References to the comics, nod to the X-Men and cameos: discover the details you may have missed in “Iron Man”.
First stone of the building called “Marvel Cinematic Universe”, Iron Man remains today one of the biggest surprises at the box office of the 2000s. On the success of this single film and then of its sequel, an entire universe s is built and has gathered millions of fans around the world.
Rediscover this first Marvel film, its secrets, its cameos, its references to other works of cinema or to the comics from which it is inspired. Dive into the MCU!
- 1 The autograph
- 2 The 10 rings
- 3 James Rhodes… for a short time!
- 4 Haunting music
- 5 tenacious journalist
- 6 The voice of JARVIS
- 7 The teaser for the sequel?
- 8 Cut cameo
- 9 Doctor Yinsen
- 10 Chance of the Raza?
- 11 The sound of the forge
- 12 Rage against the Mark-1
- 13 Reference to the X-Men
- 14 Stan Lee cameo
- 15 Scientist for supervillain
- 16 The Dude is here!
- 17 What is this Roxxon?!
- 18 Improvised replica
- 19 The cameo that announced the heavy
In the opening scene, Tony takes a picture with a military man, telling him he doesn’t want to see it on Myspace. Avengers: Endgame uses a similar catchphrase when the billionaire is alone in his drifting ship at the start of the film: “if you find this recording, please don’t post it on social media”.
The 10 rings
As can be deduced from the symbol on the wall hanging behind them, the individuals who abduct Tony at the start of the film belong to the “10 Rings” terrorist organization, led by a mysterious figure called the “Mandarin”. His identity is impersonated by a second-rate actor in Iron Man 3 and the real Mandarin appears in another Marvel movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings.
James Rhodes… for a short time!
Terrence Howard will never return to the role of James Rhodes after this film, replaced by Don Cheadle from Iron Man 2. According to rumors, disagreements between the actor and the production are at the origin of this decision which “breaks “a bit of the perfection of the connected universe as producer Kevin Feige wishes. However, this kind of situation happens more often than you might think.
The musical theme accompanying, among other things, the casino scene is that of the generic from the 60s Iron Man animated series. If you want to try some karaoke, the lyrics of this credits are: “Tony Stark makes you feel / He’s a cool exec with a heart of steel / As Iron Man, all jets ablaze / He’s fighting and smiting with repulsor rays! Amazing armour! That’s Iron Man! A blazing power! That’s Iron Man!”
Journalist Christine Everhart is played by Leslie Bibb (since heroine of the series Jupiter’s Legacy). In the comics, she works for Jonah J. Jameson’s Daily Bugle, but in the MCU, her medium is WHIH News. Several false commercials were filmed between 2015 and 2016 for the promotion of certain Marvel films, always with Bibb in the role of Everhart. When Tony meets her for the second time in Iron Man, he gets the wrong first name and calls her Carrie, which like Christine is the title of a Stephen King novel.
The voice of JARVIS
JARVIS, the computer system with which Tony interacts, is thus called for: Just A Rather VERY Intelligent System. He is voiced by Paul Bettany, who will interpret Vision fromAvengers: Age of Ultron. JARVIS was also baptized by Tony in homage to Edwin Jarvis, his father’s butler, a character present in the still too underestimated series Agent Carter.
When Tony taunts Rhodes, he tells the soldiers that his friend met a girl who happened to be a man named Ivan. The villain ofIron Man 2 will be Ivan Vanko, aka Whiplash. The term Whiplash is also mentioned in Iron Man as the code name for pilots sent to shoot Tony in midair. Coincidence or not?
During the pole dance scene on the plane, the track we hear is Slept on Tony With Dirt by rapper Ghostface Killah. The latter also appeared in cameo in the film during a sequence taking place in Dubai, but which was cut. We can find it (in poor quality) this way.
An ally of Tony Stark, co-creator of the Iron Man armor, the super-intelligent Doctor Ho Yinsen appears in the film. In the comics, Yinsen hails from Timbetpal, a small nation in Southeast Asia and is described by Tony as “the greatest physicist of all time”. In the cinema, we will see the character again in Iron Man 3.
Chance of the Raza?
The leader of the terrorists is called Raza, which could be a nod to the comic book character Raza Long-knife. Rather attached to the X-Men universe of which Marvel Studios did not own all the rights at the time, Raza is the last survivor of an alien race and he is part cyborg. Nothing to do a priori with the version seen in Iron Man, although Raza has part of his face destroyed in the film as in the comics.
The sound of the forge
The sound of the hammer that we hear when Tony Stark forges the Mark-1 armor will be reused at the very end of the credits ofAvengers: Endgame to pay tribute to Robert Downey Jr, whose contract for Marvel ended with this film.
Rage against the Mark-1
The first person to take a hit from the Mark-1 armor, the creation of Tony and Yinsen, is Tom Morello, guitarist of the group Rage Against The Machine who is killed here… by a machine! A really sharp cameo!
Reference to the X-Men
When Tony is testing out his Iron Man armor, the mention of SR-71 Blackbird can be seen. In the Marvel Universe, Blackbird is another name for the X-Jet, the main plane of the X-Men. While the rights to the X-Men weren’t all owned by Marvel Studios at the time, the producer Kevin Feige had worked as an associate, then co-producer then executive producer on the X-Men trilogy of the 2000s. A probable nod to these successful films and to the now famous producer.
Stan Lee cameo
Stan Lee’s first cameo in the MCU sees him playing himself at a charity gala surrounded by two women in formalwear. Tony pats him on the back without looking back and mistakes him for Hugh Hefner, creator of Playboy magazine and known for his many girlfriends.
Scientist for supervillain
William Ginter Riva is a scientist working for Obadiah Stane in Iron Man, and will be found 11 years later as part of Mysterio’s team in Spider-Man: Far From Home. He is apparently someone who is not very careful with the intentions of his bosses. The character is played by Peter Billingsley, who is also executive producer on Iron Man.
The Dude is here!
Pepper Potts digs into classified files and airmail weapons delivery reports. One of these vehicles is called the “MSC Lebowski”. A reference to The Big Lebowski and his cult character embodied in 1998 by Jeff Bridges, who here plays the villain of the film, Obadiah Stane. Tony will nickname Thor “Big Lebowski” in Avengers: Endgame.
What is this Roxxon?!
The Roxxon brand appears in many films and series adapted from Marvel, often on buildings or containers. As an international corporation, it touches a little on all areas, and in particular practices slavery. We see it as well in Daredevil as Runaways passing by Iron Man or Agents of SHIELD
When shooting the revelation scene, Robert Downey Jr.. had to read his little speech written on the card he is holding, but in the end he chose to surprise the team by ignoring the text and simply saying “I am Iron Man”. Kevin Feige liked the idea so much that he made it the final line in the film. The latter will be repeated during a decisive scene of Avengers: Endgame.
The cameo that announced the heavy
For the first time, a post-credits scene from the MCU announces a studio project, and not least: the arrival of the Avengers. In case Iron Man is a success, the producer Kevin Feige used Nick Fury to announce the reunion of several superheroes in an Avengers film without knowing if it could see the light of day. Obviously, success will be there for Iron Man, launching the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, and this hidden scene has become one of Marvel’s most cult.