Avengers: Endgame Director and Writers Clarify How Iron Man Got the Infinity Stones Back From Thanos

Avengers: Endgame provided solid conclusion to Marvel Studios' Infinity Saga, but as always, some fans came away with major questions left unanswered, and some potential plotholes that need explaining. One of the bigger points of confusion was how Tony Stark / Iron Man pulled that last-second heist, nabbing the Infinity Stones right out of Thanos' grasp.

Well, thanks to the commentary track on the Avengers: Endgame digital release, fans can get the full explanation of how Tony faked-out Thanos. As director Joe Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely explain it, you have to really take note of the gauntlet that Thanos was wearing at the time of his final showdown with Iron Man:

[As the climatic Avengers: Endgame moment of 2014 Thanos trying and failing to Snap existence away plays...]

Joe Russo: "...aaaaand nanotech."

Stephen McFeely: "That's right if it's unclear how he got them, it's two similar gloves talking to each other in this nanotech-y way."


Russo: "And the suit is keeping him alive here."

McFeely: "Well, as the power's coursing through him, he doesn't have a lot of time."

Joe: "But when he snaps those fingers..."

Christopher Markus: "It's too much."

In case you didn't pick up on it there, the Endgame writers and directors actually clarify two questions big hangups that fans had with Iron Man's climatic moment:

  1. Because the "Iron Gauntlet" that Thanos was wearing is made of the same nanotech as Tony Armor, Iron Man was able to simple manipulate the nanobytes in both gauntlets to shift the Infinity Stones over to his hand, instead of Thanos'.
  2. It was reiterated throughout the Infinity Saga that mere mortals cannot survive contact with an Infinity Stone - let alone wield all of them. It's only because of the advanced tech in the Iron Man armor that Tony has the brief amount of time he does in order to achieve his Snap. However, like any mortal, the effort of using the Infinity Gauntlet is all too fatal, with or without a protective suit of armor.
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Commentary and insight like this actually does help make the events of Avengers: Endgame make a lot more sense - not that this one necessarily needed to be explained. Close viewing of Marvel Cinematic movies leading up to Endgame pretty much spell out how/why Iron Man would be the only hope for victory out of 14 million futures, and only make Tony Stark's through the franchise that much more meaningful. In the end, he was the suit of armor around the world, both literally and figuratively.

Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in spring 2021, Loki in spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If? In summer 2021, Hawkeye in fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021.

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