Avengers: Endgame was Marvel’s most ambitious project yet, without a doubt. Bringing together pieces from nearly every single one of the films in their extensive cinematic universe, the studio took us on an intergalactic and also time-traveling journey of mammoth proportions. However, not everything went down smoothly with fans.
In the months since its release, the cast and crew have faced numerous questions, with viewers asking “why this” and “why that” in regards to various moments. But if there’s one question that’s been brought up the most, it’s probably: why did Tony Stark have to die?
Yes, at the conclusion of Endgame, Iron Man met his glorifying end, sacrificing himself to save the world from Thanos. But this wasn’t always going to be the case. In fact, as evidenced by the concept art below, there was an alternate ending to the film which actually saw Tony survive.
The above art comes from the pages of Avengers: Endgame – The Art of the Movie and shows Steve getting ready to go back in time to return the Infinity Stones. And there to see him off is none other than Tony. Bruce, Bucky and Sam are nowhere in sight, so it’s unclear what they may be up to at this point. But if nothing else, this intriguing glimpse into the production of the film shows us that at one stage, Marvel considered letting Iron Man live.
Of course, whether this would’ve been better than what we ultimately got will probably come down to personal preference, but having Stark make the ultimate sacrifice to save the world did feel like the right move. And while Avengers: Endgame may have seen him physically die, there’s always hope that he can still return via AI form. Something that’s actually rumored to be happening in the in-development Ironheart TV show.