up more than a handful of new journeys that will continue both in the movies and in Disney+ series over the coming years.
In terms of this specific scene, this wouldn't have likely changed anything for what is being played out right now in WandaVision, but it surely would have cemented Wanda's feelings of loss and despair as it started. After Vision had the Mind Stone ripped out of his head, Wanda had nearly no time to grieve that loss before turning to dust herself, and she had to jump right into action again for the final battle of Avengers: Endgame five years later. As difficult as this loss was for her, the originally planned tag may have sent her into an even deeper state of despair.
Regardless of what could have been, Paul Bettany is enjoying his next round of fame through his co-starring appearance in WandaVision. Episode 3 of this Disney+ series will premiere on Friday, January 22.