Avengers Endgame: Iron Man’s death was almost a lot more gruesome

Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: ENDGAME..Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019
Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: ENDGAME..Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019 /

Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame was one of the most heartbreaking scenes in cinema history, but according to reports, it was initially a lot more gruesome.

Avengers: Endgame reigned over the Hollywood landscape in 2019 in a way that no film had ever done before.

No doubt a masterful conclusion to a 22-film saga, it saw the titular team of superheroes attempt to piece the remnants of their world back together after Thanos’ infamous snap wiped out half of the population. That attempt involved time travel, Infinity Stones and a truck load of heroes.

In the end, it was Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) himself who managed to save the human race from Thanos, by snapping his fingers and wiping the MCU’s Big Bad (and his entire army) from existence- sacrificing himself in the process.

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It goes without saying that Iron Man’s death was one of the most harrowing, heartbreaking cinematic moments in not just 2019 but film history, as fans tearfully watched the hero bid his family, friends and colleagues farewell. However, the subtle sacrifice could have looked very, very different.

Five of the film’s visual effects team spoke with Insider, revealing that Tony’s death could have been a lot more gruesome than the one that ended up on-screen. VFX supervisor Matt Aiken revealed:

"“We gave the filmmakers a full range [of looks] to choose from and one of those was where the energy from the stones had acted right up into his face and popped one of his eyeballs out and it was hanging out on his cheek… They didn’t go for that one.”"

Building upon that, there was also another design that left Tony looking a little like a certain Batman villain. Marvel VFX producer Jen Underhaul commented:

"“We did do a Two-Face version where you got inside and you saw the sinews and you saw them in the teeth and that… [but]… It takes you away from this really powerful moment. You don’t want to be focusing on that or grossed out.”"

Naturally, it makes sense that everyone at Marvel Studios went with a less graphic version of the scene – and it was graphic enough in it’s own right, as a significant part of his face and head had been charred by the energy wave after the snap.

After all, this was a film that a lot of kids and young adults would have been seeing, so it’s understandable that the-powers-that-be didn’t want to frighten them – or elicit any kind of response that overshadowed the poignancy of the scene.

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Are you glad Marvel ultimately went for a less-is-more approach for Tony’s death scene in Avengers: Endgame? Let us know in the comments below!