The first chapter of the MCU makes for a compelling rewatch.
Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. Tony Stark may be all of these things, but more importantly he is also Iron Man – our Lockdown Rewatch for today. Released on this day in 2008, the Jon Favreau directed flick kickstarted the MCU, taught us all to stay and watch the credits, revitalised Robert Downey Jr’s career, and ushered in a new age of multi-billion dollar earning cinematic comic book blockbusters (weird to think if that if it had tanked we might never had met the Avengers). We have a lot to thank Ol’ Shellhead for…
But did you know…
1) Iron Man entered production in 2007, but the plan to bring the character to the big screen existed since the 1990s. By 2004 the rights had been transferred from Universal to Fox to New Line Cinema, with X-Men scribe David Hayter reworking a script by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar, based on brainstorming sessions with superhero vets David S. Goyer (Blade, Batman Begins) and Mark Protosevich (who later worked on Thor). After two years of unsuccessful development (too many cooks, maybe…) New Line’s rights expired and returned to Marvel Studios, who produced the film independently. Hayter’s script – which focused on the relationship between Tony and his father who turned into a surprise villain – never got made.
2) Robert Downey Jr. is an undeniable factor in the success of Iron Man and the MCU’s development in general, but he wasn’t the only established actor considered for the part. Tom Cruise, Hugh Jackman, and Nicolas Cage are just some of the Hollywood bigwigs that might have almost donned the iconic Iron Man suits. Timothy Olyphant revealed that he and RDJ screen-tested on the very same day, joking that he was “still waiting to hear back”.
3) Many of Tony’s most memorable lines were improvised by Downey Jr. including the press conference scene in which Tony reveals his alter ego. Favreau decided to keep the ad-libbed line in the movie, Marvel’s Kevin Feige agreed that while it deviated from the script it was, “something very much in keeping with the comics character and what he could have done”.
The clip is from the I Am Iron Man making-of featurette narrated by director Jon Favreau.