Comic book films are no strangers to script issues and it seems that Iron Man, Marvel’s cinematic universe launching thrill-ride from 2008, was no different.
During a segment for Variety’s Actors on Actors series (watch it below), Jeff Bridges – who portrayed the villainous Obadiah Stane – revealed to Matthew McConaughey (a discussion that is definitely worth your time) that he was involved in frantic last-minute rewrites for the film.
With just two weeks left to go before shooting, Bridges said the Marvel chiefs phoned director Jon Favreau to say they weren’t keen on the script – and required improvements.
“I’m doing this movie, Iron Man, with [Robert] Downey Jr, and the director Jon Favreau,” Bridges said.
“It’s Marvel’s first superhero movie and the script isn’t right, y’know? So me, Favreau and Downey began to work on it for about two weeks and we got it polished up pretty good and we’re going to work the next day. But then we got a phone call from the Marvel guys saying ‘this won’t fly what you guys have written here.’”
Bridges, offering a deeper insight into the chaotic nature of the shoot, continued: “So there was many times – maybe 10,12, 15 – where we’d show up to the shoot not knowing what we were actually going to shoot. Everyone in the studio is standing tapping their foot and we’re in my trailer trying to figure out our lines.”
Cue McConaughey’s disbelief.
It drove Bridges crazy. He was reciting Downey Jr’s lines and vice versa and while the production crew were ready to go, Favreau was ringing up his writer friends to get a final opinion.
Bridges also revealed that he taught himself to relax and see the funnier side of it, comparing it to being on a “$200 million student film.”
It worked out fairly well in the end. Iron Man went on to make $585million at the box office and received strong reviews from critics, thus paving the way for the MCU to gather pace to the point we are today.