The Russo brothers say that Jon Favreau initially did not want them to continue working on the iconic Iron Man death scene in Avengers: Finale. The premiere of the movie “Avengers: Finale”, directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, took place in 2019 and triumphantly completed both the MCU Infinity saga and phase 3 of the franchise. Long before that, in 2008, Favreau introduced Tony Stark Robert Downey Jr. to the world, marking the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic universe with Iron Man.
Unfortunately, Iron Man’s tenure as a superhero came to an end in the final battle of the Avengers: Finale. At the end of the movie, Tony was able to steal the Infinity Stones from Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his henchmen. Following the grandiose calculation of the multiverse of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Tony heroically sacrificed his life to restore and save the world with a flick of his fingers. Accordingly, his last words were a reference to his classic catch phrase from Favreau’s original film: “I’m an Iron Man.”
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In a recent dive into their films with Vanity Fair, the Russo brothers discuss the most memorable and iconic scenes they’ve shot in the past. Looking at Iron Man’s key moment in Avengers: Finale, the Russo brothers explain the pressure they faced after Favreau read the film’s script. Read the full excerpt below:
Anthony: Part of the pressure came from Jon Favreau, who called us after he read the script. And he said to us, “Are you guys really going to kill Iron Man?”
Joe: He did. And I remember walking around the corner of the stage, talking on the phone with Favreau, trying to talk him out of the ledge. Because he’s like, “You can’t do this. It will devastate people, and you don’t want them to leave the theater and get stuck in traffic.” We did it anyway.
ANTHONY: Yes, we did it anyway. And to John’s credit, he didn’t go through this process the way he used to. So, we would have the same reaction if someone refused it.
Many may agree that the death of Iron Man is one of the saddest and most heartbreaking moments in the MCU, and perhaps in the history of cinema. For Favreau, this moment should have been even more personal. He was the one who helped start the MCU with Downey right next to him, and watching the character he’s been cultivating since 2008 take his last breath must have been a blow. At this point, Iron Man is more than a character; he is an icon in his own right. Similarly, when Russo was asked to reshoot the death scene, Downey initially resisted, as he did not like to embody the emotional seriousness and the last moments of Iron Man. For those who invested in the character’s journey to the MCU, his send-off in “Avengers: Finale” was devastating.
In any case, Favreau was right, as many were shocked and saddened by the finale of “Avengers: The Finale”. Nevertheless, the final scene was the culmination of many years of development of the Iron Man character, completing his transition from a pompous billionaire playboy to the embodiment of the true definition of heroism. On top of that, everything has come full circle thanks to a paraphrase of the classic line from the first film. To this day, Downey’s legacy as Iron Man remains relevant in the MCU and in the hearts of many fans even after his passing.