Robert Downey Jr. had a very different last line in mind for Tony Stark's final outing in Avengers: Endgame. Kicking off the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Jon Favreau's Iron Man more than a decade ago, the actor's casting was the first pillar of what's now become a 23-film franchise. Reprising his role 10 more times (including his cameo in The Incredible Hulk) over the course of his run, the actor bowed out with a poetic ending in Joe and Anthony Russo's culminating movie Avengers: Endgame. Spoilers for the film ahead.
With the Avengers' devastating loss to Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Infinity War, Tony checked out of his superhero gig and opted to spent the next five years living quietly with Pepper Pots (Gwyneth Paltrow) and their new daughter Morgan. While initially reluctant to suit back up when duty knocked on his door again in Endgame, the genius billionaire eventually joined up with his remaining allies in the hopes of bringing back those who perished due to The Decimation. With the Mad Titan Thanos still posing a threat to the primary MCU timeline, Tony put on the secondary gauntlet, clicked his finger, and dusted off the Mad Titan and all of his minions, but not before declaring "I am Iron Man" - a response to Thanos previously stating "I am inevitable."
The move effectively killed him in the process, immortalizing the said line as the Tony's final words in the MCU. It turns out, however, Downey had a very different set of words in mind, as reported by Comicbook. At the recent People's Choice Awards, Robert Downey Jr. revealed that, instead of the epic phrase which brought back fans to the very first Iron Man where the words were first uttered, the actor simply wanted to say "Oh, snap!" during the pivotal Endgame scene. It definitely doesn't have the gravitas the final words did, but it's a quip which sounds very on-brand for Tony.
Chances are Downey was just joking, but it's no secret it was a significant process for him to shoot that particular scene, as recalled by editor Jeff Ford. In fact, the addition of the "I am Iron Man" line came late in Endgame's production, resulting in having to rework the whole scene after the actor had already wrapped. The original Avengers: Endgame cut had Tony without a line at all, which sounds odd considering the character is known for being hyper-verbal. In any case, they had him redo the scene with the addition of the nostalgic phrase, but it needed some coaxing since RDJ didn't want to do it again - perhaps because he already processed his run as the beloved hero was over.
In the end, it was all worth it. The final Avengers scene was both powerful and nostalgic, and it was a great way to cap-off Downey's impressive run as Tony Stark. Frankly, the MCU won't look and feel the same without its inaugural hero, but while it was a sad thing to see him go, especially after he finally had his own family, Stark's sacrificial play in Avengers: Endgame beautifully wrapped up the character's 11-year arc. Downey, for his part, arguably played the character best in his final outing, earning a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award push from Disney.