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I’m Going to Pretend like the Directors of Avengers: Endgame Didn’t Debunk the “I Love You 3000” Theory

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson and Alexandra Rachael Rabe at the Avengers: Endgame premiere

I did the math. I wanted to be right. But the directors of Avengers: Endgame have said that “I love you 3000” doesn’t mean what we think it means. With the run-time of Spider-Man: Far From Home added in, the entire MCU (at this current moment) is 3000 minutes. So, when Tony Stark said “I love you 3000” to Morgan Stark at the end of Avengers: Endgame, many of us thought it was an ode to all of us who have loved the series from the beginning.

Well, the Russos brothers have now pointed out that they’re not smart enough to worry about planning that far ahead and honestly, fine. I’m still going to carry on believing that Robert Downey Jr. was telling all of us that he loved us for his time as Tony Stark. But, according to an interview with Deco Drive, it’s nothing more than a coincidence.

As you can see, it was just a happy accident. Joe Russo even explained that it’d be too hard for them to try and plan something like that.

“We worked really hard to make sure… we’ve been planning that since Winter Soldier. No, I mean that is absolutely coincidental, we’re not that smart.”

Still, the importance of that line has followed me around ever since I saw the movie. And sure, Robert Downey Jr. said it was something his kids had said to him, but also, it’s the perfect line to exit the Marvel Cinematic Universe with. Saying goodbye to those 3,000 minutes that we have all spent loving Tony Stark and his time as our Iron Man? Iconic.

So whether or not it was their actual point, I’m going to say that the Russo brothers should just run with this and take the most perfect of happy accidents. Own it! I will willingly cry over “I love you 3000” for the rest of my days and that is totally okay by me.

(via Comic Book Movie, image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.