During its 3 hour Titanic-like run time, Avengers: Endgame, didn’t shy away from bringing completely epic, quotable, and unforgettable moments into the plot. Among some of the favorites being the scene in which Captain America (Chris Evans) wields Thor’s hammer and when the women of the Avengers unite to kick total a$$. But, no theater was left without roars of applause after Tony Stark aka Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr.) farewell to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, things could have turned out very differently.
According to the man behind Stark Industries, Robert Downey Jr. he had been work-shopping a variety of phrases for Iron Man to snap Thanos into oblivion with. To take you back, those final moments of Tony Stark’s life saw the hero clashing with the Mad Titan in what Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) said was their 1 in 14,000,605 chance of winning the battle for the planet. After the scramble for the glove, Thanos calls himself inevitable before attempting a snap. Unfortunately for him, Tony managed to steal back the glove and gives his own snap, wiping out Thanos and his army. As he delivers the crushing blow, Stark says the words “I am Iron Man” before succumbing to his injuries and power of the Infinity Gauntlet.
During an interview with the Hypochondriactor podcast, Robert Downey Jr. revealed some of those final quote ideas that were eventually tabled for the iconic “I am Iron Man.” The actor commented that there were countless lines that he tumbled over presenting to the writing team that were all very Tony Stark – which is to say, very “smart-ass.” Among the possible line up of wise cracks were, “you are so f*cked” and “oh snap!” Ultimately, Downey Jr. and the creative team decided that something along these lines would do a disservice to the personal growth audiences had watched Tony Stark achieve over his multi-year appearances in the MCU films. Settling on “I am Iron Man” was, as Downey Jr. put it “a bookend” to the character’s first and final film as it was also a milestone quote from 2008’s Iron Man. And, if there’s one thing both we and the actors behind the MCU characters, including Downey Jr. know, the good folks at Marvel “love a bookend.”
Not only did the iconic quote push through in a sea of other options, but it also came to be after filming had already wrapped. A well told story over the years since the credits rolled on Avengers: Endgame, has circled around the fact that Tony Stark initially wasn’t given any lines to say after his self-sacrificing snap. How weird would that have been? For the man that *always* had something to say, it seems like such a bizarre move on the side of production to have him go quietly into the night. Soon after the cameras stopped rolling, the filmmakers realized they had made a huge mistake. Sometimes, great ideas come late, but this meant they would need to bring everyone back in to reshoot the whole scene. Finished with his work on the film and out of the Iron Man suit for good, Robert Downey Jr. was a hard sell. Lucky for us (and for Downey Jr. in the long run), production was able to sweet talk the actor into coming back to give Iron Man the proper send off. We don’t know about you, but we’ll never watch that scene the same way again.