The definitive endings for Captain America(Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) by the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame had to feel earned, say screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who fractured the superheroes’ relationship in Captain America: Civil War before bringing them together once more.
“We’re very excited by this. If you look back at the MCU, that Steve and Tony have been on different paths towards becoming the fullest versions of themselves,” McFeely told Fandango when asked if the plan was always for Steve Rogers to retire and grow old after Tony Stark dies making a sacrifice play saving the universe.
“And Steve’s arc is about trying to find some personal life, you know? Like he’s been a man for others for so long, when does he get to be a man for himself? And how is that not selfish? How is that just earned?”
Tony, who is killed utilizing the six Infinity Stones to obliterate Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his army, “goes from sort of self-interested playboy to a man for others,” McFeely said.
“A man willing to lay his life down. And so they sort of cross in the middle in Civil War, and the natural end of those arcs seemed to be Tony laying down his life, you know, flying over the wire as it were, and Steve going and getting a life. So where we hit upon it was in order to become their best selves, Steve had to find a life, and Tony had to lose his.”
Markus and McFeely previously defended the resolutions to Cap and Iron Man’s stories in conversation with the New York Times, explaining the plan was for the man out of time to get his dance with long lost love Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) “from the very first outline.”
“On a separate subject, I started to lose my barometer on what was just fan service and what was good for the character. Because I think it’s good for the characters. But we also just gave you what you wanted. Is that good? I don’t know,” McFeely said.
“But I’ll tell you, it’s satisfying. He’s postponed a life in order to fulfill his duty. That’s why I didn’t think we were ever going to kill him. Because that’s not the arc. The arc is, I finally get to put my shield down because I’ve earned that.”
For Stark, who weds Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) and leads a happy life as father to Morgan (Lexi Rabe), “We had the opportunity to give him the perfect retirement life, within the movie,” Markus said.
Added McFeely, “He got that already.”
“That’s the life he’s been striving for,” Markus explained. “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.”
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