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Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame. If you haven't seen it, look away.
Avengers: Endgame has been in theaters for nearly two weeks, and moviegoers haven't stopped discussing and dissecting every frame of The Russo Brothers' masterful blockbuster. The co-directors managed to do the impossible, crafting a complicated emotional story that had a a ton of connections to the greater MCU. And it's a story that included the epic death and funeral of Tony Stark.
Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man has been the heart and soul of the MCU since its inception, and the character went out in a truly epic way. The final moments of Avengers: Endgame showed Tony Stark's funeral, complete with some surprise cameos. But it turns out that The Russo Brothers had to lie to the talent in order to keep the secrets of Tony's fate under wraps. As Joe Russo recently explained:
90 percent of those actors showed up and they had no idea what they were doing. They thought they were there for the wedding, so we had to tell them 'Here's what's happening in the story...' because again, we're just trying to protect information. People that don't have information, it makes it easier for them to not spill the beans accidentally.
Marvel Studios is known for its secrecy, and stakes were especially high for Avengers: Endgame. The blockbuster was the cumulation of 22 movies, so The Russo Brothers went to great length to keep the film's spoilers under wraps. Even from the cast.
Tony Stark's death was an emotionally devastating aspect of Endgame, and the OG MCU hero was given the respect he deserved after wielding the new Infinity Gauntlet, and snapping past-Thanos and his forces out of existence. The Russo Brothers added the "I am Iron Man" line very late into the film's process, while the funeral scene was exactly what moviegoers needed in the moment.
The funeral was a who's who of MCU characters, but that also meant a ton of actors who had the potential to spoil Tony's fate. In their same conversation with EW Radio, Anthony Russo spoke to the excitement of filming with such a great ensemble, while also be worried about Endgame's contents being kept under wraps. As he tell it,
It was an interesting day because getting all of those actors together at one level is very celebratory and joyful but it was for a difficult reason in this scene. And also, the story point in the scene was one of the biggest secrets in the movie so we had to be very, very quiet about it.
Talk about a twist. It must have been quite the pivot in emotions going from a wedding to a funeral, but The Russo Brothers had to do everything they could to guard the secrets of their Avengers movies. And it's an effort that has paid off, as both Infinity War and Endgame delivered countless plot twists, and made an insane amount of money at the box office.
It should be interesting to see how the MCU continues on without Tony Stark. Spider-Man: Far From Home looks it'll address just that, and is set to arrive shortly.
Avengers: Endgame is out now, and Spider-Man: Far From Home will hit theaters on July 2nd. In the meantime, check out out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.