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A list of trivia related to Iron Man.
References to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Tony Stark went on to appear in The Incredible Hulk (2008), chatting to General Thaddeus Ross in a bar about "putting a team together." This makes these two films the first Marvel films to establish a direct link between each other, thus setting up a Marvel film-universe where characters can appear in each others' films (regardless of which studio holds the rights). This movie-verse was the setting for The Avengers (2012), which centered on a group made of many different heroes.
References to Marvel Comics
- Obadiah Stane's house is decorated with a chessboard as a reference to his obsession with chess in the comics, that led him to create a group of assassins called the Chessmen to attack Stark Industries. When Obadiah Stane watches Rhodey on TV, an expensive chess set is visible on the table in front of him.
- 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.
- 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.
- The climactic showdown in the film, with Tony Stark/Iron Man facing Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger is adapted from Iron Man #200, published in November, 1986. Both pit Stane's larger, more powerful Iron Monger against Stark's greater experience, and both feature an exploding reactor. However, the comic concludes with Stane committing suicide with a repulsor ray blast to the head.
- In the Ultimate Marvel Comics series, the character of Nick Fury is portrayed as African American, with his look and personality tailored after actor Samuel L. Jackson, all carried out with the actor's explicit permission. During one of the Ultimate Avengers issues, whilst discussing the possibility of a movie being made about them and which actors would play which heroes, Nick Fury even comments that nobody else but Samuel L. Jackson could play him. Jackson, himself a comic book fan, plays Fury in this film.
- 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 deleted 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.
- 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.
- The pilots in the F-22 jets are codenamed Whiplash '1' and '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 has been revealed to be one of the primary antagonists for Iron Man 2.
- 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 United Nations, with the exact line spoken in the film.
- Nick Fury wants to talk to Tony Stark about the Avengers Initiative. This is a reference to the Avengers, a team of superheroes assembled in the 1960-70s, and foreshadows a live-action The Avengers film. Iron Man is a founding member of the Avengers, along with the Hulk, Ant-Man, Wasp and Thor.
- 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). According to Jon Favreau, Clive Owen and Sam Rockwell are among the actors that were considered for Tony Stark during pre-production. Rockwell would get a part in Iron Man 2 (2010) as Stark's rival Justin Hammer.
- Rachel McAdams was originally asked to play Pepper Potts. She was later cast in Doctor Strange.
- 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.
- During pre-production, Robert Downey, Jr. set up an office next to Jon Favreau's office, to discuss his role with Favreau and to be more involved in the film's screenwriting.
- 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.
- Marvel and Paramount approached the CMT show Trick My Truck to select a Truck driver and trick his rig with the Ultimate Ironman makeover. Lance Burk was the lucky driver to be selected. When finished the exterior of the truck was painted to look like Iron Man's armor, led lights were put everywhere, the engine compartment was tricked out, jet thrusters (not real ones obviously) were attached to the back, and a copy of Iron Man's chest plate was attached to the back under a crafted sign that said Iron Man. The inside of the truck was refurnished to look like Tony Stark's lab, complete with a monster sound and video system.
- The cave that imprisons Tony Stark was a 150-200 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 learnt that remote caves are actually very cold.
- 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.
- Jon Favreau chose Industrial Light & Magic to provide the film's VFX after watching Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) and Transformers (2007).
- The film's composer Ramin Djawadi's favourite musical score is the "Kickass" theme, because he composed it according to "a rhythm very much like a machine."
- Most of the exterior scenes set in Afghanistan were filmed at Olancha Sand Dunes. There, the crew had to endure two days of 40-60 mph winds.
- 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.
This section needs a rewrite
- 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.
- Jon Favreau describes 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).
- During shooting, Jon Favreau preferred improvisation in dialogue scenes, calling back to his Robert Altman influence.
- 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.
- An Aaton 35mm camera was accidentally run over by a tank during a shoot.
- 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. Whedon went on the direct The Avengers (2012) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) later on. 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.
- Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard and his father, Faran Tahir, composer Ramin Djawadi, and VFXpert Stan Winston are fans of Iron Man.
- Stan Lee, the creator of Iron Man, had originally based Tony Stark on Howard Hughes, whom 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 likable and a hero."
- According to Ramin Djawadi, Tony Stark's different moods, as performed by Robert Downey, Jr., was the inspiration the Iron Man scores in the film.
- 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.
- 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 samples clips of "Iron Man" (1966)), got a cameo as a Dubai tycoon. However, his scene was cut from the final film. Favreau apologized to Ghostface and used his "We Celebrate" video in the film.
- The Mark I Iron Man 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 partially constructed on a workbench. This same scene was shown in many trailers, but the image of the shield was edited out.
- Terrence Howard was cast as James Rhodes because Jon Favreau felt he could admirably portray War Machine, Rhodes's alter ego. In the film, Rhodes looks at the Mark II armor and says "Next time, baby." hinting at War Machine's appearance in a sequel. An animation of a War Machine suit, with a Gatling gun attached to a shoulder, can be seen in the closing credits. Unfortunately, Howard did not appear as the character in the sequels, and was replaced by Don Cheadle.
- An animatronic puppet of the Iron Monger was built for the film by Stan Winston Studios. It stood 10 feet tall and weighed 800 pounds, and was built on a set of gimbals to simulate walking. It required five operators to run it.
- 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.
- 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 Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopters and F-22 Raptor jets.
- 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.
- An early draft of the script revealed Tony Stark to be the creator of Dr. Otto Octavius' tentacles from Spider-Man 2.
- 400 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.
- 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 (i.e. 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).
- Iron Man was Marvel Studios' first self-financed movie.
- According to Terrence Howard, he and Robert Downey, Jr. competed physically on the set: "I'm 40-50 pounds heavier than him, so I'm lifting and I push up about 225 and knocked it out ten times. Robert wanted to go about 235, and he did it, so I push it up to about 245... Robert and his competitive ass almost tore my shoulder trying to keep up with him!"
- An early draft of the script had Howard Stark, Iron Man's father, as a ruthless industrialist who becomes War Machine.
- An early draft of the script had the Mandarin appear in the film, re-imagined as an Indonesian terrorist.
- Gwyneth Paltrow only needed to travel 15 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.
- The theme song from "Iron Man" (1966) is heard four times in the film: in the Apogee Award ceremony, the casino, in Tony Stark's bedroom, and when Stark calls Rhodes.
- Stark and Rhodes graduated from MIT together. When Rhodes calls Iron Man, who is flying with the F-22's, you can see a big gold ring on the hand that he's holding the phone in. This is MIT's class ring, the "brass rat."
- As a tribute to Howard Hughes, who inspired Iron Man, production was mainly based in the former Hughes Company sound stages 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”).
- 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.
- The F-22 in the closeup ground shots is serial number 6, deployed to Edwards Air Force Base. This is one of the last "pre-production" F-22's, and is one of the first fully operational aircraft. (The first 5 air frames were later retrofitted to also be fully operational). Interestingly, the pole model outside of Stark Industries is labeled 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.
- Tony Stark's computer system is called J.A.R.V.I.S. (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. Edwin Jarvis later appeared as Howard Stark's butler in the television series Agent Carter.
- S.H.I.E.L.D., the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Engagement and Logistics Division was known in the comics as Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division. It became Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage Logistics Directorate in 1991.
- The film was shipped to some theaters under the titles "Bell" and "Debonair".
- Obadiah Stane plays on the piano a musical piece written by 18th-century composer Antonio Salieri. Salieri is most famously known as a jealous rival of his contemporary, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and was said to have murdered Mozart (although historical records have proven that on the contrary both have collaborated/promoted each other's work on several occasions). This serves as an appropriate parallel of Stark and Stane's relationship in the film.
- 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 his left side of his face, while in the film Raza is scarred on the right side of his face.
- The assault rifles Tony Stark refers to as 'his' are in fact modified G36c rifles. The only thing that has changed on most of these weapons is the barrel and upper receiver, but some haven't been modified much at all apart from the magazine wells.
- During the highway battle with Iron Monger, a building can be seen in the background with a Roxxon Oil Corporation 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.
- 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 machinegun. 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.
- While playing backgammon with Ho Yinsen, Stark says "Sheesh o Besh. "This is a Persian slang phrase which means a roll of 6 and 5 ("Sheesh" is Persian slang for 6, "o" means "and" and "Besh" is Turkish for 5). Shaun Toub, who plays Yinsen, is of Persian ethnicity.
- Originally, Iron Man's arch-nemesis the Mandarin was going to be the film's villain, but Jon Favreau felt him to be too fantastic and dated, so he was rewritten 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 (1977)."
- 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.
- The Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) 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.
- 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.
- The montage of Tony Stark's life story was created by editor Kyle Cooper, and contains real-life photos of a young Robert Downey, Jr. and his father.
- 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.
- First film released in 2008 to pass the $300 million mark at the domestic box office.
- 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).
- Paul Bettany recorded all his lines as J.A.R.V.I.S. in two hours.
- This is the last film special effects expert Stan Winston completed before his death.
- According to Paul Bettany, he did not know which film he was working on; he merely did the job as a favor for Jon Favreau, whom he worked with on Wimbledon (2004).
- Rock guitarist Tom Morello assisted Ramin Djawadi in composing the film's soundtrack. Morello himself has 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).
- 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.
- 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).
- Comic book writers Mark Millar, Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada, Tom Brevoort, Axel Alonso and Ralph Macchio were commissioned by Jon Favreau to give advice on the script.
- One of the cars in Tony Stark's garage is an all-electric Tesla Roadster, which had not yet been released during the film's production.
- Tony's and Christine Everhart's short conversation before she hands him the pictures: "Carrie? Christine!", is a joke referring to two of Stephen King's most-acclaimed novels.
- 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.
- The actress taking part in the screen test with Robert Downey, Jr., which can be seen in the extras, is Sasha Alexander.
- 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.
- The roadster that Tony Stark was working on is actually owned by director Jon Favreau.
- 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.
- 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, work 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).
- The film's property master Russell Bobbitt, won Hamilton's "Behind the Camera Award 2008" for the props he created on Iron Man.
- The Stark Industries logo is similar to that of Lockheed Martin, co-developer of the F-22 Raptor.
- 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).
- The code that appears on the computer screen at 34 minutes into the movie 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.
- The 3-digit code that Pepper inputs to enter Tony's lab (where she has to pull out his heart generator) is 106. (at 49 min 15 sec into the movie)
- When designing Tony Stark's house, the guideline the designers were given was to make it more "grease monkey" (inventor/mechanic) than futuristic, in order to keep the film realistic. J. Michael Riva took inspiration from the photographs of Julius Schulman, who was noted for photographs of 1950s and 1960s Los Angeles homes.
- For the Iron Man trilogy, 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, whom 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.
- When Tony Stark is falling after his escape from the terrorists, the sound effect is that of Wile E. Coyote falling from the Looney Tunes cartoons.
- Director Jon Favreau played a character similar to Tony Stark named Pete Becker on the hit television series Friends (1994). Both 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.
- There are about five sets of armor in the film, all inspired from the "Iron Man" comics:
- the Mark I armor, Stark's first suit, is a simple suit constructed of iron. - the 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). - the Mark III armor is the final red/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.
- This is the second time Gwyneth Paltrow has played a character with the initials PP. The first was Polly Perkins in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004).
- The scene where 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 Downey was 'in' the back of the seat he was sitting on. 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 we first see the Borg Queen, who was coincidentally played by Alice Krige who would later play Eir in Thor: The Dark World.
- 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.
- To prepare for her role as Pepper Potts, Gwyneth Paltrow asked Marvel to send her any comics to her aid understanding of the character.
- Gwyneth Paltrow based her performance on 1940s heroines (who she claimed were sexy, witty and innocent all at once).
- Director Jon Favreau voiced Iron Man in the Robot Chicken (2005) episode Two Weeks Without Food.
- 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).
- 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.
- Despite the fact that this was filmed in Super 35, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits.
- Tony Stark says "I am Iron Man" in the final scene. This is a homage to the series Iron Man (1994), whose theme song had the lyrics "I am Iron Man!"