Warning: The following post contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Endgame is an emotional rollercoaster with countless moments of levity and heartbreak pervading its three-hour runtime. A number of moviegoers are undoubtedly still processing the film’s tearjerker of an ending, which notably saw two core Avengers make their graceful exits from the MCU. It couldn’t have been easy for the filmmakers to bid farewell to what are arguably the franchise’s most iconic stars. But while speaking with The New York Times, co-writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely explained how they made these decisions.
At the end of the film, Steve Rogers took it upon himself to return the Infinity Stones to the past. But rather than come back to the present, he took a detour to the 1940s and lived out the next several decades with Peggy Carter by his side. Endgame’s last scene, a callback to Steve and Peggy’s final conversation in Captain America: The First Avenger, shows the couple dancing to old-timey music. The scene definitely gave Steve’s character arc a sense of beautiful symmetry. However, it was similarly poetic for Markus and McFeeley, who also penned every Captain America standalone feature.
“From the very first outline, we knew he was going to get his dance,” said McFeely. “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.”
As for Tony Stark, the writers always intended for him to lay down his life to stop Thanos and his minions. But beyond this, giving him a taste of the simple life with a wife and daughter was equally as important.
“In a way, he has been the mirror of Steve Rogers the entire time,” said Markus. “Steve is moving toward some sort of enlightened self-interest, and Tony’s moving to selflessness. They both get to their endpoints.”
“That’s the life [Tony]’s been striving for,” McFeely said. “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.”
Were you happy with the endings that Markus and McFeely gave Iron Man and Captain America in Avengers: Endgame? Let us know in the comment section below!