In general, moviegoers seemed happy with the sendoff that Marvel gave Tony Stark/Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame. Robert Downey Jr. wouldn’t have been able to keep playing the role forever, and a recast would have been distracting. So having his character die in heroic fashion (followed by that tearjerker of a funeral) was probably the right call. However, one person who didn’t share this view was Jon Favreau, who allegedly tried to talk directors Joe and Anthony Russo out of killing off the MCU’s flagship superhero.
The Russos described Favreau’s reaction while breaking down some of their most iconic scenes in a new video for Vanity Fair. When discussing Tony’s death, Anthony recalled getting a phone call from the original Iron Man director after he read Endgame’s screenplay. As he tells it, Favreau was shocked by how the filmmakers planned to end Stark’s big-screen journey.
“I remember pacing on the corner of a stage on the phone with Favreau, trying to talk him off a ledge,” remembered Joe. “Because he’s like, ‘You can’t do this. It’s gonna devastate people and you don’t want them walking out of the theater and into traffic. We did it anyways.”
Joe also admitted that trying not to “f**k up” Downey’s last line resulted in some of the most pressure either of them had ever faced in their filmmaking careers. In fact, the version of Tony’s death that made in into Endgame’s theatrical cut was actually the third one they shot during production. With this, they understood where Favreau was coming from.
“To Jon’s credit, he hadn’t stepped through the process in the way that we had,” added Anthony. “So we would have had the same reaction if somebody had dropped that [on us].”
Although he’s no longer physically part of the franchise, Downey’s character will continue to have a presence in the MCU for years to come. One of Marvel’s upcoming TV shows, Ironheart, will feature Riri Williams, an engineering prodigy who builds her own armored suit inspired by Tony’s Iron Man designs. Another series, Armor Wars, will feature the return of Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine. In that series, viewers will learn what happens when Tony’s technology falls into the wrong hands.
Do you think the Russos made the right decision about Iron Man’s fate? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Iron Man by Fraction & Larroca: The Complete Collection Vol. 1