It’s no secret that Avengers: Endgame, with its time travel and unprecedented third-act showdown, signaled the end of so many MCU sagas.
We had Captain America reuniting with Peggy Carter after years – nay, decades – spent apart, while Thor Odinson hands over the keys to Asgard to put himself forward for the Guardians of the Galaxy… much to the chagrin of Star-Lord. But if there was one standout emotional beat of Avengers: Endgame, it involved the late Tony Stark, who paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to defeat Thanos once and for all. And what a moment it was.
Like every other Marvel fan, we were heartbroken, but certainly not surprised, by Iron Man’s fate. Robert Downey Jr.’s genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist developed a habit of laying his life on the line when Earth’s Mightiest Heroes needed him most (see: The Avengers), so his death in Endgame was really rather fitting, as Joe Russo tells CBM:
In a way, Tony was always fated to die. He was a futurist, always haunted by what was around the corner. [He went from] someone with an ego to someone who was completely selfless in the end. So that seemed like a very noble trajectory.
Co-director Anthony Russo went on to elaborate about the thrilling stand-off between Thanos and the visibly wounded Tony Stark, who utters the by-now famous line “I am Iron Man” before clicking his fingers and reducing Marvel’s Mad Titan to a pile of ash. Talk about poetic justice, MCU style.
Initially, he didn’t say anything when he was facing off with Thanos — he just gets the stones and snaps. But we were in the edit room and it just felt a little flat. He’s edited more Marvel movies than anybody. He said, ‘What about ‘I am Iron Man?’ And we were like, that’s it!
At $2.489 billion, Avengers: Endgame is well on its way to becoming the highest-grossing film, well, ever. That’s right, Avatar‘s reign at the tip-top of the box office charts is coming to an end.