Kevin Feige was involved in the world of superhero movies long before the MCU was a brand on his baseball cap. In fact, he was there from the very start - producing one of the most influential Marvel movies of all time, the first X-Men (and also one of the best, X2).
And, as it turns out, an X-Men movie he wasn’t involved in (albeit one that brought the whole series to a satisfying conclusion) was a huge influence on Avengers: Endgame. The film? Logan.
Speaking at Empire’s awesome live podcast event last night, Marvel Studios president Feige said, "We saw Logan like the audience did, in a theatre having nothing to do with the making of that film and went, 'oh my god, what an amazing ending for Hugh as this character.' 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 [Downey Jr.], and that was what our focus was on."
Which isn’t to say the film directly inspired them to kill off Tony Stark. "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. 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."
"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 clamouring for, not death necessarily, but stakes and real emotion.”
“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."
And they certainly did stick the landing, with Endgame overcoming Avatar to become the most successful film of all time.
Avengers: Endgame will be out on Blu-ray on 2 September, and Empire’s brilliant live podcast will be on iTunes on 23 August.