'Avengers: Infinity War' Directors Call Iron Man the Heart and Soul of the Marvel Universe

Tony Stark helped kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe 10 years ago in Iron Man, with actor [...]

Tony Stark helped kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe 10 years ago in Iron Man, with actor Robert Downey Jr. helping usher in a new concept to franchise filmmaking. In the years since Iron Man's debut, multiple heroes have helped defined the MCU, though Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo note that Stark is still the best representation of this world of superheroes.

"I think, in a lot of ways, he is the heart and soul of the Marvel universe," Joe Russo shared with Wired. "He's a fascinating character, a character that we love because he is imminently flawed and we like characters that are challenging and express their humanity and I think Tony Stark does that as well as any of the characters. He started off as a narcissistic alcoholic and grew into a hero which, I think, makes him imminently relatable and signifies what the Marvel universe stands for, which is character first and the heroes are defined through the choices that they make."

One of the elements that makes Stark interesting is that, rather than being the product of a Super Soldier experiment or having been blasted with gamma radiation to turn into an immense beast, the character has had his "super power" the whole time. The only thing that has changed since the character's introduction is how he utilized his skills.

"Tony Stark's powers are fascinating because they basically come from his mind, they come from his scientific knowledge, his brilliance, his intelligence, and his aspirations. It allows you to track a journey in the character and watch him evolve and better himself through the use of these powers," Anthony Russo noted. "He has one of the most exciting power sets of any of the characters."

Iron Man may have survived the events of Avengers: Infinity War, though, with Downey's contract with Marvel Studios soon expiring, it's possible that Avengers 4 could see the character perish or leave his superheroics behind permanently.

While identities like Thor or Captain America have been adopted by various individuals in the comics, Iron Man is intrinsically linked with Tony Stark, which could potentially mean the character departs the MCU indefinitely in the near future. Riri Williams did recently get the endorsement of Stark to become the superhero "Ironheart," though Stark ultimately returned to his former glory.

Avengers: Infinity War is out now on Blu-ray. Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3, 2019.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is in theaters now. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.

Do you agree about Iron Man's importance in the MCU? Let us know in the comments below!

[H/T YouTube, WIRED]