There was no shortage of emotional moments in Avengers: Infinity War, but most can agree that Peter Parker’s death near the end of the movie was the most heartbreaking. Seeing the teenaged Spider-Man dying in his mentor Iron Man’s arms as Thanos wiped out half of the universe was just too devastating for any Marvel fan to watch without setting off the waterworks.
We’ve previously heard that Tom Holland improvised his dialogue in this scene, as the moment as written in the script was much shorter and less impactful. Thanks to the commentary from the Russo brothers on the home video release of the movie, though, we now know that Robert Downey Jr. was the reason for Holland eking all the emotion out of the scene.
“If I remember correctly, it was [in the script] ‘I don’t feel too good.’ Tony looked down at him. He said, ‘I’m sorry’ and disappeared,” Joe Russo explained on the commentary track during this moment.
“It wasn’t as drawn out as this,” Anthony Russo added, before going on to discuss how Downey Jr. was keen to mine the sequence for all it was worth and coached Holland on where the character was at this point and how hopeless he felt. The result was a show-stopping performance from the young actor.
“At the end of the day, he kept driving: put more and more emotion into it, and just went up to Tom and said, ‘You don’t want to go because you’re a child. And you’re using your strength as Spider-Man to fight this. And then that was the performance that came out. It was a pretty spectacular performance for a 21-year-old actor.”
Though this wasn’t the original plan for the scene, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have since come up with a canonical explanation for why Peter took longer to die than the rest of the Avengers. Apparently, his Spider-sense forewarned him of what was about to happen, hence why he didn’t react with shock like the other heroes and quickly accepted the situation.
I don’t know about you, but this nugget of info has just made Spidey’s death scene even more tear-jerking. At least we know he isn’t gone for good, though, as we have Spider-Man: Far From Home coming out next July. In the meantime, be sure to catch Avengers: Infinity War on Blu-ray and DVD on August 14th.