“I don’t really want to go back”: Robert Downey Jr. Didn’t Want to Shoot One Endgame Scene for a Very Specific Reason

Robert Downey Jr. was persuaded to reshoot a scene in 'Avengers: Endgame' to deliver his character's famous line.

“I don’t really want to go back”: Robert Downey Jr. Didn't Want to Shoot One Endgame Scene for a Very Specific Reason

SUMMARY

  • The tragic loss of Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame left viewers in shock and heartache.
  • Robert Downey Jr. found it difficult to shoot the Iron Man dying scene.
  • Considering that Robert Downey Jr. had been a part of the franchise from the start, it is reasonable to assume that he had extra difficulty shooting the scene.
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Many of you are likely familiar with the astounding conclusion of Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, in which Tony Stark declares, “I am Iron Man”, to the assembled reporters as he simply reveals that he is the man behind the armor suit.

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Even though Tony’s fate in the first MCU film was entirely different, he would still utter that famous line just 11 years later in Avengers: Endgame (2019), albeit with a few minor changes! But, initially, Downey Jr. was hesitant to film the famous scene in Anthony and Joe Russo’s Avengers: Endgame.

Kevin Feige and the Russo brothers had to discuss what Iron Man would say in the last few seconds of the battle with Thanos. Given that this was his final appearance in its entirety in the MCU, Downey Jr. was a little emotional because he was still getting over the shock.

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Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man

Also read: “Who doesn’t love a good paycheck”: Fans Slam Robert Downey Jr. for Reportedly Agreeing to MCU Return

Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark Was A Character Who ‘Lived And Died By Quips’

The heartbreaking loss of Iron Man, one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in Avengers: Endgame devastated viewers. Behind the scenes, however, even Robert Downey Jr., who played Tony Stark for over a decade, found it difficult to shoot the most touching Iron Man dying scene. 

In 2019, Anthony Russo talked about how the famous scene and dialogue did not work at first during a Q&A session (via ComicBook). He recalled:

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“Tony used to not say anything in that moment. And we were in the editing room going, ‘He has to say something. This is 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.’”

Robert Downey Jr. in & as Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr. in & as Iron Man

Editor Jeffrey Ford then suggested that they simply use the “I am Iron Man” line, bringing the story full circle. Russo added:

“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.’”

Despite everything, the 2008 MCU franchise debut of Iron Man made the 58-year-old Tropic Thunder actor’s on-screen death all the more tragic.

RELATED: “They’d look like an idiot”: Robert Downey Jr. Claimed Even Great Hollywood Stars Would Have Looked Awful in Iron Man Suit Without His Grueling Training

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Why It Was ‘Hard’ for Robert Downey Jr. to Film His Most Emotional Scene in Avengers: Endgame?

Joe Russo had dinner with  Robert Downey Jr. a few weeks before the actor’s planned reshoots for Avengers: Endgame, which were supposed to include him saying the final “I am Iron Man” line. During their conversation, Russo discovered that the actor was reluctant to reshoot Tony Stark’s final moments (via MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios)

“And he was like, ‘I don’t know. I don’t really want to go back and get into that emotional state. It’ll take … it’s hard.’ And crazily enough, Joel Silver, the producer, was at the dinner. He’s an old buddy of Robert’s. 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 this!’ So thank God that Joel Silver was at dinner, because he helped us talk Robert into doing that line.”

Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame
Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame

The loss of Downey Jr. while he was playing Iron Man/Tony Stark is unquestionably one of the most tragic scenes in $2.799 billion Avengers: Endgame.

Moreover, considering that the Oppenheimer actor had been a part of the franchise from the start, it is reasonable to assume that he had extra difficulty. It must have been tough for him to realize that his more than ten years as Iron Man were coming to an end, since the character, quite honestly, altered his entire existence.

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Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, the fifth and sixth Avengers films, are set to be released in 2026 and 2027, respectively.

Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Endgame

Watch Avengers: Endgame on Disney Plus.

RELATED: “A director that doesn’t have any balls”: Mickey Rourke Went to Russian Prisons for Iron Man 2, Robert Downey Jr. Was Asked to Stay Out of His Way

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The Struggles and Triumphs of Robert Downey Jr.

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Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Articles Published: 1784

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1700 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.