I think most of us are in agreement that Tony Stark’s death in Avengers: Endgame is one of the most powerful on-screen demises in film history. While most of us went into the film fully expecting either Tony or Steve Rogers to die, thus removing the “shock” factor, the sequence is still incredibly emotional. Yes, I cried like a baby.
Who would’ve thought, though, that some of the inspiration for that scene would come from another superhero death scene that happened two years prior? I am of course referring to the heart-crushing death of Wolverine in James Mangold’s masterpiece, Logan. In an interview with Empire, Marvel honcho Kevin Feige talked about his experience watching the climactic scene in Logan.
“We saw Logan like the audience did, in a theater having nothing to do with the making of that film and went, ‘oh my god, what an amazing ending for Hugh as this character.’ And there are only a handful of examples where an actor so associated with a character can go out perfectly. That’s what we desperately wanted to give Robert, and that was what our focus was on.”
Feige also explained why it was extremely vital for the filmmakers involved that Tony Stark died.
“Around the time we started working on this film, there was some sense that deaths don’t matter in our movies – Nick Fury gets shot and died in Winter Soldier and comes back in the third act, which was awesome, but is not a death. And people were clamoring for, not death necessarily, but stakes and real emotion. And I remember thinking, ‘be careful what you wish for,’ as we started getting closer to this. But we never questioned it. All of the angst and all of the effort went into sticking the landing, to making it worthwhile.”
Kevin Feige and gang definitely made the right decision. While I love Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark and a small part of me would love to see him play Iron Man till the day he dies, Avengers: Endgame wouldn’t have been as effective as it is without the death of Iron Man (and Black Widow too).