Robert Downey Jr. provides additional context to Tony Stark and Captain America’s (Chris Evans) emotional reconciliation scene in Avengers: Endgame.
Robert Downey Jr. reveals deeper meaning to Iron Man/Tony Stark and Steve Rogers/Captain America’s reconciliation in Avengers: Endgame. As the Joe and Anthony Russo-directed MCU blockbuster celebrates its first anniversary, both people who worked on the project and fans who loved it commemorated its release in various ways. That includes MCU’s inaugural hero who provides a new insight in one of the film’s most important moments.
Marvel Studios kept its biggest superheroes separated since their fallout in Captain America: Civil War. The pair didn’t meet in Avengers: Infinity War, which meant that by the time they reunited in Endgame, Thanos (Josh Brolin) had already handed them their worst defeat. They dealt with their failures in different ways – Tony, walking from his superhero gig to be with his family, while Steve continued to be of service even outside of his suit. It took another five years before they fully made amends in a quiet but impactful way, which features Captain America getting his shield back from his fellow Avengers.
The Russos joined a watch party for Endgame and provided live commentary on the film. As a surprise guest, Downey popped in to say hello to everyone. Coincidentally, the reconciliation scene between Tony and Cap were on during his appearance, prompting him to explain what really went down between the two MCU heroes during this bit from the movie.
It was all about him forgiving me for not forgiving him so we can start getting ready to who knows, you know maybe throw in the towel for whatever we gotta do. It wasn’t just the idea of burying the hatchet, it was burying the hatchet and taking up the cross together. It was a complex scene.
When it became increasingly clear that Iron Man and Captain America weren’t going to cross paths in Infinity War, fans started to look forward to their eventual reconciliation in Endgame. Knowing this, their reconciliation was teased in marketing materials for the movie, although the trailers used the shot of them in the Battle of New York just before they traveled to the 1970s instead of this one. While the pair did meet shortly after the snap, Tony was still reeling from the loss especially with Peter Parker (Tom Holland) gone that he didn’t have the emotional capability to make peace with Steve. In hindsight, this might not be how many envisioned how Tony and Steve were going to make amends in the movie. It’s not overly emotional, they didn’t even revisit their conflict. However, Tony handing Cap his shield back effectively sealed their reconciliation as it harkens back to their devastating fight in Civil War.
As Downey explained, this scene was complex. While it looks pretty straightforward and short with Tony simply returning Captain America’s shield, it’s so much more than that. This goes back to the complicated nature of their conflict from Civil War which continues to be a highly debatable film since both sides had justified reasons for their choices. All that being said, with a much bigger mission in front of them, they know that they have to prioritize that over anything else. That meant coming together and making sure that they bring back those who disappeared in Infinity War. This act from Tony also foreshadowed his eventual sacrificial play at the end of Avengers: Endgame as it proved that he’s willing to do pretty much anything for the greater good.