Iron Man writers react to Tony Stark's emotional death in Avengers: Endgame. Art Marcum and Matt Holloway wrote the screenplay for Jon Favreau's Iron Man more than 10 years ago, the film launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe and catapulted Robert Downey Jr. at the top of his career. With the beloved actor bidding the universe goodbye with Stark dying in the Joe and Anthony Russo-directed flick, the writing duo offers their two cents regarding how the hero's journey ended in the franchise.
Following their devastating loss to Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, Tony checks out of his world-saving gig and focused on building a family with Pepper. During those quiet five years, they had daughter Morgan and together, they lived a secluded life in a fairly modest home. But when the idea of Time Heist emerged, he came out of retirement and helped the Avengers bring back everyone who was snuffed out of existence from The Decimation, including his protege, Peter Parker. Hulk's snap successfully achieved this goal, but with the Mad Titan continuously threatening the peace in the universe, Tony wielded the power of all six Infinity Stones and snapped the villain and his minions out of existence, killing himself in the process. It was a tragic end for MCU's inaugural hero, but the Iron Man writers thought there was no better way to wrap up his story.
During the red carpet premiere for their latest project, Men in Black International, Marcum and Holloway spoke with IGN revealing how they felt about how the Russos and Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely wrote Tony's final outing. Marcum was adamant that seeing the genius, billionaire make the sacrificial play makes sense saying: "It's sad, but it had to be that way." The pair didn't have anything to do with Avengers 4 and they certainly didn't foresee that Iron Man will be the foundation that the MCU will be built on.
"What's surreal about that is ten years ago, we had no idea any of that stuff was going to happen. When we were all coming up with the first movie with Jon Favreau and Kevin Feige, we were just hoping, 'God, I hope this movie works.' We weren't thinking about ten years and however many dozens of sequels there's been. Really, you look back at that and you're happy that everybody has seen so many movies and have fallen in love with all these different characters that sprang from the MCU."
Much has been said about how big of a risk producing Iron Man was for Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige. At one point, no writer wanted to work on it until the project settled on Marcum and Holloway, alongside Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. While the four never got to work in the MCU after the 2008 movie, their contributions to the franchise is immeasurable because it provided the film its primary structure - a format that remains to be the gold standard in terms of origin story in the film series.
Avengers: Endgame did a great job harkening back to Tony's early adventures with a slew of Easter eggs from his past films, further driving the nostalgia factor of the movie. It was an ensemble film, but at the core of its narrative was Iron Man's arc - each creative decision pertaining to his story was either to honor his past and set up his future. So although it's a tragic ending, made worse by the fact that he left Pepper widowed and Morgan father-less, there's poetic justice with how he went out. Executing the sacrificial play after starting out as a selfish industrialist brings his arc full circle - something that the Iron Man writers know full well of.
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