Kevin Feige Reveals When Robert Downey Jr. Discovered Iron Man’s Fate In Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Endgame will go down in history as a monumental achievement in blockbuster filmmaking, with the movie managing to deliver a crowd-pleasing, effects-driven superhero epic that succeeded in drawing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s sprawling Infinity Saga to a satisfying conclusion and also became the highest-grossing film in history for its troubles.
However, Endgame wasn’t just about the spectacle, with the story being packed full of emotional moments that saw some fan-favorite characters making their final appearances as part of the MCU. The most emotional part of the entire movie though comes right at the very end of the third act battle and saw audiences shedding tears in cinemas across the world, as Tony Stark made the ultimate sacrifice to save the universe.
Robert Downey Jr. had been the face of the MCU for over a decade, with Iron Man essentially acting as the franchise’s flagship character, and killing off such an icon was always going to shake the MCU to its very foundations. And now, in a recent interview, Kevin Feige’s revealed that the decision for Iron Man to die was actually made years before the two-part shoot of Infinity War and Endgame had even started.
“I remember pitching that to Robert Downey Jr. probably in December of 2015, I think. I pitched him the idea of the two-part finale for Avengers and Spider-Man: Homecoming, which was a part of that leading into it. It took a little while, but eventually it came together. I think at first it doesn’t seem real that this journey will come to an end. But as it got closer to filming, it really was emotional for all of us, and particularly for him.”
Tony Stark giving up his life to save everyone else brings his journey full circle from playboy arms dealer to selfless hero and devoted father in what was a decade-long character arc, and co-director Joe Russo praised Robert Downey Jr. for his performance in the scene without having to resort to Tony’s trademark quip-heavy style.
“What’s so incredible about Robert Downey and his performance, and we think this in an awards-caliber performance, is when he looks at Benedict Cumberbatch in that moment, what you see happen on his face and the way he just drops his eyes and receives the information, it’s because he knows he’s the solution and the solution involves snapping his fingers – he’s going to die. The thing he wanted to preserve two hours earlier in the movie is his relationship with his daughter, and he will have to sacrifice that in order to save everyone else.”
Iron Man may officially be dead and gone, but Spider-Man: Far From Home showed that Tony Stark’s legacy might be looming over the MCU for some time yet. Avengers: Endgame was always marketed as a game-changer by Marvel Studios that would definitively draw a line under the Infinity Saga, and killing off their most iconic character certainly acted as the exclamation point.