Avengers: Endgame Directors Reveal How Long They Knew Tony Would Die


Avengers: Endgame brought the first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a close in the only way that made sense: by concluding the adventures of Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, the hero who kicked off the franchise back in 2008. Tony Stark’s death will go down as one of the definitive moments in the MCU, but how long has the idea been set in stone for behind the scenes?

Well, the Russos revealed exactly how long during a Reddit AMA they did on Wednesday. The filmmakers were asked this question by a fan, with Joe Russo taking the opportunity to explain that:

“We knew for about three years before we shot the film.”

So, let’s do the math here. Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame shot principal photography back to back across 2017, with the Russos officially signing up to helm both in 2015. It adds up then that they would have been discussing storylines as early as 2014.

This also means that Captain America: Civil War was made with the knowledge that Tony was due to die. The clues are there, after all – the BARF scene in which he regrets not saying goodbye to his parents before their murder sets up his trip to the past in Endgame in which he gets to speak with his father Howard one last time.

Not that the exact circumstances of his final moments were locked in place for that entire period. The brothers have previously discussed how Tony’s iconic last line to Thanos – “Well, I am Iron Man” – was only added during reshoots when they realized Stark had to have a comeback for the villain’s “I am inevitable” line. Downey Jr. was even reluctant to go back and re-do the scene at first.

Still, the Russos’ revelation about Avengers: Endgame serves as a peak into just how far in advance Marvel Studios plans out the shape of the MCU. Which only makes us even more curious to find out what they’ve got planned for the next few years.