As the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Infinity Saga, Avengers: Endgame closed out many of its iconic superheroes' character arcs, including the death of its inaugural hero, Tony Stark.
According to screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, there was never an edict from Marvel Studios to kill off any characters but rather to build a logical conclusion for its protagonists. While Iron Man ultimately sacrifices himself by using the Infinity Gauntlet to eradicate Thanos and his army, the writers explored possible means to spare Tony from his untimely end before realizing it was the natural way to close the book on his heroic arc.
"We considered ways to let Tony live and whether there was a story there. But (dying) was the last thing he needed to do to become a fully-realized hero. There was never a better story than that," Markus explained in an interview with Canada.com. "As for Captain America, he was willing to kill himself twice in his first movie. So it didn’t seem like a particularly interesting thing to have him do."
As the most selfless hero, Steve Rogers had constantly laid his life on the line since enlisting in World War II. For the writers, the end of Captain America's arc would be the character finally retiring to a life of peace.
"Having Cap return from war and put his shield down seemed like the end of an arc for him," McFeely noted.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos. The film is now available on Digital HD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD.