People might not realize this, but Robert Downey Jr.’s iconic line at the end of Avengers: Endgame was a reshoot. The Russo Brothers came up with the idea of Tony Stark responding to Thanos calling himself “inevitable” by saying, “And I am Iron Man.” Also, Downey Jr. didn’t want to do the scene at first, mainly because he didn’t want to get back into the headspace of a dying Tony Stark, having put the character to bed a few weeks prior to the reshoot happening. Now, thanks to a new interview, we are learning that RDJ suggested a handful of alternate final lines for his beloved billionaire character, and one might have been difficult for a PG-13 film.
Robert Downey Jr. was appearing as a guest on the HypochondriActor podcast, which features actor Sean Hayes and Dr. Priyanka Wali. And he was talking about Cat Scratch Fever… something he experienced after getting bit by his cat. But eventually, Downey talked about his run as Iron Man, and in the conversation, he talked about his final line of, “I am Iron Man” while playing a round of trivia. Asked what his snarky reply to Thanos was in the movie, RDJ quipped:
Thank goodness cooler heads prevailed. As Robert Downey Jr. notes, it was the idea of an editor on the film to make sure that the line reading goes back to the character’s origin film, which ended on Tony Stark revealing his secret identity to the press as Iron Man draws to a close. So, having him say it to Thanos with his final act of self-sacrifice was, as Robert Downey Jr. says, an ideal “bookend.” Let’s revisit that seminal moment:
In an exclusive interview that Avengers: Endgame co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo conducted with CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast, however, they revealed that it was uber-producer Joel Silver who actually convinced Robert Downey Jr. over dinner that he absolutely needed to go back and recite that line, because of the historic ties that it had to the origins of the character. Believe me, Silver knows a thing or two about creating memorable cinema.
So, RDJ delivered the iconic line, and now has put his version of Tony Stark to bed. To note though, rumorsn have swirled that we might get a chance to see a Multiverse Tony Stark in the upcoming sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with some even claiming the character could be played by Tom Cruise. Hell, Patrick Stewart is confirmed to come back as Charles Xavier, so stranger things (no pun intended) have happened.
Look for more information on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and all of the other upcoming Marvel movies by using our handy guide, which we update often.
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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.