The 2021 book “The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” which chronicles the rise of the mega movie franchise, shares a touching moment that occurred as “Endgame” directors Anthony and Joe Russo pitched the film to Robert Downey Jr. The book contains the stories of Avengers Cast members.
Downey, whose role as billionaire philanthropist Tony Stark and teched-out superhero Iron Man became world famous, saw his character’s journey reach its conclusion in the movie’s finale, where he sacrifices himself using the Infinity Gauntlet to end Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) reign.
“When we started winding down the pitch, and getting to his death, Robert started crying,” Joe Russo stated. “And when we were done, he said ‘That’s f***ing awesome.’ That’s when we knew that we had to do it. Because he felt it.”
Given that Downey’s time as Iron Man saw him go from a down-on-his-luck actor wrapped in legal troubles to headlining one of the highest-grossing movies ever released, it’s easy to see how the character’s powerful end got to him. And he wasn’t the only Avenger’s cast left in shambles by the movie.
Endgame left much of Avengers cast in tears
Robert Downey Jr. is far from the only “Endgame” actor to have had an emotional response to the film. As it garnered traction as a critical and box-office triumph, several of the Avengers’s cast members — particularly those who had been with the franchise since its humble beginnings — described what the Infinity Saga’s grand conclusion meant to them.
Chris Evans, who portrayed Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, in nearly a dozen instalments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was among these passionate performers. He got sentimental at the film’s premiere, telling Variety,
“I have a lot of my friends and family here tonight, and a lot of them are right up here. We have this bond that transcends what we do for a living … I cried like six times [tonight].”
Hawkeye star Jeremy Renner got similarly emotional at the event, sharing a photo of him hugging his mother on Instagram in the early hours of the following day with the caption “Wow… words will only betray my feelings for this movie … this picture from last night represents … love … pride of my family, my friends, and crazy for my [A]venger family.”
Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo used both “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Endgame” to argue against those who don’t believe that the MCU is true cinema in a 2019 interview on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” “I have never in my life seen the emotional response [to] a movie that I did in those two screenings,” he said. “All these kids were bawling, crying, freaking out, screaming in the car. And that’s real emotion, I think.” Whether from the audience or the stars themselves, “Endgame” did whatever it took to bring viewers to tears.