Considering Iron Man’s roots in themes of war and subterfuge, it’s fitting that the film adaptation back in 2008 was – in retrospect – something of a ticking time bomb.
The story of Marvel’s genius engineer superhero Tony Stark, who forges a power suit and uses it to save the world, was perhaps not the most obvious choice for the big screen treatment at the time.
Spider-Man was about to swing for a third time. Ghost Rider was in the making. And other more popular Marvel characters would have been a far safer choice for an adap.
Doubters', well, doubts were confirmed when filming began, with verging comebacker Robert Downey Jr in the title role and Jon Favreau directing. Things didn’t look any more promising; there was no complete script, which required improvisation and on-the-spot thinking.
“They had no script, man! They had an outline,” remembers Jeff Bridges, who starred as Obadiah Stane. “We would show up for big scenes every day and we wouldn’t know what we were going to say.”
Then, something called Comic Con happened. When the first footage of Iron Man finally exploded onto screens at the geek-stuffed event, the reaction was immense. Suddenly, Favreau’s hard work and Marvel’s decision to push ahead with the production was validated.
“Since Comic Con, everything just started to build,” said Favs at the time. “People got excited by it. You could tell by the reviews and box office that everybody seems to have jumped on board and really loves the movie.
“That is really, really gratifying for all of us who worked so hard for so many years on the thing.”
So, um, sequel? Being the underdog is easy, as Favs has himself noted on numerous occasions. But to come out top dog and find you’re being asked for me... Where do you go from there? Let’s find out...
“I’m getting the old-timers together again and introducing them to new cast members,” Favreau says. “We’re gonna shake the Sherlock outta Junior! I’m a little nervous because the first one set a high bar but we have put our all into this so far.”
Next: Iron Man 2?