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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has undoubtedly had its share of iconic lines and catchphrases over the years. To the outsider, it might seem like every single line is perfectly thought out from the get-go. However, that’s not always so. Sometimes the actors have to come back for reshoots to make it just right. Being one of the most renowned blockbuster actors of our times, ‘MCU’s man of steel‘ himself, Robert Downey Jr (RDJ), was no exception to the rule.

The Iron Man actor had to come back and change to what may very well be the most memorable line in Avengers: Endgame. Let’s see its implications and other ideas the actor had for the line.

The perfect comeback to Thanos in ‘Avengers: Endgame’

To say the Avengers: Endgame movie was emotional would be an understatement. However, the emotional climax for many viewers is the Iron Man-Thanos scene at the end when he grabs hold of the infinity stones.

In response to Thanos, “I’m inevitable,” he utters his famous last words, “And I am Iron Man,” before snapping his fingers, ending Thanos and his merry fleet in one go before dying from the power of using the stones.

However, what fans don’t know is that the iconic line originally wasn’t meant to be there. It was only added during reshoots done a few weeks later. Additionally, it wasn’t the only suggestion.

Other brainstormed final lines for Tony Stark

According to CinemaBlend, when asked about his reply to Thanos in the movie, Robert Downey Jr. replied, “Correct answer is ‘I am Iron Man,’ but I had so many alternative lines that I wanted to put forward. They were all super smart-ass lines.”

He further added, “I was trying dumb lines like ‘you are so f–cked or whatever….’ I get the infinity stones and then have the power to snap and have whatever I wanna have happen. Oh, that’s, I was gonna say ‘oh, snap.”

However, according to the Russo brothers in an interview with Slashfilm, their editor Jeff Ford landed the final suggestion.

In Russo’s words, “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!”

Convincing RDJ to reshoot his final scene as Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. at an 'Avengers: Endgame' cement handprints ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theater
Robert Downey Jr. at the TCL Chinese Theater | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images

If the line sounds familiar, it is because it is not the first time Tony Stark has used it. It can be traced back to the original Iron Man, where the character revealed his secret identity to the world. By doing so, the MCU became one of the few (if not only) franchises that widely operated by revealing its heroes’ identities. We later came to see the likes of Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, who, from the start, didn’t bother to disguise their true identities. Even Spiderman later had his identity revealed in Spiderman: Far From Home.

Still, despite the line’s significance, Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t too eager to go back and do reshoots. Co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo told CinemaBlend that over a dinner they had with the actor, he expressed his hesitation mainly because he didn’t want to get back into the emotional state of a dying Tony Stark.

However, he was convinced by Joel Silver, a producer and old friend of Robert, who was also at the table. Joe Russo said, “and Joel jumps in, and he’s like, Robert, what are you talking about? That’s the greatest line I’ve ever heard! You gotta say this line! You have to do it!” The brothers said they always knew they needed a smart reply to Thanos. After many tries, they finally landed on the perfect one.

Other lines Robert Downey Jr. improvised


Robert Downey Jr. Almost Wanted ‘Oh, Snap’ to Be Iron Man’s Last Words in ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Besides “I am Iron Man,” Robert Downey Jr. is also responsible for coming up with another touching line in the film. In a scene earlier in the movie where Tony is having a moment with his five-year-old daughter, Morgan says to Tony, “I love you 3000”. As you may expect, the extremely cute line has fans reaching for tissues.

According to Avengers: Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus, RDJ took the line from something his real-life kids say to him. In his words, “Well, as much as we’d like to take credit for what is inevitably going to be one of the most memorable lines in MCU history, that is something that Robert and his children actually say to each other. He brought it from real life to the set.”