From the climactic battle in the ruins of the team’s destroyed complex to pretty much any shot involving time travel, Avengers: Endgame is chock-full of special effects-driven shots that probably cost Marvel Studios (and Disney) at least a snapped universe’s worth of money. Despite the obviousness of this, however, directors Joe and Anthony Russo revealed that the film’s most expensive shot actually didn’t have that many CGI effects in it.
Speaking with Kevin Smith at Comic-Con, the Russos, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and actor Anthony Mackie explained that Endgame‘s most costly scene has less to do with effects and more to do with salaries. Of course, they were talking about the funeral of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. “We used to joke, and I don’t know if it’s joking… It’s probably the most expensive shot in movie history,” Joe explained. “That’s a lot of salary on the screen there. At the very least, it’s the most expensive day of extras in movie history, outside of Cleopatra.”
While discussing the potentially astronomical budget allocations for the funeral scene, they also confirmed Spider-Man: Far From Home actor Tom Holland’s story about the fact that he (and pretty much the rest of the cast) was lied to about the scene. Everyone present — minus Gwyneth Paltrow, whom Mackie said had been “warned” since it was going to be a more moving and intense scene to shoot for her character.
As for Joe himself, well… we all know how he really felt about Stark (and we all know that it’s a fake quote!).