‘Avengers: Endgame’ Directors Are Denying This Wild Fan Theory

Avengers: Endgame released in late April and quickly became one of the biggest films of all time. Fans flocked to the theater in droves to witness what is, for many of the franchise’s heroes, the final chapter of their adventures.

In the months since the initial release, fans have continued to speculate about many of the film’s biggest scenes, including a line that has become the movie’s signature.

Read on to learn whether or not this popular fan theory has been debunked by the creators of Avengers: Endgame

What line of dialogue are fans speculating about?

Joe and Anthony Russo
Joe and Anthony Russo | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

Avengers: Endgame brought to an epic close a storyline that has been in progress since 2008 when Robert Downey Jr. first appeared on screen as Tony Stark. Fans had witnessed Stark’s journey throughout the course of nearly a dozen films and grown to love the character deeply. Therefore, it hurt even more that they had to see his final bow. 

Ultimately, Stark sacrifices himself for the sake of eliminating Thanos’ snap, saving the universe one final time. It was an act of heroism that resonates deeply in the film, even more so knowing how many years of his life Robert Downey Jr. had committed to the role.

The buildup to Stark’s death is very emotional, revealing that he and Pepper Potts had a daughter named Morgan Stark. It is the scene with his daughter that was the biggest tearjerker for fans, unveiling a line that would become the center of a particularly interesting fan theory.

‘Endgame’ directors speak out on the fan theory

In the scene where Tony Stark talks to his daughter Morgan, the two share an affectionate line that obviously carries a great deal of emotional resonance for them — Stark tells his daughter: “I love you 3000,” and she quotes the line back to him.

The line resurfaces later on in the film, at Tony Stark’s funeral. Fans immediately started speculating where the line came from and what it means.

One fan theory that got a lot of traction online claims that it is a reference to the lengthy runtime of the Marvel Phase 3 films. When tallied up, all of those films have a runtime that equals 3,000 exactly. 

With such a perfect coincidence, it seems that the film’s creators must have had that in mind to begin with. But apparently not.

Recently, the Russo brothers gave some insight as to where the popular line came from and whether or not the theory that many have wondered about is, in fact, correct.

Where did the popular line come from?

As it turns out, “I love you 3000” is not a reference to Marvel’s Phase 3 at all. Joe Russo, one half of the film’s talented directorial team, admitted that “we aren’t that smart” and that it would have been a near-impossible feat to try and match up multiple films’ runtimes with a throwaway line of dialogue.

In fact, the Russos claim that the line was a suggestion by star Robert Downey, Jr. himself and that it’s something that one of his children said to him. He thought it was so profoundly endearing that he pushed to have it written into the film. Evidently, his suggestion worked, and “I love you 3000” has entered the cultural lexicon.

No one is quite certain what Marvel’s next steps will be, and how they will roll out their next phase of films. But for now, fans are still reveling in the splendor of Avengers: Endgame as well as preparing to join Peter Parker on his next big adventure in Spider-Man: Far From Home