Robert Downey Jr.’s Final Scene in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Could’ve Been Very Different

Robert Downey Jr., 54, who began the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his portrayal of Tony Stark in Iron Man, could’ve had a very different last scene in the final installment of the Avengers movies, Avengers: Endgame.

Please note, for those who have yet to see Avengers: Endgame, there are major spoilers ahead.

For those who have seen the movie and know the fate of the characters, keep reading to learn how the actor’s last moments in the film could’ve looked very different. 

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. attends the premiere of Columbia Pictures’ Spider-Man: Homecoming at TCL Chinese Theatre on June 28, 2017, in Hollywood, California. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Originally, Stark kept quiet in his final scene 

During a Question and Answer (Q&A) session about Avengers: Endgame held in Washington, D.C., brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, the co-directors of the film, revealed Stark didn’t say anything in his final scene of the movie, according to Screen Rant. He simply snapped his fingers. 

Editor Jeff Ford came up Stark’s line in the character’s final scene

During the Q&A, the Russo brothers explained how their editor, Jeff Ford, came up with Stark’s line in the final scene. 

“We were in the editing room going, ‘He has to say something. This a character who has lived and died by quips.’ And we just couldn’t. We tried a million different last lines,” the Russo brothers told the audience. 

Robert Downey Jr. with Iron Man on press tour, 2008.
Robert Downey Jr. attends the ‘Iron Man’ Press Conference at Shinagawa Prince Hotel on September 3, 2008, in Tokyo, Japan. | Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images

Then Ford came in and gave the character a now-famous last line. 

“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.’

In the end, Stark said “And I am Iron Man” in his final scene in response to Thanos saying, “I am inevitable.” 

Aside from Stark recognizing Virginia “Pepper” Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), that’s his final line in the movie and supposedly his character’s final act before dying, unless he miraculously reappears in future films. 

Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr.
Actors Gwyneth Paltrow (L) and Robert Downey Jr. arrive at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures’ “Iron Man 3” at the El Capitan Theatre on April 24, 2013, in Hollywood, California. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Audiences hear Stark’s voice again at his funeral in the film. The character recorded a message to his wife, Potts (Paltrow) and daughter, Morgan Stark (Lexi Rabe) in which he says the following: 

“Everybody wants a happy ending, right? But it doesn’t always roll that way. Maybe this time. I’m hoping if you play this back…it’s in celebration. I hope families are reunited. I hope we get it back, in somewhat like a normal version of the planet has been restored, if there ever was such a thing.

God, what a world. Universe now. If you told me 10 years ago that we weren’t alone, let alone you know to this extent… I mean, I wouldn’t have been surprised. But come on, you know. 

That epic forces of darkness and light that have come into play. And for better or worse, that’s the reality Morgan’s going to find a way to grow up in. So I found a private area to record a little greeting in case of an untimely death on my part. Not that death at any time is ever timely.

This time travel thing that we are going to pull off tomorrow… it’s got me scratching my head about the survivability of all this. But then again that’s the hero gig. Part of the journey is the end. What am I tripping for? Everything is going to work out exactly the way it’s supposed to.

I love you 3000.”

Learn why Stark said, “I love you 3000” in his farewell message by watching this clip | Avengers via Instagram

There you have it. How Iron Man/Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr.’s final scene in Avengers: Endgame came to be. 

The significance of Stark’s last line

The final lines spoken by Stark carry a lot of weight within the MCU. 

What Ford meant by “full circle” is that Downey Jr.’s character has said the same line in previous films, specifically Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Iron Man 3.

As Screen Rant noted, “I am Iron Man” is Stark’s last line in Iron Man, the original that started it all. 

Another interesting fact about Stark’s last scene in Avengers: Endgame is that it was the last scene the Russo brothers shot before completing the film.