*This article contains MAJOR spoilers for Avengers: Endgame*
Having kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his standalone film back in 2018, Tony Stark AKA Iron Man is one of the Avengers’ most popular – and perhaps more importantly, most respected – team members. So Avengers: Endgame, the concluding chapter in the Infinity Saga, was always going to do something BIG with his arc.
Now, directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo have revealed that actor Robert Downey Jr wasn’t always fully on board with where they wanted to go with him in the three-hour epic…
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Anthony noted that Downey Jr was the only actor to get a heads-up on how things ended for their character as he is “the longest and perhaps fullest in the MCU.”
He added: “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.
“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 Endgame, Stark winds up sacrificing himself to save his fellow Avengers and the rest of the world from Thanos and his army. With a makeshift gauntlet made of Infinity Stones and nanotechnology, he clicks his fingers and the purple big bad turns to dust but the move – while successful – kills him in the process.
Just a few days ago, screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus told The New York Times that Endgame was always “going to be the end of Tony Stark.”
Markus added: “I don’t think there were any mandates. If we had a good reason to not do it, certainly people would have entertained it.
“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.”