The Marvel Cinematic Universe got off to the best possible start with the release of Iron Man in 2008.
Starring Robert Downey Jr. - a controversial choice at the time - as Tony Stark, Iron Man was a critical and commercial success for Marvel and earned $585 million at the box office.
It was the initial building block for the MCU as Thor and Captain America movies would soon follow, as would The Avengers Infinity Saga which would dominate cinema over the next 15 years.
Kevin Feige, the godfather of the MCU, had major concerns that the project would fail, though, as he was unhappy with how Iron Man was developing.
“There was a moment in post-production when everything seemed very tenuous and bleak," he says in the upcoming The Art of Iron Man book.
"We hadn’t settled into a satisfying cut, and the effects weren’t yet landing right. It is an awful period in the process when, after years of hard work, you are struck with the lingering fear that, in spite of unflagging dedication and meticulous planning, the whole thing might go pear-shaped.”
Of course, Feige needn't have worried as Iron Man catalysed the multi-billion dollar MCU empire which is still running to this day.
Robert Downey Jr to return as Iron Man?
Things are getting a bit desperate at Marvel as the studio is reportedly considering bringing back Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson as Iron Man and Black Widow respectively despite both characters dying in Avengers: Endgame.
There was a time when any Marvel movie released in cinemas was pretty much a guaranteed success.
Whether it be the Avengers movies, Black Panther, Spider-Man or Guardians of the Galaxy, billions were being earned at the box office and the critical reception was positive, too.
However, since Avengers: Endgame which acted as the final movie of that particular Avengers saga, the box office has declined and the reviews haven't been as kind.
Movies like The Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings did not meet financial expectations and even features with existing, loved heroes like Thor: Love and Thunder and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania went down like a lead balloon in some quarters.
Marvel has been struggling to recapture the magic they found with the original Avengers team of Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Thor, Hulk and Hawkeye.
And, according to Variety, one plan the studio has is to revive Iron Man and Black Widow in the MCU.
This would prove extremely difficult to do as both Downey Jr and Johansson have previously stated that their time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is over. For Downey Jr to be tempted back, it would need to be for a pay packet in excess of the $25m guaranteed that he was given for Endgame. The actor would go on to make $75m from that movie as he was also due 8% of the profits gained.
Action / Scifi
2008 • 126 minutes