Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame.
Avengers: Endgame wrapped up Tony Stark/Iron Man's (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers/Captain America's (Chris Evans) arc in entirely different ways, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely reveal that they didn't consider any other ending for both heroes. Two of the MCU's trinity (the other one being Thor) officially said goodbye to the franchise after a decade. While the way they left played out very differently, the general consensus is that these were the best ways to send them off. And while the film had gone through several changes as Marvel Studios developed its story, these pivotal plot points were decided early on.
Tony and Steve come full circle in Endgame. Iron Man sacrificed his life by putting on the gauntlet and snapping his fingers to decimate Thanos and his army, effectively ensuring the future of the universe. Meanwhile, Captain America, with the use of the Quantum Realm, went back in time to live the life he's always wanted with Peggy (Hayley Atwell) and passed on the shield to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). They were both tear-jerking moments, but are arguably two of the most well-crafted sequences in the Joe and Anthony Russo directed flick. When asked about the mindset behind these decisions, the Endgame writers share that they didn't really consider other ways to say goodbye to these beloved heroes.
In a recent interview with The New York Times on the heels of the release of Endgame, Markus and McFeely explained why Tony's heroic death and Cap's retirement were the only options they ever considered in terms of wrapping up the characters' respective MCU journeys. For Iron Man, the film already gave him the family life he's been striving for, while for Cap, they always knew he was going to get his dance with Peggy. Here's their thoughts.
Were there any other outcomes you considered for Tony?
MARKUS: No. Because we had the opportunity to give him the perfect retirement life, within the movie.
McFEELY: He got that already.
MARKUS: That’s the life he’s been striving for. 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.
And Cap was always going to be allowed his happy ending with Peggy Carter?
McFEELY: From the very first outline, we knew he was going to get his dance. 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.
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.
As sad as it was seeing Tony and Steve leave the MCU, there's a sense of satisfaction with the way Endgame executed it. These scenarios have been discussed over and over again in the last several months following the cliffhanger ending of Avengers: Infinity War, and their survival allowed them to reunite all six core Avengers for one final mission. But there's arguably nothing that would've prepared a Marvel fan for seeing it play out onscreen. The response to the ending of the film has been so emotional that one fan was reportedly rushed to the hospital for uncontrollable crying.
It's a bittersweet ending, and the MCU will never feel the same without its cornerstone heroes, but Markus and McFeely and the Russos gave them the most beautiful send off possible, making it easier for fans to move on and embrace the second generations of hero that came after them. And just because they're no long physically around after Avengers: Endgame doesn't mean that they no longer have an impact on the franchise. Their legacy continues with Spider-Man (Tom Holland) for Stark and Sam for Cap.
Source: The New York Times
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019