In the lead-up to Avengers: Endgame, many fans were worried that either Captain America or Iron Man would meet a sad fate in the new movie. And while the former managed to get through his final adventure in one piece, the latter ultimately finished his run in the franchise with a noble sacrifice.
In an interview with the New York Times, co-writer Stephen McFeely reflected on the death of Tony Stark, recalling how the hero’s demise was seen as pretty inevitable:
“Everyone knew this was going to be the end of Tony Stark.”
Co-writer Christopher Markus went on to explain that they would’ve only spared Iron Man’s life if they’d had a good reason to:
“I don’t think there were any mandates. If we had a good reason to not do it, certainly people would have entertained it.”
McFeely then noted that it was only fitting how the MCU’s current era was ended by the hero who started it all, before Markus observed how Tony’s arc over the year’s has mirrored Cap’s:
“In a way, he has been the mirror of Steve Rogers the entire time. Steve is moving toward some sort of enlightened self-interest, and Tony’s moving to selflessness. They both get to their endpoints.”
But while Endgame finally saw Steve Rogers get his happy ending, Markus recalled how they didn’t even consider letting Tony live:
“No. Because we had the opportunity to give him the perfect retirement life, within the movie.”
In that sense, Markus argued that Iron Man’s death shouldn’t be regarded as a tragedy:
“That’s the life he’s been striving for. 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.”
Though Tony Stark was survived by his wife Pepper Potts, Gwyneth Paltrow announced her retirement from the MCU back in February. We can therefore assume that Pepper’s new Rescue persona was a one-off, though perhaps there’s still a future for their daughter Morgan.
Regardless, while Avengers: Endgame lived up to its name in some ways, the franchise still has a busy schedule ahead of it. Next on the agenda is Spider-Man: Far From Home, which will see Tony’s old protégé adjust to life without Iron Man when the film hits theaters on July 2nd.