If Iron Man is the most popular member of the Avengers, it’s probably thanks to the man behind the armor: Tony Stark. A character embodied by Robert Downey Jr, but above all largely modeled on Elon Musk.
If Iron Man is the most popular member of the Avengers, it’s probably thanks to the man behind the armor: Tony Stark, an eccentric billionaire whose cool attitude and popularity are matched only by scientific genius. and excessive ambition.
The very first inspiration to give life to this colorful character adored by the crowds? A certain Howard Hughes, according to its creator Stan Lee, author of numerous Marvel comics in the 1960s. It is therefore this extremely wealthy original, pilot and director embodied by Leonardo DiCaprio in Scorsese’s Aviator, who would have served as the initial model for the Tony Stark from the comics.
But in 2008, at a time when Marvel launched an assault on the big screen, and when it was a question of making Iron Man a cinema character, it was towards another muse that director Jon Favreau and his actor. The man who inspired Tony Stark as the public knows him today is called Elon Musk.
– You play the hero with your armor. But without it, what are you? – A genius, playboy, philanthropist, billionaire.
The self-portrait that Tony Stark draws in the first Avengers (2012) in response to Captain America’s question finally corresponds quite well to the description that one could make of Musk if one wanted to present him quickly.
Elected one of the most influential men of 2010 by the Times, the one who is readily compared to Steve Jobs is none other than the founder of the online payment company Paypal, as well as Tesla, which specializes in cars. and SpaceX, a company dedicated to building spacecraft.
The fate of Elon Musk, practically worthy of a science fiction novel, is surprising, especially when we know that the person concerned gave himself the means to succeed from his childhood in South Africa. Self-taught in programming, he managed to sell his first video game at the age of 12.
A few years of study and effort later, he became an entrepreneur and multi-billionaire. It currently weighs more than $235 billion. In November 2021, moreover, he lost the tidy sum of $50 billion… In 48 hours! The reason: the 16% drop in Tesla shares for several days. A drop due, in particular, to tweets from the CEO of the electric car giant. This is to say the weight of the person concerned, who is watched in the world of finance like milk on fire…
The Stark Attitude
Like the character he serves as a model, Elon Musk is therefore extremely wealthy and keen on High Tech. He is also the richest man in the world, even ahead of Jeff Bezos, the all-powerful boss of Amazon. More than enough to compete with Tony Stark.
So much for the “billionaire” side, but Musk does not stop there, since like Iron Man, he is also… “playboy”.
Very popular and a regular at upscale and celebrity parties, like Tony Stark who can often be seen walking the red carpet and star parties in Marvel films, he is only 50 years old but has already been married three times, including two with the beautiful British actress Talulah Riley (Pride and Prejudice, Good Morning England).
As eccentric as his Marvel alter ego, in 2013 he acquired the car driven by James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me, for the very modest sum of $989,000!
Provocative, Elon Musk is too! Two years before Tony Stark, who launched in front of dozens of dumbfounded journalists his famous “I am Iron Man” at the end of the first opus, the entrepreneur already surprised the press in 2006, declaring to the entire space industry: “Hello everyone. I’m Elon Musk. And in five years you’re all dead.”
Iron Man’s Ambition
Billionaire and playboy, therefore. But what about philanthropic genius? A former builder and arms dealer, Tony Stark had suddenly realized the consequences of his actions at the start of the first Iron Manthus deciding to work henceforth for peace and the defense of the oppressed in the world.
For his part, Elon Musk did not wait to be sequestered in a cave in Afghanistan to put his genius at the service of the world. Anxious to develop clean energies, in 2006 he founded nothing less than the largest solar energy supplier in the United States, Solar System.
And Musk’s ambition doesn’t stop there. In the next few years, he wants to revolutionize the field of public transport with what he calls the hyperloopa very high-speed train (about 1,000 km/h) carrying passengers in capsules on air cushions, inside a long tube.
But beyond the earth and trains, it is towards the stars that the founder of SpaceX looks. Like the character of Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar, his objective is to colonize other planets, and more precisely Mars, on which he intends to send humans within ten years, and eventually, to settle there. a colony of 80,000 people.
Could Iron Man dream of a better role model?
While waiting to concoct a super-armor himself (you never know!), Musk was even invited to give the answer to Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 2. In the middle of the film, he finds himself thus shaking hands with his esteemed colleague and fictional alter ego Tony Stark. Difficult after that to ignore the hooked atoms that the two men share.
A favor done to the real billionaire who almost imposed himself. Elon Musk has indeed left the production ofIron Man 2 shoot on SpaceX premises for several days for free, as Jon Favreau told us. Where, in normal times, the rental of such a space would logically cost a fortune, which even the film crew did not have. “He is a very good friend of the Marvel family” dropped the director in a podcast. Indeed, hard to doubt!