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The most iconic (and quotable) Avengers: Endgame line was added at the last minute

Avengers: Endgame
Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios

Avengers: Endgame (opens in new tab) is filled with fist-pumping moments, scenes that left you wide-eyed and weepy, and quotes that you endlessly repeated to friends and family for days on end until they eventually stopped replying to your texts.

But it was perhaps Tony Stark’s finest MCU moment (and greatest quip) that left the biggest mark. However, it very nearly didn’t make it into the movie. As revealed by the Russos themselves, the “I am Iron Man” moment was a last-minute addition, and we have one very unlikely source of inspiration to thank for it.

As reported by /Film (opens in new tab), a recent Q&A with the Russos featured a moment where they expanded on the difficulty of nailing Iron Man’s witty retort after he swipes the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos.

In fact, he originally says nothing but, as the co-directors explain, “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.”

But step forward Jeff Ford, the Russos’ right-hand man and editor on Captain America: The Winter Soldier (opens in new tab), Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War (opens in new tab) and Endgame. Not all heroes wear capes – and so it proved with Ford, who suggested “Why don’t we just go full circle with it and say I am Iron Man?”

The idea was so good that the Russos knew they had no time to waste. Their reaction? “We’re like, ‘Get the cameras! We have to shoot this tomorrow.'”

So, instead of Robert Downey Jr. defeating Thanos and not getting a word in edgeways (how weird would that have been?), we now have a neat callback to the MCU’s first defining moment, and a fantastic farewell to RDJ to boot. All it took was one editor. Who says they never do anything useful?

Here are some of the biggest questions we had after the Avengers: Endgame ending (opens in new tab).

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.