The first Iron Man movie took everyone by surprise when it released back in 2008 – including Marvel Studios, by the sounds of it!
Tony Stark’s live-action debut proved to be a major success, and kick-started what has gone on to become the most lucrative film franchise of all time. But based on comments from star Robert Downey Jr., the movie wasn’t exactly primed to be a big hit. In fact, the studio was fully prepared to write it off if it didn’t make a significant enough impact at the box office.
“Well, I mean, first of all, because not too many people were thinking that Iron Man was even going to have an opening weekend or do much of anything, so we were a little bit left alone,” Downey recalled in a resurfaced video interview from December 12. “I find out more every day about how that thing was financed, it was basically ready to be written off if it tanked. And so anyway, it was the perfect thing where there were not a lot of creatively aggressive eyes on us. And by the time they gave it to us, it was like united artists, like the lunatics took over the asylum. And I remember Jeff Bridges, too, he was like, ‘Man, we’re doing a $200 million independent movie, man.’ And there was just that sense that, of course, it was much more organized.”
This isn’t the first time someone involved with Iron Man‘s production has insinuated that things may have been a little chaotic during the shoot, but the studio’s more relaxed approach clearly paid off. Of course, when the MCU became the money-spinning juggernaut it is today, those “creatively aggressive eyes” began to focus their gaze a little more!
Recent rumors have indicated that Downey Jr. is set to reprise the role of Tony Stark for Avengers: Secret Wars (and maybe some earlier projects), but nothing has been confirmed.
RDJ talks about how he’s still learning things about Iron Man, how it was financed and how the studio was prepared to write it off if it failed. (He also does a great Jeff Bridges impression). pic.twitter.com/BZS9AwzD40
— Chris Gardner (@chrissgardner) December 12, 2022