The Marvel Cinematic Universe launched in 2008 with Iron Man and has delivered audiences hundreds of exciting characters over the course of 22 films. Avengers: Endgame landed in theaters last weekend, serving as the conclusion of the journey that kicked off over a decade ago. Thanks to the unexpected narrative, the film found ways to honor a number of characters from the past, giving figures from previous films that ranged from substantial to merely a cameo. Making a movie with a star-studded cast was complicated enough, but one cameo in the film made directors Joe and Anthony Russo far more anxious than any of the others, with the duo joking that the inclusion nearly gave them a panic attack.
WARNING: Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame below
Tragically, the events of the film saw Iron Man sacrifice himself in order to use the Infinity Gauntlet to kill Thanos. The film concluded with a funeral for the character, bringing together characters from all across the MCU, including Ty Simpkins, who played Harley Keener in Iron Man 3.
"You guys will appreciate this," Anthony shared with CinemaBlend. "In order to do that shot, to amass that cast, we rehearsed that shot like crazy. We set up the camera moves with stand-ins. … Because they were all going to be in that shot, we spent days setting that shot up. Days! Okay? So we had everybody. We had the entire camera move figured out specifically. We had the time of day. We had everything perfect, right? So we get there on the day, we finally put the actors in the shot for the first time, right? [laughs] And we have this moment on set where he and I go into a panic attack over Ty, because we're having this [question] over Ty."
The question over the actor was whether or not audiences would recognize him, given that he was 11 years old in that 2013 film. The directors noted that one of the biggest points of clarification about that scene boiled down to the character's identity.
"Every time we screened it, people would ask us [who that kid was]," Joe admitted. "He's three times taller than he was. So I think he has grown up so much that, you know, it's a deep Easter egg. But I feel like that's what's compelling about the Marvel universe. By the way, there are quite a few Easter eggs in the movie people still haven't identified."
Anthony added, "Literally, every time [laughs]. I don't know if there has ever been a single person who has recognized him!"
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now.
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