WARNING: There are SPOILERS ahead for Avengers: Endgame. So please don’t read ahead unless you’ve seen the blockbuster.
Avengers: Endgame’s directors Joe and Anthony Russo have opened up about the heartbreaking finale of the blockbuster, revealing the integral creative decision that Robert Downey Jr made to the sequence.
“Robert was like, ‘I'm not going to say f***ing anything. I don't want to talk, because it doesn't feel honest to me’,” Joe Russo recently told the Empire Podcast. “‘And I don't think in that moment that he'd have the ability to speak’.”
“He was like, ‘I'm going to lay here, and you can let it unfold with the other characters, but I'm going to barely interact because that feels like a truthful choice to me’.”
Anthony Russo believes that Robert Downey Jr’s approach was key to making this emotional moment land. “To have a character in that much pain, on the verge of death, it was important for us to create the feeling that when you looked at Tony Stark in that moment, you knew he was dying, and you had to process that in that moment.”
Endgame’s co-writer Christopher Markus also provided some insight into the decision to kill off Tony Stark, revealing that Marvel originally suggested it might be the right time to do so, but were far from adamant about it.
In fact, it was Markus and his writing partner Stephen McFeely who quickly realised that Stark had “made his full journey.”
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“Particularly with what Tony experiences after the five year break – that he has gotten married, had a kid, and is living a very healthy, peaceful life for once, and he's had five full years of no surprises – there wasn't anywhere left that he needed to go.”
“This was a guy who had made his full journey, all the way to the end, had experienced a full rehabilitation of his character from being the d*****bag in the back of the Humvee at the beginning of the first Iron Man. To have him make the sacrifice that Steve Rogers would have made had he had the opportunity at that moment, just felt really right."