Jon Favreau never agreed to say goodbye to Iron Man.
During a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Joe and Anthony Russo — who directed the last two Avengers movies — shared that Favreau had a difficult time accepting Iron Man’s death after reading the “Avengers: Endgame” script.
Favreau directed “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2” and played Harold “Happy” Hogan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
On the topic of Iron Man’s death, Anthony revealed, “Part of the pressure came from Jon Favreau, who called us up after he read the script … and said to us, ‘Are you really going to kill Iron Man?’”
Joe added, “I remember pacing on the corner of a stage on the phone with Favreau trying to talk him off a ledge. Because he’s like, ‘You can’t do this. It’s gonna devastate people, and you don’t want them, you know, walking out of the theater and into traffic.’ We did it anyways.”
Eleven years before “Avengers: Endgame,” Tony Stark was the first Avenger that audiences met when, in 2008, he enraptured moviegoers with his playboy image, snarky comebacks and flashy gadgets.
In the 2019 box-office hit, Stark dies in a beautifully executed character arc after sacrificing himself to help restore the world and defeat Thanos, who eliminated half the life in the universe.
The death of the socialite genius-turned-selfless hero left fans emotional, even prompting a Twitter frenzy after the film’s release, with many fans taking to the app to say goodbye to the beloved character using his now-iconic line: “I love you 3,000.”
“Avengers: End Game” went on to garner over $2.7 billion worldwide in box-office sales.
In October, the cinematic duo revealed that Robert Downey Jr., who stars as Iron Man, cried when they told him their plan to kill off the long-running character.
“When we started winding down the pitch, and getting to his death, Robert started crying,” Joe said in the all-access book “The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe” by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry.
Joe added: “And when we were done, he said, ‘That’s fucking awesome.’ That’s when we knew that we had to do it. Because he felt it.”
At this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, two additional “Avengers” movies were announced by Marvel Studios.
The Russo brothers recently directed “The Gray Man” on Netflix, where it debuted last week as the No. 1 movie on the streaming titan in 92 countries.
Watch Vanity Fair’s full interview with the Russo brothers below.