Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus are the screenwriters behind Avengers: Endgame, the culmination of 21 previous Avengers movies (get the order of the Avengers movies) that resulted in dozens of box office records being broken.
Warning: Major Avengers: Endgame spoilers ahead.
In a 20-minute YouTube video for Vanity Fair titled, "Marvel Writers Explain How They Wrote MCU Blockbusters," McFeely and Markus discussed their writing process during which they revealed they pretty much could kill any character they wanted.
Watch the video below.
During the course of the video, inevitably the major deaths in the movie came up. McFeely and Markus said they weren't required to kill characters for no reason although they had to kill Thanos (Josh Brolin), the film's villain.
"I think really all we were handed was Thanos, which necessitates the use of the Infinity Stones - which are this, this, and this throughout the MCU - and 'if you want to get rid of people, you can, but you're under no obligation to just kill them willy nilly.' And that was just about all," Markus said in the video, according to Comicbook/Marvel.
McFeely added they needed to determine which characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) would even appear in the movie to kill.
"There were a bunch of obvious implications from that," Markus said. "Namely, we could bring in the Guardians two of Thanos' stepdaughters were on that ship. It could be anybody from anywhere, and in fact, should be."
The screenwriters stressed they didn't kill characters simply because they could. Rather, they said they put much thought into which superheroes would meet their end in Avengers: Endgame.
Most notably, Robert Downey Jr.'s character Tony Stark aka Iron Man died. Over the years, the actor had come to know Stark and Iron Man so well, Downey Jr. "instinctively" knew what had to happen in his last scene, McFeely said earlier this year at San Diego Comic-Con.
The screenwriter explained Downey Jr. wanted his character to forego his usual quippy self and instead take a less-is-more approach to Stark aka Iron Man's death.
That's why Downey Jr.'s character has one short line, "And I am Iron Man," before he dies in Avengers: Endgame. McFeely and Markus also weren't shy about saying they had taken a different approach to the character's last scene.
Another major character met their demise in Avengers: Endgame, Natasha Romanoff or Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson. Many fans were surprised and outraged by her death when she chose to sacrifice herself for her fellow superheroes before Clint Barton or Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) could do it himself.
McFeely and Markus said in the DVD's commentary track, they actually reshot Black Widow's death scene because the footage they had was "awkward."
The screenwriters also said Johansson's character didn't die for Hawkeye's family.
"We did not make this decision lightly," McFeely said in the commentary. "She's not fighting to save Clint's family. I've seen some people say that he has a family, and therefore ... That's not it at all. She's fighting to save her family."
While we were sad to see some of our beloved characters in the MCU go, we're happy to know the screenwriters didn't pick superheroes at random and instead took a very thoughtful approach to the entire process.