While Captain America was a popular choice, Joe Russo explains why killing off Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame was ideal. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Joe and his brother Anthony make their MCU debut. They were brought on to finish the Infinity Saga with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which wasn’t easy. Fortunately, their efforts were rewarded with critical and box office success for both films.
Along with introducing Thanos and bringing the decade-long story of Marvel Studios to a close, the Russos also had to figure out how to say goodbye to some of the MCU’s most beloved characters. Among them were Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, the Avengers’ co-captains and co-leaders. When Avengers: Endgame came out, it was clear that both characters had come to the end of their respective stories. In order to defeat the Mad Titan, Iron Man gave up his own life. A second chance for life came for Captain America when he traveled back in time to meet Peggy Carter in the 1940s.
With Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely on board, the Russos, Joe said it all comes down to what they think will make for a better story. A new film festival called Sands International Film Festival of St. Andrews is being launched by the filmmaker who spoke to Deadline about why Tony’s death was more powerful than the idea of Steve’s death. His full remark is here:
If you think of Captain America as a character, you go ‘Okay, Captain America dying is fairly obvious,’ right? That is, you know, something he would do based on the character. You know, this is a guy who, you know, offered to be a guinea pig in a science experiment. He’s intrinsically a hero. Like there’s not a lot of complexity there. It might be emotionally impactful because you like him. You know he’s a very likable character, but that’s not necessarily the most compelling arc.
Tony Stark is a character who was supposed to die. If you watch Iron Man, the first five minutes of that film, he should have died, but he didn’t, he got captured and he has an ego, right? And that first movie’s about the subjugation of his ego in order for him to be a hero. But that ego then fuels him, and at times it competes with this idea of him being a hero. That seems like a more interesting arc to us to take a character who had an ego because to die for others, you have to defeat the rights of that. It seemed like the more compelling arc to us that it would be Stark who died. So that it would be a richer more complex arc, and that’s why we chose him.
When Marvel Studios made the decisions in both Infinity War and Endgame, they were scrutinized by fans for years. Iron Man’s death is controversial, despite the fact that it neatly concludes his arc, given that he began as a conceited industrialist who couldn’t care less about the problems of others. This man’s sacrifice serves as an important part of the character’s journey, even if killing off Iron Man was tragic due to the fact that he left behind a wife and a young daughter.
What will happen to Captain America in the end? Fans are still unsure of the details surrounding his death. Since Marvel Studios has been skirting around the questions for some time now, we have no idea what happened to him at the film’s conclusion. For the time being, Sam Wilson is the only one authorized to use the Star-Spangled Avenger shield in the MCU.
The Infinity Saga is no longer the focus of the MCU as Marvel Studios works on Phase 4 and beyond. The series is still a long way from a climax like Avengers: Endgame at this point. It may never be done again in the same audacious and risky way. Fans will always have a soft corner for the original six Avengers, especially Iron Man and Captain America, even as the franchise grows exponentially with new characters.