Tony Stark’s death in “Avengers: Endgame” is a moment that rocked the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever. But things could have turned out very differently if one person had had their way. The hero in question is “Iron Man” director and actor Jon Favreau, who read the plot twist and immediately called filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo. “He read the script . . . and said to us, ‘Are you really going to kill Iron Man?'” Anthony told Vanity Fair.
“I remember pacing on the corner of a stage on the phone with Favreau trying to talk him off a ledge. Because he’s like, ‘You can’t do this. It’s gonna devastate people, and you don’t want them, you know, walking out of the theater and into traffic,'” Joe continued. “We did it anyways,” he said matter-of-factly.
In all fairness, the brothers say they would’ve had similar reactions to Favreau’s had they not fully walked through the kind of “redemptive” arc that they felt was most appropriate for Stark’s character. “Endgame” screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely seem to agree, telling The New York Times that a peaceful retirement was never going to be an option for Stark.
“We had the opportunity to give him the perfect retirement life, within the movie,” Markus said. But having Stark die the way he did emphasized his journey toward true altruism and selflessness. “Are he and Pepper going to get together? Yes. They got married, they had a kid, it was great. It’s a good death. It doesn’t feel like a tragedy. It feels like a heroic, finished life,” Markus added.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Stark’s death was an easy one. The Russo brothers went on to talk about filming Iron Man’s last line in “Endgame” and how they had to call Robert Downey Jr. last minute because they couldn’t figure out what his final words should be. In the end, they asked him to come put the suit back on and shoot one more time directly across from the stage where he had originally auditioned, which is where he delivered Stark’s official last remark: “And I . . . am Iron Man.” Watch what else the brothers had to say about their decision, and see them break down other iconic scenes from the MCU.