A little over 10 years ago, only die hard comic book fans knew about Iron Man and Tony Stark. Now, with the release of his movies, Iron Man has propelled into the spotlight, becoming just as well known as Spider Man, Batman, and Superman. His success has also thrust Robert Downey Jr. into a newfound fame as well. But what is it about Iron Man and Tony Stark that makes them so popular? Suit up, we’re about to tell you. Here are 25 Cool Things You May Not Know About Iron Man And Tony Stark.
The Iron Man movie was a huge gamble.
In 1996, Marvel filed for bankruptcy. They were able to pay off their debts, but they still couldn’t make a profit off their properties like X-Men. So, in a radical shift, they decided to make their own movie studio. To get the financing, they put all their owned properties on the line, like the Avengers, and then they financed the Iron Man movie themselves. If Iron Man had failed at the box office, they would have gone broke again and lost everything. Fortunately, Iron Man made $500 million, and their cinematic universe was on its way.
The Iron Man movie was shot without a complete script.
Even when Marvel put everything on the line, they didn’t exactly run a tight ship with their new movie studio. For instance, they didn’t have a completed script. Jon Favreau was rushed to make the release date, so he and Robert Downey Jr. just made most of it up as they went along. Jeff Bridges said he’d come to the set and wouldn’t know what his lines were because there weren’t any.
Iron Man's origin story has changed location several times.
Of course, we all know in the Iron Man movie, Tony Stark built his Iron Man suit as a prisoner in the caves of Afghanistan. However, in the early comics, Stark started in Vietnam and later in the Gulf War.
Tony Stark is based on Howard Hughes.
Jack Kirby and Stan Lee based their character Tony Stark on the playboy millionaire Howard Hughes. Coincidentally, Tony Stark’s father’s name is Howard Stark.
J.A.R.V.I.S. has a not so clever name.
In Iron Man, JARVIS acts as Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence, helping him navigate the complexities of the suit. You might think the anagram would be something intelligent sounding, but instead, all it stands for is, “Just A Rather Very Intelligent System.”
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The Mandarin was going to be the villain in the first movie.
In the comics, the Mandarin is Iron Man’s arch-nemesis. So, Marvel wanted him to be the main villain in the first movie. In fact, he was in the script (that wasn’t finished) until 10 weeks up to filming. They scrapped it because they felt it didn’t work and made Obadiah Stane the main villain instead.
Tony graduated with a Master’s from MIT at the age of 17.
Tony Stark was always a boy genius; at the age of 15, he entered MIT and left at 17 with a Master’s degree in chemical engineering.
Robert Downey Jr is one of the oldest superheroes.
Robert Downey Jr. has been playing Iron Man for almost ten years now. That’s longer than most today. But at age 52, he’s also the oldest superhero to still fight on the silver screen.
Tony Stark owns Area 51
Area 51 is the mysterious government base where conspiracy theorists think experiments have been done on extraterrestrials. Well, in the Iron Man comics, the base is eventually abandoned and Tony Stark buys it to store the Reality Gem.
Tom Cruise was almost Iron Man.
Thinking of anyone else playing Iron Man other than Robert Downey Jr. is almost impossible to imagine. The actor made the character, and anyone else would pale in comparison. But before Downey Jr. dawned the suit, Tom Cruise was approached to play the character; he ultimately turned it down.
The Iron Man suit once had a nose.
In the mid-70’s, legendary comic creator Stan Lee asked why Iron Man didn’t have a nose and required he start having one. Then, years later, Stan Lee went back on his decision and told them to remove it.
Iron Man 3 took creative liberties with the Mandarin.
Sometimes comic book characters can’t easily be adapted from page to screen. So, when Iron Man 3 director Shane Black faced putting the Mandarin in the movie, he had quite the challenge. In his own words, “Well, what we don’t want is this potentially racist stereotype of a Fu Manchu villain just waving his fist.” To avoid any possible racist overtones, they turned the Mandarin into a terrorist with no magical powers. Of course, those who have seen the movie know that’s not the whole story.
Tony Stark was trained by Captain America.
In the comics, Tony Stark requested to be trained by Captain America so that he could still be useful if he didn’t have his Iron Man suit available. He turned out to be quite the fighting force afterward.
Stan Lee didn't write the first appearance of Iron Man.
While Tony Stark and Iron Man were Stan Lee’s idea, he didn’t have time to write his first appearance in Tales of Suspense. That task went to Larry Lieber with Jack Kirby penciling.
Tony Stark is an alcoholic.
If you watched the movies, you wouldn’t notice it, but the character Tony Stark is a bit of an alcoholic. In the comics, it’s plain as day especially with titles like, “Demon in a Bottle!”
There are 53 different Iron Man suits.
Tony Stark is constantly upgrading and optimizing his Iron Man suits. In the comic book universe, he’s made roughly 53 different suits. He’s also made a “rescue suit” for Pepper Potts.
Iron Man joined Guardians of the Galaxy.
We all know Iron Man builds the Avengers to defend the Earth. But in the comics, Iron Man later teams up with the Guardians of the Galaxy because of his curiosity for other technologies and what’s going on in the galaxy. Whether or not he does the same thing in the cinematic universe has yet to be seen.
The Iron Man suit can lift over 100 tons.
With the Iron Man suit on, Tony Stark has unbelievable power and strength. While some say his strength is incalculable, others have said it’s likely he can lift upwards of 100 tons, depending on the suit he’s using.
The Avengers led to a much larger budget for Iron Man 3.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe was in a good place before the Avengers came along. No one expected the massive and roaring success it would have, and with its billion dollar box office win, Marvel Studios decided to up the ante and give Iron Man 3 a much larger budget.
Iron Man has made Robert Downey Jr very wealthy.
Before Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. was a bit of an actor pariah in Hollywood. No one would touch him. In fact, Marvel Studios was terrified to hire him in the first place. Iron Man, of course, became his breakout role and launched him to stardom. Now, he’s one of the top paid actors, raking in $80 million a year.
Wayne Enterprises makes more money than Stark Industries.
While Tony Stark is more wealthy than Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark has a net worth of 12 billion while Bruce Wayne only has 9 billion, their companies are different. Wayne Enterprises makes $31 billion in annual revenue while Stark Industries only makes $20 billion.
Ralphie from A Christmas Story produced Iron Man.
Peter Billingsley, also known as Ralphie from A Christmas Story, is quite the producer and investor. He decided to take a chance on the first Iron Man movie probably because he’s good friends with the director, Jon Favreau.
Iron Man's suit is almost a reality.
Technology continues to develop at an increasing rate, and the military has been researching suits like Iron Man’s for a while now. Well, the suit is closer than ever to becoming a reality with exoskeleton suits that are able to lift heavy objects and even fly.
Tony Stark was once the Secretary of Defense.
Sarcastic and irreverent (and an alcoholic), Tony Stark is probably the last person anyone would want as the Secretary of Defense. But, he’s also grown a lot, and in the comic “Iron Man #72” (2003), he does just that.
The Iron Man movies rights were passed around like an unwanted stepchild
The rights to the Iron Man character had been passed around so much you’d think he was an unwanted stepchild. Going through 16 years of development, the rights first started at Universal Studios and they sold them to Fox. Fox didn’t do anything with Iron Man, so they passed it along to New Line. Eventually, nothing got off the ground, so Marvel got the rights back and made cinematic history.
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