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Trivia / Iron Man

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  • Ability over Appearance: Robert Downey, Jr. was hired for having pretty much all of the traits that the character of Tony Stark had in the comics, with the exception of one: his height. Thankfully, there's the Scully Box to get around that problem.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: As the first phase of the MCU culminated with The Avengers (2012), many fans remember back to Nick Fury in The Stinger wanting to talk about "the Avengers Initiative", however the actual line is "I'm here to talk to you about the Avenger Initiative." (No "s".)
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  • Big Name Fan: This is Michael Bay's favorite Marvel film.
  • California Doubling: The Mojave Desert and Antelope Valley are used to double for Afghanistan. The rocks where Tony's military transport is ambushed are the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • An extended version of the ambush at the beginning of the film.
    • An extended version of the Caesars Palace scenes where Tony Stark loses 3 million dollars playing roulette.
    • An extended version of the flight to Bagram Air Base.
    • James Rhodes talks to General William Gabriel about his desire to return to Afghanistan to search for Tony Stark.
    • Tony Stark and Ho Yinsen play a board game. Abu Bakaar comes in and demands to know when he will be finished. He is referring to his laundry, not the Jericho. Bakaar talks about the game with Stark and Yinsen and appears to bond with them.
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    • Raza enters and shoots Bakaar dead, and tells Stark that he has until tomorrow to finish the missile.
    • Stark returns home after being abducted and speaks to J.A.R.V.I.S.
    • Stark begins construction on the Mark II armor.
    • Stark and Pepper Potts throw a party in Dubai in his mansion there. Before Stark can have sex with three of the women there, he leaves in the Mark II. The morning after the party, Pepper finds Stark drinking in his Iron Man armor.
    • When Obadiah Stane visits the scientists creating his Iron Monger Armor, he gives them a speech about what is at stake.
    • While Obadiah Stane repeatedly kicks Stark during their battle, James Rhodes arrives and rams him with a car.
    • Instead of immediately falling into the Arc Reactor at the end of the fight, Stane hangs on and Stark grabs him. Stane tries to pull him in, but Stark releases his grip and Stane falls.
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  • Directed by Cast Member: Jon Favreau directs the movie and also plays Happy Hogan.
  • Dyeing for Your Art:
    • Actually inverted. After cleaning up his life, Robert Downey Jr.. went on a huge health kick and worked out hard to gain muscle mass. It was at this time that he began wishing to star in a blockbuster action movie, reasoning that he only had a brief window of time in which he'd be physically able to take on such a role. His wife then made the arrangements for him to audition for the role of Tony Stark.
    • Jeff Bridges grew a goatee and shaved his head, which he said was something he'd always wanted to do.
    • Peter Billingsley has a cameo as the lead Sector 16 technician (aka the guy Stane chides for not being able to reverse-engineer the Arc Reactor). He had his hair shaved to appear as male pattern baldness
  • Fake American: Inverted with many of Afghan characters. Most of them are played by Iranian-American actors, including Ho Yinsen.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: Apparently a good deal of the dialog was like this; not just Tony Stark's. It's reported that most of the script was a brief summary of what the actors needed to say, and from there they were allowed to pretty much improvise the finer details, which is why the dialogue feels a lot more naturalistic. This is how everyone discovered Robert Downey Jr. is a witty bastard, hence Iron Man's new characterization as a Deadpan Snarker. Jeff Bridges described the experience as a if he were working on a $200 million college film.
  • Inspiration for the Work: Jon Favreau drew inspiration from Tom Clancy, James Bond, and RoboCop (1987).
  • Quote Source: This film provides the page quote for:
  • Throw It In!: The iconic ending with Tony Stark revealing that he is Iron Man was actually improvised on-set by Robert Downey Jr., as revealed by Kevin Feige 10 years after the film first aired in theaters.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Tom Cruise was the first choice for the role of Tony Stark before Robert Downey Jr. was cast. However, the project was shuffled around for a few years and Paramount lost the rights. When they obtained the rights back, Cruise became occupied with other film franchises such as the Mission: Impossible Film Series.
    • Rachel McAdams was Jon Favreau's initial candidate for the part of Pepper Potts before the casting of Gwyneth Paltrow. McAdams would later go on to play Christine Palmer in Doctor Strange (2016).
    • The film had a lengthy production cycle that dates back to the early 1990's. Jeff Vintar and Stan Lee pitched a story for Fox that would have had M.O.D.O.K. as the main villain, and Quentin Tarantino was approached as the director. Due to having too much on their plate with X-Men and the studio's other Marvel movies (as well as Tom Rotham's rumored dislike of superheroes), Fox ended up selling the rights to New Line.
    • A new script was written for New Line, which featured a Cameo from Nick Fury to set the character up for his own movie. Subsequent drafts also featured Howard Stark (who was still alive in this version) as War Machine, the movie's Big Bad. The execs also made bizarre demands and suggestions, such as saying that Iron Man shouldn't fly and should suit up by using a toaster. David Hayter did some work on the script, while both Joss Whedon and Nick Cassavetes were approached to direct. When production stalled for too long, the license lapsed and the rights returned to Marvel.
    • When the film was officially set up at Marvel Studios as the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Mandarin was originally set to be the main antagonist. Mark Millar convinced Jon Favreau to go with Iron Monger instead, arguing that the Mandarin was a poor tonal fit for an origin movie (in addition to being a walking pile of Unfortunate Implications).
    • An early draft of the script revealed Tony Stark to be the creator of Dr. Otto Octavius's tentacles from Spider-Man 2.
    • Another draft had Crimson Dynamo as the villain.
    • According to Jeff Bridges, Stane was originally supposed to survive the final battle against Tony, with the heroes opening up the destroyed Iron Monger suit to find that there was no corpse inside. Presumably this would have poised him to return for future movies.
    • There was originally a detailed explanation of the suit's HUD, but test audiences turned out to quickly be able to make sense of it, and were actually more confused by the explanation, so it was all taken out.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Besides the fact that Tony is in Afghanistan during The War on Terror, as he prepares for a picture with the soldiers, he says to them "I don't want to see this on your MySpace Page." At the time of filming, MySpace was the social network, but by the time that the movie premiered, Facebook had usurped its title. Avengers: Endgame features a subtle Call-Back gag toward the beginning of the film, where Tony says not to release a recording on "social media" instead of mentioning any specific social network, as if to future-proof that movie from running into the same issue.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: The script was not completely prepared when filming began, since the filmmakers were more focused on the story and the action, so the dialogue was mostly ad-libbed throughout filming; Jon Favreau acknowledged this made the film feel more natural. Some scenes were shot with two cameras to capture lines improvised on the spot; Robert Downey Jr.. would ask for many takes of one scene since he wanted to try something new. Gwyneth Paltrow, on the other hand, had a difficult time trying to match Downey with a suitable line, as she never knew what he would say.

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