Now that Avengers: Endgame has premiered in theaters, it seems like the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe can go anywhere. Battles have been fought, heroes have been victorious, and legacies have been passed on to a new generation. But none of this could have been achieved without a few major losses a long the way — especially with the hero who kicked off this entire franchise with Iron Man.
Now directors Joe and Anthony Russo are speaking out on the death of Tony Stark, saying that it couldn't end in any other way. During a career retrospective with Vanity Fair, the brothers revealed that this film was always going to end with the death of Iron Man.
"What a ridiculous opportunity where Joe and I got to use these characters and build upon this narrative that had been contributed to by so many wonderful artists through the years, even through the decades going all the way back to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby," said Anthony Russo. "That was an amazing opportunity for us as filmmakers. If you told us when we were kids that we would ever have the opportunity to tell that story, we never would have believed you."
Added Joe Russo, "Tony, in a certain way, was always fated to die. He was a futurist who always saw death on the horizon and couldn't rest until he defeated it, even if it cost him his life. And what's fascinating about it is he went from an egoist to selfless."
It might seem like the absence of Tony Stark will leave a huge hole in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it just leaves more room for new stories to tell. Producer Kevin Feige, the mastermind in charge of Marvel Studios, loves the opportunity to push the franchise in challenging directions according to Avengers: Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus.
“’Take down S.H.I.E.L.D. Civil War.’ He sees the value in breaking the toys," Markus told the Hollywood Reporter. "He was always pressing for a good sized time jump and to make it permanent. ‘Do it. We’ll deal with it and it will just make it more interesting. Why would you undo it and go back to zero?’ If we went back five years and undid it, that’s five-and-a-half hours of movie that sort of has no point. You loop back around to the beginning and it never happened.”
Avengers: Endgame is now playing in theaters.