A key moment from Avengers: Endgame, featuring Iron Man and Doctor Strange, was improvised by actor Benedict Cumberbatch, director Scott Derrickson has revealed. Derrickson helmed the solo Doctor Strange movie.
Responding on Twitter to a fan’s use of a GIF from that scene, Derrickson wrote, “Benedict told me this moment was an improv.” Fans were surprised by the reveal. “We can all agree that Marvel has been on point with their casting choices. They all look like they were born to play their parts and are all on top of their game with their acting abilities,” one of them wrote. “You can tell him it might be the most emotionally charged single finger in cinematic history, his and ET’s,” wrote another.
The moment in question is Doctor Strange gesturing to an almost defeated Iron Man, reminding him of the one in 14 million chance of them defeating Thanos, and what it would take. It’s a callback to a scene in Avengers: Infinity War, when Strange tells Star Lord that he over 14 million futures.
Tony Stark asked, “How many do we win?” Doctor Strange replied, “One.” The ‘one chance’ scene in Endgame is Strange reminding Tony of that single scenario, and Tony realising that the only way for them to win is if he sacrifices himself.
Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely spoke about the scene’s relevance in an interview to The Hollywood Reporter. “The only way this works is if Tony dies. If you go back and watch Infinity War, when [Strange] says ‘one,’ Benedict … is just choked on emotion. Now that you know the end, go back and watch that moment. He means, ‘You’re going to have to die, Tony’,” they said.
Derrickson and Cumberbatch were supposed to reunite for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but the filmmaker dropped out due to creative differences. Sam Raimi was hired as his replacement.
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