Russo Brothers Reveal Jon Favreau Was Against Tony Stark Dying In 'Avengers: Endgame'

Russo Brothers Reveal Jon Favreau Was Against Tony Stark Dying In 'Avengers: Endgame'

Joe and Anthony Russo did it anyway, feeling that this was a perfect conclusion.

When everyone thought Thanos (Josh Brolin) was about to win and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) snaps his fingers instead, the theatres thrummed with anticipation and excitement. The line, “I am…Iron Man,” forever changed the way Marvel movies were viewed. However, there was someone rallying for this kind of tragedy to not take place at all. Jon Favreau rallied hard against the Russo Brothers, imploring them to avoid the death that devasted fans in Avengers: Endgame.


While speaking to Vanity Fair, Joe and Anthony Russo broke down some scenes from their movies. In doing so, they encountered the famous Avengers: Endgame scene where Tony Stark wrestles the Infinity Stones from Thanos’ gauntlet before snapping his fingers. The repercussions of this winning move were serious, one of them being Tony Stark’s death. The scene was made all the more impactful with the killer dialogue delivered by Iron Man. “It's probably the most pressure we've ever had in trying to come up with a line with [screenwriters Christopher] Markus and [Stephen] McFeely on any of these movies,” Joe Russo said. “You do not want to f—up Tony Stark's last line.” 


Additionally, Jon Favreau, director of the first two Iron Man movies, was completely against the arc they were proposing for Tony Stark. “Part of the pressure came from Jon Favreau, who called us up after he read the script and said to us, ‘Are you guys really going to kill Iron Man?’” Anthony Russo mentioned. Joe recalled "pacing on the corner of a stage on the phone with Favreau trying to talk him off a ledge." "He's like, 'You can't do this, it's gonna devastate people. You don't want them walking out of the theater and into traffic,'" he said. "We did it anyway." 


While they clearly didn’t seem happy about killing Tony Stark off, they were certainly not feeling guilty about disappointing Favreau. “We did it anyway, and to Jon's credit, he hadn't stepped through the process in the way that we had,” Anthony noted, saying the brothers “would have had the same reaction” if they hadn't directed the back-to-back Avengers movies. 


However, Tony’s line, in the end, came from an unsuspecting source—the editor of the first Iron Man film, Jeff Ford. The brothers tried multiple ways to end the scene, to do justice to the character. It didn’t make sense until they stepped back and let the natural filmmaking process take over. “Our editor, Jeff Ford, who is one of the most amazing filmmakers we've ever collaborated with, edited the first Iron Man movie,” Anthony praised. “So he had been on the journey with the character since the original Jon Favreau-directed Iron Man.” Joe added, "He hit play, and Thanos says, ‘I am inevitable.’ Beat, beat, beat. And Jeff went, ‘I am Iron Man.’ We were like, ‘Stop! What did you just say?!’” He added: “We called Downey and said, 'You gotta put the suit back on.’” 

The brothers said that the conclusion felt like a ceremonious end to Stark’s character arc. In his quest for peace, which he never found, this death scene would be the place he could rest. As Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) says, “You can rest now.”

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