Avengers: Endgame featured several memorable scenes, and many would agree that one of them was Tony Stark's funeral.
The 2019 MCU blockbuster served as the epic conclusion to the Infinity Saga, meaning that it was given the responsibility to wrap up several story arcs while also pushing the franchise forward with a new chapter. Sadly, Endgame marked the end of the line for Robert Downey Jr.'s Armored Avenger.
Iron Man sacrificed his life during the Avengers' final battle against Thanos by snapping his fingers while wearing the Infinity Stone-infused gauntlet to wipe out the Mad Titan and his allies. Stark's sacrifice was a significant shift in the MCU's trajectory as he was the inaugural hero who started it all.
As a result of Stark's death, Endgame ended on a poignant note: a funeral featuring an assortment of MCU heroes from the Infinity Saga. The scene showcased the likes of the Guardians of the Galaxy, the surviving Avengers, Nick Fury, General Ross, and even Iron Man 3's Harley Keener.
Now, an in-depth discussion about Endgame's gut-wrenching moment has been revealed.
Marvel Unveils Unprecedented Avengers: Endgame Call Sheet
As a part of the recently released The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe book, a section dedicated to Tony Stark's funeral scene from Avengers: Endgame was showcased.
October 6, 2017 was revealed to be the day of the pivotal shoot for Stark's funeral. The book mentioned that it was a "location-shoot day," and it was dubbed "The Wedding" in order to prevent spoilers from leaking on set.
The presence of "forty principal cast members" was required for the scene, with the book confirming that the idea of wanting actual actors in this shot was spearheaded by the Russo Brothers, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, and head executives Victoria Alonso and Louis D'Esposito.
The book revealed that this was done in order to reiterate the importance of the moment on-screen to the actors and the audience.
As part of the reveal, the unprecedented 40-actor call sheet for the scene was included in the book, and fans can see it below:
An inside look at how Endgame's executive producers managed to assemble the stellar cast for the scene was also included. D'Esposito was confirmed to be the one who handled calling the actors, and he was responsible for making them promise not to talk about this particular shoot with anyone.
Given that there was a lot of A-list talent together, the book gave a picture of how the shoot went down, ranging from creating a mini-town all the way to including forty trailers and intense security measures:
"To gather that many A-list talent together at a secret location in the rural woods of Georgia would mean that, essentially, a mini-town would need to be created for the shoot. There would be forty trailers alone; one for each actor. Then, add support trailers for bathrooms, wardrobe, makeup, catering, and more. Security would need to shut down an entire lake, the buildings and homes that surrounded it, and all access points from any prying eyes. They would need drone detectors, drones for surveillance, police support, electrical generators for cameras, trucks upon trucks full of equipment and more. And all of it was procured."
In an excerpt, Matt Slatoff, Vice President of Global Security & Content Protection at Marvel Studios, recalled the "pretty unique" experience during the shoot, sharing that "it was what ten years had built up to."
"That was pretty unique. We've had other really big things to keep quiet big days or characters. But that was as big as we've ever had. All the execs were there. It was what ten years had built up to, having all that talent together in one place."
Alonso chimed in by mentioning that the shoot was done on a "perfect day," citing the "beautiful fog" on the lake and the fact that "everyone's plane was on time:"
"It was a perfect day. There was a beautiful fog on the lake. Everyone's plane was on time. Everyone was a little bit in awe, realizing what that day means [in regard] to the twenty-two movies. I don't think people understood it until you put all those people together. There were ten franchises on the line."
Meanwhile, D'Esposito shared that the "elegant crane shot" of the scene was "always designed" by the Russos. The book also took note of the fact that the shot was rehearsed with stand-ins, and they did it as if it was shot on the actual filming day.
Alonso described the shoot as a "very emotional day" since the cast and crew were bidding farewell to one of the franchise's most beloved characters. Behind the camera, though, the Marvel executive compared it to the Oscars since "everybody was starstruck" upon seeing each other:
"It was a very emotional day because we were saying goodbye to one of the most beloved characters that we created. We wanted to do it with the love and care and respect that we created Tony Stark with. But what was interesting is that everybody was starstruck by seeing each other. People that work in Hollywood usually are pretty relaxed about Hollywood. But then you put the amazing amount of talent that was there that day together but better!' and everybody was like, 'This is like the Oscars.' And there was a moment when Lou, Kevin, and I, we looked around, and we thought, 'Wow, this is the fruit of our labor.'"
Remembering Tony Stark's Funeral
Tony Stark's funeral is a memorable moment anchored by the combined might of its stellar ensemble and emotion in the audience.
This latest in-depth reveal should give fans more insight into what went down during the pivotal shooting day while also serving as a reminder of the hard work of everyone involved, from executives to crew members.
Assembling a plethora of A-list talent is not an easy feat, and the challenge was further amplified due to spoiler-related concerns. Despite that hurdle, the fact that the cast and crew managed to preserve the surprise shows the commitment of everyone to give a proper send-off to the character while also proving to Marvel Studios that it could be trusted with such a beautiful secret.
It's not every day that Marvel actors are gathered together in one scene, so it is understandable that they were "starstruck" with each other during filming. It is unknown when Marvel Studios will pull off this kind of moment again, but it's safe to say that it has a better grasp of the situation once another rare instance similar to Stark's funeral happens down the line.
Many would agree that Avengers: Endgame is more than just a film. It is a celebration of the superhero franchise that has impacted fans' lives across the years. Seeing all these stars united in such an emotional moment is a win on its own that many will remember.
Fans can relive this legendary moment since Avengers: Endgame is now streaming on Disney+.