The Russo Brothers have shed some light on the iconic line Iron Man delivers in Avengers: Endgame.
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.
As for the line being such a late addition, it just goes to show that inspiration can strike at any time in the creative process, even when one is working on a movie as big as Avengers: Endgame.