“Avengers: Endgame” was marked in particular by the death of Iron Man. Captain America could have sacrificed himself in his place. Director Joe Russo explains why Tony Stark was cast over Steve Rogers.
Avengers: Endgame is the end of Tony Stark
With Avengers: Endgame, Marvel has reached the pinnacle of its Connected Universe. Both at the box office level (almost 2.8 billion dollars at the worldwide box office) and in history. Indeed, after having presented a string of superheroes through twenty films for more than ten years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has quite simply deleted half of them with Avengers: Infinity War. It is at the end of this opus that half of the universe disappears with a snap of the fingers of Thanos. But with Endgamethis act was reversed thanks to Iron Man’s sacrifice.
The MCU’s first superhero gave his life to bring back the missing. A moment full of emotion for the fans who therefore had to say goodbye, in the same film, to Black Widow and Tony Stark. But it is probably the death of the second that will have the most impact. It is at least on this one that the film of the Russo brothers lingered the most.
Captain America, the natural hero
Precisely, Joe Russo took advantage of the launch of the Sands International Film Festival of St. Andrews in Scotland, to return to this event of Avengers: Endgame. The director participated in a conversation with the co-editor of Deadline Mike Fleming Jr. Following a question from an audience member, the filmmaker explained this choice to sacrifice Iron Man rather than Captain America. He begins by presenting Captain America’s natural heroism who, obviously, would be ready to sacrifice himself:
If you think of Captain America, as a character, you’re like, “Okay, Captain America’s death is pretty obvious,” right? It’s something he would do given his character. He’s a guy who offered to be a guinea pig in a science experiment. He is inherently a hero. There’s not a lot of complexity there. So it could have an emotional impact, because you love him. He’s a very likable character, but it wouldn’t necessarily be the most compelling arc.
Iron Man’s ego cast aside
Joe Russo then goes on to show that for Tony Stark it is this sacrifice that allows him to put aside his ego, and therefore truly become a hero.
Tony Stark is a character who had to die. If you look at Iron Man, within the first five minutes of the movie, he should have died. But that was not the case. He was captured and he has an ego, doesn’t he? This first movie is about subjugating his ego to be a hero. But that ego then feeds him, and sometimes he conflicts with this idea that he can be a hero. It seemed to us to be a more interesting choice, to take a character who had an ego. Because to die for others, you have to get rid of them. That Stark Dies felt like the most compelling arc to us. A richer and more complex arc. That’s why we chose it.
The choice to kill Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame was so difficult, but coherent for the Russo brothers, in this process of making the character a real hero. He still has a very selfish attitude during all these films and is quite open to criticism. It is therefore surprising to see him sacrifice himself. But it gives him a fairer development.