The Avengers: Endgame Cameo That Gave The Russo Brothers A ‘Panic Attack’

The cast of Avengers: Endgame

The following story contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.

The 22nd official movie in the MCU had virtually every single character who appeared on screen before, from “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt) and Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) to heroes like Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Most of them showed up for one of the final scenes – Tony Stark’s funeral, which was an all-star event. But there was one face at the funeral that was a bit of a head-scratcher for a lot of audience members, mainly because the actor playing the character had aged significantly since audiences last saw him.

Ty Simpkins (Jurassic World) was standing near the back of the gathered crowd at Tony Stark’s funeral. If you don’t recall that Simpkins played Harley Keener, the young inventor, in Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, don’t worry… you weren’t alone in being confused. And that confusion, shared by several early test screeners, was giving the Russo brothers anxiety. During a spoiler-filled conversation with our ReelBlend podcast, the siblings shared a very funny story about filming that scene, where the stars of the MCU weren’t even sure who Simpkins was. They told us:

Joe Russo: Every time we screened it, people would ask us [who that kid was].Anthony Russo: Literally, every time. [Laughs] I don’t know if there has ever been a single person who has recognized him!Joe: 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.

As if you needed another reason to go back and see Avengers: Endgame. Now you have to hunt for Easter eggs that haven’t been identified yet by fans.

Ty Simpkins in Iron Man 3

As Joe and Anthony Russo elaborated in the set up of that jaw-dropping scene – a one-shot that traces over almost every facet of the MCU, in character form – Anthony elaborated on the sheer panic that the directors were feeling because as they were mapping it out, none of the famous actors on set understood who Ty Simpkins was supposed to represent. Anthony tells ReelBlend:

You guys will appreciate this. 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.

At the end of the day, the Russo realize that Easter eggs are a common occurrence in MCU movies, and fans would have something cool to discuss during what is one of the most heartfelt moments in all of Avengers: Endgame.

The Ty Simpkins story is just one of many gems included in this bonus episode of ReelBlend, which is all spoilers with Joe and Anthony Russo, so press play and dive in.

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Avengers: Endgame is in theaters as we speak, and based on the box office numbers, a good number of you have headed to theaters to check it out. What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.