As the weeks pass since the release of Avengers: Endgame, more and more is being expanded on or clarified by the directors and writers. Among many of the things to be discussed lately is the thought process behind certain characters’ endings, including Iron Man’s. Spoiler warning for the rest of this article.
Endgame closed a chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, dubbed the Infinity Saga, and said goodbye to most of the Avengers’ original line-up. Recently, co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo have discussed the major scene featuring Iron Man snapping his fingers to reverse Thanos’ Decimation.
We already knew that the original cut of the scene had no dialogue from Tony Stark, but now the Russos have revealed that Iron Man’s fate was more or less decided from the beginning. Speaking to CBM, Joe Russo said:
“In a way, Tony was always fated to die. He was a futurist, always haunted by what was around the corner. [He went from] someone with an ego to someone who was completely selfless in the end. So that seemed like a very noble trajectory.”
Anthony Russo also spoke about the way the scene played out without Tony’s now iconic last words:
“Initially, [Tony] didn’t say anything when he was facing off with Thanos — he just gets the stones and snaps. But we were in the edit room and it just felt a little flat. [Jeff Ford’s] edited more Marvel movies than anybody. He said, ‘What about ‘I am Iron Man?’ And we were like, that’s it!”
It’s hard to imagine Tony’s final heroic moment without the callback to Iron Man. Looking back to the start of the MCU like this emphasizes Tony’s arc – from his initial, more self-centered personality to his altruistic sacrifice to save the universe. Endgame’s co-writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have also pointed out that Tony’s arc ran the opposite way to Captain America’s, whose ending saw him making a choice purely for himself for probably the first time in the MCU. In this way, both heroes got a satisfying ending to complete the long journeys they’ve been on.
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now.