'Avengers: Endgame' Won't Have One Important MCU Character at All

Your mileage will vary if this counts as a spoiler, but no matter who comes back to life or stays dead in Avengers: Endgame, one character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe just won’t appear at all. No matter how much power Thanos wields, he’s still not strong enough to sort out actor’s contracts and scheduling.

Warning: Minor spoilers for Avengers: Endgame ahead.

On Thursday, UK’s Metro spoke to actor Stellan Skarsgård, who is currently promoting his role in the HBO/Sky series Chernobyl. When asked if Skarsgård’s Dr. Erik Selvig, who hasn’t been seen since Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015, would be in Avengers: Endgame, the actor confirmed he was not. In fact, Marvel hadn’t even reached out.

“No I’m not,” Skarsgård said. “I’ve done four [Marvel films] and they have me contracted for five and they haven’t called me yet.”

He added, “They usually call me when they need some weird plot to be explained in a quasi-scientific way.” Seems whatever quasi-science that will pop up in Avengers: Endgame, it will likely be explained by Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), or Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), or Shuri (Letita Wight). The MCU isn’t lacking in genius brainiacs.

Despite his absence in the biggest Marvel movie yet, Skarsgård’s Dr. Selvig is underrated as a key character in the film series. In his introduction in 2011’s Thor, Dr. Selvig was just a scientist working in the Arizona desert when he met a certain God of Thunder. A year later, Selvig would become Loki’s servant under mind control in 2012’s The Avengers, and would return — dramatically changed by his experiences — in Thor: The Dark World (2013). His final appearance was a brief role in Age of Ultron, where he helped Thor on a brief detour to learn about the Infinity Stones.

Thor Stellan Skarsgard
Stellan Skarsgård, in 'Thor: The Dark World' (2013).

While Skarsgård hasn’t played Selvig in almost four years, his character reemerged last November as the main character in a tie-in Marvel novel set after the events of Avengers: Infinity War.

The book, titled Avengers: Infinity War: The Cosmic Quest Volume Two: Aftermath (say that five time fast), follows Selvig and his assistant, Darcy (played by Kat Dennings in the movies) as they survey the aftermath of Thanos’ genocide. It was written by Brandon T. Snider and published by Marvel in November 2018. This sparked some theories that he could play a key role in cracking time travel via the Quantum Realm for the Avengers.

Despite that book presumably being Marvel canon, we were surprised to see Selvig’s face show up in a list of characters who died in Thanos’ decimation. Of course, it’s possible that Selvig simply went missing in the chaotic aftermath. But either way, we now know for sure that he won’t turn up in Endgame.

While Selvig won’t be in Avengers: Endgame, Skarsgaård, an accomplished Swedish actor whose credits include The Hunt for Red October (1990), Good Will Hunting (1997), two Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and both Mamma Mia! movies, said he had “fun” working for Marvel.

“I thought it was a one-time thing, he said. “The contract said if they wanted me they could use me for five films, but I didn’t think they’d use me for four so it was a surprise. It was a pleasant surprise because I’ve had a lot of fun on those shoots.”

After Chernobyl, Skarsgård will appear in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, which is currently filming.

Avengers: Endgame will be released in theaters on April 26.

Media via Marvel Entertainment