Behind-The-Scenes Facts From The Original 'Iron Man' Movie That Demand A Rewatch

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Vote up the facts that made you say, 'Whoa.'

When Iron Man hit theaters in 2008, nobody could have predicted the film would launch what came to be the biggest film franchise of all time. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a beast - it's bigger than Star Wars, Harry Potter, and James Bond combined. It's that big, but it probably wouldn't even exist were it not for the shot in the dark that was Iron Man. Because so much has rested on that one movie's shoulders, it's attracted the attention of fans for years.

While most fans know a lot about the movie, there's always something new to learn about ol' Shellhead and his impressive battle scenes spread throughout his first MCU outing. That's especially true when you're looking at some of the things that happened behind the scenes. Iron Man certainly had a lot going on that wasn't revealed until much later, and when you find out what those things were, you're going to want to go back and rewatch it all over again.

This list compiles some of the most fascinating behind-the-scenes facts from Iron Man that'll make you want to sit through it for the 50th time! Take a look down below, and don't forget to upvote your favorites before you head back to the couch to chill with Tony Stark for a couple of hours.


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    23 VOTES

    Jon Favreau Insisted On Casting Robert Downey Jr. Over Studio Objections

    When Iron Man was making its way out of development hell and into the casting process, only one name was on director Jon Favreau's mind: Robert Downey Jr. Though he had a successful career in Hollywood dating back decades, in the years leading up to Iron Man, Downey's life was turbulent, to say the least. He had problems with using substances and alcohol, which landed him in trouble with the criminal justice system, and he hadn't been in any major motion pictures of note for years.

    His issues with substances made him an insurance liability for the studio, and it sought to put more bankable stars like Tom Cruise into the role of Tony Stark. Ultimately, Favreau went to bat for Downey and insisted he be cast into the role.

    As it happens, it was primarily because of Downey's issues that Favreau wanted him for the role:

    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. Plus, he's simply one of the best actors around.

    Favreau also said Downey could make Stark "a likable a**hole," which is a great way to describe Stark.

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    17 VOTES

    'Iron Man' Has A Connection To 'A Christmas Story'

    There's little doubt people watched Iron Man and thought it had a connection to A Christmas Story. After all, the two movies couldn't be any less alike, and while that's true, there is indeed a connection. In the picture above, Jeff Bridges's Obadiah Stane chastises one of Stark Industries' lead scientists over the arc reactor. He wanted him to miniaturize the device so it could power his Iron Monger suit of armor, and the scientist explains he's not Tony Stark.

    That scientist's name is William Ginter Riva, and he reappeared in Spider-Man: Far From Home. While it's not easy to recognize who he is, the man playing him is Peter Billingsley, who played Ralph in A Christmas Story. Now, just casting the man in a small role doesn't truly connect the two films, but the fact Billingsley executive produced Iron Man is enough of a connection. Not only that, but it's one of several Jon Favreau films to feature the actor/producer. He played an Elf in Elf, too!

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    16 VOTES

    Clark Gregg's Part Was Originally Unnamed And Much Smaller

    One of the best new characters introduced in Iron Man is arguably Clark Gregg's Agent Phil Coulson. Not only did he play an essential role in the movie, but he was featured throughout MCU's Phase 1. He later landed the lead on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and reprised his role once more (with a bit of de-aging VFX trickery) in Captain Marvel. It's safe to say Coulson is an integral part of the MCU as a whole, but he almost wasn't.

    Gregg's role was initially planned to be much smaller, and his character was named simply "Agent" in the script. As filming kicked off, Gregg's chemistry with the other actors on set pushed the filmmakers to throw him into more scenes. He was given a name and became the connection between Tony Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D., which was always going to happen. Still, once Gregg's lines and scenes were beefed up, the connection came with some charisma and personality, which not only kept Coulson in the MCU but also landed him in Marvel Comics as well.

    Gregg explained to CinemaBlend how his character evolved during a press event for Captain Marvel:

    Agent Coulson was a small role, was two scenes, if anything. And they liked something about that repartee. They liked something about having the S.H.I.E.L.D. presence being there, and all of a sudden, they added seven more scenes! Next thing I know, Pepper Potts is going, "Thank you, Agent Coulson."

    And I was like, "I've got a name now; this is cool."

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    14 VOTES

    There's A Reason Tony Stark Eats Burger King Upon Returning To The States

    In Iron Man, when Tony Stark returns to the States after his ordeal in Afghanistan, he asks for a hamburger (instead of a hospital). When he arrives for his press conference, Obadiah Stane hands him a Burger King bag, and he happily eats its contents through to the next scene. Most people probably saw the BK bag and logo and thought it was simply product placement, but that's not the case. Robert Downey Jr. wanted to use BK for the scene because the restaurant personally means a lot to him.

    In an interview with the New York Daily News, Downey said he was once driving a car with "tons of f*cking dope" and decided to stop off for a burger. He pulled into BK and had an epiphany. As he explained to the Daily News, "It was such a disgusting burger I ordered. I had that, and this big soda, and I thought something really bad was going to happen." Calling it a moment of clarity, Downey tossed all of his substances into the ocean and decided to get sober. Having an "American cheeseburger" from BK in Iron Man was his way of saying "thanks" to the restaurant that saved his life.

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    13 VOTES

    'Iron Man' Was In Development Hell For Decades

    Iron Man famously kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the making of the movie isn't a simple story of a script getting picked up and developed over the course of a year or two. In reality, Marvel wanted to make an Iron Man movie as far back as 1990. Universal Pictures came on board to make that happen, but the project sat around for a while with nothing substantive being done.

    Universal opted to sell the rights to 20th Century Fox. Ultimately, Fox didn't produce the movie, so it sold the rights to New Line Cinema. Eventually, the rights returned to Marvel, so Marvel Studios was created to make the film happen. The studio produced it, and Paramount Pictures signed on to distribute.

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    11 VOTES

    Ray's Pizza Got A Mention Because Of Jon Favreau

    In Iron Man, there's a scene where Obadiah Stane returns from New York City with some Ray's Pizza. It's clear Tony Stark recognizes how good the pizza is, so he manages to get his hands on a slice or two. Most people wouldn't think much of the pizza beyond its importance to the scene, but there's a reason Iron Man features Ray's Pizza, and that reason is Jon Favreau.

    Favreau loves Ray's Pizza because he's featured or mentioned it in more than one movie. There's a scene in Elf when Santa Claus tells Buddy where to go to get the best slices of pizza, and he was talking about "Original Ray's." Favreau is a well-known foodie, and he loves to cook. He even made a movie about it called Chef, and it's worth checking out.

    Favreau recognizes his love for food in his movies, and he spoke about it on The Dinner Party Download podcast, saying:

    Yeah, well, more than two! I mean, people are constantly eating [in my movies], I'm sort of noticing. In Elf, I added that whole wrinkle, as I was developing that script, about him stuffing his face and how much elves eat. And then in Iron Man, he's talking about flying Ray's Pizza in from New York. It always seems to sneak into everything I do.