Behind-The-Scenes Facts From The 'Iron Man' Movies 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.

The movie's two sequels have been just as scrutinized, and while most fans know a lot about the films, there's always something new to learn about ol' Shellhead and some of the impressive battle scenes he's been in over the years. That's especially true when you're looking at some of the things that happened behind the scenes. The Iron Man trilogy 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 them all.

This list compiles some of the most fascinating behind-the-scenes facts from the Iron Man movies that'll make you want to sit through them all over again! 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 few hours.


  • 1
    14 VOTES

    Paul Bettany Never Received A Full Script For Any 'Iron Man' Film

    Paul Bettany may have voiced J.A.R.V.I.S. in Iron Man, but he believed his career was at an end after the first Avengers film. He said as much to his agent, but then he was cast to play Vision, and the rest is history. One of the reasons he may have thought his career was ending could have been due to his early interactions with Marvel Studios. When he was cast to voice J.A.R.V.I.S. in Iron Man, he wasn't even given a full copy of the script, and he recorded all of his lines in just two hours:

    I feel like a pirate. This is robbery. I walk in, I say some lines on a piece of paper for two hours, and then they give me a bag of money and I leave and I go about my day. I sort of feel guilty, because at least acting can be exhausting with long hours, but I do nothing!

    That's hardly a significant investment of time, so it makes sense he didn't fully appreciate his performance's impact on the movie. Interestingly, Bettany hasn't received a full script for any of the Iron Man films. The only full script he's received from the studio was the one for The Avengers, which he thought to be a mistake. Marvel Studios is famously secretive about the various plot elements from its movies, so delivering complete scripts isn't common for all cast members. In addition to missing out on the script, Bettany hasn't watched a single Iron Man film, and he reportedly "knows nothing" about the series.

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    14 VOTES

    A Legit Paparazzi Shot Of Iron Man Made It Into The Final Cut Of 'Iron Man'

    An interesting little Easter egg made it into Iron Man that hardly anyone knew about when the film was first released in 2008. In the pictured scene, Tony Stark is reading a paper just before his big press conference, where he announces to the world that "I am Iron Man." 

    On the front of the paper is a photograph of Iron Man with the headline "WHO IS THE IRON MAN?" For most viewers, it probably appeared like a perfect transition between Stark's last few scenes in the movie, but it's more than that - the picture is a legit paparazzi shot.

    When the movie was still filming, a photographer managed to score a grainy shot of Iron Man, so that's a legit photo of Iron Man on the set of Iron Man. Back then, Jon Favreau didn't have confidence in using CGI to render the suit, so they built a practical one for the film. It's unclear if Robert Downey Jr. is in the suit (instead of a stunt double), but the picture is real, and it made it into the movie.

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    11 VOTES

    Robert Downey Jr. Improvised The Twist Ending In 'Iron Man'

    The "I am Iron Man" line is easily one of the most important pieces of dialogue in the MCU. It concluded the first film in the franchise, and when the third phase came to an end with Avengers: Endgame, it was repeated to widespread applause. Interestingly, the line wasn't in the original script... granted, most of the script was unwritten when shooting began, but Tony Stark was never meant to look directly into the camera and say that. When Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige heard it, he absolutely loved it:

    It’s a fine line. If you’re changing something for no reason, that’s one thing, but if you’re changing something because you want to double down on the spirit of who the character is? That’s a change we’ll make. Tony Stark not reading off the card and not sticking with the fixed story? Him just blurting out, "I am Iron Man"? That seems very much in keeping with who that character is.

    Feige and Jon Favreau decided to keep the line in the film's final cut, and it went a long way in shaping the eventual outcome of the MCU's first massive saga. Robert Downey Jr. is notorious for improvising his character's actions and lines on set, and this was only one example of his doing that. Still, it's easily the most important because it perfectly encapsulates the character. It was arguably the most important single line of dialogue from throughout the first three phases of the MCU, and the way it closes out Endgame is the best way to say goodbye to this beloved character.

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    11 VOTES

    There's A Reason Jon Favreau Didn't Direct 'Iron Man 3'

    Jon Favreau may not have realized it when he made Iron Man in 2008, but he launched the most successful film franchise of all time. He was lauded for his directorial successes in the first film and welcomed back for the second. If you've seen Iron Man 2, you know it's neither the best movie in the trilogy nor regarded nearly as well as the first one, which left a bunch of fans wondering what happened. All of the right people were involved... weren't they?

    Well, yes and no. Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., and a ton of talent went into making Iron Man 2, but Favreau didn't have to deal with one thing so much on the first film: studio interference. He had to put up with constant interference from the studio, which made it impossible for him to create the movie he wanted to create. You can see this in the film, as it's more geared towards setting up the MCU than it is about advancing Iron Man's story. The constant studio interference was exhausting for Favreau to deal with, so when he was asked to helm Iron Man 3, he declined and began working on Magic Kingdom.

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    10 VOTES

    Dr. Wu Was Included In 'Iron Man 3' Because Of China

    While Hollywood is known as the moviemaking capital of the world, it's hardly the only large-scale film locale, nor does it serve a single market. Movies created and shot by Hollywood's many studios are often made to appeal to as wide a market as possible. The worldwide box office is just as important as the domestic box office gross, and in many cases, foreign markets are more lucrative. Arguably, the biggest movie-consuming market is China, and studios have catered to the Chinese audience for years.

    Disney has done this quite openly in recent years, and it's been a part of the MCU since Iron Man 3. Call it pandering, call it wise marketing, or call it whatever you'd like, but the studio insisted on some casting and script changes to better suit the Chinese market. Dr. Wu, as played by legendary Chinese actor Wang Xueqi, had a minor role in the film... that is, if you happened to catch it in the States. Over in China, a different cut of the movie has him in a more prominent role. He even gets an assistant played by Fan Bingbing (pictured), another legendary star of Chinese cinema.

    Wu's assistant also had additional lines where she mentions she's nervous about the surgery to remove the shrapnel from Tony Stark's chest. Then Wu assures her they would do their jobs well and save Stark from the shrapnel that would someday end him. They succeeded (in both cuts), and Stark lived to fight another day. There were additional scenes, with one showing Iron Man mentioning he needed China to save him and another where he visits Chinese children. Some of the added content helped keep the Chinese moviegoers happy with representation.

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    10 VOTES

    Ivan Vanko Lost A Tattoo That Linked Him To Another MCU Villain

    Mickey Rourke had a lot of input when it came to designing the look of Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2. He paid for some gold tooth caps at a whopping $20,000, and he even bought a bird, but that wasn't all there was to making Vanko iconic. Another key element Rourke pushed for Vanko was to include a bunch of tattoos, and if you look, the man is covered with body art, leaving few bare patches on his skin.

    The ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe was still in development when the movie was being made, so some tweaks had to be made in post-production to avoid confusion. One of Vanko's tattoos on his body was Loki, who wouldn't debut until Thor hit theaters a year later. Because Vanko was the primary villain, it was thought a Loki tattoo on his neck might link the two characters. Of course, the studio was right because endless sites online would have pointed out the possible connection, so his Loki tattoo had to be digitally removed to ensure that didn't happen.