Robert Downey Jr. Had Mixed Emotions On Avengers: Endgame’s Ending

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Avengers: Endgame serves as the final outing of Tony Stark in the MCU, and seeing his eleven-year arc come to a close was a bittersweet experience for many fans. In fact, according to co-director Anthony Russo, even Robert Downey Jr. himself had mixed emotions about how his story concluded.

If you’ve seen Endgame already (and if not, then be warned that spoilers lie ahead), then you’ll know that Tony Stark’s journey concludes with the hero sacrificing his life to save the universe. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Anthony Russo recalled pitching this ending to Downey to check that he was comfortable with it:

 “We did pitch Robert his arc, because he kicked off the entire MCU. The Tony Stark arc is the longest and perhaps fullest in the MCU. Once we decided we wanted this kind of ending for the character, we certainly wanted to make sure Robert was comfortable with it, just because of his enormous contribution to the MCU. We did pitch it out. We went over to meet with him and we pitched it out to him.”

According to Russo, Downey was a little divided about his character’s sad fate, but ultimately accepted Tony’s demise:

“A lot of the actors are not opinionated about what we do. They like the fact that we are sort of in control of these stories and we are driving where they should go and we have a vision for where they should go and they trust in that. I think Downey may have had mixed emotions about thinking about [where Tony Stark ends up in Endgame], but I think at the end of the day, he totally accepted it.”

In lieu of a post-credits scene, the new movie’s end credits finish with the sound of a hammer clanking against iron, which the Russo Brothers have since clarified to be their little way of saying goodbye to the MCU’s first hero.

Incidentally, while the Russo Brothers were sure to run Iron Man’s death past Downey, co-writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus have said that they never really considered letting Tony live. As Markus put it in an interview with The New York Times, the opening third of Endgame already gave the character “the perfect retirement life,” meaning that Stark’s eventual demise “doesn’t feel like a tragedy. It feels like a heroic, finished life.”

Not only did Avengers: Endgame serve as Iron Man’s swan song, but the film is also expected to be the last major MCU outing of Pepper Potts. Nonetheless, the pair left behind a daughter, and it’ll be interesting to see if Marvel has any plans for her in the next phase of the franchise.

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