When Robert Downey Jr. shot his final take as Tony Stark for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was on a set just a few hundred feet away from the location where he first tried out for the role. Avengers: Endgame release 11 years after Iron Man but Downey's tenure came full circle on the final day of production, as he performed the final Endgame shot just a stage away from where he auditioned in Los Angeles.
In a recent Twitter Q&A via Empire, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed what Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo told ComicBook.com in detail back around the time of Endgame's release (seen in the Game Over: An Evening With Joe Russo video above). "Robert Downey Jr.'s final shot that he filmed for Avengers: Endgame (that snap) was filmed at the same studio location that he first audition as Tony Stark," Feige said.
Joe Russo explained it more thoroughly. "We shot back to back for a year straight. We did six months on each movie with two months in between," the co-director said. "We ended up having to stop Endgame early in January of 2018. We had to finish Infinity War. We had to finish in the edit room. We had to finish VFX. We had to finish the score. We couldn't do that while also working on Endgame."
Then came the polishing, leading to Iron Man's famous final line. "What we always traditionally do is, we have friends and family screenings," Joe Russo said. "We collect our ideas and go back and try to do very targeted reshoots...The last thing that we got was Robert saying, 'I am Iron Man,' and snapping his fingers. That was the very last shot on the last day. What's interesting about this story is we're in the edit room for months with that scene. We were like, 'How do you give Tony Stark a a last line that has any resonance?' We tried a few thing sand they just weren't working. They felt flat to us...We're sitting in editorial with our editor Jeff Ford...he said, 'What if he says, 'I am Iron Man in response to I am inevitable?' If felt like it was written that way."
So, with the line decided upon, it came time to shoot it. "We shot that at Raleigh Studios here in Los Angeles," he explained. "The stage that we shot it on was next door to the stage where Robert did his original screen test for Iron Man. So, it really did come full circle for him which made it very emotional. The day we finished that, with that being the last line, closing the book, closing the cover on the book and it started a stage away and ended on this stage,I think was really resonant for him."
Avengers: Endgame is available now on digital downloads and hits blu-ray on August 13.