Avengers: Endgame Directors Wanted Us To Think They’d Kill Tony Early On


Let’s say for a moment you walked into Avengers: Endgame with a clean slate.

Sure, you may have pored over the MCU’s rich catalog in preparation for April 2019, but you hadn’t laid eyes on a single promo for Endgame and its super-sized story – no photos, no interviews, no trailers… nada. Would you be fooled into thinking that Tony Stark, Marvel Studios’ most-loved hero, was at risk of biting the bullet before the action truly kicked off?

Turns out that was a small part of Joe and Anthony Russo’s masterplan, who hoped to deliver an emotional gut-punch by having a disheveled Stark deliver what he believes to be his eulogy. All of this is amplified by Endgame‘s VFX team, who were able to strip down Robert Downey Jr.’s weight so that he appeared on the brink of death – that is, until Captain Marvel shows up to save the day.

Here’s what Joe Russo revealed on the film’s commentary track (h/t ComicBook.com):

And here’s Robert. Our VFX Team did an exceptional job of taking some weight off of him and making him look like he is on death’s door. And the intent here was to make you believe, if momentarily, that we may actually kill Tony Stark at the start of the film. We wanted to…you’ll notice that we draw out the moment where he lays down on the ground and seems to let go as a way to create a sense of tension before introducing Captain Marvel as the savior.

Stephen McFeely, on the other hand, went on to identify the parallels between Stark’s initial eulogy and his final message to the Avengers and little Morgan (we love you 3,000), which essentially serves to dovetail the character’s arc. And the “I am Iron Man” line? That takes fan service to a whole new level.

You’ll notice I bang on about how scenes have to do more than one thing. This is also going to establish the device by which Tony is going to deliver his own eulogy so it doesn’t come out of nowhere. It starts the movie, and it ends the movie.

All of this (and much more!) is included on the Avengers: Endgame digital release, with the Blu-ray and DVD launch to follow in two weeks’ time.