SPOILER ALERT: This contains SPOILERS for ‘Avengers: Endgame’ so if you still haven’t seen it, you may wish to turn back now! Once again, TURN BACK to avoid SPOILERS!!!
‘Avengers: Endgame’ is chock full of callbacks all the way to the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, 2008’s ‘Iron Man’, and that includes some real crowd-pleasing cameos from Hayley Atwell, Angela Bassett, Linda Cardellini, James D’Arcy, Michael Douglas, Jon Favreau, Tom Hiddleston, William Hurt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Natalie Portman, Robert Redford, Rene Russo, John Slattery, and more! But there is one throwback cameo that you can be forgiven for not recognizing.
At the end of the movie, when the heroes are gathered on the dock to say their final farewell after perhaps the greatest loss they’ve ever faced, the camera pans between various characters gathered in groups, for instance Black Panther is standing with his sister Shuri and Okoye, Winter Soldier and Falcon are together, etc. But, before panning to Cobie Smulder’s Maria Hill, and William Hurt’s Thaddeus Ross, a single young man, perhaps still a teenager, is standing by himself.
Some may not have given it much though. Perhaps some didn’t recognize all of the people gathered in the first place. But some may have wondered who this young man was and why he was there, but you’ll be forgiven for not recognizing him. It’s been six years and that can be a long time when you’re a certain age.
Perhaps this will jog your memory:
The young man in attendance was Harley Keener, portrayed by his original ‘Iron Man 3’ actor Ty Simpkins. If you recall, in that movie, while flying over Tennessee, Iron Man’s armor gave out, causing him to crash land. He was found and taken care of by ten-year-old Harley who stashed the Avenger in his barn. At the end of the film, Tony Stark supplied him with scientific equipment as a thank you.
Anthony Russo declared that very few people put two-and-two together to figure out who this mystery mourner was.
“By the way, nobody does! It’s hard because he grew up since that movie!”
Joe Russo added:
“We’ll put things in that we hope that the internet will then explain to everyone. That’s one of those things where somebody just has to go look at his IMDB and then start posting it on Twitter and then it catches on. It’s a fun Easter egg.”
I personally only knew to look out for him because Simpkins has been listed as part of ‘Endgame’s cast on IMDB for many months now, maybe even over a year. While certain names have popped up and been removed, Simpkins’ remained all the way up to ‘Endgame’s release.
You may also recognize young Simpkins from starring in all of the ‘Insidious’ movies, ‘The Nice Guys’, and ‘Jurassic World. Most recently, he has appeared on the Channel 4 miniseries ‘Chimerica’. Just for the record, he is now 17 years old.
Did you realize you were looking at a grown-up Harley Keener at the end of ‘Avengers: Endgame’?
Source: Entertainment Weekly