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Kevin Feige's Shocking First Pitch For Avengers: Endgame Would Have Broken Fans' Hearts

"Avengers: Endgame" did more than break records at the box office — it broke the hearts of Marvel Cinematic Universe fans around the world. The 2019 film closed the curtain on Phase 3 of the MCU and paved the way for those stories and characters previously waiting in the wings to finally come into the spotlight. In the movie's sensational ending, audiences watch as the hero who started it all, Iron Man, aka Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), performs the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the destruction of Thanos (Josh Brolin). He dons the new, Avengers-made Infinity Gauntlet, using the Infinity Stones in a fatal move against Thanos — though it's a move that results in Tony's death surrounded by those who love him.

While Tony's death seemed inevitable, it nonetheless left Marvel fans feeling a sense of loss for a franchise favorite. Even as tragic as the loss of the MCU's most personable hero was, things could have been much worse. As revealed in "The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe," — the new, giant book which gives an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the mega studio (via Abrams Books), Marvel Studios' head and "Endgame" producer Kevin Feige had a much darker ending in mind for this epic Phase 3 finale.

Kevin Feige suggested Avengers: Endgame could end with the deaths of all six Avengers

In the book "The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe" (via ScreenRant), "Avengers: Endgame" co-director Joe Russo shares that the original ending for the 2019 movie could have seen all of the original Avengers going down in a final blaze of glory. "Kevin [Feige]'s initial pitch was that it was 'Toy Story 3' — a 'they're all gonna jump into a furnace together' concept," he explained. The volume went on to add, "The brothers' [Russo and co-director Anthony Russo] pushback was that there was no possible way for the story to be able to take the time to celebrate each one of them. And that, for the fans, it was an impossible scenario to walk out of the theater and process." 

Killing off one of your main characters is always a risky move when it comes to big franchises, yet sometimes sacrifices need to be made to tell a compelling story. The death of Iron Man may have been a blow for MCU fans, but with the stakes set so high in the "Infinity War" saga, it only makes sense that one of the beloved heroes would make the inevitable shift into martyrdom. However, if Feige had his way, Iron Man wouldn't have been the only one to exit the MCU stage for good.

It's a good thing that the Russo brothers were directing "Avengers: Endgame" and not Feige, and that they fought so hard against the tragic ending. If fans had to say goodbye to all of the Avengers, you can bet that they would have made the studio regret it.