Avengers: Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who also penned Captain America’s (Chris Evans) trilogy, never much considered death the end of the line for the super soldier superhero.
“From the very first outline, we knew he was going to get his dance,” McFeely told the New York Times of Cap’s ending, which sees the man out of time return to the past to quietly live out his life with long lost love Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) before revisiting 2023 as an old — and married — man.
“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. 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.”
Added Markus, “A hero without sacrifice, you’re not going to get the miles out of that person that you need to for these movies. That’s what makes them a hero, it’s not the powers.”
The fate of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) was similarly never in question, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s original Atlas was killed making the ultimate sacrifice play when turning Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his overwhelming forces to dust.
"We had the opportunity to give him the perfect retirement life, within the movie,” Markus told the Times of Tony Stark’s happy home life with wife Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) and daughter Morgan (Lexi Rabe).
Added McFeely, “He got that already.”
“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.”
Markus and McFeely are now taking a break from Marvel after writing almost exclusively for Marvel Studios since 2011.
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