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  • Ability over Appearance: Pepper Potts as played by Gwyneth Paltrow differs quite a way from her comic book counterpart, who starts out in her early-to-mid twenties and is correspondingly immature at times; the original plan for the movie more or less followed this, with Pepper implied to drop out as a potential love interest after the first movie due to her inability to cope with Tony's new lifestyle. Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper is at least ten years older than her comic book counterpart and is shown to be mature, capable and loyal due to her greater experience and longer stint as Tony's PA; and it's probably no coincidence that she's become one of the most popular secondary characters in the MCU.
  • Career Resurrection: For Robert Downey Jr., hence why he provides the page image!
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    • Mildly for Gwyneth Paltrow as well, whose career had slowed down after Shakespeare in Love. According to her, Downey convinced her to join the big-budget project. He reportedly asked her "Gwyneth, don't you want to be in a movie you KNOW everyone's gonna see?" She found it hard to disagree with him.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Jon Favreau directed the first two, and plays Happy in them all.
  • Dyeing for Your Art:
    • Mickey Rourke visited the infamous Butyrka prison in Moscow to study the mannerisms of real-life Russian criminals. Bizarrely enough, Rourke noted the prisoners were actually pretty nice. He also put himself through emotional hell by having the director hold up pictures of his favorite (now passed) pets for scenes where he needed to be anguished or enraged (or both, as so often goes together with him).
    • Robert Downey Jr. gained muscle to play Tony Stark, though he'd already been quite fit.
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    • Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johansson turned into redheads. The latter hadn't even been cast yet, she just wanted the role that bad.
    • Jeff Bridges actually looked forward to the idea of shaving his head for the role of Stane—he'd been planning on doing it for years, and this was his excuse.
  • Hey, It's That Place!: There's a reason why Tony demonstrates his weapons in that particular valley: it's just Perfection.
  • Image Source: This film series provides the page image for:
  • In Memoriam: Iron Man 2 is dedicated to Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein, who had a cameo As Himself filmed before his death.
  • Follow the Leader: The director of the first two movies Jon Favreau himself said that Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins influenced how he did the first movie. In how he tried to make it's world somewhat grounded in reality as well as the in-depth character study for the story.
  • Quote Source: This film series provides the page quote for:
  • Real-Life Relative: In 2008, Leslie Bibb was cast in the small but important role of Christine Everhart in the first film. Later, she began dating actor Sam Rockwell. When Rockwell was cast as Justin Hammer in the second film, Bibb reprised Christine in that film, shown briefly to be dating Justin (whom she quickly loses interest in).
  • Shown Their Work: The first film features a group of US Air Force Security Forces airmen. They are depicted wearing the Airman Battle Uniform (still quite new when the film came out), taking part in convoy escort (one of their missions, despite being in the Air Force), and correcting Tony when he refers to them as "soldiers" (in the US military, "soldier" refers exclusively to members of the Army. Air Force has Airmen, Marine Corps has Marines, and the Navy has Sailors.) Pretty impressive attention to detail of such things for a sci-fi superhero film.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Faran Tahir, the actor who played Raza, trying to avoid the stereotype of the Middle Eastern terrorist and invoke the, for lack of a better term, multiculturalism of the Ten Rings, used more than one language other than English and even varied his accent a little (he's American, but from a Pakistani family).
    • Robert Downey Jr.'s dialogue was heavily improvised in all three movies, which was intentional to help make his character seem relatively One of Us, even if he is a Fiction 500 charter member.
    • Mickey Rourke improvised much of Ivan Vanko, including his tattoos, his habit of chewing toothpicks, and his pet cockatoo.
    • In many ways part of the style of directing used in the films, with other instances being the little dance Hammer does at the beginning of his presentation and "too disco".
  • Uncredited Role: Shane Black was an uncredited script doctor for the first film's screenplay (before later writing and directing the third film, with credit).
  • The Wiki Rule: The Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki and Iron Man Wiki.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: A script was written, but as the actors continued to come up with lines that better suited the film, halfway through shooting, they just went "To hell with it", threw away the script (which was constantly being rewritten every night), and wrote outlines of the scenes.
  • What Could Have Been: According to Jeff Bridges, Iron Monger was originally meant to survive the film.
    • Originally, Tom Cruise was going to play Tony Stark. However, due to either his involvement with the Mission: Impossible Film Series or losing interest in the role (depending on who you ask), he ended up passing on the role. Considering that RDJ is largely considered part of the reason the film works, one can't help but wonder just how different the film (and by extension, the rest of the MCU) would be if Cruise had stayed onboard.

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