After more than ten years and 22 films, Marvel Studios provided an epic conclusion to their first major era of storytelling with Avengers: Endgame. The film is a hit among both critics and fans, blasting off to unprecedented success in its opening weekend at the box office. And while there are many amazing moments for fans to fawn over, one specific scene at the end of the film has proven to be one of the film's most powerful.
And according to directors Joe and Anthony Russo, that moment wasn't even in the script — but was added after a suggestion from their editor while they were finalizing the film.
Warning: Major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame below.
While speaking at a Q&A event at Washington DC, the directors spoke about Iron Man's epic stand against Thanos, when the Mad Titan has seemingly won and re-obtained the Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos snaps his fingers and nothing happens — because Iron Man has actually acquired the Infinity Stones through some sleight of hand.
"Tony used to not say anything in that moment. And we were in the editing room going, 'He has to say something," the Russos said [via /Film]. "This a character who has lived and died by quips.' And we just couldn’t, we tried a million different last lines. Thanos was saying 'I am inevitable.' And our editor Jeff Ford, who’s been with us all four movies and is an amazing storyteller, said 'Why don’t we just go full circle with it and say I am Iron Man.' And we’re like, 'Get the cameras! We have to shoot this tomorrow.'"
The scene then shows Robert Downey Jr., in one of his most powerful scenes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, proudly proclaiming before snapping his fingers:
"I am Iron Man." And with that, Thanos and his army are snapped away and the MCU is saved.
While it's the moment that ultimately claimed Tony Stark's life, it was done in a heroic act — and of course the line is a witty callback to his famous declaration at the end of the first Iron Man movie.
Tony Stark died as he lived — very smarmy, with a dash of heroism.
Avengers: Endgame is now playing in theaters. You can catch our own Q&A with the director next week, when Game Over: An Evening With Joe Russo airs on Facebook Live on Monday, May 6th.
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