If you’re still not over the loss of Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame, bust out the tissues before reading any further. Apparently we are now entering the phase where Marvel Studios is just going to make us cry, if the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer is any indication.
In a scene breakdown with Vanity Fair, Endgame directors the Russo Brothers shared a little-known anecdote about Robert Downey Jr.’s final bow as Tony Stark. It was a big responsibility to handle it deftly and something the directors took their time with. It also shocked a certain Endgame co-star and Iron Man director. “Part of the pressure came from Jon Favreau, who called us up after he read the script... and said to us, ‘are you really going to kill Iron Man?” Anthony Russo shared.
Joe Russo recalled the moment it went down. “He did. Yeah. And I remember pacing on the corner of a stage on the phone with Favreau trying to talk him off a ledge. ‘Cause he’s like, ‘You can’t do this. It’s gonna devastate people, and you don’t want them, you know, walking out of the theater and into traffic.’ We did it anyways.” They sure did—and while it was heartbreaking to say farewell to the MCU’s dad, the gutting was well considered. “We felt like we had earned the arc that would feel redemptive and emotional and uplifting and hopeful even though he had sacrificed his life,” Joe said.
Finding the final moment was no easy task. Downey improvised lines and they tried a few versions, some more snarky than others, and originally settled on a version where he said nothing when he did his snap. They re-did it three times. It wasn’t until their editor Jeff Ford, who also edited the first Iron Man movie, stepped in with an idea. Anthony explained, “He had been on the journey with the character since [the original] Iron Man.” Joe jumped in. “He hit play and Thanos says ‘I am inevitable’ and Jeff went ‘I am Iron-Man.’ We were like, ‘Stop!’ ... We called Downey, we said ‘you gotta put the suit back on.’ He had already said good-bye to the character like twice now.”
The emotional journey of finding Iron Man’s final scene didn’t stop there. Anthony revealed more about Downey’s last day, “That pickup we did with Robert was at a stage in Los Angeles; it was directly across the from the stage where he originally auditioned for the role of Iron Man, to make the whole thing even more emotionally devastating for Robert.” The full circle moment from Favreau having a hard time to Downey going back to where it all began is a historic case of sad but happy synchronicity in film cinema that’s not lost on the directors. “We asked him to put the suit on, come back to where he had originally secured the role, and to give his final line,” shared Joe.
We are in our feelings again but we love this 3000. Watch the interview below:
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