Until recently, it was hard to imagine a feature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe flopping. That includes the 2008 movie ‘Iron Man’ which would become a box office success as well as launch the MCU.
During an interview with the Directors Guild of America, Iron Man actor Robert Downey, Jr. revealed that Marvel Studios thought that the film was going to be a flop.
“Well, I mean, first of all, not too many people were thinking Iron Man was going to have an opening weekend or do much of anything, so we were a little bit left alone,” he said according to a Digital Spy report.
“I find out more every day about how that thing was financed, it was basically ready to be written off if it tanked,” the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ star continued. “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. “
He added, “I remember [co-star] 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.”
‘Iron Man’ was released by Paramount Pictures prior to Marvel Studios receiving the rights. Robert Downey Jr. would go on to appear in a trilogy based on the character as well as multiple films including ‘Avengers,’ ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ and ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming.’
The 2008 film was recently entered into The Library of Congress’s National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Co-created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the film starred RDJ as Tony Stark, Gwyneth Paltrow as love interest Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as assistant Happy Hogan, Terrence Howard as James Rhodes, and Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane.