Rewatching Iron Man & The Rise of Marvel Studios

As you probably well know Marvel Studios is a blockbuster giant that keeps delivering films about our favorite superheroes and their adventures. All while making an insane amount of profit from these films. If you want to know how much money they have made off these films the number is now 18 billion and counting, that’s a lot of money from a franchise that seemingly has unlimited power to draw audiences in. Personally, I don’t expect Marvel Studios to stop releasing films anytime soon but I wanted to look back at where this era of films started so I looked back at 2008’s Iron Man, which launched the Marvel Franchise we know today. 

With the release of Iron Man, we saw a rebirth of Robert Downey Jr and a new bar set for superhero films. Iron Man challenged the way we saw superheroes in films and provided the context that anyone could step up and be a force for change if given the chance and taking that opportunity. Tony Stark has been around for decades but this film creates him as a new modern tech-giant leader with the world to save and I love that. It made the story feel relevant and relatable with events that correlated with current events and situations. With just the right amount of action, comedy, and drama combined with the right actors and special effects this movie felt well made and balanced in all the right ways. 

I thought the cast was well selected for this film as I stated before Robert Downey Jr is Tony Stark and I don’t think I could see it any other way. As far as supporting cast Gwyneth Paltrow does great as Pepper Potts, working well the fine lines between employee and love interest for Tony. Terrance Howard did a good job as Rhodney Rhodes a friend and weapons development liaison for the military. I don’t know why but I failed to connect to him as most of the film he seemed standoffish and more of a babysitter than a friend.   

As far as the antagonist in this film, Jeff Bridges does an amazing job of being the villain we wanted to see and needed. He is someone close to Tony who proves to be undercutting his decisions and company leading to the final fight between Tony and Obadiah and the announcement from Tony that “I am Iron Man”. Thus begins our journey with Tony Stark as Iron Man. 

Looking back on this film I always think of how great it was to be alive in 2008 and how pumped I was for what was to come for superhero movies. I can truly appreciate the risks that were taken by the studio, director, and actors and as we know this gamble paid off in the long run. Iron Man was the start to the largest most successful franchise in movie history and we all know that like Iron Man this is just the beginning for Marvel Studios.  

A few Iron Man facts:

  • Released May 2nd, 2008
  • $140 million budget  
  • Grossed $585.2 million 
  • “The script was not completely finished when filming began since the filmmakers were more focused on the story and the action, so the dialogue was mostly ad-libbed throughout filming.” 
  • Disney did not originally want Rober Downey Jr for the part of Tony Stark but director Jon Favreau insisted Downey was the actor for the role.
  • Robery Downey Jr has appeared as Tony Stark in 9 films and will appear in the upcoming Black Widow film and potentially lend his voice to the character in the upcoming Disney +  series “What if…?”

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