Throughout the last decade and change of filmmaking, Tony Stark/Iron Man has been at the heart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Robert Downey Jr.'s character kickstarted the entire shared universe, appearing in a whopping ten movies before sacrificing himself at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Tony was given en epic sendoff, and perhaps the most badass final line in the history of the MCU.
Clearly Infinity War and Endgame co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo had an affinity for Tony Stark, giving him the most emotional story arc in the entirety of pair of Avengers movies. It's for this reason that fans were surprised to see a quote floating around the internet where Joe claimed to have disdain for a line of dialogue from the first movie. Now the Russos have officially shut down the fabricated comment on social media. Check it out.
Mic drop. According to the Brothers' joint Twitter account, Joe Russo never had a problem with Tony's Avengers line. And it definitely didn't provide the reason why Iron Man sacrificed himself in the final moments of Endgame's last battle.
The quote in question was reportedly from Joe Russo's appearance on The Tonight Show, and saw the director take shots at The Avengers, where Tony lists himself as a "genius billionaire playboy philanthropist" without his Iron Man armor. It's a line that truly highlights Tony's ego, and highlights the underlying conflict between himself and Steve Rogers/ Captain America.
The Russo Brothers deny Joe Russo's comments about the dialogue, which makes sense given how well that one line has aged in the years since The Avengers arrived in theaters. What's more, Tony's story in Endgame and ultimate fate extend far beyond any personal grudges the directors might be holding for the character. It showed his growth across the entirety of his tenure on the screen, and how much he was always willing to give for the greater good.
The deaths that occurred in Avengers: Endgame were also due to practical reasons. Robert Downey Jr. reached the end of his long contract with Marvel Studios, so Iron Man needed to be written out, one way or another. The character ended up doing so in a moment of destiny and self-sacrifice, and was given an emotional funeral scene at Tony's cabin. It was a hero's ending, not one based off a petty vendetta and one simple line.
It should be interesting to see how Tony's death continues to play a role in the MCU in Phase Four. His sacrifice was looming above the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, with Peter Parker, Happy Hogan, and the entire world mourning the loss of the Avenger. It's a new world in the wake of The Blip, one without Iron Man, Steve Roger's Captain America, or Black Widow.