Director 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.
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The script was not completely finished when filming began, since the filmmakers were more focused on the story and the action, so the dialogue was mostly ad-libbed throughout filming. Director 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.
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Paul Bettany has never seen the film, and is unfamiliar with the plot. He said J.A.R.V.I.S. 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 (Jennifer Connelly, who would later voice the A.I. in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)). His role would, however, be expanded considerably in the later Marvel films, and even require his physical presence from Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) on.
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Jeff Bridges said he felt really uncomfortable not having a script or rehearsals, since normally he is very prepared, and knows his lines word for word. Realizing it was like he was in a "two hundred million dollar student film" took the pressure off of him and made it fun.
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Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) was originally a much smaller part. In fact, the character at first was only called "Agent," but as filming went on, and Gregg's chemistry with all the other cast members became apparent, they added more and more scenes. Agent Coulson would go on to appear in Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Captain Marvel (2019), and would star in the spinoff series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013).
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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. Burger King also promoted the film with toys based on this movie, as well as the sequel.
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This is Marvel Studios' first self-financed movie.
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To avoid spoilers about the final press conference, the extras were told that it was a dream sequence.
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"I am Iron Man" was ad-libbed by Robert Downey Jr.. Producer Kevin Feige approved using it in the final cut of the film, and credits this with his decision to largely do away with secret identities in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Only Spider-Man conceals his identity, while Thor's alter ego, Donald Blake, is similarly not used.
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Roughly four hundred fifty separate pieces make up the Iron Man suit.
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Paul Bettany recorded all of his lines as J.A.R.V.I.S. in two hours.
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The roadster on which Tony Stark was working is owned by director Jon Favreau.
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Jon Favreau celebrated getting the job as director by going on a diet and losing seventy pounds.
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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, with whom he worked in Wimbledon (2004).
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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."
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Tony Stark's computer system is called J.A.R.V.I.S. (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 Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth. In the limited-comic Iron Man 2: Public Identity, the comic book prequel to Iron Man 2 (2010) it is revealed that Tony named the computer system after him following his death as Jarvis was responsible for raising Tony after the death of his parents. James D'Arcy would portray a younger version of Edwin Jarvis for Agent Carter (2015) and would later make his official MCU film debut in Avengers: Endgame (2019).
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Four hundred 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.
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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.
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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.
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For the first three Iron Man movies, director 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.
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(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.
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An early draft of the script revealed Tony Stark to be the creator of Dr. Otto Octavius' tentacles from Spider-Man 2 (2004). Octavius is a villain from the Spider-Man comic, but at the time, this wouldn't have been allowed, as Sony was the film rights holder to Spider-Man. However, Sony and Marvel agreed to share the film rights to the character in 2015, with Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) first appearing in Captain America: Civil War (2016), where he's introduced to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Although Downey reprised his role alongside Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and several other Marvel films, Dr. Otto Octavius has yet to appear as a villain.
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This is the last film special effects expert Stan Winston completed before his death.
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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.
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(at around 58 mins) Obadiah Stane plays on the piano a musical piece written by eighteenth century composer Antonio Salieri. Salieri is best 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 on, and promoted each other's work on several occasions). This serves as an appropriate parallel of Stark and Stane's relationship in the film.
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(at around 49 mins) When 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, on which he was sitting. 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 the Borg Queen was introduced.
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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 director 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).
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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 re-writes led to many refusals.
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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 five hundred twenty-five 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, Incorporated, to establish a Hollywood presence. If the film didn't succeed, Marvel would've lost the intellectual property rights to their library. However, the wager paid off, as Iron Man's box office success enabled Marvel to kick off an entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) consisting of interconnecting films and series.
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(at around 1h 25 mins) When Pepper discovers Tony removing the damaged Iron Man armor, Captain America's shield can be seen sitting on a workbench. This same scene was shown in many trailers, but the image of the shield was edited out. Iron Man 2 (2010) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) would later reveal that Howard Stark, Tony's father, was responsible for the creation of Captain America's shield, and the one in Tony's home is an early prototype.
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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. As of May 2018, only eight of the nineteen films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have featured New York City in some capacity. These being The Incredible Hulk (2008), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015); Doctor Strange (2016), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).
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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.
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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, it was revised to the "Strategic Hazard Intervention/Espionage Logistics Directorate".
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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 director Jon Favreau did not wish to make the film a period piece, but instead give it a realistic contemporary look.
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It took approximately 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 Twentieth Century Fox. Later, Fox sold the rights to New Line Cinema. Finally, Marvel Studios decided to handle their own creation.
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(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.
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Gwyneth Paltrow based her performance on 1940s heroines (who she claimed were sexy, witty, and innocent all at once).
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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 and gold armor. J.A.R.V.I.S. 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. J.A.R.V.I.S. 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.
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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, while 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, played Fury in this movie. 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.
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An animatronic puppet of the Iron Monger was built for the film by Stan Winston Studios. It stood ten feet tall, and weighed eight hundred pounds, and was built on a set of gimbals, to simulate walking. It required five operators to run it.
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The Iron Man Mark I armor weighed ninety pounds.
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Rachel McAdams was Jon Favreau's first choice to play Pepper Potts, but she turned the role down. She later played a role in Doctor Strange (2016).
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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 and worshiper of the Lord", which Stane obviously isn't.
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Chapter One of Phase One in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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According to Jon Favreau, Clive Owen and Sam Rockwell are among the actors that were considered for Tony Stark during pre-production. Rockwell played Stark's rival Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2 (2010).
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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) until Disney acquired them.
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An early draft of the script had the Mandarin appear in the film, re-imagined as an Indonesian terrorist.
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The cave that imprisons Tony Stark was a one hundred fifty to two hundred 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.
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For some of the shots of the first incarnation of the Iron Man suit, director Jon Favreau performed the motion capture.
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When Pepper Potts is downloading a set of secret files, the authorization on one document is listed as "Lebowski". Jeff Bridges, who plays Stane in this film, played "The Dude" in The Big Lebowski (1998).
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According to Terrence Howard, he and Robert Downey Jr. competed physically on the set: "I'm forty to fifty pounds heavier than him, so I'm lifting and I push up about two hundred twenty-five, and knocked it out ten times. Robert wanted to go about two hundred thirty-five, and he did it, so I pushed it up to about two hundred forty-five. Robert and his competitive ass almost tore my shoulder trying to keep up with him!"
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Yinsen (Shaun Toub) mentions a meeting between himself and Tony Stark at a tech conference (which Tony can't remember because he was too drunk). This would later become the opening scene of Iron Man 3 (2013).
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Originally, Iron Man's archnemesis, the Mandarin, was going to be the film's villain, but Jon Favreau felt him to be too fantastic and dated, so he was re-written 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)."
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To prepare for her role as Pepper Potts, Gwyneth Paltrow asked Marvel to send her any comics to aid her understanding of the character.
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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. Whedon would later get his chance to direct the Iron Man character twice, in The Avengers (2012) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).
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(at around 1h 40 mins) In the film, Rhodey (Terrence Howard) 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 appeared in Iron Man 2 (2010), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). However, in those films the role of James Rhodes was played by Don Cheadle.
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Rock guitarist Tom Morello assisted Ramin Djawadi in composing the film's soundtrack. Morello had 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).
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One of the cars in Tony Stark's garage, is a Tesla Roadster, which had not yet been released during the film's production.
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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.
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Christine Everhart (Leslie Bibb) works for Vanity Fair in the movie, but in the comics, she works for the Daily Bugle.
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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 Space Invaders (1978) video game.
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(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 armor-clad antagonist.
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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.
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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 (for example, 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).
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There are various references in the film to the Mandarin, Iron Man's archnemesis: -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).
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(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.
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Jon Favreau was inspired to cast Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man after seeing his performance in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005). Shane Black, who wrote and directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), co-wrote and directed Iron Man 3 (2013).
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(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.
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First film released in 2008 to pass the $300 million mark at the U.S. box-office.
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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.
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(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 (played by Don Cheadle) donned this suit in Iron Man 2 (2010), becoming War Machine.
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When designing Tony Stark's house, the guideline the designers were given was to make it more "grease monkey" (inventor and mechanic) than futuristic, in order to keep the film realistic. Production designer J. Michael Riva took inspiration from the photographs of Julius Schulman, who was noted for photographs of 1950s and 1960s Los Angeles houses.
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(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 U.N., with the exact line spoken in the film.
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This is the first film set in, and the beginning of, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although some of the later movies (Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Captain Marvel (2019)) would take place earlier in the chronology.
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This was the only movie for Terrence Howard to play Lieutenant Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes. Don Cheadle was brought in to assume the role commencing with Iron Man 2 (2010). Howard was reportedly the first actor cast for Iron Man, as well as the best paid actor on set (given that Robert Downey Jr. was hardly a bankable star at the time). He was promised a three-picture deal, but claimed that he was shut out of the sequel when the studio didn't honor his contract. Although Marvel has never formally commented on the issue, according to insiders, the role was recast because director Jon Favreau was reportedly unhappy with Howard's performance, which often necessitated re-shoots. Howard himself later admitted that he declined because he was offered a much lower salary, to accommodate Robert Downey Jr's increased paycheck.
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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").
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The climactic showdown in the film, with Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, facing Obadiah Stane, a.k.a. Iron Monger, is based on Iron Man #200 (November 1986). A face-off 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.
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(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 sampled 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.
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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.
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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.
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(at around 1h 20 mins) Stark and Rhodes graduated from M.I.T. together. When Rhodes calls Iron Man, who is flying with the F-22s, a big gold ring is on the hand that he's using to hold the phone. This is MIT's class ring, the "brass rat".
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(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.
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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).
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The Industrial Light & Magic 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.
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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.
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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. (Iron Man) appeared, but doesn't show off his skills in the Wing Chun fighting style.
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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.
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According to Ramin Djawadi, Tony Stark's different moods, as performed by Robert Downey Jr., was the inspiration for the Iron Man scores in the film.
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Jon Favreau wanted Tony Stark and Pepper Potts' relationship to be like a 1940s comedy along the lines of His Girl Friday (1940).
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(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).
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When Colonel Rhodes hands Tony the award, it is either a goof, since Tony doesn't like to be handed things directly, or it indicates that Tony trusts him like Pepper or Happy, since his anxiety/phobia didn't take place.
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(at around 1h 24 mins) When Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) watches Rhodey (Terrence Howard) 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.
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During filming, a tank accidentally ran over an Aaton 35mm camera.
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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.
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An early draft of the script had Howard Stark, Iron Man's father, as a ruthless industrialist who becomes War Machine.
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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.
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Jon Favreau voiced Iron Man in Robot Chicken (2005), season four, episode eight, "Two Weeks Without Food".
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Clark Gregg (Agent Phil Coulson) stated in the DVD commentary of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013), season one, episode eleven, "The Magical Place", that he and Gwyneth Paltrow have known each other since she was nineteen-years-old.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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(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 six and five ("Sheesh" is Persian slang for six, "o" means "and" and "Besh" is Turkish for five). Shaun Toub, who plays Yinsen, is of Persian ancestry.
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The Stark Industries logo is similar to that of Lockheed Martin, co-developer of the F-22 Raptor.
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(at around 1h 21 mins) The pilots in the F-22 jets are codenamed "Whiplash 1" and "Whiplash 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 appeared in Iron Man 2 (2010).
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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.
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Director Jon Favreau described 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)."
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(at around 1h 2 mins) When Iron Man first takes flight, he travels at 0.29 Mach (two hundred twenty miles per hour) over California.
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Jon Favreau played a character similar to Tony Stark, named Pete Becker, on Friends (1994). 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.
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Christine Everhart mentioned to Tony that he is called the "da Vinci of our time". The real Leonardo da Vinci was a military engineer in addition to being an artist and inventor. Among da Vinci's weapon designs were a gigantic crossbow, multi-barreled cannons, and an armored vehicle powered by hand-cranks.
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The film had a torturous development process. Stuart Gordon was originally going to direct in 1990 when the rights were held by Universal Pictures, though nothing came of that. In 1996, Twentieth 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 Cinema in 2000 with Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, and Tim McCanlies writing a screenplay (this version even featured a cameo by Nick Fury). New Line Cinema 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 to Marvel.
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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.
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When 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 J.A.R.V.I.S. 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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(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 are 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" and "Industry, The Defeat Of Braniff," and the Rolling Stone Special Double Issue: "TONY STARK Wants To Save THE WORLD."
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Property master Russell Bobbitt won Hamilton's "Behind the Camera Award 2008" for the props he created on this movie.
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(at around 1h 55 mins) Shortly into the end 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).
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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).
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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.
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Tony Stark says "I am Iron Man" in the final scene. This is an homage to Iron Man (1994), whose theme song had the lyrics "I am Iron Man!", or the popular song "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath.
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The actress taking part in the screentest with Robert Downey Jr., which can be seen in the extras, was Sasha Alexander.
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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.
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The terrorist organization "Ten Rings" is a reference to Iron Man villain Mandarin, who wears ten rings imbued with superhuman abilities. Mandarin appeared in Iron Man 3 (2013), albeit in a radically different iteration from the comics.
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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.
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Screenwriters Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby worked separately with director 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.
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Louis Leterrier was interested in directing this film, but opted for The Incredible Hulk (2008) when Jon Favreau was given the job.
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(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).
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The film was shipped to some theaters under the titles "Bell" and "Debonair".
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Composer Ramin Djawadi's favorite musical score is the "Kickass" theme, because he composed it according to "a rhythm very much like a machine."
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As Tony is about to test his completed prototype suit, one of the sound effects heard as he boots up J.A.R.V.I.S. and mapping radar, is the "ship zap" effect from the classic arcade game Space Invaders (1978).
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(at around 34 mins) The source code that appears on the computer screen in the Afghan cave, is C programming language code.
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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 machine gun. 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.
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Michael Bay has called this movie his favorite Marvel film.
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Rhodey's ringtone is the Iron Man theme from the 1960s cartoon TV show.
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Iron Man was famously created by Stan Lee, along with Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby in 1963's Tales of Suspense #39. When the Iron Man movie got off the ground with Fox in 1996, Stan Lee was the co-writer on the first draft of the script, along with Jeff Vintar. According to sources, the story would have had the super intelligent MODOK as the villain. The script was apparently pretty good, because of Tom Rothman (President of Production at Fox) later saying Lee's screenplay made him finally "get" the character of Iron Man. The problem is that they never ended up using Lee's script. In fact, the movie went through a lot of scripts, and Lee never even ended up in the credits. It's like the script never existed, and that's probably been a disappointment for Lee.
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Tony Stark attends an event at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Walt Disney Company would buy Marvel just a year later.
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According to The Cannon Group, Inc. co-owner, producer Yoram Globus, in the 1980s, along with Captain America, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), Spider-Man, and Masters of the Universe (1987), The Cannon Group, Inc. also had an Iron Man movie in production. The Cannon Group, Inc. wanted Tom Selleck to play Tony Stark. They also wanted the costume house that made the RoboCop (1987) suit to build the Iron Man costume.
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Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard's father, Terrence Howard, Faran Tahir, Ramin Djawadi, and visual effects expert Stan Winston are fans of Iron Man.
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When Tony first tests his hand repulsors in his lab, he ends up in front of a bookcase that has several airplane models on top of it, including a C-130 Hercules. The model at the far left is an XB-70 Valkyrie, a jet developed by the military in the late 1950s and intended as a bomber, capable of Mach 3+ (more than three times the speed of sound). It never became operational, but the design inspired the Air France Concorde SST, a Mach 3 passenger jet in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and the early 2000s.
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Each Marvel superhero movie has a main theme: -This movie 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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The F-22, in the close-up ground shots, is serial number 6, deployed to Edwards Air Force Base. This is one of the last "pre-production" F-22s, and is one of the first fully operational aircraft. (The first five airframes were later retrofitted to also be fully operational). Interestingly, the pole model outside of Stark Industries is labelled 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.
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At several points in the movie, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) is seen wearing a 'ball and chain' style 'necklace', with a round black gem that signifies the Ten Rings terrorist organization. At the same time, Jeff Bridges - along with his father and brother, Lloyd and Beau - is a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard, and the ball and chain style is normal for holding dog tags. the military ID.
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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 Brothers, and Marvel purchased by Disney.
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In The Big Lebowski (1998), Jeff Bridges has a dream where he is flying through the night skies of Los Angeles, only to be weighed down by a huge weight that crashes him to the ground. This is almost identical to Jeff Bridges as Obadiah flying up in the Los Angeles sky and crashing down when his armor freezes.
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Iron Man foe Fin Fang Foom is seen briefly on a billboard.
Terrence Howard was thrilled to work with Robert Downey Jr. as he had been a fan of the actor since first seeing him in Weird Science (1985).
The actor who plays the reporter who asked Tony what happened in Afghanistan is Billie Eilish's father.
"Being in the Iron Man suit is like being in the coolest Halloween costume ever," said Downey Jr. "You're putting the suit on and you catch a glimpse in the mirror and you go, That's right, Grandma would be proud."
Shaun Toub (Yinsen) who helped Tony build the first version of the Iron Man suit, coincidentally was born the same year the comic book character was created in 1963.
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(at around 49 mins) The three-digit code that Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) inputs to enter Tony's (Robert Downey Jr.'s) lab (where she has to pull out his heart generator) is 106.
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Jarvis says that the SR-71 Lockheed 'Blackbirds' altitude record is 85,000 feet, a reference to when American test pilot Robert White took the X-15 to an altitude of 314,688 feet on 7/17/62. But it's Russian pilot Alexandr Fedotov who holds the world altitude record, set on August 31, 1977, when his MiG E-266M reached a mere 123,523 feet.
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Iron Monger tells Tony 'Hold still, you little prick'. In Iron Man 2, Senator Stern also calls Tony a 'little prick'.
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Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man costume was made of a combination of rubber and metal with a little help from CGI.
Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr. and the entire production team shared Mahan's enthusiasm and exhaled a communal sigh of relief when Downey donned the completed Mark III armor for the first time on the Iron Man set.
Marvel's Kevin Feige describes a transformation in Robert Downey Jr. at that moment, "Seeing Robert in the suit for the first time was like watching a kid in a candy store. He looked amazing and had all of the enthusiasm of a little boy. Then, he suddenly stood up and you could see the hero forming within him."
According to Merritt, the Mark I was one of the most complicated maquettes he's ever worked on, "It was really like building three maquettes in one because you had a body substructure underneath and then you had all these armor shells that hang onto a frame. The digital team modeled the shells first and I said, 'Well you've gotta attach these shells to something if we're going to grow them.' And so they attached these frames, and then I said, 'Well you know you've really gotta have these things attached to a body so it won't fall apart.' So then they had to model a body inside as well." Key artist at Stan Winston Studio & Legacy Effects, Trevor Hensley, said, "The Mark I was the first time we used that killer chrome paint, that metallic surface finish. You start with a shiny black surface and then you mist on the chrome paint. And it was kind of a test run, we weren't really sure how to use that stuff. Of course it's always a team effort, but it was cool that my Mark I maquette paint job set the standard for many of the metallic characters we've done here (SWS & Legacy Effects) for the last 5 years. Before that we'd been chrome plating and using other automotive finishes but they never had that incredible reflective quality. We used the same paint technique on the full-size suit because Jon Favreau loved it." After Jon Favreau and the producers approved the maquette, Dave Merritt and the model making team at SWS moved onto the full-size Mark I armor. "We didn't grow any of those full-size shells. We just felt that the type of detail that was on them didn't warrant the expense of going through the growing process. So they were all milled out of foam," said Merritt. "Then we went in and hand-carved and sanded the foam, put resins on them and smoothed them out. Then we could go in and add bullet holes or damaged, dented marks into the surfaces. We just kinda fashioned it like it was hammered out in a cave." The final steps are where everything started to come together, added Merritt. "The shells were then molded and cast in epoxy. We added some flexible urethane areas for comfort. And then all those parts were hung onto the frame. We had to go through several fittings to make sure that suit performer Mike Justice would be able to fit it in and move in it because it's a very clunky suit. But the clunkiness is sort of what made the Mark I what it was, you know? You kinda didn't want him to move well in it because then it wouldn't have made as much sense. It was supposed to be primitive."
When Tony asks Pepper to help him with open-heart surgery, he compares it to the game "Operation". This was a popular Milton Bradley game that was invented by John Spinello. It involved players using metal tweezers to try and remove internal organs from a metal game board representing a patient. If the tweezers touch the edge of the body cavity, a loud buzzer would be activated and the patient's red nose would light up.
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Featured in "The A to Z of Superhero Movies: From Abar to ZsaZsa via the MCU", written by Rob Hill.
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Tony jokes that Rhodey woke up to a man named Ivan during spring break. The antagonist of Iron Man 2 (2010) is Ivan Vanko.
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Tony attends a party at the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Although this movie was released under Paramount, the Marvel Cinematic Universe would eventually release its films under Disney.
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The 8th biggest grossing film of 2008.
For Stan Winston Studios, the biggest challenge was to create suits that retained their well-known comic book proportions while still allowing Robert Downey Jr. and his stuntmen to perform with minimal discomfort and maximum range of motion.
To add to the complexity of the job, Mahan added, "We were forced to reverse-engineer the suit because we didn't have Robert's body cast to build the suit over joint-for-joint, measurement-for-measurement. The digital build and design of the suit was 95 percent complete before Robert was even cast in the film." "We actually built the structures in the computer so that they're mathematically perfect and grew those parts in a process of rapid prototyping. Then we made the pieces and fit them around him and made them work and actually move. I was very happy with the results because the suits are quite athletic." said Mahan.
"From my point-of-view Robert was essential to the suit performance because he instructed me or any other member of the suit crew as to what he needed to make his performance better," said Mahan. "We were happy to take a bicep or the lower legs off so that he had more freedom of movement, because in the end it's all about performance and if we needed to do something to make the actor more comfortable, that's what we did."
According to executive producer Louis D'Esposito, "the finished Mark III armor was the culmination of a truly collaborative effort of many talented designers, technicians, craftsmen and filmmakers. The Mark III suit is a life-size, three-dimensional prototype of something that you've only seen in a comic book until now. It is the comic book character come to life, which really is a testament to Marvel, Jon Favreau, Stan Winston Studio and all of the incredibly talented people on the production team that helped conceive, design and build this iconic Iron Man armor."
Although originally planned as a completely digital suit, the Stan Winston Studio IRON MAN team built a "real" Mark I suit that wound up performing over 80% of the Mark I shots in the final film. From first film test to flamethrowers blazing real fire, the Mark I suit was a pivotal creation that would set the tone for the IRON MAN franchise's fantastic blend of both digital and practical techniques to bring Tony Stark's armor to life. Academy Award nominated, 25 year-SWS supervisor and co-founder of Legacy Effects, Shane Mahan recalls the first images for the Mark I sent over by Marvel during pre-production, "The Mark I, the cave escape suit, was originally designed by Ryan Meinerding at Marvel. The Mark I one was intended to be an homage to the first suit Tony Stark builds in the comic book, it's sort of like a big metal can. Ryan's overall Photoshop design was pretty clear. Then our modelers at Stan Winston Digital started working on how to make it work practically, creating 3D models on the computer. We spent long nights at the studio crunching it down, and the Marvel brass would get to the shop at 7am and we'd been there all night, making digital turntables, tweaking it." "Once the 3D model was approved we went through the standard process of breaking it apart so that we could grow a maquette. SWS & Legacy Effects model shop supervisor, Dave Merritt, led the model makers in sanding and doing the body shop work once the pieces were grown." continued Mahan.
While Ryan Meinerding's designs were excellent reference for the shape of the Mark I, they were all in black and white. Broad color schemes and tones were then worked out in conversation with Jon Favreau. "The idea was that Tony's constructing the Mark I out of old shell casings and equipment, and everything had to look like found objects. Dirty, rough metal of different shades. Some of it had paint on it, some of it had decals to make it look like cut apart missiles. It had to have weld marks. It had to have a very handmade, hand-pounded kind of forged look to it," said Mahan Trevor Hensley and the other painters at SWS compiled copious reference to execute Favreau's vision. "We referenced mostly old pictures from World War II," said Hensley. "We looked at those polished aluminum planes that had been shot down, P-51s, P-38 Lightnings, so we had damage reference from that that we incorporated. The Mark I gets really shot up right when he leaves the cave, before he takes off and escapes. And for that they wanted us to do a whole bunch of fifty caliber hits and a bunch of medium size bullet hits, tiny small arms shrapnel, and all kinds of stuff, so we did a whole Photoshop series with different battle damage." But the coolest part of the paint job for Hensley is something you might not even see in the finished film. "You know when a chromed motorcycle exhaust goes through the whole spectrum of colors as it's being heated up? It goes purple, brown, blue, pink. We used a lot of that because we were thinking Tony would be torch cutting all this stuff in a cave and arc welding it so it would have that colored distortion along the edges where the parts were cut and heated. Unfortunately, a lot of that subtlety was covered by dirt with the Mark I being sandblasted in the desert for days on end."
Trevor Hensley used decals and stencils to help achieve the idea that the Mark I had been cobbled together from found objects in the cave.
Shane Mahan recalls the Mark I's digital beginnings: "The Mark I was going to be done entirely digitally, but we kept saying that this suit is perfect for having a performer inside and making it work. We were all a bit cocky about it. Our feeling was like, this is what we do. It's a guy in a suit, trying to escape. So let us make a guy in a suit, trying to escape. We would shoot our own internal tests with stuntman Mike Justice and he'd move around while we'd operate all the radio controlled engines and belt drives on the back of the suit." Proving the producers wrong became a point of pride among the crew at Stan Winston Studio. "They were telling us it was never gonna work. That the suit wouldn't walk. And Shane took that as a challenge and we all busted our ass to get that thing working. There's not a person who worked on that suit who wasn't up all night, taking that challenge by the horns," Trevor Hensley remembers.
When the day of the film test came, the SWS crew was ready to make their case for shooting with a real Mark I. "So we showed up for the first Mark I film test at the cave interior set. They didn't know we were bringing a suit, they thought we were bringing a prop on a stand that they could roll in and roll out as a reference element," said Hensley. "So we uncover the Mark I and Mike Justice is inside it, but it was dark and they couldn't tell there was a guy in the suit. We lit him all up and there was a very brief moment where they were all looking at it, Favreau, the producers, and then suddenly Mike took a step forward and they were shocked. And then it was lots of hushed conversation and they started asking 'How much can he move?' Mike starts turning sideways, putting his arms out, moving all around, and they realized this was a suit that they could actually shoot with. We were so proud that we did it." To support the nearly 90-pound Mark I suit, the Stan Winston Studio crew created a sturdy corset harness and aluminum support rig. The 90-pound suit was primarily comprised of epoxy "armor" shells, flexible urethane, leather and aluminum.
For the exterior shots when Tony Stark bursts out of the cave in the Mark I suit, flamethrowers blazing, the production relocated to an actual cave location in Lone Pine, California. Dave Merritt remembers adding the element of fire to the Mark I's arsenal during the exterior scene, "Special Effects Coordinator Dan Sudick's team stepped in to oversee all the fire work. They had to rig all the hoses down Mike's arms, and then in a big loop around his body so when he'd do all those turns he would sort of unwind all the hoses as he was blowing everything up." "Safety is always our first priority," added Shane Mahan, "so the interior pieces of the Mark I suit were lined with aluminum and the gloves were heat resistant. The flamethrower itself was built by Dan's team to be pretty user friendly so Mike Justice would be in total control at all times. There was a hand trigger that activated it so he could be very precise about when to shoot or not shoot the flames."
Although considered a total success at the time, Shane Mahan points out the huge improvements he and the IRON MAN practical suit team have made to the process, "Mike Justice had to get into great shape and he had to keep that up the whole time because there's a lot of parts on the Mark I suit. It's very heavy. We were limited to the materials we had, the epoxy armor, the aluminum frame, the backpack, lots of leather. I think it came in at around 90 pounds. Which doesn't sound like a lot until you're in it all day. If we were to do it today, with all that we've done for Iron Man 1-3, The Avengers and currently on Robocop, the Mark I would be about 40 pounds now. But whenever you do something for the first time it's kind of an experiment." The nearly 90-pound suit required suit performer Mike Justice to stay in top shape during the making of IRON MAN. Safety is always a number one priority and the SWS crew took great care to make sure everything was securely fitted to Mike Justice at all times, even lining the interior with aluminum during the flamethrower sequence. Perhaps the greatest thing about the Mark I, according to Shane Mahan, was that "it was the first suit up in the shooting schedule and it set the tone for what could be accomplished by blending physical & digital Iron Man suits. And for a lot of fans, that's still their favorite suit. It's a great throwback to the 60s comic with that iconic tin can design. I'm proud to have brought the Mark I to life along with the rest of the team."
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, and started the tradition of every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe having at least one post- or mid-credits scene.
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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.
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According to Jeff Bridges, Obadiah Stane was originally supposed to survive the final battle against Tony, with Stark opening up Stane's destroyed suit to find that there was no corpse inside. Presumably this would have poised Stane to return for future movies.
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Tony Stark eventually discovers that Obadiah Stane has been secretly selling Stark Corp. weapons to the very same Afghan rebels who kidnapped him and held him hostage. This is a reference to the real-life "Reagan Doctrine," the Reagan Administration's policy of arming and giving financial aid to various groups of "insurgents" around the globe who were fighting Communists during the 1980s Cold War. The best known application of the Reagan Doctrine was the millions of dollars worth of arms and finances provided by the US Government to the Afghan rebels then known as the Mujahideen and now known as the Taliban.
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In the Tony Stark tribute that opens the film, the man identified as Howard Stark is played by Gerard Sanders. That makes this film the only one in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where Howard Stark isn't played by either John Slattery or Dominic Cooper.
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When Tony visits Rhodey at the military base, he mentions "pilots without planes". This foreshadows Falcon's flight suit.
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