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Avengers: Infinity War Director Confirms Lady Death's Status In The MCU

Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled sequel will be chock full of death, but if you're expecting to see Death herself show up, you might be disappointed.

Fans of Marvel Comics have long had a pretty good idea of what to expect from the adaptation of the "Infinity Gauntlet" story for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Six gems, gold glove, kill half of the universe — it's simple stuff. 

Beyond the basic premise, there are many differences between that classic comic book story and the way the MCU is working it, with characters who were important to the book — such as the Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock — seemingly not appearing in Infinity War at all.

Now, the co-director of the third and fourth Avengers movies, Joe Russo, has come out to confirm once and for all that one of the most major characters in the "Infinity Gauntlet" story — the living embodiment of Death — won't be making an appearance on the big screen for this retelling.

Speaking in an interview with Screen Rant, Russo emphasized that the movies of the MCU are telling their own story, and that he is not necessarily interested in retelling what came before them on the page.

"We're telling the story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not the Marvel Comic Universe," Russo said. "Like, growing up, I'm a huge comic book fan. I still have my entire collection, my closet. For me, I'm not interested as a director or as a comic book fan in a literal interpretation of a book." 

The original "Infinity Gauntlet" story, written by Jim Starlin and published over six issues in 1991, followed the Mad Titan Thanos as he used the six Infinity Gems to become a godlike entity with power over all creation, with his motivation being to impress the comics character of Death.

In the comics, Death — sometimes referred to as Lady or Mistress Death — is a skeletal female entity the likes of which has never been seen before in the MCU. Neither god nor alien, she is the personification of death itself — a state of being that the nihilistic Thanos has a particular affinity for

To put it simply, the big dude has a crush on her. In the comics, collecting the Infinity Gems and using the gauntlet was all motivated by the urge to impress her, and perhaps earn her love.

"I know that story. I've read it," Russo said. "I'm not going to go to the theater and be surprised by it. We're interested in surprising you. Borrowing elements and the mojo from it but in completing this giant mosaic of the story that's being told in these movies, not in those books — which is why Death is not in this film."

While there hasn't been any indication in the many-movie lead-up to Infinity War that Death would be a part of the story on screen, the comment explicitly lets fans know not to expect any surprise appearances from the grim entity when the movie premieres — which is probably for the best. After all, doesn't this thing already have enough characters in it? 

Reports from press screenings and the movie's glowing reviews are making it pretty clear that more than a few heroes and villains get kicked right off of this mortal coil once Thanos sets his sights on Earth. So while Death herself may not be on deck for an appearance in the movies, she'll for sure be there in spirit. 

Avengers: Infinity War debuts worldwide on April 27, telling a story that will be concluded in the untitled Avengers sequel on May 3, 2019.