Iron Man (2008) Poster



To create the shots of Iron Man against the F-22 Raptors, cameras were flown in the air to provide reference for the dynamics of wind and frost at that altitude.
Jump to: Cameo (1) | Spoilers (14)
The script was not completely prepared when filming began, since the filmmakers were more focused on the story and the action, so the dialogue was mostly ad-libbed throughout filming; Jon Favreau acknowledged this made the film feel more natural. Some scenes were shot with two cameras to capture lines improvised on the spot; Robert Downey Jr. would ask for many takes of one scene, since he wanted to try something new. Gwyneth Paltrow, on the other hand, had a difficult time trying to match Downey with a suitable line, as she never knew what he would say.
Agent Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg, was originally a much smaller part. In fact, the character at first was only called 'Agent', and as filming went on, and it became apparent with Clark Gregg's chemistry with all the other actors, they added more and more scenes.
To avoid spoilers about the final press conference, the extras were told that it was a dream sequence.
Paul Bettany has never seen the film, and is unfamiliar with the plot. He said JARVIS was the easiest job ever, and it was almost like a robbery, since he only worked for two hours, got paid a lot of money, then went on vacation with his wife.
Jon Favreau wanted Robert Downey Jr. because he felt the actor's past was right for the part. He commented: "The best and worst moments of Robert's life have been in the public eye. He had to find an inner balance to overcome obstacles that went far beyond his career. That's Tony Stark. Robert brings a depth that goes beyond a comic book character having trouble in high school, or can't get the girl." Favreau also felt Downey could make Stark "a likable asshole", but also depict an authentic emotional journey once he won over the audience.
This is Marvel Studios' first self-financed movie.
Tony Stark's computer system is called JARVIS (standing for "Just A Rather Very Intelligent System"). This is a tribute to Edwin Jarvis, Howard Stark's butler. He was changed to an artificial intelligence to avoid comparisons to Batman/Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth.
Roughly 450 separate pieces make up the Iron Man suit.
The montage of Tony Stark's life story was created by Editor Kyle Cooper, and contains real-life photos of a young Robert Downey Jr., and his father Robert Downey Sr.
Paul Bettany recorded all of his lines, as JARVIS, in two hours.
Jon Favreau shot the film in California, because he felt that too many superhero films were set on the East Coast, especially New York City.
To prepare for his role as Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. spent five days a week weight training and practiced martial arts to get into shape.
The Iron Man (1966) theme track can be heard in the film on several occasions: in the casino, in Stark's bedroom and as Rhodey's ringtone.
The roadster, on which Tony Stark was working, is owned by Jon Favreau.
This is the last film special effects expert Stan Winston completed before his death.
400 extras were meant to be filmed standing at Tony Stark's press conference, but Robert Downey Jr. suggested they ought to sit down, as that would be more realistic and comfortable.
(at around 49 mins) The scene where Pepper helps Tony replace his arc reactor, was filmed using a prosthetic chest, joined to Robert Downey Jr.'s own chest, and projecting out at an angle, while Robert was 'in' the back of the seat he was sitting on. A bright light was positioned, shining on the area to hide any potential 'edges' of the fake chest-piece. A similar method was used in Star Trek: First Contact (1996), when we first see the Borg Queen.
According to Paul Bettany, he did not know on which film he was working; he merely did the job as a favor for Jon Favreau, whom he worked with in Wimbledon (2004).
For the "Iron Man" trilogy, Jon Favreau thought of making the Iron Monger the main villain of the second film. Stane was going to be Stark's friend and confidante in the first film, but then would become his enemy in the second installment. However, Favreau was worried how to handle The Mandarin, who was to be the villain of the first film, so he decided to re-work the character into a behind-the-scenes presence and make Iron Monger the first villain.
Stan Lee, the creator of Iron Man, had originally based Tony Stark on Howard Hughes, who he felt was "one of the most colorful men of our time: an inventor, an adventurer, a multimillionaire, a ladies man and finally a nutcase." Robert Downey Jr. further described his portrayal of Stark as "a challenge of making a wealthy, establishmentarian, weapons-manufacturing, hard-drinking, womanizing prick, into a character who is likeable, and a hero."
An early draft of the script had the Mandarin appear in the film, re-imagined as an Indonesian terrorist.
Gwyneth Paltrow only needed to travel fifteen minutes to get to the studio. She claimed that this is a part of the reason she took the role, as she could be home with her two children during the entire shoot.
An early draft of the script revealed Tony Stark to be the creator of Dr. Otto Octavius's tentacles from Spider-Man 2 (2004).
(at around 1h 50 mins) Just before the final press conference, Tony Stark is reading the newspaper with a grainy, amateur photograph of Iron Man on the cover. The picture is part of a video, shot by onlookers hiding in a bush during initial filming, that appeared on the Internet in 2007.
In the comics, Obadiah Stane ran his own company (Stane International), and was actually a business rival to Tony Stark, rather than being part of Stark Enterprises.
There are about five sets of armor in the film, all inspired from the "Iron Man" comics:

-Mark I armor, Stark's first suit, is a simple suit constructed of iron.

-Mark II armor is a silver suit, the prototype Stark develops (this can also be counted as the War Machine armor, as Rhodes looks speculatively at it).

-Mark III armor is the final red/gold armor.

-JARVIS first presents the Mark III armor in full gold, the look pays tribute to the all-gold "Golden Avenger" armor Iron Man wore early in his career.

-JARVIS later presents the armor in silver and red, making it look almost identical to Iron Man's "Silver Centurion" armor that he wore in the 1980s.
In an interview with Britain's Empire Magazine, Robert Downey Jr. thanked Burger King for helping him get straight in 2003, with a car full of drugs, he had a burger that was so disgusting, it made him rethink his life, and dump the drugs in the ocean. He repeats this, with his impromptu sit-down session with the press, upon his return from captivity.
It took around seventeen years to get the film into development. Originally, Universal Pictures was to produce the film in April 1990. They later sold the rights to 20th Century Fox. Later, Fox sold the rights to New Line Cinema. Finally, Marvel Studios decided to handle their own creation.
(at around 1h 45 mins) During the highway battle with Iron Monger, a building can be seen in the background with a Roxxon logo. In the Marvel Universe, Roxxon is a notorious conglomerate known for illegal activities, agents of which were responsible for the deaths of Stark's parents.
Jon Favreau celebrated getting the job as director, by going on a diet, and losing seventy pounds.
Jeff Bridges said he felt really uncomfortable not having a script or rehearsals, since normally he is very prepared, and knows his lines to the "T". But realizing it, was like he was in a "200 million dollar student film" took the pressure off of him, and made it fun.
Gwyneth Paltrow based her performance on 1940s heroines (who she claimed were sexy, witty, and innocent all at once).
(at around 1h 25 mins) When Pepper discovers Tony removing the damaged Iron Man armor, you can clearly see Captain America's shield on a workbench. This same scene was shown in many trailers, but the image of the shield was edited out.
(at around 58 mins) Obadiah Stane plays, on the piano, a musical piece written by eighteenth century composer Antonio Salieri. Salieri is most famously known as a jealous rival of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and was said to have murdered Mozart (although historical records have proven that on the contrary both had collaborated/promoted each other's work on several occasions). This serves as an appropriate parallel of Stark and Stane's relationship in the film.
The production met with about thirty different writers, and they all passed, as most of them felt that Iron Man was a relatively obscure character in the Marvel universe. They were also a bit nervous about working for an untried studio better known for producing comic books. Even the rewrites led to many refusals.
EASTER EGG: In the Region 1 DVD disc 1, Special Features section, there is a hidden circle icon (not Iron Man's arc generator, oddly enough) between the "Previews" and "Main Menu" items (on a DVD remote, highlight "Main Menu", then go left). Press Enter to see a video of Stan Lee and Robert Downey Jr. discussing Lee's cameo in the film.
In the comics, Tony Stark participated (and became Iron Man) in the Vietnam War; later this was changed to the Gulf War. In this film, the character's origin was changed to Afghanistan, as Jon Favreau did not wish to make the film a period piece, but instead, give it a realistic contemporary look.
Agent Phil Coulson repeatedly states he is a member of the 'Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division' (finally shortening it to S.H.I.E.L.D.). In the comics, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agency originally stood for the 'Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage/Law-Enforcement Division', then in 1991 was revised to the 'Strategic Hazard Intervention/Espionage Logistics Directorate'.
To prepare for his role as Obadiah Stane, Jeff Bridges read some of the "Iron Man" comic books that featured Stane. He also grew a beard and shaved his head, which he said was something he'd always wanted to do.
To prepare for her role as Pepper Potts, Gwyneth Paltrow asked Marvel to send her any comics to aid her understanding of the character.
Jeff Bridges, hearing that Obadiah was a biblical name, researched the Book of Obadiah in the Bible, and was surprised to learn that a major theme in that particular book is retribution, which Obadiah Stane represents. However, the name "Obadiah" means "servant/worshiper of the Lord", which Stane obviously isn't.
During pre-production, Robert Downey Jr. set up an office next to Jon Favreau's office, to discuss his role with him, and to be more involved in the film's screenwriting.
Originally, Iron Man's arch-nemesis, the Mandarin, was going to be the film's villain, but Jon Favreau felt him to be too fantastic and dated, so he was rewritten into a "working-behind-the-scenes" presence. Favreau cited "Star Wars" as a case: "I looked at the Mandarin more like how in 'Star Wars' you had the Emperor, but Darth Vader is the guy you want to see fight. Then you work your way to the time when lightning bolts are shooting out of the fingers, and all that stuff could happen. But you can't have what happened in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) happen in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)."
The Iron Man Mark I armor weighed ninety pounds.
According to Jon Favreau, Clive Owen and Sam Rockwell are among the actors that were considered for Tony Stark during pre-production. Rockwell would get a part in Iron Man 2 (2010) as Stark's rival Justin Hammer.
The cave that imprisons Tony Stark was a 150-200 yard-long set, which had built-in movable forks, to allow greater freedom for the film's crew. It also had an air conditioning system installed, as Production Designer J. Michael Riva had learned that remote caves are actually very cold.
Hugh Jackman was offered the role of Tony Stark.
Chapter One of Phase One in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
According to Terrence Howard, he and Robert Downey Jr. competed physically on the set: "I'm 40-50 pounds heavier than him, so I'm lifting and I push up about 225 and knocked it out ten times. Robert wanted to go about 235, and he did it, so I push it up to about 245... Robert and his competitive ass almost tore my shoulder trying to keep up with him!"
An animatronic puppet of the Iron Monger was built for the film by Stan Winston Studios. It stood ten feet tall, and weighed 800 pounds, and was built on a set of gimbals, to simulate walking. It required five operators to run it.
Rock guitarist Tom Morello assisted Ramin Djawadi in composing the film's soundtrack. Morello himself has a cameo in the film as a security guard who gets killed by the Iron Monger (perhaps fittingly, since Morello is a member of the band Rage Against the Machine).
Rachel McAdams was Jon Favreau's first choice to play Pepper Potts, but she turned the role down. She would play a role in Doctor Strange (2016), another Marvel Cinematic Universe film.
This was the first in a planned six-picture deal between Marvel and Paramount, before the acquisition of Marvel by Disney, which transferred the distribution rights of The Avengers (2012) and Iron Man Three (2013) to Disney while Paramount kept the rights to Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).
(at around 34 mins) The code that appears on the computer screen is a utility that downloads firmware into Lego robotic toy (called RCX). It may suggest that Tony Stark used this program to download firmware into his robotic suit.
In the comics, the chauffeur, Harold "Happy" Hogan, is a confidante of Tony Stark, who later marries Virginia "Pepper" Potts, after a tragedy draws them closer, though they later divorce. Additionally, the origin of Happy's nickname in the comics, is that he was a former professional boxer who earned that nickname, due to his reputation of never fighting back.
(at around 1h 40 mins) In the film, Rhodey looks at the Mark II armor and says "Next time, baby!" hinting at War Machine, Rhodey's alter-ego. An animation of a War Machine suit, with a Gatling gun attached to a shoulder, can be seen in the closing credits. War Machine would appear in Iron Man 2 (2010), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Captain America: Civil War (2016).
For some of the shots of the first incarnation of the Iron Man suit, Jon Favreau performed the motion capture himself.
In October 1999, Quentin Tarantino was approached to write and direct the film. Later, Joss Whedon, a big fan of the comic book, was in negotiations to direct the film in June 2001. In December 2004, Nick Cassavetes was hired as a director, with the film to release in 2006, but everything fell through. Finally, Jon Favreau was hired as director in April 2006.
First film released in 2008 to pass the 300 million dollar mark at the U.S. box-office.
This is the only Marvel Cinematic Universe film, and the only Iron Man film, that does not feature any martial-arts fights. It is also the first of two Marvel Cinematic Universe films in which Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) appears, but doesn't show off his skills in the Wing Chun fighting style.
Nicolas Cage and Tom Cruise were interested in playing Iron Man. Cruise, in particular was going to act in, and produce the film. Cage played another Marvel superhero in Ghost Rider (2007).
(at around 58 mins) Obadiah brings Tony a pizza from New York City, in a box marked "Ray's". Ray's is a famous chain of pizza places in New York City. It also marks the second Favreau-directed film to refer to Ray's Pizza. In Elf (2003), it is the pizza recommended by Santa Claus to Buddy the Elf.
There are various references in the film towards the Mandarin, Iron Man's arch-nemesis: -The organization that kidnaps Stark is called "the Ten Rings," after the ten rings that comprise the Mandarin's arsenal (Jon Favreau has stated that The Ten Rings, in fact, works for The Mandarin). -Commandant Raza speaks of Genghis Khan and Asia. -Commandant Raza is seen occasionally fiddling with an ornate gold ring. -The rings are worn by Stark, Stane, Rhodes, and Raza (that is to say those in positions of power).
When Robert Downey Jr. was carrying out motion-capture work on the film, he would sometimes wear the helmet, sleeves, and chest of the Iron Man armor over the motion-capture suit to realistically portray Iron Man's movements.
(at around 1h 12 mins) Tony's and Christine's short conversation before she hands him the pictures: "Carrie? Christine!", is a joke referring to two of Stephen King's most-acclaimed novels.
One of the cars in Tony Stark's garage, is a Tesla Roadster, which had not yet been released during the film's production.
As a tribute to Howard Hughes, who inspired Iron Man, production was mainly based in the former Hughes Company soundstages in Playa Vista. The scene where the Iron Man Mark III armor was created was filmed in the area where Hughes assembled the H-4 Hercules airplane (better known as "The Spruce Goose").
Jon Favreau wanted Tony Stark and Pepper Potts' relationship to be like a 1940s comedy along the lines of His Girl Friday (1940).
Jon Favreau was originally going to direct Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) in the manner of a superhero comedy adventure, but he instead chose to direct this film and give it a more serious tone. Ironically, Nick Cassavetes, who was chosen to direct that film, had been filled in to direct this film in December 2004.
The reporter Christine Everhart works for Vanity Fair in the movie, but in the comics she works for the Daily Bugle.
(at around 1h 4 mins) Adi Granov designed a billboard poster of Iron Man's nemesis, the alien dragon Fin Fang Foom, for the film. This poster can be seen when Stark, while testing the Mark II armor, flies straight down a road (on Stark's left side).
The sound used during a target lock on in Iron Man's Head Up Display (HUD) is the sound of the laser cannon firing in the original "Space Invaders video game" ('Space Invaders (1978)).
Most of the exterior scenes set in Afghanistan were filmed at Olancha Sand Dunes. There, the crew had to endure two days of forty to sixty mile per hour winds.
According to the January 2012 Air & Space Magazine, Tony Starks's character was also inspired by South African born SpaceX (and PayPal co-founder), Elon Musk. A statue of Iron Man, complete with company ID, "stands guard" at SpaceX, along with a current version Cylon.
When designing Tony Stark's house, the guideline the designers were given was to make it more "grease monkey" (inventor/mechanic) than futuristic, in order to keep the film realistic. J. Michael Riva took inspiration from the photographs of Julius Schulman, who was noted for photographs of 1950s and 1960s Los Angeles houses.
Tony Stark drives an Audi R8 in the film, as part of a promotional deal Marvel Studios made with the Audi Automobile Company. Two other vehicles, the Audi S5 Coupe, and the Audi Q7 SUV, also make an appearance in the film.
Jon Favreau played a character similar to Tony Stark, named Pete Becker, on the hit television series Friends (1994). Both Stark and Becker are rich playboys, who give up their current life to fight, Tony fights crime, while Pete fights in Ultimate Fighting. Favreau even sported Stark-like facial hair for the role.
The ILM animators studied skydivers performing in a vertical wind tunnel, to create Iron Man's aerial movements. Iron Man was also animated to take off slowly and land quickly, to make those movements more realistic.
(at around 1h 21 mins) The pilots in the F-22 jets are codenamed Whiplash '1' and '2'. In the Ultimate Iron Man comics, Whiplash is a super villain who possesses a pair of gloves with steel wires attached that acted as whips. Whiplash himself would appear in Iron Man 2 (2010).
According to Ramin Djawadi, Tony Stark's different moods, as performed by Robert Downey Jr., was the inspiration the Iron Man scores in the film.
The scene where Tony flies too high and his suit is rendered inoperable by ice contains many similarities to the tale of Icarus; his hubris drives him to climb too high, even as JARVIS warns him of the danger, in much the same way Icarus flew too close to the sun against the advice of his father, Daedalus, causing the wax holding his wings to his body to be melted by the heat.
During filming, a tank accidentally ran over an Aaton 35mm camera.
The leader of the Ten Rings is named Raza, after a Marvel Comics character. However, the comic version of Raza is not an enemy of Iron Man, but an alien cyborg, who is a member of the space pirate gang known as the Starjammers. The only similarity they share, is their facial disfigurement. In the comics, Raza has implants on the left side of his face, while in the film, Raza is scarred on the right side of his face.
Jon Favreau voiced Iron Man in the Robot Chicken (2005) episode "Two Weeks Without Food."
(at around 1h 24 mins) When Obadiah Stane watches Rhodey on television, an expensive chess set is visible on the table in front of him. In the comics, Obadiah Stane was fond of playing chess, and also created a group called "The Chessmen" to attack Stark Industries.
Jon Favreau advised composer Ramin Djawadi to keep the core of the music on heavy guitar, which he felt suited Iron Man best. Djiwadi composed the music on a heavy guitar before arranging it for the orchestra to perform.
(at around 1h 20 mins) Stark and Rhodes graduated from MIT together. When Rhodes calls Iron Man, who is flying with the F-22s, you can see a big gold ring on the hand that he's using to hold the phone. This is MIT's class ring, the "brass rat."
Production Designer J. Michael Riva, researched on objects found in prison which could be improvised and used for other purposes (for instance a sock used to make tea), to provide more verisimilitude to the film.
An early draft of the script had Howard Stark, Iron Man's father, as a ruthless industrialist who becomes War Machine.
Comic book writers Mark Millar, Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada, Tom Brevoort, Axel Alonzo, and Ralph Macchio were commissioned by Jon Favreau to give advice on the script.
(at around 14 mins) Ghostface Killah, a long-time fan of the Iron Man comics (he uses the aliases "Ironman" and "Tony Starks", titled his 1996 album "Ironman" and samples clips of Iron Man (1966)), got a cameo as a Dubai tycoon. However, his scene was cut from the final film. Jon Favreau apologized to Ghostface and used his "We Celebrate" video in the film.
This is the first film set in, and the beginning of, the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.
According to Jon Favreau, when making this film, there was a lot of pressure for it to succeed. This was particularly due to Marvel using their characters as collateral when they received a 525 million dollar, seven year deal called a non-recourse debt facility, allowing them to make original films based on their properties. Marvel wanted to have complete creative control over their characters, build a film library, and greater profit potential than the deals they've inked with other studios owning the film rights to their characters. Marvel also changed its name to Marvel Entertainment, Inc., to establish a Hollywood presence. If the film didn't succeed, Marvel would've lost the intellectual property rights to their library.
Jon Favreau describes the film as "a kind of independent film-espionage thriller crossbreed; a Robert Altman-directed Superman (1978), with shades of Tom Clancy novels, James Bond films, RoboCop (1987), and Batman Begins (2005)."
Timothy Olyphant read for the role of Tony Stark.
To prepare for his role as James Rhodes, Terrence Howard visited the Nellis Air Force Base on March 16, 2007, where he ate with the base's airmen and observed the routines of HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopters and F-22 Raptor jets.
The Stark Industries logo is similar to that of Lockheed Martin, co-developer of the F-22 Raptor.
All three sets of Iron Man's armor were designed by Adi Granov, a comic book artist from the "Iron Man" comic, and Phil Saunders. They were then constructed by Stan Winston Studios.
According to Phil Saunders, Tony Stark would develop a Mark IV armor, which would have been used in the final battle. This Mark IV armor would become the War Machine armor, and had swap-out armaments that would be worn over the Mark III armor. However, halfway through pre-production, the concept was removed from the script.
Jon Favreau chose Industrial Light & Magic to provide the film's visual effects, after watching Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) and Transformers (2007).
Clark Gregg stated in the DVD commentary to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Magical Place (2014), that he and Gwyneth Paltrow have known each other since she was nineteen years old.
(at around 26 mins) While playing backgammon with Yinsen, Stark says "Sheesh o Besh. "This is a Persian slang phrase which means a roll of 6 and 5 ("Sheesh" is Persian slang for 6, "o" means "and" and "Besh" is Turkish for 5). Shaun Toub, who plays Yinsen, is of Persian ethnicity.
Harry Gregson-Williams was offered the job of scoring the film, but he had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008).
The film had a torturous development process. Stuart Gordon was originally going to direct in 1990 when the rights were held by Universal, though nothing came of that. In 1996, 20th Century Fox acquired the rights with Nicolas Cage expressing an interest in the project. Two years later, it hadn't moved on so Tom Cruise tried to kickstart a production, to the extent of commissioning a script by Stan Lee and Jeff Vintar. Jeffrey Caine then did a polish on the screenplay. Still nothing. In 1999, Quentin Tarantino was approached to see if he could move things along but that too came to nothing. The rights moved to New Line in 2000 with Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio and Tim McCanlies writing a screenplay (this version even featured a cameo by Nick Fury). New Line started talking to Joss Whedon about directing but this didn't pan out. By 2004, Nick Cassavetes was attached as director but when this too failed, the rights reverted back to Marvel.
Ramin Djawadi's favorite musical score, is the "Kickass" theme, because he composed it according to "a rhythm very much like a machine."
(at around 1h 2 mins) When Iron Man first takes flight, he travels at 0.29 Mach (220 miles per hour) over California.
An early draft of the script (before Marvel Studios was making its own movies) would've kept Howard Stark alive, and had him adopt the War Machine identity as the film's antagonist.
The English translation of the Hungarian dialogue when Tony and Yinsen are about to break out of the cave, is this: Man from outside: Yinsen, Yinsen! Stop! Show your hands! Yinsen: One minute, one minute! Man from outside: Come over here right now! What is going on in there? What is going on in there? Hands up.
The film was shipped to some theaters under the titles "Bell" and "Debonair."
The film's property master Russell Bobbitt, won Hamilton's "Behind the Camera Award 2008" for the props he created on Iron Man.
Writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby worked separately, with Jon Favreau compiling both scripts and then handing it over to John August for a polish. This is actually fairly common practice for Hollywood blockbusters.
The actress taking part in the screen test with Robert Downey Jr., which can be seen in the extras, is Sasha Alexander.
Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard's father, Terrence himself, Faran Tahir, Ramin Djawadi, and visual effects expert Stan Winston are fans of Iron Man.
(at around 4 mins) The headlines on the magazine covers shown right before Tony Stark is presented with his award at the beginning of the film: Wired - "The Mind Of Tony Stark", Newsweek - "WHAT'S NEXT A New Superpower Steps Up", and "The Interim President Obadiah Stane To Lead Stark Industries", Popular Mechanics: "METAL VS. WOOD, Sharpen Your Skills", "Chip Off The Old Block, Six year old Tony Stark builds first V8", "Will the Arc Reactor save all our energy needs?", and "BACKYARD ROCKETS", Forbes - "THE NEW KID, Tony Stark takes reigns at 21", "Technology, The Information Superhighway", "Industry, The Defeat Of Braniff", and the Rolling Stone Special Double Issue - "TONY STARK Wants To Save THE WORLD."
(at around 49 mins) During the Mad Money w/ Jim Cramer (2005) segment, the upper (NYSE) and lower (NASDAQ) tickers are filled with quotes of fictional companies named after various Mad Money production staff such as George Manessis (Segment Producer) and Regina Gilgan (Executive Producer).
(at around 34 mins) The source code that appears on the computer screen in the Afghan cave is C programming language code.
Louis Leterrier was interested in directing this film, but opted for The Incredible Hulk (2008), when Jon Favreau was given the job.
The Stark Industries weapons the terrorists are carrying are actual weapons, but mostly made by German arms firm Heckler & Koch. Many of the terrorists are carrying H&K G36 assault rifles or the smaller UMP sub machinegun. A few are also using Colt M-4s (or various M-4 clones) with various accessories, include ACOG optics, PEQ-2 Infra-Red illuminators, and notably, one terrorist has an M-4 carbine with a 12 gauge Lightweight Shotgun System (LSS) mounted underneath the barrel.
The F-22 in the closeup ground shots is serial number 6, deployed to Edwards Air Force Base. This is one of the last "pre-production" F-22's, and is one of the first fully operational aircraft. (The first 5 airframes were later retrofitted to also be fully operational). Interestingly, the pole model outside of Stark Industries is labeled as "YF-22", meaning the first flying prototype for the competition between the YF-22 and the Northrop YF-23. The size of this pole model indicates that it may be one of the original wind-tunnel models.
Len Wiseman was originally slated to direct.
As Tony is about to test his completed prototype suit, one of the sound effects heard as he boots up JARVIS and mapping radar is the "ship zap" effect from the classic arcade game "Space Invaders".
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Michael Bay has called Iron Man his favorite Marvel film.
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(at around 49 mins) The three-digit code that Pepper inputs to enter Tony's lab (where she has to pull out his heart generator) is 106.
Shaun Toub (Yinsen) and Nazanin Boniadi (Amira Ahmed) were both born in Tehran, Iran.
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Paramount Pictures also released some of the earliest animated Superman shorts. Superman was published by Marvel's long-time rival DC Comics, before it was purchased by Warner Bros. and Marvel by Disney.
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Stan Lee: (at around 1h 8 mins) The comic writer, who created Iron Man in 1963, appears at Tony Stark's party as the man with three blondes, whom Stark mistakes for Hugh M. Hefner. Lee later mentioned that it was his most fun cameo.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

During the final battle, there was originally going to be a sequence where Tony, in the Iron Man suit, drives an Audi R8 that would crash into Iron Monger's legs then flip over, after which Iron Man would split the car in half and jump out. However, the Audi R8 was so well-built that it refused to flip despite repeated crashes and the roof wouldn't split the way Jon Favreau wanted it to because the car's frame was so tough. As a result, the whole final fight sequence was re-written. The filmmakers were so impressed by the toughness of the car that it was decided that the convertible version was to be featured in Iron Man 2 (2010).
In the Ultimate Marvel Comics series, the character of Nick Fury is portrayed as African-American, with his look and personality tailored after Samuel L. Jackson, all carried out with Jackson's explicit permission. During one of the Ultimate Avengers issues, whilst discussing the possibility of a movie being made about them, and which actors would play which heroes, Nick Fury comments that nobody else but Samuel L. Jackson could play him. Jackson, himself a comic book fan, plays Fury in this film. Later on, the popularity of this character led Marvel to introduce this character into the mainstream comics as "Nick Fury, Jr.", the son of the original Nick Fury, in a move to work towards retiring the original from the mainstream universe.
Brian Michael Bendis had written three pages of dialogue for the Nick Fury scene, out of which the filmmakers chose the best lines. To keep it a secret, the scene was filmed with a skeleton crew and was omitted from all previews of the film, which thus maintained the mystery and surprise, and kept fans speculative and interested. It conclusively appeared in the final cut as a post-credits scene.
When presented at the movie's end, with the cover story by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson, that Iron Man is employed by Tony Stark to act as his bodyguard, Stark dismisses it as "pretty flimsy." In the Iron Man comics, this was precisely the cover that Tony Stark used to protect his identity, until 2002, when Stark went public with his identity as Iron Man.
at around 1h 40 mins) When Tony Stark tells Rhodey to "keep the skies clear" before going to confront Obadiah Stane, Rhodey looks to the silver Mark II suit before saying "next time, baby". Rhodey dons this suit in Iron Man 2 (2010), becoming War Machine.
According to Jeff Bridges, Obadiah Stane was originally supposed to survive the final battle against Tony, with the heroes opening up his destroyed suit to find that there was no corpse inside. Presumably this would have poised Stane to return for future movies.
at around 47 mins) Obadiah Stane tells Tony Stark "We're iron mongers, we make weapons." Stane's supervillain moniker is the Iron Monger, and thus foreshadows Stane's own transition in the film to an armour-clad antagonist.
According to Jon Favreau, it was difficult to find a proper opponent for Iron Man to face, since he wanted the film to remain grounded in reality as much as possible. It was decided to have a foe in the film who would serve as a parallel of Stark (i.e. an armored opponent). Well-known enemies like the Titanium Man and the Crimson Dynamo were considered, but finally the lesser-known Iron Monger, Obadiah Stane, was chosen as Iron Man's adversary (Stane, as well as possessing his own armor, is also a business contemporary of Stark).
at around 1h 55 mins) Shortly into the credits sequence, there is an animation of the Ten Rings logo. This refers to the terrorist group that captures Tony Stark early in the film, but is not actually acknowledged. It is, however, commonly acknowledged in Iron Man Three (2013).
The climactic showdown in the film, with Tony Stark/Iron Man facing Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger is based on Iron Man #200 (November 1986). A faceoff occurs between Stane's larger, more powerful Iron Monger and Stark's greater experience, and an exploding reactor appears. However, the comic concludes with Stane committing suicide with a repulsor ray blast to the head.
at around 1h 55 mins) The final scene, in which Tony reveals to the press that he is Iron Man is a reference to the Avengers Disassembled mini-series. In the mini-series (part 1), which was written by Brian Michael Bendis, Stark, under the influence of Scarlet Witch, revealed himself to be the Secretary of Defense to the entire delegates of the UN, with the exact line spoken in the film.
Tony Stark says "I am Iron Man" in the final scene. This is an homage to the series Iron Man (1994), whose theme song had the lyrics "I am Iron Man!" or the popular song "Iron Man" by the band Black Sabbath.
When Phil Coulson gives Tony Stark his pre-written statement for the final press conference , he notes the official statement will be, that he was on the island of Attilan. In the comics, Attilan is one of a few homes to the race, known as the Inhumans.
Each Marvel superhero movie has a main theme: -Iron Man (2008) and sequels - Weaponry and technology. -The Incredible Hulk (2008) - Mutation and nuclear power. -Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and sequels - Experimentation and espionage. -Thor (2011) and sequels - Mythology and religion. -Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) - Extra-terrestrial life and cosmic beings. -Ant-Man (2015) - Telepathy and control of animals. -Doctor Strange (2016) - Magic and witchcraft. -The Avengers (2012) - Alien Invasion. -Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) - Artificial Intelligence.
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