Iron Man
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FAQ for
Iron Man (2008) More at IMDbPro »

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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Iron Man can be found here.

What is 'Iron Man' about?

When wealthy industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) suffers a chestful of shrapnel after his Humvee is bombed by enemy fire in Afghanistan where he has gone to give a presentation of the new Jericho missle that Stark Industries has developed, his life is saved only by an electromagnet attached to a car battery that serves to keep the shrapnel from piercing his heart. Tony escapes from his captors by creating an arc reactor that eliminates the need for the battery and an iron suit that protects him from attack. Back in the U.S., he announces that his company will cease making weapons, and he begins work on an updated armored suit, all to the chagrin of his partner Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges).

Iron Man is based on a comic book of the same name created by Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee and artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. Iron Man first appeared in issue #39 of Tales of Suspense (March 1963). The screenplay for the film was written by Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway. Iron Man was followed by Iron Man 2 (2010) and Iron Man 3 (2013).

Iron Man is the alias used by billionaire industrialist, inventor, military contractor, philanthropist, adventurer and socialite, Tony Stark. By day, Stark is the majority shareholder, CEO, chief technologist and de facto head of Stark International; a multinational conglomerate of technology companies. Stark International's primary businesses are research and development, weapons manufacturing, engineering, computer software and consumer electronics. Stark transforms himself into Iron Man when he dons his revolutionary suit of powered armor to fight crime and injustice. The Iron Man grants Stark superhuman strength, invulnerability, supersonic-flight capabilities and access to a vast array of directed energy weapons (including Stark's own proprietary repulsor-ray technology). The suit is controlled cybernetically by the wearer. It also features a sophisticated operating system which employs some artificial intelligence.

No, Iron Man is not a cyborg. A cyborg or cybernetic organism, as commonly depicted in science fiction, e.g., RoboCop (1987) The Terminator (1984), The Six Million Dollar Man (1973), and Darth Vader from Star Wars (1977), is a fusion of living tissue and synthetic components. This synthesis of organic and artificial systems can produce a wide variety of effects including, but not limited to, enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, endurance, intelligence etc. Iron Man is a "superhero persona", a man who is wearing/operating a suit of powered armor (an 'exoskeleton') that could be worn by different people. Stark does, however, have an embedded chest piece, intended as a life saving device and capable of interacting with and powering the armor.

It is a 737-800. However, the tail section is CGI-altered to make it appear more futuristic. Stark, being a technology wiz & a billionaire, would jump at the chance to have a sleeker & more modern plane than anyone else.

Iron Man's primary nemesis is Obadiah Stane, aka the Iron Monger. In the beginning of the movie, Stark is captured by a group of terrorists known as "The Ten Rings". The Ten Rings is a reference to long time Iron Man nemesis, The Mandarin, who wields ten directed-energy based rings as weapons.

The three armors featured are the Mark I, Mark II and Mark III. The Mark I armor is the gray incarnation of the Diving Bell Armor Stark was forced to produce while in captivity. It is bullet resistant and features flamethrowers as its primary weapon. It also has limited flight capability. The Mark II armor features a more streamlined design, flight capabilities and directed energy weapons. It has a monochrome silver-metallic finish. The MIII is essentially a duplicate of Mark II revised with the trademark red and gold color scheme known to the majority of fans. The Mark III armor compensates for a design flaw in the Mark II design which allowed for 'icing' to occur during high altitude flights.

No, but we do see Tony Stark drinking often. Several characters also have recollections of Tony being inebriated during events that take place prior to the film's time line. This may be a set up for plot points in future films.

Presumably because he likes it that way. A standard vodka martini contains vodka, vermouth and an olive & is crystal clear in color; a "dirty" martini is one that uses olive brine in place of, or alongside, the vermouth & appears cloudier in color.

Yes and no. All films made under the Marvel Studios banner, e.g., Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk (2008), Thor (2011), and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), are all set in the same universe, with the characters crossing over, culminating in The Avengers (2012) movie which ties these films together. Marvel also owns Punisher and Blade, however The Punisher (2004), Punisher: War Zone (2008), Blade (1998), Blade II (2002) and Blade: Trinity (2004) are not in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Other Marvel-based films owned by other studios are NOT set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe due to differing ownership. This includes Spider-Man (2002) and Ghost Rider (2007) (both owned by Sony), X-Men (2000), Fantastic Four (2005), and Daredevil (2003) (all owned by Fox).

Yes, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Director of SHIELD., appears in a post-credits sequence.

In this film it stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division. Several characters joke about the length, which leads to the creation of the acronym, SHIELD. In the comics, it is Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-enforcement Division from 1965 until 1991 when it changed its name to Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage Logistics Directorate. In the popular 1990s Spider-Man cartoon that aired on Fox Kids, it was identified as "Strategical Hazard International Espionage Law-enforcement Division".

In an Entertainment Weekly interview, Jon Favreau says that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige ordered the scene cut out of previews in order to keep fans guessing.

The portrayal of Colonel Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury by Sam Jackson is based on the Ultimate Marvel Universe interpretation of the character. Ultimate Fury was intentionally patterned after the veteran actor after obtaining his consent to do so. This casting decision has proven controversial amongst continuity purists, despite the fact that it is not the first time such a deviation from canon has occurred. Wilson Fisk (aka the Kingpin of Crime), a Caucasian character, was portrayed by Michael Clarke Duncan, an actor of African American descent, in the 2003 adaptation of Daredevil. The Ultimate Marvel Universe is a continuity that is separate and distinct from the classic Marvel Universe. The Ultimate imprint features revisionist versions of characters and stories which are featured in, and originally took place in, classic Marvel continuity. The Marvel Ultimate imprint prefixes all of its characters, scenarios and titles with the word "Ultimate" (e.g. Ultimate Spiderman, Ultimate Iron Man, Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, Ultimate Adventures, etc). Most Ultimate characters only bear the name and basic origin of their classic counterparts. Other details such as powers, appearance, personality and modus operandi are vastly different. To distinguish the two different continuities, some fans refer to classic Marvel Universe continuity as the "616 Universe." Nick Fury (played by Jackson) appears in a post end-credits sting where he confronts Tony Stark in his residence and says he wants to talk about "The Avengers Initiative." More Information: Ultimate Iron Man, Ultimate Nick Fury, Ultimate Marvel, and Earth-616.

There are many differences between the film and comic book properties, the primary differences between the two are documented here. In the comics, Ho Yinsen--the man who helped Tony build the first Iron Man suit--was Chinese. The film's Yinsen (Shaun Toub) is Afghani, from the fictional town of Gulmira. However, Yinsen is a Chinese name and it would be unlikely for an Afghan to be so named. Obadiah Stane, in the comics, was a rival businessman, and had his own company, Stane International. However, like his film incarnation, he was friendly with Tony's father before his passing. The group that kidnaps Tony Stark is implied to be connected to the Mandarin, Iron Man's archenemy. The Mandarin had nothing to do with his kidnapping in the comics (well, not directly, anyway). The Ten Rings are also involved with Obadiah Stane, who personally ordered the hit on Tony Stark. This is not the case in the comic book series. Jim Rhodes was a full-bird Colonel in the United States Marine Corps when he first appeared in the comics, while in the film he is a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force. JARVIS, the A.I. featured in the film, is a flesh and blood butler in the comic books.

During the press conference at the end, Tony Stark blurts out, "I am Iron Man." As to why he does this? An excerpt from the novelization offers some insight.


He thinks about how lying and deceit from others has brought him to this pass. He has sworn to put an end to that sort of thing, to do away with underhandedness and double-dealing. With the sort of mind-set that resulted in weapons being secretly sold to enemies and destroying lives.

People don't really know what happened last night. More questions will be raised, and more. There has to be an end to fear, and an end to secrecy, or otherwise this wreck of a world is going to be the best they've got and it's only going to get worse.

And the honesty, the transforming of the unknown into the known, the upfront dealings with people...it has to start somewhere.
Up until the publication of Iron Man vol. 3 issue #55, where Tony Stark reveals his identity, the media spin was that Iron Man was Tony Stark's bodyguard. Given the character's tendency towards impulsive and risky behavior, his sudden revelation is not out of character.

How does the movie end?

Tony orders Pepper to overload the large arc reactor in the building even though he is still on the roof. Pepper is hesitant but obeys. The reactor releases its shockwave, knocking out the Iron Monger and killing Stane. The mini arc reactor in Tony's chest sparks back to life, allowing him to survive. The press subsequently lauds the 'Iron Man' as a hero. Tony likes the moniker, even though his suit is made of a gold-titanium alloy. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) invents a cover story telling the 'truth' about the destruction of the Stark Building: a robotic prototype malfunctioned and caused damage to the arc reactor, Stark was on his yacht in Avalon Island, Stane was killed in a small aircraft accrident while on vacation, and the Iron Man was Stark's bodyguard. In the final scene, Tony is about to report Coulson's cover story at a press conference but tosses away his prepared statement and says only, 'I am Iron Man.'

Yes. Tony returns home to find a mysterious man in black awaiting him. He introduces himself as Nick Fury, director of SHIELD. He points out that Tony is not the only superhero in existence and wants to talk about him joining the 'Avenger Initiative.'

Who are the Avengers?

The original Avengers consisted of Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk. Captain America joined the group in Volume 1 of The Avengers, Issue number 4, and replaced the Hulk.

Yes. During the scene after Colonel Rhodes gives his "training exercise" cover story to the press, Tony Stark is in the middle of removing his damaged suit. What appears to be a partially built, shield-like apparatus with an American flag design and a star in the middle can be seen in Stark's work area just before Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) discovers him. Producer Kevin Feige has stated that it is, indeed, Captain America's shield. Blink and you'll miss it!

Yes. Tony Stark puts in an appearance at the end of The Incredible Hulk (2008), which suggests that a team is being formed, most likely "The Avengers." In fact, the post-credits scene (i.e., the stinger) makes reference to the "Avengers Initiative."

As Tony Stark arrives at his third annual benefit for the Firefighter's Family Fund, he pats Stan Lee who is dressed as Hugh Hefner.

Hell Above Water by English alternative duo Curve

Hey Man Nice Shot by American rock band Filter

Iron Man by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath

Back in Black by Australian hard rock band AC/DC

Cochise by American hard rock band Audioslave

Birthright by American industrial rock band Celldweller

Yes. The theme from the 1966 series is played in the casino scene; in Stark's bedroom scene and as the personalized ring tone for Stark on James Rhodes' cell phone. Listen to the original theme song here: 1966 Iron Man theme song (audio)

Iron Man is available worldwide on DVD and Blu-Ray (region 1 and 2).

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