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Iron Man 3 (2013) Poster

(2013)

Trivia

This is the first movie in the Iron Man franchise not to be directed by Jon Favreau, who turned down the offer for this movie in order to direct Magic Kingdom. He later admitted that not directing allowed him to have more fun with his character "Happy" Hogan, saying that he was like "a proud grandfather, who doesn't have to change the nappies, but gets to play with the baby."
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Jump to: Cameo (1)  | Spoilers (44)
The idea that "Happy" Hogan's favorite television show is Downton Abbey (2010) was at the suggestion of Jon Favreau, who is actually a big fan of the British series.
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The ring on the Mandarin's right pinkie is the same one Raza wore in Iron Man (2008).
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Robert Downey Jr. pushed to get Gwyneth Paltrow to have some action scenes, and producer Kevin Feige approved: "We are bored by the damsel in distress. But sometimes we need our hero to be desperate enough in fighting for something, other than just his own life. So, there is fun to be had with 'Is Pepper in danger, or is she the savior?' over the course of this movie."
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The Mandarin bears a tattoo on the back of his neck of Captain America's shield with an anarchist "A" symbol in the center instead of a star.
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(at around 5 mins) Tony Stark strikes a mook jong or wing chun wooden dummy. Robert Downey Jr. has been training in Wing Chun for several years under Sifu Eric Oram, and has also used it in Sherlock Holmes (2009). He has also stated he will be testing for his black belt soon.
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Chapter One of Phase Two in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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The first Iron Man movie to gross over $1 billion, and the second Marvel movie to reach this mark, with The Avengers (2012) being the first.
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The first cut was three hours and fifteen minutes long. The final cut was two hours and ten minutes long.
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The first day Robert Downey Jr. and Sir Ben Kingsley met on-set, they snapped a photo together to send to director, and mutual friend, Sir Richard Attenborough.
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A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) is the scientific organization headed by Aldrich Killian. In the comics, it was a straightforward terrorist organization, and the evil counterpart to S.H.I.E.L.D., which originally was an offshoot of Captain America's World War II enemies H.Y.D.R.A.
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(at around 1 min) In the flashback at Switzerland, Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) briefly meets Ho Yinsen (Shaun Toub). In Iron Man (2008) (set after the events in the flashback) Yinsen is the man who helped Tony in the caves, and he mentioned having met him before, referring to this brief meeting in Bern.
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During the flashback party, Tony is wearing a name tag that reads "You Know Who I Am". This was also Robert Downey Jr.'s Twitter bio for a period of time.
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This movie was originally budgeted at $140 million, but after The Avengers (2012) became a huge hit, Marvel Studios and Disney upped it to $200 million, in order to allow Shane Black to make the best movie he could.
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Originally, this movie was intended to start with flashbacks of Tony's youth. Another idea considered was to start this movie with Tony landing in Tennessee, and another had Tony cleaning up land mines with the Stark logo on them, as an allusion to the many explosive elements from his past waiting to detonate.
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A Super Bowl trailer that promised an "extended look" had Robert Downey Jr. staring at the camera.
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Shane Black admitted that Jon Favreau gave him tips and advice during filming (for which he was very grateful and thankful) though noted that this movie would have a "different feel" from the other two.
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In the comics, the Iron Patriot was an alias used by Spider-Man's nemesis, the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn). In this movie, it is War Machine, painted in a resemblance of Captain America's suit. Kevin Feige described it as a post-The Avengers (2012) government response: "These crazy heroes (The Avengers) saved the day, not the government. The government felt they needed a hero of their own. They have a military officer that has one of these suits, and they paint it red, white, and blue. It gave us a place to go with Rhodey and his split loyalties between his friend and his duty, and you also get to be reminded of the trust and friendship between Rhodey and Stark in great buddy-cop fashion."
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The dragon tattoos on Aldrich Killian's (Guy Pearce's) chest are of another Iron Man villain: Fin Fang Foom.
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(at around 11 mins) Tony tells a young child with glasses that he loved him in A Christmas Story (1983). Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in A Christmas Story (1983), was an executive producer on Iron Man (2008), and played a small role in it.
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(at around 24 mins) The attack on the Chinese Theatre also holds a special significance, as Firepower (Ashley Hamilton) is sitting right next to the handprints and signature of Robert Downey Jr..
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Although Tony Stark has created up to forty-two suits in this movie, he only dons a select few. These being Mark VII, XV (Sneaky), XVI (Nightclub), XXXIII (Silver Centurion), XL (Shotgun), and of course, XLII. He would have, at one point, worn the Mark XXII (Hot Rod) armor during the final battle, if it hadn't been taken out by an Extremis soldier a split second before he could suit up.
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The final line was originally written as "I am Tony Stark" to mirror Iron Man (2008)'s ending, but eventually it changed to "I am Iron Man" to enhance the mythical qualities.
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Pepper's brief wearing of the armor is a nod to Pepper Potts' one-time career as the superheroine Rescue in an "Invincible Iron Man" comic book series from 2009-2012.
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Producer Kevin Feige described this movie as "a full-on Tony Stark-centric movie. He's stripped of everything, he's backed up against a wall, and he has to use his intelligence to get out of it. He can't call Thor, Captain America, or Nick Fury, and he can't look for the Helicarrier in the sky." Robert Downey Jr. further described the character as influenced by a post-The Avengers (2012) world: "What are his challenges now? What are some limitations that might be placed on him, and what sort of threat would have him, as usual, ignore those limitations?"
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The character of U.S. President Ellis is named after comic book writer Warren Ellis who wrote the 2005 Iron Man story arc "Extremis", a primary influence for this film franchise's storyline.
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DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (Shane Black): (Christmas): Except for the prologue, the whole movie is set at Christmas time. Black's Lethal Weapon (1987), The Last Boy Scout (1991), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) were also set at Christmas time. Last Action Hero (1993), which Black did not direct, but helped write, had at least a partial Christmas setting.
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The only Iron Man movie not to feature any songs by AC/DC.
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(at around 12 mins) "Happy" Hogan addresses a secretary (who is off-camera) by the name of "Bambi". In the comics, Bambi is the first name of Stark's longest-serving Executive Secretary, Mrs. Arbogast.
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The scenes taking place in Chattanooga, Tennessee, were filmed in Kenansville, North Carolina. In real life, Chattanooga is a mid-sized, fairly modern town, and in an ironic twist, has some of the fastest internet speeds in the world.
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Released in 2013, this movie marked the 50th anniversary of Iron Man.
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(at around 29 mins) This is the first Iron Man movie to not feature Nick Fury, Agent Phil Coulson, or any member of S.H.I.E.L.D. S.H.I.E.L.D.'s database is mentioned by J.A.R.V.I.S., when Tony searches information on the Mandarin.
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Anthony Mackie read for a part, but did not get the role. He later played Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Disney bought the distribution rights from Paramount Pictures for $115 million. This deal also included The Avengers (2012). However, as with The Avengers (2012), under the conditions of the deal, Paramount Pictures will be the studio logo to appear, and not Disney's. No reference to Disney was made until the end of the closing credits, "Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures".
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The first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to be shot entirely digital.
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This movie was heavily edited for Chinese audiences, the Chinese edit has additional scenes featuring the character Dr. Wu and his assistant (played by Chinese stars Xueqi Wang and Bingbing Fan, respectively).
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Filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, under the name "Caged Heat".
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According to producer Kevin Feige, the Mandarin was inspired by Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now (1979): "He wants to represent this sort of prototypical terrorist, someone who worked for the intelligence community, who went nuts in the field, and became this sort of devotee of war tactics."
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Robert Downey Jr. starred in writer and director Shane Black's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), and spoke highly of Black replacing Jon Favreau, saying that "bringing in Shane Black to write and direct the film is basically the only thing that Favreau, and the audience, and Marvel and I could ever actually sign off on."
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Shane Black initally said he had no intention of doing the Mandarin at all, citing the character's reputation as a racial stereotype as the reason.
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Including the bonus post-credits scene in The Incredible Hulk (2008), this is Robert Downey Jr.'s fifth portrayal of Tony Stark. This briefly tied him with Hugh Jackman's and Samuel L. Jackson's record of theatrical appearances as a comic character. However, Jackman re-took the record after this movie's release, with his role in The Wolverine (2013), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), and Logan (2017). Downey has since re-taken this record.
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Anthony Mackie auditioned for the role of The Mandarin.
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Shane Black described this movie as "a Tom Clancy thriller", with the focus on real-world-type villains, and not "two men in iron suits fighting each other".
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The Extremis enhanced henchmen are based on minor Marvel villains, who each have completely different backstories than what is seen in the movie: Savin (James Badge Dale) is based on Eric Savin, a.k.a. Coldblood. Originally, a cyborg assassin, who was not tied to any one particular Marvel comic book. Brandt (Stephanie Szostak) is based on Ellen Brandt, the ex-wife of, and villain to, Man-Thing. Taggert (Ashley Hamilton) is based on Jack Taggert, a.k.a. Firepower, who was African-American in the comics, and had his own armored suit to fight Iron Man.
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Only a few suits in the House Party Protocol feature designs unique to themselves. Others sport numerous features from them, recolored, or matched up with other parts. Marks I through VII, XV through XVII (Sneaky, Nightclub, and Heartbreaker), XXII (Hot Rod), XXV (Striker), XXXIII (Silver Centurion), XXXV (Red Snapper), and XXXVII through XLII (Hammerhead, Igor, Gemini, Shotgun, and Bones) all feature their own unique designs. Marks VIII through XIV are all either red and gold, or black and silver, and share parts from Marks VII, XVII, XXII, XXXV, XXXVII, and XL, Mark XXIV (Tank) is a recolored Mark XVII, Mark XXVI (Gamma) is a recolored Mark XXV, Mark XXX (Blue Steel) is a recolored Mark XXXIII, Mark XXIII (Shades) is a recolored Mark XL, and others are recolored combinations of Marks VII, XVII, XXII, XXV, XXXIII, XXXV, and XL.
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One scene was shot inside Epic Games, a video game development company known for the Gears of War (2006) franchise and Fortnite
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Shane Black wanted to do a little more of the "Demon In the Bottle" storyline, but Disney nixed it, as it was already somewhat covered in Iron Man 2 (2010).
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(at around 1h 55 mins) Jessica Brown Findlay, who appeared in this movie, due to the use of footage from Downton Abbey (2010), was considered for a part in another Marvel movie, the role of Sharon Carter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
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Property master Russell Bobbitt designed a custom set of ten rings for the Mandarin. These rings are Bobbitt's favorite props from this movie.
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Producer Kevin Feige described this movie's core theme as a love story: "The love triangle in this movie is between Tony, Pepper, and his obsession with those suits, and the obsession with technology. Yes, there's a bad guy. Yes, the stakes are very very high. But the real stakes are, is Tony going to be able to set aside spending every day in that workshop tinkering with the suits, in order to focus on Pepper, the one thing that matters most?"
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Most of the suits among the House Party Protocol were given codenames and designed for a specific purpose. Marks XV through XLII were the suits that received names and purposes. Mark I is supposedly listed as "Improvised Escape Suit", Mark II became War Machine. However, Marks III through XIV were not given names or specific functions.
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Originally, Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures were looking to shoot this movie in Michigan, due to the tax incentives. However, due to North Carolina guaranteeing a $20 million tax credit, the producers decided to shoot there instead.
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Unlike Iron Man (2008) and Iron Man 2 (2010), Industrial Light & Magic was not involved with the film's visual effects. Instead, Digital Domain and Weta Digital took over.
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Production was delayed on August 15, 2012, when Robert Downey Jr.'s ankle was injured in a stunt.
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This marked the first time Samuel L. Jackson did not appear in an "Iron Man" related movie as Nick Fury.
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According to producer Kevin Feige, the Mandarin is portrayed with an ambiguous background: "It's less about his specific ethnicity than the analogy of various cultures and their iconography that he perverts for his own end. We're not saying he's Chinese, we're saying he draws a cloak around him of Chinese symbols and dragons because it represents his obsession with Sun Tzu and various ancient arts of warfare that he has studied."
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Jude Law (Robert Downey Jr.'s co-star in Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), and Gwyneth Paltrow's co-star in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)) was considered for the role of Aldrich Killian.
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Robert Downey Jr. has the distinction of starring or co-starring in every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that's the start of a new phase: Iron Man (2008) was the start of Phase 1, this movie was the start of Phase 2, and Captain America: Civil War (2016) was the start of Phase 3.
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Screenwriter Drew Pearce compared Tony Stark to an American James Bond, for both being "Heroes with a sense of danger to them, and unpredictability". He also likened Tony to the protagonists of 1970s movies, like The French Connection (1971), where "The heroes' idiosyncrasies is what makes them exciting."
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Gemma Arterton, Diane Kruger, and Isla Fisher were considered for the role of Maya Hansen. Jessica Chastain was cast, but she dropped out, due to scheduling conflicts. Rebecca Hall was cast in her place.
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Audi vehicles are once again prominently featured, having also been shown in the first two movies. Vehicles featured this time around are an Audi R8 e-tron concept car, driven by Tony (and seen falling into the ocean when his Malibu compound is blown up), an Audi S7 driven by Pepper Potts, and an Audi A8 used by Tony later.
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Several scenes seen in trailers didn't make the final cut. For example, a scene where the Mandarin (Trevor Slattery) is seen rising up from a throne of sorts in an oriental-esque chamber was at no point included in the movie, and neither was a scene where the same Mandarin is hanging someone's dog tags on a knife embedded in a wall. Iron Patriot (Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes) doesn't lift up the mask of his helmet while in the suit at any point.
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Jack Taggert (the unstable "Extremis soldier" at the Chinese Theatre), Roxxon Oil, and the "Silver Centurion armor" all featured in the 1988 "Armor Wars" storyline in the comics.
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This is the final MCU movie to be produced by Paramount Pictures.
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The town where Iron Man crash lands is Rose Hill, Tennessee. It is really Rose Hill, North Carolina. The producers updated the main street in the small town, and made it their own little backlot for about six months. They even turned a building housing a church group into a bar, and put in a diner in another.
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At two hours and ten minutes, this is the longest standalone Iron Man movie.
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To date, the highest grossing movie in the Philippines of all time, with over PHP 625 million (over $13.9 million U.S.) in box-office revenue.
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According to the art book for this movie, four other suits were considered to join the House Party Protocol, but were scrapped. A silver and gold suit, with a pointed forehead supposedly named "Bullet", sported large thrusters on its biceps. This suit's purpose was either deemed redundant, or re-worked as the Mark XL (Shotgun) armor, which was designed for "Hyper Velocity". Two suits featuring a pair of close-combat weapons attached to their forearms (one with twin saw blades, and the other with dual hammer-like tools (Oldboy)) were most likely not included, due that the weapons they possessed, did not fit with Iron Man's style. Finally, an unnamed suit, with a desert camouflage color scheme, apparently equipped with grappling hooks, was scrapped due that Iron Man wouldn't necessarily need grapple hooks, if he could already fly.
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(at around 1h 55 mins) The episode of Downton Abbey (2010) that "Happy" Hogan is watching in the hospital is Downton Abbey: Episode #2.4 (2011).
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Tony criticizes Rhodie for using the word 'hack'. Tony says "this isn't the 80's, nobody says 'hack' anymore", but on New Years Eve 1999, Tony is impressed by Maya "hacking into" her plant's DNA. He also looks for "a hacker better than Ultron" in Age of Ultron which is supposed to take place in 2015.
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Very early on in development, John Ottman (who was scoring the director's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) and The Nice Guys (2016) was asked to compose the score, but he was turned down due to scheduling conflicts.
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Tony Stark was born in 1969.
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Sir Ben Kingsley (The Mandarin) and Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark) played the title character in biopics directed by Sir Richard Attenborough: Kingsley played Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, in Gandhi (1982), while Downey played Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin (1992).
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This movie takes place from December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000, and in December 2012.
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First Iron Man movie to not feature Leslie Bibb as Vanity Fair's Christine Everhart.
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President Ellis is a nod to Warren Ellis, co-creator of the groundbreaking graphic novel "Extremis".
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This movie was available for pre-order on home video before it was released theatrically.
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Drew Pearce revealed that Emilia Clarke was cast but changes to the script led to her character being removed.
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Composer Brian Tyler is the third composer to score an Iron Man movie, following Ramin Djawadi for Iron Man (2008), and John Debney for Iron Man 2 (2010).
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The first three movies in this franchise featured an Academy Award winning actor who portrayed a villain. Jeff Bridges played Obadiah Stane in Iron Man (2008) and won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Crazy Heart (2009). Sam Rockwell portrayed Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2 (2010) and won an Oscar for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Sir Ben Kingsley, who played The Mandarin/Trevor Slattery, won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in Gandhi (1982). Plus, Academy Award nominees like: Robert Downey Jr. (Chaplin (1992) and Tropic Thunder (2008)), Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler (2008)), Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction (1994)), Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda (2004)), Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow (2005)), et cetera, and Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow, who won Best Actress for Shakespeare in Love (1998).
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(at around 57 mins) Tony calls one henchman "Westworld". The sequel to that movie, Futureworld (1976), starred Blythe Danner, the mother of Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts).
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Tom Hooper was considered to direct.
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The Mandarin's lair was shot at the Villa Vizcaya (exteriors) and at a private South Beach waterfront (interiors).
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This was the highest-grossing movie in Malaysia, grossing about $14 million.
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Andy Lau was in talks to play the role of Chen Lu (Radioactive Man), but dropped out upon the birth of his first child. Daoming Chen and Wu Xiubowere considered for the role, before finally Xueqi Wang was cast.
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Two identical Boeing VC-25A aircraft serve as Air Force One. The VC-25A is an extensively modified 747-200B, the first of which began service in 1990. The next-generation Air Force One airplanes will be based on either the Boeing 747-8 or Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and will begin service in 2022.
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Sir Ben Kingsley played The Mandarin, and Robert Redford played Alexander Pierce in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). Both were in Sneakers (1992), with Kingsley playing the villain, and Redford the main protagonist. Now, both Academy Award winning actors have been in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Miguel Ferrer's mother, Rosemary Clooney, also appeared in a film set at Christmas time: White Christmas (1954).
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Rebecca Hall and Guy Pearce have worked with Christopher Nolan. Pearce on Memento (2000) and Hall on The Prestige (2006)
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When Killian talks with Tony after his capture he mentions Thor and in a deleted scene Savin in Iron Patriot's armor distracts a reporter that's asking him a lot of questions on Air Force One by pointing out the window and saying, "Hey, look, it's Thor!" All the Thor references may have been a nod to the fact that Thor: The Dark World was the next movie in the MCU.
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Jenna Ortega's debut.
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Only Iron Man film not released the same year as any Chronicles of Narnia films.
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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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During the blooper reel Robert Downey Jr. is on set with Jon Favreau (although he's not onscreen) and they're trying to read their lines for Stark and Happy's video call. Favreau seems to be having some trouble with his lines and Downey tells him to repeat [Favreau's lines that Downey is reading aloud] after him. Favreau does a good job and even improvs a few lines before cracking the joke "I can't do this, I'm not Sherlock Holmes." Downey, of course, played Sherlock Holmes with Jude Law as Dr. Watson in Guy Ritchie's movie about the famous fictional detective.
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On the gag reel Tony is seen asking some bikers that appear to be at the same estsblishment that Tony and Rhodey are at when they dine together what women want and they are seen giving multiple takes of the same line of "rabbits!" Hence, Tony buys Pepper a giagantic stuffed rabbit for Christmas.
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Cameo 

Stan Lee: (at around 1h 3 mins) The Iron Man creator plays the beauty pageant judge. Of the three Iron Man movies, this is the only one in which Lee's cameo does not involve him playing, or being mistaken for, another celebrity.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Maya Hansen originally had a more elaborate death scene. After Killian shot her and left, she was supposed to drag herself to a computer terminal to erase all "Extremis" data, and then, as if to atone for her sins, touch one of her plants, causing it to explode and kill her instantly. The scene extension was filmed, and deleted from the final cut, but can be viewed on the bonus material of the Blu-ray edition.
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(at around 34 mins) When Maya, Tony, and Pepper are discussing the huge stuffed bunny in the living room, Tony has hung a stocking for J.A.R.V.I.S. The stocking was the same colors as Vision (red, green, and yellow), the android, into which Tony and Bruce turn J.A.R.V.I.S., in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).
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The post-credit scene with Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) was Robert Downey Jr.'s idea.
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Gwyneth Paltrow enjoyed wearing the suit on the day of shooting the Malibu attack, showing it off in front of her son Moses, who had accompanied her that day: "He thought it was the best thing that's ever happened to him. So the suit did a lot for my relationship with my son."
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The post-credits scene was originally meant to have Tony Stark blasting off into space to meet the Guardians of the Galaxy. Iron Man was going to have a cameo role in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) (an homage to his being the Guardians' latest member in the comics), but this was scrapped when Robert Downey Jr. said he may not reprise his role as Tony Stark in the future. Instead, Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) appeared in the post-credits scene.
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The idea of the Mandarin being a false face was co-writer Drew Pearce's idea, and Shane Black took to it like a shot: "Who would be fool enough to declare that he is an international terrorist?"
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With Mark Ruffalo's cameo as Dr. Bruce Banner in the post-credit scene, this marks the first time that an actor has played the Hulk comic book character in more than one theatrical movie. Bill Bixby played him in productions made for television, Eric Bana played him only in Hulk (2003), and Edward Norton played him only in The Incredible Hulk (2008).
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Brandt (Stephanie Szostak) was meant to return in the final battle, and be killed by Pepper. This was changed to Killian surviving, and getting killed by Pepper, as a form of poetic justice, for him causing her to suffer.
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According to producer Kevin Feige, every Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2 movie has an homage to the Star Wars saga in the form of a character losing an arm: -In this movie, Aldrich Killian loses an arm during the battle with Tony Stark. -In Thor: The Dark World (2013), Loki cuts off Thor's arm on Svartalfheim. -In Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Bucky lost his arm during his fall from the train. -In Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Gamora cuts off Groot's arm during the group's initial scuffle on Xandar. -In Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Ultron cuts off Klaw's arm in rage when trying to buy vibranium. -In Ant-Man (2015), Yellow Jacket loses an arm, through it shrinking first before the rest of his body shrinks uncontrollably against Scott Lang in the final fight.
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Aldrich Killian was a minor character in the comics, and the mystery of his suicide is what leads Iron Man into the plot involving Extremis. In this movie, he has been upgraded to major villain, incorporating elements of the Mandarin (a businessman who employs Extremis for his own purposes) and Mallen (a terrorist who ingested Extremis).
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Rebecca Hall has stated that her character was originally to be the lead villain in earlier drafts of the script, but her role was severely reduced, and the lead villain became male, when studio suits insisted that kids wouldn't buy a figure of a female villain.
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James Badge Dale summed up his role as Eric Savin as: "Ben Kingsley is the mouthpiece. Guy Pearce is the brain. I'm the muscle."
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Roxxon Corporation is a fictional petrochemical company, Marvel's counterpart to the real-world Exxon Corporation. In this movie, The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley) captured a Roxxon executive and executed him on television as retribution for an oil spill by the tanker Roxxon Norco (the ship on which the climactic battle takes place). This is a reference to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, one of the worst environmental disasters in history.
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While in the comics, Tony Stark dons several bulkier armors to battle the Hulk (for example, Hulkbuster armor), none of these appear in this movie. The largest suit shown, is known as Igor (Mark XXXVIII), and is designed for heavy lifting, as opposed to fighting the Hulk. The true Hulkbuster armor, however, made its debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).
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Originally, Trevor Slattery (Sir Ben Kingsley) was to take Extremis, believing it was a new drug, and explode from it. This was changed to having him get arrested at the end.
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When Eric Savin boards Air Force One using the "Iron Patriot" armor as a disguise, President Ellis salutes him. One historical theory of how saluting started was so that each person saluting was raising the visor of their armor to show who they are and that they mean no harm as lifting their visor would leave their face unprotected.
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(at around 47 mins) When Killian walks into the room where "The Master" is about to record, on a screen to his right is shown a line cue, most likely for The Master himself. "But I assure you he will take the last dose of medicine. Even if I have to give it to him myself."
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In Iron Man (2008), the background flag behind Tony when he is first filmed for ransom, it is the same logo (the sword in the center and circle of circles with middle Eastern writing) of the terrorist group where The Mandarin quits speaking and the audio is cut from the "footage".
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The destruction of Stark's Malibu mansion was filmed at the EUE/Screen Gems Studios water tank (exteriors) and on a special soundstage in Wilmington, North Carolina (interiors). The soundstage was built on a special moving gimball, which allowed the entire set to be tilted forty-five degrees, and reset easily.
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(at around 1h 50 mins) When Pepper is revealed to have survived the fall into the fire, she punctures a House Party Protocol suit, taking it offline before tearing out its arm for her to use. This suit appears to be the Mark VII (though it could be one of the miscellaneous suits from Marks VIII through XIV), despite it clearly being blown up during the attack on Tony's Mansion, along with the six previous suits before it.
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Shane Black explained the concept of the Mandarin being a front for Aldrich Killian, as a play on perceptions and expectations: "I wanted to do an interesting story choice, something that was about our own fear, and our own ways of viewing villains. What if he's sort of this all-things-to-all-people uber-terrorist? What if he is the myth, and in the end, that is what we're dealing with: a created myth perpetuated and cobbled together from popular consciousness?" Producer Kevin Feige admitted it was a huge risk to do, "But it's sometimes important to break with tradition, even at the risk of alienating some purists. Shane had really great ideas about identity and anonymity and false faces."
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In the comics, Ellen Brandt is an agent of A.I M., who tried to steal from biochemist Ted Sallis, who turned into the supernatural Man-Thing, and burned her face off. In the film, she is just sent in pursuit of Stark. However, she has minor scars on her face in an homage to her comic portrayal.
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The idea that The Mandarin in this movie is merely a front for a very different group of villains was controversial, since The Mandarin in the comics and animated series was an actual leader of the terrorist group "The Ten Rings", and Iron Man's long-standing archenemy. However, in Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King (2014) (conceived by co-writer Drew Pearce during production of this movie), it is revealed that Aldrich Killian illegitimately "borrowed" the name and reputation of an existing villain for his own ends. This angered The Ten Rings, who subsequently abducted Trevor Slattery from prison so he can answer to the real Mandarin.
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Tony's chest shrapnel is the only injury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that lasted more than one movie, and set a record for lasting four movies. It was removed at the end of this movie.
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(at around 1h 30 mins) Trevor Slattery, a.k.a. The Mandarin, is shown to be watching Liverpool playing Chelsea in a game of soccer on television. The goal was scored by Daniel Agger, making the scoreline 3-0. It is suggested that the character is a Liverpool fan, as he cheers the goal. While the events of the movie happen at Christmas time, the game took place in real-life on May 8, 2012 (which means he was watching the game for the first time via video tape or disc).
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The plot incorporates several storylines from "Iron Man" comics: The "Extremis" arc, which involved Tony Stark developing and using the Extremis virus, a nanotech version of Captain America's serum. Tony Stark is ousted, and rendered a homeless vagrant, and while wandering around, befriends a civilian who inspires him. The Mandarin seeks to use Extremis as a weapon of mass destruction. The "Invincible Iron Man" arc, where Stark goes on the run, and War Machine and Rescue appear in his place. The "Armor Wars" arc, where Tony Stark fakes his death, due to constant harassment by Firepower. The "Enter the Mandarin" arc, where Iron Man clashes with the Mandarin.
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Brandt was originally considered as Killian's henchwoman instead of Savin. She would've even emerged instead of Killian in the ending moment, with Pepper engaging her in a fight.
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Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) makes a guest appearance at the end of this film, just as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) appeared in the post-credit scene in The Incredible Hulk (2008). Those films were both characters' final appearance as the sole lead character, before appearing in the Avengers films. Both would also play a second-lead in films focused on the other core members of the Avengers: Downey appeared in Captain America: Civil War (2016), while Ruffalo appeared in Thor: Ragnarok (2017).
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"The Mandarin" is an invention of Killian's A.I.M. outfit. The mansion from which The Mandarin's broadcasts emanate is in Miami, Florida. "Miami" spelled backwards is "Imaim", "I'm A.I.M."
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Filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, under the name "Caged Heat". The Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King (2014) released on the DVD and Blu-Ray of Thor: The Dark World (2013) reveals that Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley), the actor roped by Killian into "portraying" The Mandarin, starred in a rejected network TV pilot bearing this title.
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Unlike any other MCU motion picture (and like very few movies in history), this entire story is told in flashback.
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(at around 1h 24 mins) When Pepper Potts is being injected with Extremis, Savin mentions to Killian that she is still in Phase 2. This was a possible nod to this movie being the first movie in Marvel Cinematic Universe's "Phase 2".
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As with one of Shane Black's previous works (Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)), one of the main protagonists is attacked at his beachfront house by helicopters while he's with a woman.
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During the scene where Aldritch Killian shows Pepper the hologram of his Brain in his Extremis pitch, he mentions how there are parts of the human nervous system that are destined to be upgraded and that Extremis can do that. This could also be a reference to the Inhumans and the procedure of using Terrigen Mists to awaken their alien superpowers, since at the time, Marvel Studios was attempting to build up to an Inhumans movie until it wound up becoming the short-lived TV show.
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This is the second consecutive film in the Iron Man trilogy wherein Rhodie's armor is upgraded by a business man who is secretly backing the primary antagonist as a part of the villain's plot.
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Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) laments the ruin (and possible death) of Iron Man, collapsing into a deep cry as she grabs the hero's helmet amidst the rubble. This scene is a reproduction of what happened at Ayrton Senna's wake, when Viviane Senna held his helmet against her face, a simple tribute from writer and director Shane Black to the eternal champion.
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Kevin Feige is a self-described Star Trek fan. In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the Enterprise is destroyed. In the third film of every Marvel franchise, something is destroyed as well: Tony Stark's house in this film, the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War, Asgard in Thor Ragnarok, and half the universe in Avengers: Infinity War. This film also features a Star Trek III cast member in Miguel Ferrer.
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In a deleted arc showing Tony's interactions with Harley's bully, the bully is present when Savin melts the water tower's supports and gets caught in the flood of water. Harley pulls him out of the water and Tony revives him by taking the electromagnet out of his chest and using it to shock Harley's bully back to life. Tony then collapses without the arc reactor in his chest. Harley then has to pry it out of his hand and replace it. This could be Tony's inspiration to have everyone falling out of Air Force One grab onto each other and running a current through their bodies causing their hands to clench shut ensuring no one lets go of anyone else.
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(at around 1h 21 mins) "Anyway, the point is, ever since that big dude with a hammer fell out of the sky, subtlety's kinda had its day." This reference to Thor was made by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) while he was being held hostage.
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Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) discovers that the Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley) is actually just an actor named Trevor Slattery hired to play that part. In Without a Clue (1988), Dr. Watson (Kingsley) hires an actor named Reginald Kincaid (Michael Caine) to play Sherlock Holmes, a role later played by Downey in Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) and Sherlock Holmes 3.
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(at around 1h 13 mins) The backpack worn by Tony Stark when he infiltrates the false Mandarin's safe house is a Maxpedition Sitka.
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When Tony and Killian fight on the roof at the Roxxon Norco, Tony is suited up in an Iron Man suit that resembles General Zod and his fellow Kryptonians rebreather units from Man of Steel (2013).
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At the end of the movie it's revealed that Tony has been telling this whole story to Bruce Banner. Banner tells Tony he's not that kind of doctor, a fact Tony well knows, because in Avengers Tony informed Banner that he's a fan of his work. Banner also tells Tony that he doesn't have the "temperment" to be a therapist, an allusion to his angry alter ego The Hulk.
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In a deleted scene after Killian shoots Maya he tells Tony that he recalls that Tony is good at making big decisions in small caves, an obvious allusion to the first Iron Man movie.
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