10 Movie Characters Who Should've Died (But Didn't)

Sometimes, dead is better. It's just a shame Batman didn't listen...

The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale
Warner Bros

It can be hard to say goodbye. When it comes to our favourite movie characters, it's difficult to see our heroes struggle and fall, perishing in the face of insurmountable evil. Hence Batman, still going strong after several lifetimes of beating up monstrous supervillains, or Rocky Balboa, doing relatively fine, even after all those Dolph Lundgren punches to the head.

Sometimes, our favourite movie studios will bite the bullet and let our poor heroes out of their misery, or sacrifice themselves for the greater good - see Wolverine in Logan, or a number of casualties in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame - but those are rare cases. Too often, fan-favourite characters will survive where it makes no sense, trudging on into indignity and irrelevance.

Here we take a look at ten characters who, by whatever plot logistics, managed to defy the odds and either survive, sidestep or completely avoid death, either through plot armour or vague hand-waving.

Fan-favourites though they may all be, each and every one will prove that sometimes, dead is better.

10. Batman - The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises Christian Bale
Warner Bros.

No other series of comic book movies has paved the path to the death of a major superhero like The Dark Knight trilogy, which begins and ends with Christopher Nolan.

It was clear that neither director or star had any interest in continuing with Batman past their trilogy closer. Giving their Batman a clear and definitive arc, it could have culminated clearly and tidily with the heroic death of Batman, sacrificing himself for Gotham City.

It came close, too, with Batman presumed dead after running a ticking time bomb out of Gotham, and 'Robin' having taken over as his successor. But Nolan et al couldn't bring themselves to pull the trigger, and so Bruce survives for his happily ever after with Selina Kyle, enjoying a tasty cocktail in the sun. This ending may have cheered up poor old Alfred, but for the rest of us, it's a disappointing last-minute misstep.


A film critic and professional writer of over ten years, Joel Harley has a deep and abiding love of all things horror, Batman and Nicolas Cage. He can be found writing online and in print, all over the Internet and in especially good bookstores.