Iron Man's utterly heartbreaking death in Avengers: Endgame was nearly a lot longer than what we got in the final cut of the epic Marvel Studios film.
In an earlier edit of the movie, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) entered a sort of "way station" and chatted with a grown-up version of his daughter, Morgan (played by Katherine Langford of 13 Reasons Why), after snapping his gauntleted fingers and dispatching the Mad Titan and his alien army. This was meant to be a direct parallel to Avengers: Infinity War, in which Thanos (Josh Brolin), fresh off his own Infinity Stone snap, enters another realm and speaks with a young Gamora (Ariana Greenblatt).
The deleted moment, which was not on Endgame's home-video release over the summer, finally gets to shine on the Disney+ streaming service, which launched globally today. The dialogue is hard to make out, but that's only because Joe and Anthony Russo provide a running commentary throughout. That said, the scene does end with Tony giving his daughter a kiss on the cheek and whispering "I love you 3000" into her ear.
"The idea is that this moment, that act sort of forces you to confront or reconcile something that's unresolved in yourself and your soul," Anthony says.
"There was this idea if we cast his daughter as an adult, so that he could come to peace with what he had just done, by talking to her," adds Joe. "Obviously, these stones have limitless power and could create a scenario where he would speak to his daughter in the future, who tells him everything's gonna be OK and allows him to die."
With the movie already running over three hours, the Russos cut the scene for pacing reasons, feeling that Tony's eulogy-giving hologram during the funeral sequence offered the same sort of closure without slowing down the story.
"When you have too many sequences in a row, you can dilute the value of each one of them," explains Joe.
"Because this adult version of Morgan, his daughter, was never in the film, as we would watch it in post, we started to feel like we didn't have a lot of emotional connection to [her], even though this is a wonderful actor," Anthony concludes. "It just seemed like we could do better without it."
In the end, Morgan was only portrayed as a child, played by Lexi Rabe.