This story includes spoilers for 'Avengers: Endgame.'
Directing Avengers: Endgame had to be the biggest task the Russo brothers have taken on throughout their careers. Even with Avengers: Infinity War under their belt, they still had to create a film that closed the curtain on the stories of the six core Avengers that would also satisfy the dedicated fan base.
The one Avenger that was going to be the hardest to say goodbye to was Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, as he sadly died in the film. So the Russos made sure the fan-favorite actor was okay with how his character met his demise.
Downey Jr. started the beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2008's Iron Man, so it was only right that when the directors and writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, decided on Stark's story concluding with his death in Endgame, they would seek the approval of the actor himself.
"We did pitch Robert his arc, because he kicked off the entire MCU. The Tony Stark arc is the longest and perhaps fullest in the MCU. Once we decided we wanted this kind of ending for the character, we certainly wanted to make sure Robert was comfortable with it, just because of his enormous contribution to the MCU. We did pitch it out. We went over to meet with him and we pitched it out to him," Anthony Russo told The Hollywood Reporter.
Of course, it had to be upsetting to read that the character you've played for over ten years dies, but in the end, he gave his blessing.
"A lot of the actors are not opinionated about what we do," Russo continued. "They like the fact that we are sort of in control of these stories and we are driving where they should go and we have a vision for where they should go and they trust in that. I think Downey may have had mixed emotions about thinking about [where Tony Stark ends up in Endgame], but I think at the end of the day, he totally accepted it."
The co-director went on to explain how great of an experience it was to work with the famed actor, stating:
"Downey is the most wonderful collaborator. He's a really brilliant filmmaker in his own right and he brings a tremendous amount of energy to the process. The way we direct him is by having very engaged and thorough creative discussions about what our vision for the movie is, about what we want to do with the character. He's very helpful in terms of helping fill those ideas out."
We'll definitely miss Robert Downey Jr. in the MCU, but are excited to see what projects he takes on next.