There's no question that Marvel Studios fans were destroyed by the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the epic cinematic event that saw heroes fall, rise, and ultimately triumph against the might of the Mad Titan Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. Not everyone made it out of the movies unscathed, with half the universe dying in the first film while other heroes sacrificed themselves to restore the universe to what it was before Thanos snapped his finger. And the decision surrounding the ultimate fates of characters like Iron Man and Captain America ultimately came down to the film's writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
The two opened up about those difficult decisions, revealing why they settled on Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark sacrificing himself to save the galaxy, while giving Chris Evans' Steve Rogers a happy ending.
"We knew we wanted to see Cap and Tony dealing with the aftermath so that you could really see them suffer, quite frankly," Markus told the New York Times when asked how Endgame survivors were selected.
"And that's why Cap and Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) are relatively minimal in the first movie, because all they'd be doing is punching. We knew that they had a lot of story in the second movie, and there were other people who would have much more story in the first movie, like the Guardians."
Chris Hemsworth's Thor "is strangely the one that gets two movies' worth of story," added McFeely. "For a guy people once thought of as boring, he's become very useful," Markus said.
The Avengers' two casualties — Black Widow received an unchangeable death on Vormir unlocking the Soul Stone, used later by Iron Man when he equipped all six Infinity Stones to annihilate Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his army, fatally wounding himself — were always endgame.
"When we were working on both Infinity War and Endgame, the first thing we did was break the ending of Endgame. Because we wanted to know where we were going," director Joe Russo said previously.
"It's very hard to tell a story if you don't know where you're going. So we have a very specific process with [Markus and McFeely] where we spent months in a room just talking about a three-page outline. Literally, page one is act one, page two is act two, page three is act three. Because you have to know in a contained document like that, 'Here's where we start, here's what happens in the middle, here's where it ends.' If you know that, it's a lot easier to get to script. A more malleable format to work in a short outline like that, spend your time talking about it and thinking it through. We knew fairly early on how this was gonna end."
Avengers: Endgame is now playing.
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