'Avengers: Infinity War' Directors on Tony Stark's Role in the Film

The Marvel Cinematic Universe began with Iron Man and its entire existence so far will come to a climax in Avengers: Infinity War, so what role will the man inside the Iron Man armor have in the film?

Tony Stark has been through a lot over the past 10 years. Played by Robert Downey Jr., he’s gone through his own personal arc in three Iron Man movies, assembled for two Avengers team-up movies, and fought against his best friends in Captain America: Civil War. He’s even taken on a mentor role in his relationship with Spider-Man.

Now his biggest fear is about to come true as Thanos and the Black Order invade Earth, as Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo explain to The Telegraph.

“I think [Thanos] has the most specific connection to Tony because Tony is a futurist, and he has predicted a threat like Thanos,” Joe Russo says. “It’s lived in his brain even though he couldn’t name it. Tony is the most desperately driven, down to the core, to react against something like Thanos, although all the heroes will face a threat, no matter who it is or where it comes from. But I think this is intrinsic to Tony’s psychology, and because Tony started it all with Iron Man, he has a special connection to the threat that’s facing him.”

Anthony Russo adds, “Downey is such a remarkable performer, and we really love him as a performer and what he’s done with the character. The character started as a very narcissistic, self-centered character. His arc in the first movie was to just begin to take a step beyond that, and we’ve continued him along that line in his journey that he’s had to the point where at the opening of Infinity War, his personal life is very thick. The stakes of his relationship with Pepper (Potts) are very high now. Also the fact that he’s had this mentor relationship with Peter Parker, it’s as if his personal life is becoming fuller and more important to him than it ever had before. And that’s an interesting counterpoint to his life as Iron Man, and also his life as Iron Man is a potential threat to that personal life as well. What’s happening with Tony Stark in this film is that he’s beginning to feel the tension between those two things, and that’s a difficult conflict for him.”

The Russos directed Downey as Iron Man previously in Captain America: Civil War, where the seeds of that conflict first began to bear fruit.

“Everyone knows Robert is an incredibly brave performer, and he takes this character to very interesting places,” Joe Russo says. “I think that’s why the audiences have responded the way that they have to Tony Stark. He was really up for the complexity of Civil War and putting his character in a position where he could be perceived as the villain of that story, even though the way that we look at that film is that there are no winners. It was Kramer vs. Kramer, and it was a really messy divorce. You love both your parents, and you don’t want to see that happen. But it did. So moving forward into Avengers: Infinity War, Tony is in a place where he harbors guilt about what happened. But I don’t know if he’s ready to forgive. This movie is a ticking-clock film. Once it starts it doesn’t stop until the end. We refer to it as a smash and grab heist movie. Once Thanos starts collecting the stones, he’s doing it with speed. So Tony doesn’t have a lot of time to reflect. He only has time to act. But I think that the ramifications of Civil War reverberate deeply throughout Avengers: Infinity War.”

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Avengers: Infinity War releases on April 27th. Black Panther is now in theaters. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.