Ever since RDJ’s storied ad-lib, “I am Iron Man,” superhero flicks in the MCU or DC Extended Universe are open to actors improvising and playing on their mistakes. Here are some of the best.
Chris Pratt Opts for Self-Deprecatory Humor in This “Guardians of the Galaxy” Scene
Korath confronts Peter Quill in the orb scene. Chris Pratt thought it would be humorous to boldly announce he is Star-Lord to Korath (Djimon Hounsou), with Korath’s response being, “Who?”
Since Star-Lord pales in comparison to other Marvel heroes, Pratt thought it was a clever way to add to this scene.
“Deadpool” Improv Line Elicits a Real Punch in the Face
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) was throwing lines in this scene. Strapped to a gurney, he was making fun of his captor, Angel Dust (ex-MMA fighter Gina Carano).
He called her “Henry Winkler” and “Criss Angel, Mindfreak.” No response. Then he compared her to a “less-angry Rosie O’Donnell.” Smack. Right in the face. Too bad it didn’t make the cut!
Paul Rudd Wrote a Lot of His Lines in “Ant-Man”
Paul Rudd is a sharp comedy writer (“Anchorman” and “Clueless”), so it was not a surprise that he was invited on as co-writer for the screenplay.
During the shoot, he improvised a lot as well. You can find some prime examples of it in the dramatic reunion moment between Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), his ex-wife (Judy Greer), and her new husband (Bobby Cannavale).
Tom Holland (Spider-Man) Spontaneously Makes a Move on RDJ
Tom Holland said he veered off script in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” He went to hug Tony Stark as he leaned across.
RDJ responded to Holland’s improvised gesture and said, “It’s not a hug. I’m just grabbing the door for you. We’re not there yet.” It was a hilarious hit in the editing room.
“X-Men” Director James Mangold Tells Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, “Just improvise”
Stewart (Professor X) and Jackman (Logan) had an eight-minute conversation, completely off-the-cuff, filming “Logan” (2017).
The director said, “Why don’t you talk about your history a little bit more?” And they made up the story about a school of mutants during dinner. Out of it all, one line made it to the film.
Jon Favreau Let RDJ Eat on the Set of “The Avengers” (2012)
Robert Downey, Jr. likes to snack, so he hides lots of food during shoots. “The Avengers” director Jon Favreau finally relented and let him eat, even if the cameras were rolling!
It was part of his training regimen, which included 5,000 calories a day. It worked! He gained 25 pounds of muscle for his role as Iron Man.
Hugh Jackman’s Cameo as Wolverine on “X-Men: First Class” Made the Cut
Hugh Jackman talked about how he was invited to show up for the shoot of “X-Men: First Class” as Wolverine.
It was one scene that took about eight takes. On the last, Jackman changed the line, ever so slightly, and it stuck.
Heath Ledger’s Joker Improvises the Fake Clap in the Prison Scene
Heath Ledger gave one of his best performances in “The Dark Knight.” Sadly, he didn’t live to receive his Oscar for the role.
As it turns out, he improvised a lot on that film. Director Christopher Nolan said the actor would let him know when he was going to add something, and one time, it was that dark clapping.
Tom Hardy Punctuates a Dark Scene With Some Levity in “The Dark Knight Rises”
As the evil Bane, Tom Hardy is readying for the explosive attack on a Gotham City stadium. He has just killed an astrophysicist by breaking his neck with a sharp twist in front of the crowd.
Listening to the pre-game “Star-Spangled Banner” sung by a darling boy, he comments, impromptu, “What a lovely voice.”
Joaquin Phoenix Goes off the Rails as Joker
The actor’s portrayal of Joker’s gradual slide into madness was improvised more than once in “Joker.”
In this scene, the cast and crew watched dumbfounded. In a rage, Phoenix cleared the fridge of its contents and then climbed on in. Scenes such as this one earned Phoenix a Best Actor Oscar nomination.
Heartwarming: A Make-A-Wish Kid Came up With One of the Movie’s Best Lines
While shooting “Thor: Ragnarok,” children from Make-A-Wish were on set.
One particular boy asked Chris Hemsworth to add a line for when The Incredible Hulk enters the forum. Hemsworth was able to run it by the director. “We know each other; he’s a friend from work,” even made the trailer.
Benedict Cumberbatch Veered off the Script in “Avengers: Endgame”
It was a dramatic moment. Cumberbatch, as Doctor Strange, made a gesture to Tony Stark.
He raises his finger to give Stark the go-ahead after Stark looks Strange in the eye. It is a significant moment, but it was made up entirely by Cumberbatch. Director Scott Derrickson confirmed the improv in a tweet.
Iron Man Tells Captain America How He Really Feels
In the opening scenes of “Avengers: Endgame,” Tony Stark confronts Steve Rogers. In an emotional rant, he accuses Rogers of being unworthy of Avenger status.
He seals the diatribe with a single but visceral, improvised word, “liar.” He’s got nothing for the Cap, “I got no coordinates, no clues, no strategies, no options! Zero, zip, nada. No trust. Liar.”
Michael B. Jordan Improvised a Key Line in “Black Panther”
As Killmonger is being interviewed by the Wakanda leadership, Michael B. Jordan is trying to prove his character is a descendent of the tribe.
When one of the leaders confirms his lineage, Killmonger caught everyone by surprise, blurting out, “Hey Auntie,” to the Queen Mother. Total lack of respect, but kinda funny too.
M’Baku Ad-Libbed and It Made It Into “Black Panther”
And it wasn’t even a word. “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler said Winston Duke’s accentuation of M’Baku in the confrontation with CIA agent Everett Ross was the perfect expression to shut down the agent.
Duke spontaneously let out a loud grunt, and it silenced Everett Ross, more succinctly than any scripted line might.
Robert Downey, Jr. Snacks on Healthy Foods Too
RDJ has a snacking obsession that gives him more than one entry on this list. Here’s what happened in the lab scene in “The Avengers.” Tony Stark hands Captain America and Bruce Banner a package of blueberries.
The offer was totally unscripted; the berries came from the Iron Man actor’s personal stash.
Drax the Destroyer Delivered One of the Funniest Lines in “Avengers: Infinity War”
And it wasn’t even in the script. Dave Bautista, as Drax responded to Tony Stark’s line, “I’ll do you one better. Who is Gamora?” That line was actually in the script, but Bautista added, “I’ll do you one better; why is Gamora?”
The silly thread was one of the internet’s favorite “Dawn of Justice” memes.
Thor Tries Coffee for the First Time and Likes It
His Asgardian manners, however, were improvised. Chris Hemsworth delivered his line, “This drink, I like it!” But then added, “Another!” and punctuated his demand by smashing his coffee mug to the floor, and that was all Hemsworth.
He just felt like doing that, and moviemakers loved the genuine reactions from the other actors.
Joker’s Teardrop Was No Joke
Joaquin Phoenix unintentionally added something to the opening shots of “Joker.” It was unscripted and totally random.
Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) is looking in the mirror, putting on a smile along with his clown makeup. A wave of empathy for the sad clown triggered a tear, a single tear, to drop down his cheek, blurring his makeup.
Star-Lord Drops the Orb of Mass Destruction
Did Chris Pratt drop the coveted orb of universal destruction on purpose? That depends. Director James Gunn claimed Pratt accidentally dropped it in the director’s cut commentary, but Pratt insists he did it purposely.
Gunn doubted the known prankster, saying he believed him “about 90%.” Neither scenario was in the script, but, hey, it made the cut.
RDJ Revealed One of Stark’s Most-Loved Lines Came From His Kids
It appeared in “Avengers: Endgame” as Tony Stark is saying goodnight to his daughter Morgan.
RDJ’s real-life daughter said it to him once. It was presumably the biggest number the young girl could think of, “I love you 3000.” No surprise, it’s one of the film’s most heart-melting moments.
Comedian Tim Heidecker Loves to Make up Lines
But not many, only about 0.1%, made it into “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
Heidecker played whaleboat captain Daniel Gooobler, a minor role. Here is one that did not make the cut, “Me eat people.”
Tobey Maguire Throws Out a Few Lines Depicting Peter Parker
Tobey Maguire played Spider-Man way back in 2002. In Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man,” Maguire portrayed a young Spidey. As Peter Parker, he had to learn how to web. Maguire was given some leeway as he tried out Parker’s new abilities.
He referred to old-fashioned comic superheroes like Superman and Captain Marvel with “Shazam!” and “Up and away web!”
Iron Man’s Death Scene Was Made up on the Spot
It may come as a surprise, but Tony Stark’s death at the end of “Avengers: Endgame” was patched together, impromptu.
Tom Holland explained that to prepare, the Russo Brothers and Kevin Feige brought together RDJ, Gwyneth Paltrow, Holland, and Don Cheadle. Sans script, the actors and directors hashed out the emotional scene.
Joaquin Phoenix Did an Extemporaneous Dance in “Joker”
Dancing with the devil in the public latrine lights, Phoenix’s Joker had been scripted to look into the bathroom mirror and ponder his crime (Arthur Fleck just killed his first victim) with a few lines.
Instead, he broke into a dance, swaying to a violin instrumental of “America the Beautiful,” just like Nicholson’s Joker did back in the day.
Peter Quill Flips off His Captors
Chris Pratt is a voracious improviser. In this scene, Star-Lord is being held by the Nova Corps, along with his misfit crew.
When it’s his turn to stand at the criminal lineup, Pratt decided to give the Nova Corps the finger. Pretending his middle finger is part of an imaginary machine, he says he didn’t know how it worked.
Ben Affleck’s Batman in “Dawn of Justice” Lets the S-Word Slip
As Batman, Affleck thought it would be funny to show the gravity of the situation by saying, “Oh sh*t” as he’s facing the monster Dooms Day.
Affleck later admitted that he improvised the line in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Normally, Batman would never curse. The actor talked to director Zack Snyder, and they agreed it worked.
The Boat Scene in “Wonder Woman” Just Happened
Gal Gadot and Chris Pine show their actor’s chops improvising an entire scene. It was a bonding conversation about Diana’s origin, marriage, and whatnot.
Director Patty Jenkins revealed in a tweet that Pine also improvised one of the film sequel’s funniest moments when he blurts out his break-dancing threat line. Jenkins said everyone laughed.
Hemsworth Goes off Script and Hangs up His Hammer
We all know Chris Hemsworth likes to ham it up. So, it won’t come as a surprise that in “Thor: Dark World,” when Thor enters the apartment, he stores his trusty hammer on the coat rack.
It was his idea. Of course, where else would it go? It was a bit of comedic relief, and audiences appreciated it.
Robert Downey Jr.’s Iconic “Iron Man” Ad Lib
Robert Downey Jr. caught everyone by surprise when he announced, as Tony Stark, to a roomful of reporters that he was, in fact, Iron Man. It was a ballsy move but fit Stark’s superego persona.
In the 2008 movie, director Kevin Feige decided to keep this impromptu plot shift. And RDJ was on his way to becoming the MCU improvise king.
Hayley Atwell Was Not Supposed to Touch the Cap
But she did. It was the first time she had seen the post-serum Chris Evans shirtless. Impulsively, Atwell, as Agent Carter in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” could not help but touch, ever so quickly, his ripped chest.
The move was not in the script, but it made the final cut, hands down, no contest.
Robert Downey Jr. Improvises to Save Another Take
In this scene of “Captain America: Civil War,” Tony Stark’s having a heart-to-heart with Peter Parker, but Tom Holland forgot his cue to move over.
Going with the flow, Downey, Jr. tells Holland, extemporaneously, to move, even though it wasn’t in the script. But, RDJ’s line, “I’m gonna sit here, so you move the leg,” is in the movie.
Hugh Jackman Improvises One of Wolverine’s Best Professor X Disses
In the first “X-Men” movie, a sleeper superhero flick that became a 20-year franchise, Jackman was already showing his knack for throwing comedic lines out.
In this scene, Professor Xavier is introducing Wolverine to the X-Men pack. The script said, “What do they call you, “Baldie?” But instead, Jackman blurted out, “What do they call you? Wheels?”
Jack Nicholson’s Joker Is Uber-Creepy
One of Nicholson's most memorable improvisations is his dance, a sort of flatulent jig marking his departure, as he leaves Vicky Vale’s apartment.
It comes right after the famous confrontation between Bruce Wayne and Joker. Joker’s riddle, “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” takes Bruce Wayne by surprise right before Joker pops him.
Anthony Hopkins Made Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston Cry
In “Thor” (2011), the director asked Anthony Hopkins to improvise his lines for the “I cast you out” scene.
The dramatic performance depicting Thor’s banishment was so intense, Loki and Thor were driven to tears, real tears. Giving free rein to the phenomenal actor Hopkins made it a brilliant, key scene.
“Shazam!” Star Zachary Levi Gets a Little Silly
“Shazam!” director David Sandberg wasn’t convinced. Zachary Levi told him about his idea, throwing a Batman toy at adversary Dr. Sivana during the toy store fight. But Sandberg wasn’t interested.
Finally, he let the star have a take to see if it works, and the proof is in the pudding.
Tom Holland Improvised Spider-Man’s Last Words
As “Avengers: Infinity War” winds down, Thanos has turned half of the universe’s life to dust, Spider-Man included.
Shooting that emotional scene with Spidey in Iron Man’s arms, the script’s final words, “I’m sorry,” wasn’t working for directors Joe and Anthony Russo. So they asked him to wing it. “I don’t wanna go” was Holland’s line.
Peter Parker Tries to Get Out of a Deep Space Mission
Peter Parker is just a kid in “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Even as Spider-Man, he’s not that keen on fighting like a superhero.
When he demurs at Nick Fury’s mission request, Fury does not have it. Samuel Jackson, off the cuff, told Spidey, “[Bleep] please, you’ve been to space.”
MCU’s Hawkeye Goes Off-Script, Ranting About Quicksilver
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” contains one of the funnier Marvel moments. It’s the time Jeremy Renner goes on a rambling bit about Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).
It is a good example of the two characters’ love-hate relationship. Hawkeye pulls out an arrow and aims it at Quicksilver but then gets sentimental about it and reconsiders, muttering on.
A Hilarious Captain Marvel Ad-Lib Moment by Zachary Levi
In DC’s “Shazam!,” Captain Marvel is really just a 14-year-old kid. For comedian Zachary Levi this was a great thing.
He could act goofier than the average superhero. He also added some of his own lines. That’s what happened here. Levi added, addressing Mr. Moran, the security guard, “Thank you so much, Detective Moron.”
Chris Hemsworth Improvises a Classic Scene
It’s the “get help” part in “Thor: Ragnarok.” Thor and Loki, standing side-by-side in the elevator, break into an impromptu exchange about getting help.
Directors told them to wing it, and Hemsworth went with the “get help” idea. If it’s not your favorite improvised Marvel scene ever, it is, in fact, Tom Hiddleston’s (Loki)!
Benedict Cumberbatch Ad-Libs “Try Me, Beyoncé” in “Doctor Strange”
Wong, the “Doctor Strange” librarian, doesn’t have a first or last name; he’s just Wong.
Cumberbatch, as Dr. Stephen Strange, requests books about astral projection from Wong. The librarian immediately shoots Strange down, quipping, “You’re not ready for that.” So, Cumberbatch, with no other recourse, quips back and calls him Beyoncé. He was supposed to say, “Try me.”
Chris Hemsworth Gets Creative as Thor
As brothers, Thor and Loki have a very rivalrous relationship. In this scene, Hemsworth breaks into a childhood story that he just made up.
He said that when the two were young, Loki changed into a snake because he knew little brother Thor loved snakes. Then, he sabotaged Thor as he turned back to Loki, stabbing him.
“Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey” Cast Hangout Day Made the Cut
Director Cathy Yan let the girl stars hang as a prep for a chilling out scene that they had to improvise.
Ella Jay Basco (Cassandra Cain) said that they munched on all kinds of snacks and ate burgers and fries. “That day was super fun and didn’t feel like work at all,” she told A Book Of.
RDJ Goes on a Roll for “The Avengers” After-Credit Scene
The Cap announces, “We won.” Downey, Jr. breaks into a muted celebratory speech, “Alright, yay. Alright, good job, guys. Let’s just not come in tomorrow.”
The one thing on his mind, though, was Shawarma. Back to his food fixation, he and the rest of the gang go to a Shawarma joint he wanted to check out and feast.
Samuel L. Jackson Couldn’t Help Himself With This Off-Script Move In “Captain America”
Nick Fury attends the posthumous examination of a troublesome Skrull. The defeated alien lay on the examiner’s table.
As Fury finishes his conversation with the examiner, he prepares to leave, but then he just couldn’t help himself. He pulled up the sheet on the Skrull to have a look at the plumbing. That part was all Jackson.
Chadwick Boseman Improvised the Perfect Rally Chant Word
“Yibambe” is a real word. King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) shouted it out on the battlefield, and the troops vigorously echo it back. The word literally means “hold fast” or “don’t give up.”
It comes from Bantu, which is a South African language. But in the fictional land of Wakanda, calling out “Yibambe” was all Boseman.
Ewan McGregor’s Improv on “Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey.”
As Black Mask, McGregor delivers his share of one-liners. It turns out he came up with many of them on his own.
Director Cathy Yan said the actor is “wickedly funny” and was always throwing lines out there. This one was a winner.
Hemsworth Breaks up Battlefield Tensions With Unscripted Moments
This comment takes place on the battlefield of “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018).
Thor runs into Captain America amidst the fighting. Shooting the breeze, the Cap takes note of Thor’s buzz cut, saying, “You got a haircut?” Without missing a beat, Thor returns with, “I notice you’ve copied my beard?”
Michael Rooker Let It Roll in “Guardians of the Galaxy”
And he said it was “quite a special experience.” In an exclusive Comic Book Movie interview, Rooker talked about the hilarious interview part in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
As Yondu he obnoxiously talks over the Broker in gibberish, and it was all impromptu—he said he the scene was created on the spot.
“Deadpool” Is R-Rated, and So Is This Improv Line
T.J. Miller played Weasel to Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool. When Deadpool first reveals his appearance to Weasel, Weasel makes some graphic analogies about his ugly mug.
Most of these were improvised by Miller. Some of the jokes were so graphic they were cut from the movie. But this one stuck, and the internet was glad it did.
Sky Diving Without a Parachute in “Aquaman”
Jason Momoa improvised more than usual in “Aquaman.” James Wan let him mess around and say things off-the-cuff. So much so that Momoa said there is more of him in that movie than in any other.
In this example, Momoa shouts, “Redheads, you gotta love them!” as Mera (Amber Heard) jumps out of the plane, sans chute.
Jamie Foxx Singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
While not even the Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx could save this waste of a movie, he was still able to show off his improv skills in one scene. During a fight scene with the Spider-Man, he sings the classic nursery rhyme “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” However, it's his electric powers and not the rain, that is battering the spider.
It should sound familiar, since it's the exact same thing that the Green Goblin, played by Willem Dafoe, said in the original Sam Raimi “Spider-Man” movie. It might have been off-the-cuff, but there's plenty of pretty history
The Joker Gets Startled by the Hospital
Few actors will ever top Heath Ledger as the Joker. His performance in “The Dark Knight” is going to be memorable for decades to come, and one of the most memorable scenes is when the Joker detonates the hospital. The timing was off during the scene – Ledger expected the bombs to go off sooner.
He ran with it, dancing around a little trying to get the bomb to go off. When it finally did it was enough to startle him, but he kept the scene going. Director Christopher Nolan liked the shot enough to keep it in the finished product.
Pretty Much All of “Thor: Ragnarok”
There are a few moments from this film on this list, but it turns out that director Taika Waititi encouraged the actors and actresses to do whatever they wanted as long as it worked in the film – Marvel was bankrolling and people were going to see the film, so why not have some fun?
There was a script, but most of the movie was improvised – Waititi has stated that something like eighty percent of the film was ad-libbed or thrown in. He had people say their lines over and over again, giving them different directions each time, just to see how the actors respond.
Also Most of “Iron Man”
“Iron Man” got the ball rolling on the current superhero movies. They had come before, but the MCU changed everything. One of the big changes was an atmosphere of fun and adventure that sometimes felt lacking, and that was all thanks to “Iron Man.”
Jeff Bridges admitted that the film barely even had a script, just loose plot points. The actors and writers worked together to make stuff up on the fly. When you think about it, it's kind of amazing how well this movie turned out. The improvisation turned into one of the biggest draws for the film, and that's why there are so many Marvel movies on this list.
Boltie Shows Off Her Moves
In the movie “Super,” Rainn Wilson plays the Crimson Bolt, and Elliot Page plays his sidekick Boltie. During the film, Wilson's character gets shot in the leg, and then Boltie tries to get him to let her join. They treat his bullet wound, and Boltie shows off some of her “fighting moves,” which was all Page improvising moves on the spot.
It might not be part of the MCU, and it might not be as heroic, but the movie still got us laughing. The movie's director was James Gunn went on to create “Guardians of the Galaxy,” another film known for its off-beat humor and laugh lines.
The Jokes From “Guardians”
With plenty of improv through the movies, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” get people laughing even as they're sucked in by the character drama and the action. A couple of the lines have been found to be made upon the spot, including when Rocket the raccoon says the line “Bunch of [naughty word], standing in a circle.”
Also, it was Chris Pratt who came up with the line about how dirty his ship is: “If I had a black light, this place would look like a Jackson Pollock painting.” Nasty. These two lines weren't in the script, but both of them helped us gain an appreciation for the film.
Paul Rudd Came Up With a Quick Comeback
While Hope Van Dyne and Scott Lang are training to make Lang into a superhero, Hope delivers a strike right to Lang's face. It was to prove a point, but he immediately came back with “Were you aiming for the face – or were you going for the hand?”
The line made it into the final cut, something that Van Dyne's actress, Evangeline Lilly, was quite pleased with. Like many of the other MCU films, “Ant-Man” had plenty of improv moments here and there, and this one is the most famous.
The Script Called for Improv in “Infinity War”
While there was a good amount of improv in this Avengers film, it was also tightly scripted. When Vision asks Scarlet Witch to destroy the Infinity Stone keeping him alive, the entire scene is ad-libbed – on purpose. Things got silly, quick, but the actors were still able to come up with a scene that touched us.
Elizabeth Olsen says that it was ridiculous, and even though it was a big emotional scene, they were laughing and doing lots of different takes. It was up to the editors to make something out of it.
Some Football in Space
At the beginning of “Avengers: Endgame,” as Tony Stark and the blue-skinned Nebula are waiting to be rescued, they play a friendly game of paper football, something cherished by bored high schoolers everywhere. The dialogue of the scene remained unchanged, but the actors spruced the scene up with this friendly competition.
Karen Gillan (who played Nebula, duh) claimed that she was the winner since they hadn't practiced and the detail was thrown in at the last second. She was the better of the two characters, and thus she claimed victory.
The Gun Dance in “Joker”
Arthur Fleck – the Joker – showed us true madness on film thanks to Joaquin Phoenix. He danced, laughed, and sang his way through atrocities that shocked us. But one of the most memorable moments didn't even have any harm in it – Fleck receives a gun from a coworker. He plays around with the gun, randomly firing it.
There also wasn't supposed to have been any dialogue, but Fleck added some to make the scene even better. They set up a couple of cameras and let him do his thing. The crew knew that he would eventually fire into the wall, but they had no idea when it would happen. Viewers weren't the only ones startled.
Ezra Miller Gets to Show Off His Skills
Just like he frequently is in the comics, the Flash is the comic relief part of the Justice League. Ezra Miller, the Flash's actor, comes from an improv comedy background, and he was encouraged to ad-lib during his scenes in “Justice League.” He did it all the time, every day, working out deeper details of his character and finding ways to inject some levity.
We aren't fully sure which lines of Miller's are his and which were scripted, but Barry Allen speaks in a lot of one-liners, so it could be any of them.
It Was Inevitable
In a scene that will go down in movie history for what may be centuries, after Thanos delivers his line of “I am inevitable,” Iron Man responds with a reprise of the very first MCU movie: “And I...am...Iron Man.” It sent chills through everybody watching, but it originally wasn't in the script.
During editing, the scene felt lackluster, with the Russo brothers trying a number of things to punch it up. Editor Jeff Ford suggested going back to Iron Man's beginning, and the team scrambled to get cameras set up and call Robert Downey Jr. It looks seamless, and it will echo in cinematic history.
The Chants From Black Panther Return
“Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War” were being shot at the same time, so when it came to the huge battle outside Wakanda at the end of the latter, the Russo brothers got a surprise. Winston Duke, who plays M'Baku, randomly led a war chant that had first appeared in “Black Panther.”
It led to the equally-unscripted moment of T'Challa roaring out the very real word “Yibambe” to his army. It was the perfect way to bring the fun culture of Wakanda into this huge movie in an impactful, immediate way.
Tony Can Be Strict
Robert Downy Jr. had been playing the character of Tony Stark for more than ten years when shooting “Avengers: Infinity War.” Thus, the filmmakers usually just let him have free reign of his quips and one-liners. After Iron Man fights Ebony Maw with Peter Parker and Doctor Strange, Peter Parker says that he's back up.
Stark quickly tells him that the adults are talking, and the little bit of humor it brought was unscripted. It was all RDJ. Of course, Iron Man soon after dubs Spider-Man to be a full member of the Avengers. We're not sure if that was in the script. Doesn't matter!
Who Are You?
There had been superhero movies before it, but 1989's “Batman” changed the game. It grossed over four hundred million dollars worldwide and started a trend that now dominates the box office.
When Michael Keaton dangles a goon off a roof, he's asked “Who are you?” While the script called for Keaton to respond with “I am the night,” he decided to trim it a bit, and he instead responded with “I'm Batman.” It was snappier, punchier, and so much more memorable.
Anthony Hopkins's Incredible Snarl
The emotions that flow during one of the most emotional scenes of the first Thor movie are well-known, since giving a legendary actor like Anthony Hopkins free reign makes good things happen. His noteworthy performance brought Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth to tears, but one element of the scene was totally improvised – the fierce snarl Odin delivers to shut the “brothers” up.
The shock on Tom Hiddleston's face is entirely genuine. It also feels very much like what a father, fed up with his sons, would do – he'd respond to their pointless arguing with wordless rage. Maybe Hopkins knew this, or maybe he just voiced the character's disappointment in the way that worked the best.
Tony Stark's Childlike Exuberance
A lot of the dialogue Tony Stark has in the movies was famously left up to Robert Downey Jr. This tactic has paid off since the very beginning, and here's another example: During “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Stark has a scene looking for something hidden in an old structure – the script has him finding a hidden door.
What he does, at first pleading for it to be a hidden door, and then letting out a little “Yay” when he's proven right. Not the kind of thing you hear in one of the serious Avenger movies, but RDJ keeps us on our toes whenever he's on the screen.
The Improvised Scene in “No Way Home”
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” does some wild things with the characters that have worn the red and blue spidey suit. During the events of the movie, the previous two theatrical Spider-Men, Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire, show up to help out Tom Holland thanks to some multiverse shenanigans. To the surprise of the movie-going public, all three join forces.
Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker, just before the climactic battle, tells the other Spider-Men that he loves them, despite having known them for only a few hours. It reminds us that they are the same person, technically, but there are still differences. The other Peters don't respond, since the line was ad-libbed by Garfield.
We Are Putting Together a Team
Technically the second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “The Incredible Hulk” is one of the more forgettable flicks on this list. It doesn't even have Mark Ruffalo as the titular character, it's pretty much removed from the events of the other films, and the quality is a little suspicious.
Still, it throws a bone to legacy fans with the scene after the credits, which has Tony Stark visit Thunderbolt Ross and mention a team he's building. At the time, the late William Hurt (who played Ross) said, the entire scene was improvised with the goal in mind. Stark gets a couple of his trademark snarky jabs across Ross, and those still watching got a dose of what was to come.
The Mac and Cheese Scene From “Hawkeye”
Characters Yelena Belova (The Black Widow's sister) and Kate Bishop share a tense, emotional scene during the fifth episode of the “Hawkeye” series from Disney Plus, and apparently, the characters were given free rein during the filming. They share a pan of mac and cheese, and the directors do almost whatever they want.
The addition of the hot sauce was unplanned, as was Yelena being disgusted by Bishop's lack of cutlery. Bishop's response, “I'm one person,” was similarly unscripted. It all came from the comfort Pugh (Yelena) and Steinfeld (Bishop) felt while filming together.
Even Animated Superhero Films Have a Place
It's a lot harder to throw something into an animated film since each and every moment is deliberately drawn, sculpted, or animated. “Big Hero 6” manages to do it in a few different ways, however. T.J. Miller ended up ad-libbing most of Fred's dialogue to give it a more personal touch. In addition, you might notice Cass has some goofy facial expressions, especially while talking about her extra-spicy hot wings.
This comes from the voice actress herself, Maya Rudolph, who made faces while recording her lines. They were copied directly onto the character thanks to the animators getting their hands on footage of her during recordings.
That Guy's Playing Galaga
One of the most memorable scenes in the first “Avengers” movie is when Tony Stark walks into the Helicarrier's bridge and points out a guy playing the classic alien-fighting video game Galaga. At the end of the scene, the same SHIELD employee turns back to his video game.
The original line was an ad-libbed joke by Downey, but director Joss Whedon found the employee a little sketchy in the scene, so he added a scene of the employee returning to his game once the main characters departed. Not only did the scene add a brief moment of notable humor, but the entire shot of the game returning was never even in the script.
Mark Ruffalo Gets a Few Chances to Show Off
While a lot of press goes to Iron Man, Captain America, and some of the newer characters, there's no ignoring the big green elephant in the room. Bruce Banner is smart, strong, and has surprising depth to his character. His actor, Mark Ruffalo, got to add a few of his own elements, such as the earth-shaking roar that brings Iron man back to consciousness.
He also added a small moment when he focuses on a cradle, during his meeting with Black Widow. This gets expanded on in the sequel when he and Natasha Romanoff bond over their inability to have children. We don't know if Ruffalo knew about this detail, or if the producers ran with his unscripted moment.
An Unscripted Actor
This is a bit different from all the other examples on this list, but in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Andy Serkis was never going to be cast as Klaw. The character is also seen in (and meets his end in) “Black Panther,” but Serkis was originally just there to help Mark Ruffalo and James Spader get used to acting in motion capture.
Serkis is famous for acting as Gollum during the “Lord of the Rings” movies, so who better to teach others? Well, producers happened to find fan-art of Serkis as Klaw, and since they still needed an actor for the role, they figured it would work.
Talking About Armor
Batman's defining feature is his suit of armor, and for the 1989 “Batman” film, the producers and set designers gave Bruce Wayne a couple of other suits of classic medieval armor. At one point, romantic lead Vicki Vale and her fellow reporter Alexander Knox are wandering around the beautiful Wayne manor and catch sight of the armor.
Robert Wuhl, who played Knox, ad-libbed his lines. This includes things like “this guy must have been the king of the wicker people.” And stating that “the more they have, the less they're worth,” in regards to Wayne's bank accounts. Of course, Wayne was listening the whole time, taking the comments in stride. He even gives Knox a grant for his work.