‘Avengers: Endgame’ Editor Says Different Versions of Iron Man’s Final Moments Were ‘Crazy’

Avengers: Endgame came out in theaters nearly seven months ago, and in doing so, broke almost as many box office records as there are superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Somehow even after the film’s left the big screen — it’s now available on Blu-ray and DVD — we’re still learning new information. Thanks to a Collider interview with Avengers: Endgame editor Jeff Ford, we found out alternate versions of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) or Iron Man’s final moments ranged from funny to poignant.

The 54-year-old actor who Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo have said deserves an Academy Award for his performance as Stark and Iron Man — Downey Jr. turned down his own Oscars campaign (fans felt so strongly about it, they started a petition to get the actor a nomination) — is known not to say the same line twice. It’s one of the techniques he uses as an actor. With that in mind, it makes sense locked away in the Disney vault there’s footage of alternate endings to his character’s last scene in Avengers: Endgame

Robert Downey Jr. standing next to Iron Man suit, 2008
Robert Downey Jr. poses by a life-size Iron Man model | TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

Downey Jr. didn’t want his character to say much

Audiences were crushed when Stark and Iron Man died — there’s a fan theory that says that might not have been the end for the superhero — but the scene certainly showcased Downey Jr.’s acting abilities. The character’s final line, “And I am Iron Man,” a call back to the first Iron Man movie in 2008, almost didn’t happen were it not for Ford. 

While Downey Jr. “instinctively” knew what had to happen in Stark and Iron Man’s final scene, the final cut came close to being very different from what audiences saw in theaters. But just how different we didn’t know until now. 

Editor describes alternate versions as ‘crazy’ and ‘raw’

Ford spoke with Collider about the alternate versions of the character’s death scene saying that Downey Jr. “sometimes like to explore” and “try different things” on camera “in case he hits something that is special” which “very often he does.”

The editor said the actor had varying ideas about his character’s last scene and that the Russo brothers let him improvise “different performances for that last moment.” 

Ford referred to a few of the takes as “crazy” and others as ones “we would never have used.” 

When pressed for more details, Ford said he didn’t want to go into specifics about Downey Jr.’s process and how he approaches a scene but he did provide more insight about the tone of the alternate versions. 

Some of them were jokes. Some of them were obscenities. Some of them were completely emotional, raw, insane things that he was doing. And then some of them were combinations of all three of those things,” Ford explained. 

He continued saying the favorite among the editors turned out to be a take with very few words. “The exchange where Thanos says ‘I am inevitable’ and Tony says ‘I am Iron Man’ that couplet is what makes that work,” he added. 

The MCU continues with Phase 5, a lineup of more superhero stories on TV and film. Get a list of Phases 1 – 4 and the movies in each one.