Despite the impossible level of hype surrounding the movie, very few people were disappointed by Avengers: Endgame. It had a suitably epic scale, with the emotional resonance to make it all worthwhile. In addition to shocking plot turns and breathtaking action sequences, we saw heartfelt conclusions to some characters’ arcs and a bright future gets set up for others.
In the weeks since the movie came out, the producers have been revealing little details from behind the scenes that add even more layers of greatness to it. Here are 10 behind the scenes details that make Avengers: Endgame even better.
10 It was Robert Downey, Jr.’s idea for Tony Stark to have a silent death
When Robert Downey, Jr. was told that Tony Stark would die at the end of this movie, he reportedly asked for the character not to be given any dialogue in the death scene. He had the right idea because it was incredibly effective.
It makes the whole thing feel much more real, and the emotions come through more ingeniously in his final moments with the people closest to him. As Pepper, Rhodey, and Spidey all join Tony’s side as he passes away, Downey tells us more about Tony’s relationships with all of them in facial expressions alone than any words ever could. Some things are just better left unspoken.
9 The “dusted” characters were removed from the Marvel Studios logo
For the past few MCU movies, the Marvel Studios logo has been tweaked to include script snippets and video clips from the films. However, at the beginning of Avengers: Endgame, it was changed to remove all of the characters who turned to dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
It was a subtle change that most fans missed, but it was a nice touch. Of course, later in the movie, they would all be resurrected by the Hulk using the Infinity Stones, but at the start of the movie, we didn’t know that. Okay, we knew they weren’t permanently dead, but we didn’t know how they were going to come back.
8 Tom Holland was told Tony Stark’s funeral was a wedding
It’s a well-known fact that Tom Holland has a penchant for revealing spoilers – so well-known, in fact, that Marvel has begun using it as a marketing tool, as they had him “accidentally” reveal the title of Spider-Man: Far From Home on social media. As a result, he only ever gets to see his own scenes in the script and his co-stars often have to cover his mouth during interviews.
During the shooting of Endgame, he was reportedly told that Tony Stark’s funeral was a wedding. That didn’t stop him from spoiling Stark’s death for the entire cast of Far From Home and, more recently, the audience of The Graham Norton Show.
7 Chris Hemsworth fought to keep Thor’s weight for the whole movie
Thor’s weight gain and the jokes made at his expense was the source of some controversy when Avengers: Endgame was first released, with some fans accusing the filmmakers of fat-shaming. The writers have vehemently defended Thor’s characterization in the movie, saying it was all about his emotional state and not about his weight.
In the original script, Thor was supposed to drop his extra weight halfway through the movie, but Chris Hemsworth fought to keep him overweight until the end of the movie. In many ways, this helped. It meant that his depression was never equated with his weight gain because he was still worthy of wielding Mjolnir and still fought Thanos and still got his groove back without having to lose weight.
6 Robert Redford came out of retirement to play Alexander Pierce again
The time travel plot of Avengers: Endgame meant that a number of characters we thought we’d never see again, like Jane Foster and the Ancient One, could return to our screens. One of those characters was Alexander Pierce, Hydra’s top undercover operative in the U.S. government.
He was played by Robert Redford, who had retired from acting in 2018 following his acclaimed turn in The Old Man and the Gun. He came out of retirement to reprise his role as Pierce, which marked the first time in his six-decade film career that he had played the same role in more than one movie.
5 The movie’s editor came up with Tony Stark’s final line
When Thanos said, “I am inevitable,” it seemed perfect to have Tony Stark quip back, “And I am Iron Man,” because it brought the whole Infinity Saga full circle. According to the Russo brothers, the original version of the scene had Stark saying nothing before snapping his fingers:
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. 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.’
4 Stan Lee’s cameo has a reference to his comics history
In the months since Marvel overlord Stan Lee tragically passed away, we’ve seen his final two MCU cameos. In Captain Marvel, he played himself rehearsing his lines for his Mallrats cameo. In Avengers: Endgame, he drives past the military base Camp Lehigh in 1970, sporting a very ‘70s mustache, and yells, “Make love, not war!” out the window.
On the back of his car, a bumper sticker can be seen that reads, “‘Nuff said.” This is the phrase that Lee used as a sign-off on his old “Stan’s Soapbox” editorials, where he would personally address the readers, which solidified his place as a comics legend.
3 Chris Evans told Anthony Mackie he was the new Captain America over drinks
Chris Evans told his co-star Anthony Mackie that his character Sam Wilson would become the new Captain America at the end of Avengers: Endgame over some drinks. Mackie explained
We were at his house and he goes, ‘You excited?’ And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And he goes, ‘Wait, you don’t know?’ And I’m like, ‘Know what?’ He jumps up, runs out of the room, comes back in with the script. He’s like, ‘Read it!’ And I read the scene and I’m like, ‘Whoa!’ And he goes, ‘Yeah!’ We cried. We drank. We laughed. It became this thing. I’m very happy I got that moment with Chris, for him to not only pass me the shield but to tell me what was happening.
2 Jeremy Renner didn’t know what was going on in the opening scene
Some fans were surprised when it was Clint Barton – not Tony Stark or Steve Rogers or Thor – who was the focus of the opening scene of Avengers: Endgame. He’s having a picnic with his family when they all suddenly disappear. We know that Thanos’ finger-snap has just turned them to dust, but he has no idea what’s going on. And apparently, neither did Jeremy Renner.
The actor explained, “I didn’t know what was happening, I really didn’t. I didn’t know what was happening in Infinity War and everyone turning to dust, I didn’t know that.” To be fair, it effectively drew an authentic performance out of him.
1 Robert Downey, Jr.’s kids love him 3,000
One of the most surprising twists in Endgame was the five-year time jump early on, which led to even more surprises, including the fact that Tony Stark had a daughter. The line, “I love you 3,000,” will now live on forever – especially because of the poignancy added to it by the film’s closing moments – but the story behind the line makes it even better.
One of Robert Downey, Jr.’s own children told him, “I love you 3,000.” Downey told the Russo brothers about it and they ended up including it in the script. Now, it’s one of the most quotable lines in the whole MCU.