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Who lives? Who dies? That is the power of a screenwriter. Avengers: Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have been pulling back the veil in the wake of the MCU movie's record-breaking release. Now that the movie is on Disney+ -- including a new scene -- fans are watching it again and studying every detail.
Most fans knew going into Avengers 4 that actors Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans were planning to end their Marvel contracts with Endgame. But it wasn't clear how their stories would end, or even if they would end.
Avengers: Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely were asked why it was important that the story had a definitive end -- that Tony Stark died vs Steve Rogers getting to go have a full life with Peggy Carter?
Here's how Christopher Markus answered Vanity Fair's question:
Stephen McFeely got more specific on Steve and Tony's very different story arcs culminating in Avengers: Endgame:
Well put. Tony Stark initiated the MCU with Iron Man in 2008. Watching him learn how to be selfless, ending with his sacrifice the save the universe -- it was a beautiful thing to behold. Heartbreaking, but beautiful and very much earned.
Captain America was the character many fans expected to have a heroic death in Avengers: Endgame. A few months ago, co-director Joe Russo explained why killing Cap would've been a step too far:
I don't know if Marvel fans would've walked out into traffic if Steve Rogers died ... although, maybe. There were some huge emotional responses after Avengers: Endgame came out. Black Widow was the other major OG Avenger death of the film, and the Endgame writers recently revealed one regret about how that played out.
Choosing to give Tony Stark/Iron Man that Avengers: Endgame story arc allowed Robert Downey Jr. to do some of his best acting in the MCU. Joe Russo made an impassioned argument for why RDJ deserves an Oscar for his performance. We'll have to wait and see if RDJ is nominated, or just loved 3000 forever by loyal fans.