With Avengers: Endgame serving as the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after more than a decade of movies, spanning across many different franchises, fans are going back and experiencing the Infinity Saga from the beginning. And the whole story began with the origin story in Iron Man, showing how Tony Stark started to grow from being a cold-hearted arms dealer to a hero with a magnetized heart of gold. And it looks like his last stand against Thanos was fated since the moment he decided to break out of that cave.
One fan pointed out a moment of dialogue from the first Iron Man movie featuring Ho Yinsen, the scientist who saved his life and helped him develop the arc reactor technology — and the Mark I suit that facilitated Tony's escape. This line basically set the stage for Tony's final moment against Thanos.
Robert Downey Jr.'s role in the Marvel Studios movies has been the major highlight for many fans, and now his journey has come to a bittersweet end. For those who have been following along from the beginning, it's especially hard to think of the future of the MCU without Iron Man in it; but Downey himself has anticipated his exit for a bit now.
"We had to get off. We opted to, and knew it was part of the job to get off the bus while it rolled on to other destinations," Downey explained in an interview with Disney's twenty-three magazine. "There's something very sobering about it. I'm glad he and I will be there to welcome others as they retire their jerseys."
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige previously explained when he approached Downey about possibly killing off Iron Man and how they had to work toward the character's own endgame.
"I remember pitching that to Robert Downey Jr. probably in December of 2015, I think," he recalls. "I pitched him the idea of the two-part finale for Avengers and Spider-Man: Homecoming, which was a part of that leading into it. It took a little while, but eventually it came together. I think at first it doesn't seem real that this journey will come to an end. But as it got closer to filming, it really was emotional for all of us, and particularly for him."