Avengers: Endgame is one of the best Marvel movies you can find, but it’s also one of the most heartbreaking. In 2019, The Marvel Cinematic Universe lost Iron Man for good, when the MCU character sacrificed his life to save the universe from the big bad Thanos. It was a memorable moment. However, not everyone was on board the kill Tony Stark train. In fact, the directors of Endgame claim that Jon Favreau argued with them about the decision as soon as he read the script.
Jon Favreau not only directed the Iron Man movies but was part of the Iron Man cast, playing the friend and bodyguard of Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark, Harold ‘Happy’ Hogan. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the directors of Avengers: Endgame, the Russo Brothers, revealed Favreau’s attachment to the character, as he reached out to the pair after learning about their plans to exit Iron Man from the superhero franchise.
“Part of the pressure came from Jon Favreau,” Anthony Russo explained while recounting the decision to sacrifice the character. “Who called us up after he read the script and said to us, ‘Are you guys really going to kill Iron Man?'” Joe Russo also recalled a lengthy phone call with Favreau, describing the fellow filmmaker as “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 theatre and into traffic,'” Joe said. “We did it anyway.” Despite going ahead with their decision to off Tony, the directors understood Favreau’s point of view when it came to the events of the Marvel film and Iron Man’s demise.
“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 he would of “had the same reaction” if he hadn’t directed the back-to-back Avengers movies.”
Ultimately, killing off Iron Man was devastating but paid off. Upon its release, Avengers: Endgame earned $2.798 billion worldwide, surpassing Avengers: Infinity War, and becoming one of the world’s highest-grossing movies of all time.