What if Tony Stark lived? It could have happened. The Avengers: Endgame climax features a battle to end all cinematic battles, as a multitude of characters from across the vast MCU all came together to defeat the Mad Titan Thanos and his mighty invading army. Of course, it culminates in the ultimate sacrifice as made by billionaire, playboy, genius, philanthropist and Avenger, Tony Stark aka Iron Man, as he swipes the Infinity Stones from his adversary and extinguishes Earth's enemies with a snap of his fingers.

The power of the stones proves too much for Tony Stark, and the film ends with the sad sight of his funeral, with all manner of MCU members turning up to pay their respects to the fallen hero. But, this emotional rollercoaster was not always going to be the way things ended up, as Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have now revealed a few new details about how they approached writing the film that would go on to become an MCU highlight, and the biggest blockbuster of all time.

In a recent interview, the writers have said that they were in fact told to explore all possibilities that best suited the overall story, rather than go in, guns blazing, with the intention of killing off characters frivolously. "We weren't there to just kill characters off," said Markus. "We were told, 'If the story demands it, you can take people off the board. But if there's a good story to be told and no one dies, go ahead and tell that one too.'"

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The MCU has often been criticised for its sheer lack of consequence where headline characters are concerned, with the franchise becoming known for fake-outs and resurrections to an almost laughable degree. In the end, it came down more to what was best for the character and the story, rather than trying to prove that the MCU has edge.

"In Endgame, we were trying to finish arcs and for Iron Man/Tony Stark to give up his life and sacrifice himself for the good of the universe seemed like a really good narrative closure for the billionaire playboy who had been learning over the course of several films (to be a better person)," added Markus.

Who a heroic death would best serve was clearly a discussion the writers did not have lightly, with Markus and McFeely no doubt whiling away the wee hours as they considered who of the MCU roster should perhaps end up in a coffin.

"It's a topic of conversation that we all - Joe and Anthony Russo and Kevin Feige and ourselves - had together," McFeely said. "We didn't waver very much. I think we talked early on about how we could have gone either Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) or Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) on that cliff on Vormir. But we felt Black Widow's death was better for the arc we were trying to give her."

Though we will all miss Tony Stark, it was certainly the right ending for the character and we will forever love him 3000. ComicBook.com

Jon Fuge