It’s been a week and fans worldwide are still reeling from Avengers 4. Obviously, if you haven’t seen the film yet, please do not read beyond here because there are MAJOR SPOILERS. Repeat viewings are throwing up intriguing plot holes and teasers, but also the opportunity to reflect on some of the more personal moments. Tony Stark (and his ego) will be pleased to know that his hugely emotional storyline features heavily in discussions, including one major line which has a hidden meaning in the script but may also have another secret meaning for the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe so far.
Early in the movie Tony Stark is seen saying goodnight to his young daughter, Morgan. When tells her he loves her, she replies, “I love you three thousand.”
This moving moment is reprised at the very end after his devastating death. In a prerecorded message the doting father tells her one last time: “I love you three thousand.”
Writers Christopher Marcus and Stephen McFeely told Fandango the line is drawn from Robert Downey Jr’s own life.
As well as his 25-year old son Indio from his first marriage, the actor has a young son and daughter from his current marriage.
Christopher Markus: Well much as we’d like to take credit for what is inevitably going to be one of the most memorable lines in MCU history, that is something that Robert and his children actually say to each other, and he brought it from real life onto the set.
Stephen McFeely: The script was, “Love you tons. Love you tons.” And now it’s, “Love you tons. Love you 3000.”
As if this isn’t moving enough, a fan has spotted a truly staggering second hidden meaning in the line.
Yes, that’s right. According to this tweet from film blogger and journalist Amanda Santino, the total running time of all the MCU movies in Phases One to Three is an incredible three thousand minutes. She added: “And I’m crying again.”
Is that how much the Marvel filmmakers love their fans?
It is also fitting the list includes Spider-Man: Far From Home. It has not been released yet but marks the official end of MCU Phase Three according to Marvel boss Kevin Feige.