When Marvel Studios released Iron Man in 2008, no one had any idea where it would end up leading, including many of those who starred in the movie. One of those who appeared in that first MCU movie was Jeff Bridges, who played villain Obadiah Stane, and recently the Oscar-winner reminisced about his time working on the film, calling it a “wonderful experience” but also one that drove him “absolutely crazy” thanks to the many script re-writes and last minute changes. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Bridges said:
“Wow, Jon Favreau man, what a director, what a great filmmaker. It was Marvel’s first adventure into making movies. It was so lucky to have Jon on there and Downey, because both of them are so, they’re terrific improvisers, and we spent a couple of weeks working on the script and rehearsing together, because we didn’t like the original script and we thought ‘Oh yeah, we fixed this, fixed that.’ And then came the first day of shooting, and Marvel kind of threw out our script that we had been working on, said, ‘No, that’s no good. It’s gotta be this and that.’ And so there was a lot of confusion about what our script was, what we were gonna say, you know? And we’d spend hours in one of our trailers going over lines, and saying ‘Oh you play my part or I’ll play your part,’ exploring how we gonna do it. Jon would say, ‘Oh, I know a writer. Let me see he may have some ideas…’ Meanwhile, the crew is in the sound stage, tapping their feet saying ‘When are we gonna get this thing going?’ And it drove me absolutely crazy until I made a slight adjustment in my brain and that adjustment was ‘Jeff, just relax. You’re making a $200 million student film. Just relax and have fun.’ And that kind of did the trick because here I get to play with these two incredible artists and just jam, and that’s what we ended up doing. And I, for my money, that’s the best Marvel movie. I know I’m biased, of course. But man, I thought it was a wonderful experience.”
Iron Man Was The Biggest Risk The MCU Ever Took
While it now seems like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is an unstoppable force, and it is hard to image a point in the next few decades when Marvel movies and TV shows are not being made, but back in 2008, everything hinged on movies like Iron Man succeeding to allow Marvel Studios to continue and prevent their roster of characters being sold off in the same way the X-Men, Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk were.
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As well as the numerous script changes, which some days left the cast improvising their way through the shoot, having Robert Downey Jr. as the lead was one of the biggest risks the movie took, but from Bridges’ comments, it seems like having Downey Jr. in the role was one of the things that held everything together through some early challenges along with Jon Favreau’s directing. Everyone can agree that the risks and chaos of Iron Man’s shoot paid off in the long run.