The weighty swansong for Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in Logan is one Marvel Studios “desperately” wanted to give to longtime Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame.
Feige pitched Downey Tony Stark’s death in 2015 — ahead of 2016’s Logan — with Captain America: Civil War and both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame acting as lead up to a grand finale for Marvel’s flagship superhero.
“No, the idea for Tony came up first and I think we were dedicated to it 100% and we never questioned it, because this was the whole idea,” Feige told Empire when asked if Marvel ever wavered from the idea to kill Stark. “That was the whole point of the ending. Sometimes we’re influenced by the words of others, sometimes we’re not, and stay the course.”
Because Marvel has fielded accusations of weightless or meaningless deaths for its characters, Feige knew Iron Man’s death needed to carry real weight.
“Around the time we started working on this film, there was some sense that deaths don’t matter in our movies – Nick Fury gets shot and died in Winter Soldier and comes back in the third act, which was awesome, but is not a death. And people were clamoring for, not death necessarily, but stakes and real emotion,” Feige said.
“And I remember thinking, ‘be careful what you wish for,’ as we started getting closer to this. But we never questioned it. All of the angst and all of the effort went into sticking the landing, to making it worthwhile.”
Like 11-year MCU veteran Downey Jr., Jackman had a double-digit association with his X-Men role that came to an end in Logan. It was there the metal-clawed mutant finally succumbed to vicious injuries his failing healing factor was unable to overcome.
“We saw Logan like the audience did, in a theater having nothing to do with the making of that film and went, ‘oh my god, what an amazing ending for Hugh as this character,’” Feige said. “And there are only a handful of examples where an actor so associated with a character can go out perfectly. That’s what we desperately wanted to give Robert, and that was what our focus was on.”