Iron Man (2008) Poster



This is the last film special effects expert Stan Winston completed before his death.
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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 on 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.
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.
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..
The roadster that Tony Stark was working on is actually owned by director Jon Favreau.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rhodey's ringtone for when Tony Stark calls him is a midi version of the theme music to the 1966 Iron Man cartoon.
This is Marvel Studios' first self-financed movie.
An early draft of the script had the Mandarin appear in the film, re-imagined as an Indonesian terrorist.
Paul Bettany recorded all his lines as JARVIS in two hours.
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.
There are about five sets of armor in the film, all inspired from the "Iron Man" comics:
  • the Mark I armor, Stark's first suit, is a simple suit constructed of iron.

  • the 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).

  • the 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.

Paul Bettany has never seen Iron Man 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.
According to Paul Bettany, he did not know which film he was working on; he merely did the job as a favor for Jon Favreau, whom he worked with on 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, whom 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, whom he felt was "one of the most colourful 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 likable and a hero."
Gwyneth Paltrow only needed to travel 15 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).
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.
In an interview 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.
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 of the death of Stark's parents.
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.
While Tony and Rhodey are walking through the Casino in Vegas the music playing is a smooth jazz version of the 1960s Iron Man cartoon theme song.
It took around 17 years to get the film into development. Originally, Universal Pictures were 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.
To prepare for her role as Pepper Potts, Gwyneth Paltrow asked Marvel to send her any comics to aid her understanding of the character.
Jon Favreau celebrated getting the job as director by going on a diet and losing 70 pounds.
The production met with about 30 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.
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 student film" took the pressure off for him and made it fun.
Gwyneth Paltrow based her performance on 1940s heroines (who she claimed were sexy, witty and innocent all at once).
In the scene where 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.
Obadiah Stane plays on the piano a musical piece written by 18th-century composer Antonio Salieri. Salieri is most famously known as a jealous rival of his contemporary, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and was said to have murdered Mozart (although historical records have proven that on the contrary both have collaborated/promoted each other's work on several occasions). This serves as an appropriate parallel of Stark and Stane's relationship in the film.
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 goatee and shaved his head, which he said was something he'd always wanted to do.
Jeff Bridges, hearing that Obadiah was a biblical name, researched on 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.
In the comics, Tony Stark participated (and became Iron Man) in the Vietnam War; later this was retconned to the Gulf War. In this film, the character's origin was retconned 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 SHIELD). In the comics, the SHIELD 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'.
During pre-production, Robert Downey Jr. set up an office next to Jon Favreau's office, to discuss his role with Favreau and to be more involved in the film's screenwriting.
Chapter One of Phase One in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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)]."
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).
Hugh Jackman was offered the role of Tony Stark.
The Iron Man Mark I armor weighed 90 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 learnt that remote caves are actually very cold.
An animatronic puppet of the Iron Monger was built for the film by Stan Winston Studios. It stood 10 feet tall and weighed 800 pounds, and was built on a set of gimbals to simulate walking. It required five operators to run it.
For some of the shots of the first incarnation of the Iron Man suit, director Jon Favreau performed the motion capture himself.
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) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
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!"
Rachel McAdams was Jon Favreau's first choice to play Pepper Potts, but she turned the role down.
The code that appears on the computer screen at 34 minutes into the movie 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.
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 3 (2013) to Disney while Paramount kept the rights to Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).
First film released in 2008 to pass the $300 million mark at the domestic box office.
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).
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.
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)

  • the commandant Raza speaks of Genghis Khan and Asia

  • Raza is seen occasionally fiddling with an ornate gold ring

  • rings are worn by Stark, Stane, Rhodes and Raza (that is to say those in positions of power).

Obadiah brings Tony 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.
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.
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.
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 MCU films in which Robert Downey Jr.(Tony Stark/Iron Man) appears in, but doesn't show off his skills in the Wing Chun fighting style.
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").
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.
Director 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.
An early draft of the script had Howard Stark, Iron Man's father, as a ruthless industrialist who becomes War Machine.
One of the cars in Tony Stark's garage is an all-electric Tesla Roadster, which had not yet been released during the film's production.
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 reporter Christine Everhart works for Vanity Fair in the movie, but in the comics she works for the Daily Bugle.
Jon Favreau wanted Tony Stark and Pepper Potts' relationship to be like a 1940s comedy along the lines of His Girl Friday (1940).
Most of the exterior scenes set in Afghanistan were filmed at Olancha Sand Dunes. There, the crew had to endure two days of 40-60 mph winds.
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)).
The 'Industrial Light & Magic' (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.
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.
Timothy Olyphant read for the role of Tony Stark.
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 the January 2012 Air And 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.
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 19 years old.
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.
Tony Stark drives an Audi R8 in the film, as part of a promotion 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.
Comic book writers Mark Millar, Brian Bendis, Joe Quesada, Tom Brevoort, Axel Alonzo and Ralph Macchio were commissioned by Jon Favreau to give advice on the script.
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 homes.
Stark and Rhodes graduated from MIT together. When Rhodes calls Iron Man, who is flying with the F-22's, you can see a big gold ring on the hand that he's holding the phone in. This is MIT's class ring, the "brass rat."
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 his left side of his face, while in the film Raza is scarred on the right side of his face.
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.
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.
Director Jon Favreau voiced Iron Man in the Robot Chicken (2005) episode "Two Weeks Without Food."
This is the first film set in, and the beginning of, the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.
During filming, a tank accidentally ran over an Aaton 35mm camera.
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.
When Obadiah Stane watches Rhodey on TV, 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.
One draft of the script had Crimson Dynamo as a villain.
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.
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)."
The Stark Industries logo is similar to that of Lockheed Martin, codeveloper of the F-22 Raptor.
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.
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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.
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 film was shipped to some theaters under the titles "Bell" and "Debonair."
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.
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.
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).
Jon Favreau chose Industrial Light & Magic to provide the film's VFX after watching Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) and Transformers (2007).
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.
Louis Leterrier was interested in directing this film but opted for The Incredible Hulk (2008) when Jon Favreau was given the job.
Rachael McAdams was Jon Favreau's first choice to play Pepper Potts, but she turned it down. Gwyneth Paltrow was subsequently cast.
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.
The actress taking part in the screen test with Robert Downey Jr., which can be seen in the extras, is Sasha Alexander.
The English translation of the Hungarian dialog when Tony any Yinsen 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's composer Ramin Djawadi's favourite musical score is the "Kickass" theme, because he composed it according to "a rhythm very much like a machine."
During the scene in which Iron Man first takes flight he travels at 0.29 Mach (220 mph) over California
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 film's property master Russell Bobbitt, won Hamilton's "Behind the Camera Award 2008" for the props he created on Iron Man.
The source code that appears at 34 minutes is C programming language code.
The headlines on the magazine covers shown right before Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) 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."
Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard's father, Terrance himself, Faran Tahir, composer Ramin Djawadi and VFXpert Stan Winston are fans of Iron Man.
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).
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, 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.
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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.
Len Wiseman was originally slated to direct.
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.
The 3-digit code that Pepper inputs to enter Tony's lab (where she has to pull out his heart generator) is 106. (at 49 min 15 sec into the movie)
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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Shaun Toub (Yinsen) and in the reporter role Nazanin Boniadi they both were born in Tehran, Iran.
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Sam Rockwell Auditioned To Play Tony Stark/Iron Man He Would Later Portray Iron Man's Rival Justin Hammer In Iron Man 2 (2010)
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

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.
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 the Director 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).
Brian 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.
In the Ultimate Marvel Comics series, the character of Nick Fury is portrayed as African American, with his look and personality tailored after actor Samuel L. Jackson, all carried out with the actor'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 even 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.
When presented at the movie's end with the cover story by SHIELD 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.
Nick Fury wants to talk to Tony Stark about the Avengers Initiative. This is a reference to the Avengers, a team of superheroes assembled in the 1960-70s, and foreshadows a live-action The Avengers (2012) film. Iron Man is a founding member of the Avengers, along with the Hulk, Ant-Man, Wasp and Thor.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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 3 (2013).
Tony Stark says "I am Iron Man" in the final scene. This is a 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 statment 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.
During the climactic battle on the street between Iron Man and Iron Monger a bus with the words "Hydroelectric Power" is seen behind MONGER (Stane), however through most of the scene his large suit blocks all but the letters "Hydr". This is possibly referencing "Hydra" the nemesis organization, and one to which many fas theorize Stane belonged to or worked for, and/or foreshadowing the upcoming storyline Hydra plays in the MCU.
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