WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.
While Avengers: Endgame has left many Marvel fans with many questions about what to expect from “Phase Four” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the tentpole if rife with plenty of answers. Specifically, answers regarding the story arcs of the franchise’s most popular and longstanding characters, like Tony Stark. He delivers one of his most iconic lines again during the climactic moment of Endgame‘s big battle, but according to directors Joe and Anthony Russo, this wasn’t always the plan.
At the end of 2008’s Iron Man, Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) declared “I am Iron Man.” 11 years later, after Thanos boasts “I am inevitable,” Stark brandishes the infinity stones he’s just stolen from the Mad Titan and responds “I am Iron Man” before snapping away the villain and his army. It’s a deeply satisfying moment that, per /Film, the Russos recently revealed had been added during reshoots this past January. Yes… January:
“Tony used to not say anything in that moment. And 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. 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.'”
It’s not the first time an iconic line of dialogue has been added to the scene of a Marvel film from someone other than a writer or director. In 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, Thor bursts into cheers after realizing he’s about to do combat with the Hulk, telling the crowd that “he’s a friend from work.” It turns out that oft-promoted joke was the creation of a kid from the Make-A-Wish Foundation who was visiting the set.