Monday, September 20, 2010

Movie Monday: Iron Man

Iron Man, 2008. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow. (Director: Jon Favreau)

Plot: After escaping from kidnappers using makeshift power armor, an ultrarich inventor and weapons maker (Downey) turns his creation into a force for good by using it to fight crime. But his skills are stretched to the limit when he must face the evil Iron Monger.

Trivia & Scenes

Rachel McAdams was Jon Favreau's first choice to play Pepper Potts, but she turned the role down.

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.

In the comics, Tony Stark participated (and became Iron Man) in the Vietnam War; later this was retconned to the Gulf War. In this film, the character's origin was retconned to Afghanistan, as Jon Favreau did not wish to make the film a period piece but instead give it a realistic contemporary look

Tony Stark drives an Audi R8 in the film, as part of a promotion deal Marvel Studios made with the Audi Automobile Company. Two other vehicles, the Audi S5 coupe and the Audi Q7 SUV, also make an appearance in the film.

During filming, a tank accidentally ran over an Aaton 35mm camera.

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).

The Iron Man Mark I armor weighed 90 pounds

In the scene where Pepper discovers Tony removing the damaged Iron Man armor, you can clearly see Captain America's shield on a workbench. This same scene was shown in many trailers, but the image of the shield was edited out.

To prepare for his role as Obadiah Stane, Jeff Bridges read some of the "Iron Man" comic books that featured Stane. He also grew a goatee and shaved his head, which he said was something he'd always wanted to do.

An early draft of the script revealed Tony Stark to be the creator of Dr. Otto Octavius's tentacles from Spider-Man 2 (2004).

Marvel Studios' first self-financed movie

The sound used during a target lock on in Iron Man's Head Up Display (HUD) is the sound of the laser cannon firing in the original Space Invaders game.

Tony Stark's computer system is called JARVIS (standing for "Just A Rather Very Intelligent System"). This is a tribute to Edwin Jarvis, Tony Stark's butler. He was changed to an artificial intelligence to avoid comparisons to Batman/Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth.

During the highway battle with Iron Monger, a building can be seen in the background with a Roxxon logo. In the Marvel Universe, Roxxon is a notorious conglomerate known for illegal activities, agents of which were responsible of the death of Stark's parents.

Jeff Bridges, hearing that Obadiah was a biblical name, researched on the Book of Obadiah in the Bible, and was surprised to learn that a major theme in that particular book is retribution, which Obadiah Stane represents.

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.

This is the last film special effects expert Stan Winston completed before his death.

It took around 17 years to get the film into development. Originally, Universal Pictures were to produce the film in April 1990. They later sold the rights to 20th Century Fox. Later, Fox sold the rights to New Line Cinema. Finally, Marvel Studios decided to handle their own creation.

There are various references in the film towards the Mandarin, Iron Man's arch-nemesis:

- the organization that kidnaps Stark is called "the Ten Rings," after the ten rings that comprise the Mandarin's arsenal (Jon Favreau has stated that The Ten Rings, in fact, works for The Mandarin)
- the commandant Raza speaks of Genghis Khan and Asia
- Raza is seen occasionally fiddling with an ornate gold ring
- rings are worn by Stark, Stane, Rhodes and Raza (that is to say those in positions of power).

When Pepper looks through the records on Stark's computer, the files mention "missiles transported via the MSC Lebowski" and "legal ownership of mammots within city limits." These terms refer to Jeff Bridges's previous film The Big Lebowski (1998).

When Obadiah Stane watches Rhodey on TV, an expensive chess set is visible on the table in front of him. In the comics, Obadiah Stane was fond of playing chess, and also created a group called the Chessmen to attack Stark Industries.

During the final battle, there was originally going to be a sequence where Tony, in the Iron Man suit, drives an Audi R8 that would crash into Iron Monger's legs then flip over, after which Iron Man would split the car in half and jump out. However, the Audi R8 was so well-built that it refused to flip despite repeated crashes and the roof wouldn't split the way the Director wanted it to because the car's frame was so tough. As a result, the whole final fight sequence was re-written. The filmmakers were so impressed by the toughness of the car that it was decided that the convertible version was to be featured in the sequel.