Avengers: Endgame Directors Reveal How Long They've Known Tony Stark's Fate

Tony Stark's heroic sacrifice at the end of Avengers: Endgame has left a lasting mark on audiences worldwide. Iron Man is no more and the directing duo behind the film told fans how long the dramatic ending to Tony Stark's character arc today during a Reddit AMA. Joe and Anthony Russo made it clear that the narrative of the Avengers had been rolling this way for some time.

In the giant battle near the end of the film, Iron Man is the only thing standing between Thanos and the villain's chance to do even more damage with the Infinity Stones. Tony Stark decides to snap away the Mad Titan and all of his forces, but victory comes at a devastating cost as the hero will never live to see the peaceful world he helped bring to fruition. That last exclamation of "I AM IRON MAN," feels well earned and closes the story of Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

We’re Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame. AMA! from r/marvelstudios

While some still believe that Stark is alive and are holding out hope for some type of resurrection, one Redditor just wants to know how long the Russos had this gut-wrenching twist planned. Anthony Russo answered him and said that they were burdened with this knowledge for three years. These plans would date back to when Captain America: Civil War was in theaters or Doctor Strange's introduction to the silver screen.

This revelation just goes to show that these storylines are plotted out for years and years in advance. So much has happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2016. Who knows what kinds of surprises are waiting in the wings for Phase 4 and beyond?

For now, fans have been hoping that Marvel Studios have some type of plan for bringing Iron Man back into the action at some point. To his credit, Joe Russo sounded pretty firm about the question of a returning Iron Man during An Evening with Joe Russo, a live Q&A hosted by ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis. He claims there is no way that the character will return in the foreseeable future.

“Tony’s dead, you know?" Russo explained. "That’s it for Robert. He’s done.”

That seems pretty definitive, but Avengers: Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus added his two cents on a possible Iron Man return in a recent interview.

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"That’s the life he’s been striving for, Markus said. "Are he and Pepper going to get together? Yes. They got married, they had a kid, it was great. It’s a good death. It doesn’t feel like a tragedy. It feels like a heroic, finished life."

It seems as though everything unfolded exactly how it was supposed to and there's no telling where the Avengers will go from here.