In the Iron Man 3 ending, Tony Stark blows up all his suits of armor. Why does he do this? In an Empire Online podcast interview, Iron Man 3 director Shane Black and writer Drew Pearce explained the reasoning. It turns out that the original plan called for the ending to go down in a slightly different way.
Shane Black said, “At the end, if he’s going to prove to Pepper…in the version of the first draft, she didn’t want to give up her powers. She said ‘I can’t do it. I can’t go back.’ And he said, ‘Well, how about if I give it up then. Will you do that for me?’ And he had this scene, which was very romantic, where he sacrifices the suits in order to get her to give up her power.”
Drew Pearce added, “And that was where it started, and I think it came to mean something else. The key word in the later versions and the filmed version is this idea of distractions, and the fact that literally, physically Iron Man has been getting in the way of their relationship.”
Shane Black said, “Well, what it is really is ‘Will you give up the other woman?’ I can’t stop schtupping this other woman…and she says ‘Please,’ and he goes ‘Ok, I’m going to stop just for you,’ and she hugs him and says ‘Thank you.’”
Drew Peace revealed the ending also helped reinforce one of the key point of the whole movie. Drew Pearce said, “We made one of the bigger points we wanted to with the movie, which was that he is a hero now outside of the suit, and he can feel like a hero outside of the suit.”